What makes a great teacher?

Dedworx

Senior Member
What makes a great teacher to you?

What do you look for? whats important to you for them to have and to pass on?

From personal experices or just in general.

Teaching and teachers can get pretty subjective, but im interested to hear what you value in your teacher, or when looking for a new one.

Or if you are a teacher, what things do you think make you a good one?( i dont mean in an ego "im the greatest" way just like "positive attitude" "versatile" ect )

cheers
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
The teacher qualifications will vary based on the student level.

A teacher for beginners, school students etc. should introduce the students to hand technique, note reading, and rudiments on snare drum/drum pad. Mallet percussion is a plus for those teaching school band students. Styles, coordination, and chart reading are important issues to address on drum set. Listening, transcribing, and playing along with recordings are also important in the learning process.

For advanced students or those who are looking to make music a career, one of my favorite teachers told me years ago to "study with people who are doing what you want to do".

There are many teachers out there who teach jazz coordination, but never played a jazz gig in their life! Sure, you can learn to read a chart from someone who never does it. They know the theory behind it, but there's no real life experience to back it up.

A great teacher for advanced students teaches what he/she specializes in. That was the great thing about studying at Drummer's Collective. Although the faculty has changed a bit since then, I will name a few of the guys that were there and what they taught. Kim Plainfield is a great funk/Latin teacher. Clayton Cameron is a great brush/jazz teacher. Bobby Sanabria is a great Latin instructor. Mike Clark is a great jazz/funk teacher. Sandy Gennaro is a great rock player.

Although Sandy could probaby teach jazz and Clayton Cameron could teach rock, it makes more sense to have them teach their strengths.

Jeff
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Nicely put, Jeff.

You only need to have one or two teachers in your drum life. Tony Williams had one; but that one was Alan Dawson. Joe Morello had three; but his third, Gladstone, was a short visit with a master.

Your first teacher should lay a strong foundation, and an overall introductions to rudiments, reading and grooves. Your second teacher should just lay the icing on the cake, and fine tune what is already there. That teacher should be a professional in the field. Guys like Dawson and Morello are gems who are able to excel at both performing and teaching, and each has a long list of students who have done the same.

A teacher needs to have the ability to cultivate talent and bring out the diamond inside. It is an art of shaping, introducing and putting things together. The teacher has to be strong but open; most of all, you need to know what you are doing.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
Nicely put, Jeff.

You only need to have one or two teachers in your drum life. Tony Williams had one; but that one was Alan Dawson. Joe Morello had three; but his third, Gladstone, was a short visit with a master.

Your first teacher should lay a strong foundation, and an overall introductions to rudiments, reading and grooves. Your second teacher should just lay the icing on the cake, and fine tune what is already there. That teacher should be a professional in the field. Guys like Dawson and Morello are gems who are able to excel at both performing and teaching, and each has a long list of students who have done the same.

A teacher needs to have the ability to cultivate talent and bring out the diamond inside. It is an art of shaping, introducing and putting things together. The teacher has to be strong but open; most of all, you need to know what you are doing.
Exactly. Being open to others and picking their brains is a good thing too. While Joe Morello had numerous lessons with his three teachers, he also said that he would seek out reputable teachers when he was on the road. Although he would just take one lesson, it still built upon his foundation and kept him fresh. I believe he once said that he took a lesson with Wilcoxon. Later Wilcoxon would dedicate a written solo to Joe.

Jeff
 

LinearDrummer

Silver Member
Its been a while since I've studied with him but I like my teacher because he hears the things I'm trying to do but can't quite articulate and gives me exercises that will get me there....

"He man I see what your trying, If you practise yada-yada it will help clean that stuff up"

Personally I had a bad experience with a top notch Pro who made me stick to a book, wouldn't let me play stuff i was hearing and constantly stopped me while playing his exercises to critisize me....

As Pridgen said" Isn't this supposed to be fun!"
 
D

DamoSyzygy

Guest
First and foremost - COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS, followed closely by organisation and passion to be a teacher.
 

groovemaster_flex

Silver Member
This seems kind of obvious to me.

A great teacher does a number of things:

- They know their shit. A good teacher fully understands what it takes to be a good drummer. They play rudiments well, have good independence, and can play a variety of styles well.

