Problem with Drum Student

M

MasterBlaster

Guest
If the kid doesn't want to play drums, why force them?

It's not like being forced to learn your multiplication tables.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I've come across this more than a few times in my years teaching

it can be exhausting and infuriating

my theory is... as long as they are paying I will try to figure out a way to get her engaged ... I take it as a challenge and a way to improve my people and teaching skills ... when they stop I feel that I have failed so I do everything I can to make them love music and feel like they can create unique things when they have passion for something

when I've had the most success is when I just spend time getting to know the student ... we may spend an entire lesson or two just bonding on things they are interested in ... maybe its music, video games, a TV show, dancing, flowers, ice cream, whatever ... once I find something I milk it

we as teachers often have to drop the academic stuff and become playmates and friends at times ...

sounds like dad is obviously taking the fun out of life ... so I would take it upon myself to inject the fun back into it

games work wonders ... kids love a good competition ... they are competitive by nature ... I always use things like memory games where it is like the game Simon ... I play something ... they repeat it ... starting crazy simple and I add something on each time ...
I keep score on a dry erase board and they love that ... they want to WIN !!!

find a song she likes ... and don't even pick up the sticks for a lesson ... just dance to the song ... talk about the song and what is going on in it....
talk about things like how you picture the drummer recording it dressed as a clown or in his underwear or whatever and have her air drum to it pretending to be the drummer ... kids have awesome senses of humor like that

do you play another instrument ?.... piano ?.. guitar ?

if you do ... that is a great help ...

I play guitar with all my students ... we play cover songs together ... we write songs together ... they love to write lyrics ....

it has to be fun ... she has to feel like she is contributing and not just being told what to do

I'm interested to hear how this plays out for it is very close to home for me

I'll probably experience something like it today actually ... :)
 
Last edited:

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've come across this more than a few times in my years teaching

it can be exhausting and infuriating

my theory is... as long as they are paying I will try to figure out a way to get her engaged ... I take it as a challenge and a way to improve my people and teaching skills ... when they stop I feel that I have failed so I do everything I can to make them love music and feel like they can create unique things when they have passion for something

when I've had the most success is when I just spend time getting to know the student ... we may spend an entire lesson or two just bonding on things they are interested in ... maybe its music, video games, a TV show, dancing, flowers, ice cream, whatever ... once I find something I milk it

we as teachers often have to drop the academic stuff and become playmates and friends at times ...

sounds like dad is obviously taking the fun out of life ... so I would take it upon myself to inject the fun back into it

games work wonders ... kids love a good competition ... they are competitive by nature ... I always use things like memory games where it is like the game Simon ... I play something ... they repeat it ... starting crazy simple and I add something on each time ...
I keep score on a dry erase board and they love that ... they want to WIN !!!

find a song she likes ... and don't even pick up the sticks for a lesson ... just dance to the song ... talk about the song and what is going on in it....
talk about things like how you picture the drummer recording it dressed as a clown or in his underwear or whatever and have her air drum to it pretending to be the drummer ... kids have awesome senses of humor like that

do you play another instrument ?.... piano ?.. guitar ?

if you do ... that is a great help ...

I play guitar with all my students ... we play cover songs together ... we write songs together ... they love to write lyrics ....

it has to be fun ... she has to feel like she is contributing and not just being told what to do

I'm interested to hear how this plays out for it is very close to home for me

I'll probably experience something like it today actually ... :)
Quoted for absolute sheer brilliance.

I was going to say something along the same lines, but this is just teaching gold right there.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
I've come across this more than a few times in my years teaching

it can be exhausting and infuriating

my theory is... as long as they are paying I will try to figure out a way to get her engaged ... I take it as a challenge and a way to improve my people and teaching skills ... when they stop I feel that I have failed so I do everything I can to make them love music and feel like they can create unique things when they have passion for something

when I've had the most success is when I just spend time getting to know the student ... we may spend an entire lesson or two just bonding on things they are interested in ... maybe its music, video games, a TV show, dancing, flowers, ice cream, whatever ... once I find something I milk it

we as teachers often have to drop the academic stuff and become playmates and friends at times ...

sounds like dad is obviously taking the fun out of life ... so I would take it upon myself to inject the fun back into it

games work wonders ... kids love a good competition ... they are competitive by nature ... I always use things like memory games where it is like the game Simon ... I play something ... they repeat it ... starting crazy simple and I add something on each time ...
I keep score on a dry erase board and they love that ... they want to WIN !!!

find a song she likes ... and don't even pick up the sticks for a lesson ... just dance to the song ... talk about the song and what is going on in it....
talk about things like how you picture the drummer recording it dressed as a clown or in his underwear or whatever and have her air drum to it pretending to be the drummer ... kids have awesome senses of humor like that

do you play another instrument ?.... piano ?.. guitar ?

if you do ... that is a great help ...

I play guitar with all my students ... we play cover songs together ... we write songs together ... they love to write lyrics ....

it has to be fun ... she has to feel like she is contributing and not just being told what to do

I'm interested to hear how this plays out for it is very close to home for me

I'll probably experience something like it today actually ... :)

This was essentially going to be my reply. And no, I'm not kidding!!
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..we may spend an entire lesson or two just bonding on things they are interested in ... maybe its music, video games, a TV show, dancing, flowers, ice cream, whatever ... once I find something I milk it..

..sounds like dad is obviously taking the fun out of life ... so I would take it upon myself to inject the fun back into it..

games work wonders ... kids love a good competition ... they are competitive by nature ... I always use things like memory games where it is like the game Simon ... I play something ... they repeat it ... starting crazy simple and I add something on each time ...
I keep score on a dry erase board and they love that ... they want to WIN !!!

find a song she likes ... and don't even pick up the sticks for a lesson ... just dance to the song ... talk about the song and what is going on in it....
talk about things like how you picture the drummer recording it dressed as a clown or in his underwear or whatever and have her air drum to it pretending to be the drummer ... kids have awesome senses of humor like that..

I have a lot of respect for the drummer that you are and when having 50 students a week means that also as a teacher you have something going on, but with things like this you lose me a little in this thread..

The things i highlighted almost sound to me like we are dealing here with an autistic child with huge family issues that needs some music-therapy to get closer to her feelings and pleasure in life again..Which could be the case ofcourse, but thats not what i understood from the starting post of this thread..

In my opinion is anyway kinda difficult to give a decent advice in this case when not knowing the girl, her behaviour, the fathers behaviour, etc..Basically we are all just making assumptions with that..
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I have a lot of respect for the drummer that you are and when having 50 students a week means that also as a teacher you have something going on, but with things like this you lose me a little in this thread..

The things i highlighted almost sound to me like we are dealing here with an autistic child with huge family issues that needs some music-therapy to get closer to her feelings and pleasure in life again..Which could be the case ofcourse, but thats not what i understood from the starting post of this thread..

In my opinion is anyway kinda difficult to give a decent advice in this case when not knowing the girl, her behaviour, the fathers behaviour, etc..Basically we are all just making assumptions with that..
you obviously don't deal with children on a regular basis or have the slightest understanding of what it takes to amuse , inspire and motivate a child into exploring a creative process that they might not yet be comfortable with

99 out of 100 teachers give up on kids like this ... that won't be me ... I understand what it takes to gain a kids trust ... to make them laugh ... to find what inspires them ... to find the creativity in them.

my 14 years of successful teaching experience with a waiting list longer than I'll ever be able to accommodate and kids who I handed their first pair of sticks getting full scholarships into some of the best music schools in the world who went on to successful careers in the music business doesn't qualify me to hope YOU approve of things in my post ... it qualifies me to educate aspiring musicians and get the best out of them even when they don't believe themselves that they can do it

have a wonderful day
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I have a lot of respect for the drummer that you are and when having 50 students a week means that also as a teacher you have something going on, but with things like this you lose me a little in this thread..

The things i highlighted almost sound to me like we are dealing here with an autistic child with huge family issues that needs some music-therapy to get closer to her feelings and pleasure in life again..Which could be the case ofcourse, but thats not what i understood from the starting post of this thread..

In my opinion is anyway kinda difficult to give a decent advice in this case when not knowing the girl, her behaviour, the fathers behaviour, etc..Basically we are all just making assumptions with that..
LOL.

You're pulling non-sense from thin air. Why are you assuming it's anything more than the OP made it out to be? We're talking about teaching drums, not diagnosing or dealing with autism or family issues. quite simply not the teacher's problems. The teachers problem is to try and engage the student, which Tony gave amazing suggestions for.

On a few occasions, I've taught very young children, even in a group setting, and I usually fall back on something else Tony taught me a long time ago... You can break down rhythms and syllables or nursery rhyme type things, demonstrate playing over them and all of a sudden the kid can play the damned thing!
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..you obviously don't deal with children on a regular basis or have the slightest understanding of what it takes to amuse , inspire and motivate a child into exploring a creative process that they might not yet be comfortable with

99 out of 100 teachers give up on kids like this ... that won't be me ... I understand what it takes to gain a kids trust ... to make them laugh ... to find what inspires them ... to find the creativity in them.

my 14 years of successful teaching experience with a waiting list longer than I'll ever be able to accommodate and kids who I handed their first pair of sticks getting full scholarships into some of the best music schools in the world who went on to successful careers in the music business doesn't qualify me to hope YOU approve of things in my post ... it qualifies me to educate aspiring musicians and get the best out of them even when they don't believe themselves that they can do it

have a wonderful day..

With all respect, but we are here on a public forum where you post things and people from all over the world read them..And in the part of the world where i live, the things i highlighted in my previous post sound almost like going to therapy instead of a drumlesson, at least to me..There was no disrespect at all meant with that and if those things work for you then thats a fact..And besides that, my first post in this thread allready showed that i agree with 75% from what you say, just not with everything..But you are right, my opinion should be completely unimportant to you, but then i think i am still allowed to give that opinion..

I studied 6 years to become a highschool teacher btw and also worked as one..

And, without sarcasm, i wish you also a nice day..
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
Ok, 22 year Science teacher here. Tony has all the right techniques to try to bring out the best in a defiant student.

Carry on.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
With all respect, but we are here on a public forum where you post things and people from all over the world read them..And in the part of the world where i live, the things i highlighted in my previous post sound almost like going to therapy instead of a drumlesson, at least to me..There was no disrespect at all meant with that and if those things work for you then thats a fact..And besides that, my first post in this thread allready showed that i agree with 75% from what you say, just not with everything..But you are right, my opinion should be completely unimportant to you, but then i think i am still allowed to give that opinion..

I studied 6 years to become a highschool teacher btw and also worked as one..

And, without sarcasm, i wish you also a nice day..
drum lessons are very often like a therapy session

if any teacher is in a one on one situation with a difficult student and does not try to crack into their psyche to try to understand what the roadblock is and how they can tear it down ... how to inspire them... in my opinion they are a horrible teacher and should probably go get a job in construction or something where they don't have to deal with the complexities of children

you have to gain trust ... it is an emotional family type relationship to me ... I take my students seriously and they know me personally ... and I know their families

I am not trying to teach them to play drums ... I am trying to give them a craft that they can be proud of ... something that can build confidence ...

you want to learn how to play a paradiddle and then apply it to the set and be sent on your way ?... then don't come to me

we deal with real life over here ... and that doesn't always involve drum sticks
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..LOL.

You're pulling non-sense from thin air. Why are you assuming it's anything more than the OP made it out to be? We're talking about teaching drums, not diagnosing or dealing with autism or family issues. quite simply not the teacher's problems!..

I chose my words very carefully and i never wrote that i assumed anything..I wrote that in my opinion is difficult to give a decent advice in this situation, because those advices are only based on assumptions..Simply because none of us ever met the girl, her parents or anyone involved (allthough some of the members here maybe know Living Dead Drummer personally, that could be..)..

I only wrote that some lines 'almost sound to me like'............

Nothing more, nothing less..
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yeah. It's not really possible to know from a general second hand perspective.

I can't say I've never had an issue, but being clear and honest with both student and parent is the way.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I haven't taught children-other than 8 years as Mr. Mom with my own three daughters. But I have taught undergrads biological sciences and medical students histology and directed surgeon fellows in research-just bigger kids with a lot of the same problems. Lots of great opinions on how to educate-it should be fun and it isn't all in the book because part is from your own experiences, part letting them know you know what you are talking about (so they will bother to listen) and part that you really care and are on their side (develop trust)-wanting their success, that it's about being a life-long learner, making sure they are prepared to be competitive (so I set high standards) and open them to various opportunities. But it's the same you get all kind of strange social issues and meddling parents (students have to give parents written permission before I can speak to them legally but that never stops them). I tell them I want the best for their child too-I think of them as my own I'm invested-so I'm going to give them the best education (I can) to prepare them for competitive STEM fields. Some parents would lament their child was the first in their family to attend college and what their big plans were-nursing, med school, dental school, etc. So I ask them do you want me to just pass them or do you want them to succeed? I would tell them of my rural upbringing and poor education, as well as being a terrible student, however a little encouragement and great mentors pushed me to do things I never thought possible- and I've helped many students to achieve their goals. I have so many mentors that encouraged and "taught" me about my field of study, but also about life-how to deal with people, be a better public speaker, how to juggle life and academia and still be husband and parent, how to deal with student issues-academic and social. The strangest was a recent online course that a student suddenly admitted cheating, then posted porno, then threatened myself and other students. It was bizarre-like watching the Titanic. I still have students who contact me on occasion to let me know of their good fortune and success-and thank me for pushing them (much as I have and still thank all my mentors) and thank me for their education. Man that is the best feeling in the world.
 

DaleClark

Senior Member
The ops original post was discussing a child who seems to be not into drums (at the moment) with an overbearing parent.

Now we have diagnosed Autism, an ego contest (I have taught longer than you have taught, etc) and I'm sure the child will be diagnosed as a future career criminal if this keeps up.

The op was just asking for simple input and starting a discussion.
 

Mike Stand

Silver Member
drum lessons are very often like a therapy session

if any teacher is in a one on one situation with a difficult student and does not try to crack into their psyche to try to understand what the roadblock is and how they can tear it down ... how to inspire them... in my opinion they are a horrible teacher and should probably go get a job in construction or something where they don't have to deal with the complexities of children

you have to gain trust ... it is an emotional family type relationship to me ... I take my students seriously and they know me personally ... and I know their families

I am not trying to teach them to play drums ... I am trying to give them a craft that they can be proud of ... something that can build confidence ...

you want to learn how to play a paradiddle and then apply it to the set and be sent on your way ?... then don't come to me

we deal with real life over here ... and that doesn't always involve drum sticks

Tony, I do think that your passion and dedication came across in your usual "forthright" manner in one of your previous replies.

However, you speak true and your grander vision of teaching is a real eye opener. Notably when you mention the complexities of children.

Most people can do something well. Many will even have a good understanding of the thing(s) they do well. But to have the capacity to transmit that knowledge in a meaningful well, only a few people really have that vision and ability. At least I can say that I have never thought of myself as someone who could teach. Too many people choose that path without the clarity of vision that you display. That's no slight on teachers, just a recognition that it's a very challenging profession.

Your commitment is fully evident in the way you describe your approach. I think LDD, and anyone else for that matter, would be well advised to think about it. Even from a parenting perspective. The way you invest yourself personally into your teaching role is really admirable. I know I wouldn't have the energy to do it on the scale that teaching requires.

I would want my child to be taught by people with such strong conviction and dedication. It just shows the importance of good education, something that should be available to all. Alas.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Not sure if there's anything to add here, but try to remember that the worst thing you can do is make the girl not like music. Her dad may well make her hate playing the drums, and she may not be into rudiments, beats, and fills, but, if all else fails, show her some cool music! Start with what she's into, whether it's from Disney shows, Glee, video games, or whatever. Then introduce her to funk, reggae, blues, The Meters, Michael Jackson, Sinatra, and jam along to all of this music on the drums. She may hate lessons, but she won't hate the exposure. In short, show her how much fun music is.

It might be good to learn basic beats and styles along with songs that SHE LIKES (not what her Dad's band is playing). Then you can trade songs, i.e. one she likes, then one you like, etc.

If at all possible, get her to smile while playing. Sometimes you can use reverse psychology ("Okay, absolutely NO SMILING!"), or be silly yourself ("Okay let's play this beat again, but while smiling like huge dorks!").

Best of luck. Props to you for seeking advice!
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
If I hated doing something I'd have no problemo frowning the entire time.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
If I hated doing something I'd have no problemo frowning the entire time.
children don't genuinely "hate" anything ... and no kid I have ever met hates hitting drums ...

hate is a taught emotion ... it is not one natural to our psyche

what they will dislike is the way it is introduced to them or forced upon them

if the right person finds their inspiration ... shows them the joy in music and creating ... the seed of love and confidence can be planted

this is not swimming lessons ... this is not school ... this is expression, artistic creation, this is learning how to say things you feel that cannot be put into words

they need to be shown that

anyone can call themselves a "teacher" ... but not everyone can bring those things out of a child
 

Macarina

Silver Member
Hmmmmm.... Tiger Dad. Not sure how well that works.

anyway... two thoughts.

Approach the girl with reverse psychology.

or

Get real with the Dad and just tell him your not going to waste your time, his or hers.
 
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