- They know how to motivate a student. A good teacher to me shows a student what they need to practice. Slowly at first, then show what the student can do if they practice. Kind of like dangling a carrot in front of a horse.

- They're personable and charismatic. They have a personality that makes a student want to come back for more. Not just to hang out, but to learn.

My current teacher, Barry Romberg, is a fantastic example of this. Right now, we're tearing apart and re-constructing my technique. He's showing me how I can make even the simplest rudiment sound incredible. He has a fantastic personality, and is personally one of the absolute best drummers I know. Great man. I feel as if I've accomplished a lot if I become half the drummer he is.
 

Deltadrummer

Platinum Member
Exactly. Being open to others and picking their brains is a good thing too. While Joe Morello had numerous lessons with his three teachers, he also said that he would seek out reputable teachers when he was on the road. Although he would just take one lesson, it still built upon his foundation and kept him fresh. I believe he once said that he took a lesson with Wilcoxon. Later Wilcoxon would dedicate a written solo to Joe.

Jeff
That makes sense now; he told me Wilcoxon was the best teacher around at the time. He holds him in high regard; but I didn't remember him having studied with him.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
My current teacher, Barry Romberg, is a fantastic example of this.
you're not kidding. i checked out his web site and that guy can seriously play!

i have a very good teacher too, but if were looking for a new one i'd be thinking of these things:

- good ability and background in all styles, especially the styles i'm interested in. i can play a lot of things already and i wouldn't want a teacher who's only a little better than me.

- ability to read music and teach music reading. my current teacher has been a big help to me in this area.

- someone who's cool and easy to be with. i don't want a cranky, aloof teacher.

- someone who really likes teaching. i wouldn't like taking lessons from a clock watcher.

- someone who is reliable and not going to cancel on me all the time.

- someone who doesn't hesitate to dish out constructive criticism, but does it in a way that doesn't make me feel like i suck.

- someone who is a good explainer and takes time to really show me how to do something, as opposed to a teacher who is kind of a show off and doesn't really teach you anything.

- i'd prefer a teacher who has a studio, but that's not essential.

my current teacher (rion smith) is good in all those areas, and i consider myself very fortunate to be his student.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
The teacher should inspire the pupil.

The teacher should keep the lessons fun.


The teacher should not be a washed out pro who can't get any gigs. Nor should they constantly moan about their lack of wealth!

Davo
 

Funnyman

Senior Member
What makes a great teacher in my opinion.
1. The teacher makes a connection with the student.
2. The teacher teaches what the student wants to learn not what the teacher wants to teach.
3. That the teacher has an open mind for music.
4. Knows what he or she is doing.
5. Has fun with the student, like sometimes have a drum battle or follow the beat kind of game at the end of lesson and not be all tight up and serious.
 

Bradastronaut

Senior Member
My teacher always starts the lesson with "ive got a present for you" (in a none creepy way aha) then gives me some music similar or the same to what i asked about in the last lesson, he takes notes of what i want to learn, listens to the music i listen to, to find out what i need to learn to play like my favourite drummers. He makes it realy easy to figure out beats if its a bit confusing for me at first. I think it has a lot to do with the student though, a lot of the kids ive seen while coming into my lesson have been idiots (by which i mean they pay no attention to him and always try and find ways to get out of doing "work") who obviously dont practice and are still trying to learn the stuff i learnt in my first lesson...and these are kids who are only a year younger then me and have been taking the lessons for twice the length as I have. Yet i am currently learning jungle/drum and bass, which im finding very difficult but getting there! i practice 3 hours a day and pay full attention to what he says. So he probably enjoys teaching me more than the other students...if that doesnt make me sound like a complete arse D:
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
My current teacher, Barry Romberg, is a fantastic example of this. Right now, we're tearing apart and re-constructing my technique. He's showing me how I can make even the simplest rudiment sound incredible. He has a fantastic personality, and is personally one of the absolute best drummers I know. Great man. I feel as if I've accomplished a lot if I become half the drummer he is.
Nice. I used to watch Barry down at The Rex many moons ago. A great sense of adventure: I think that's the thing I most love about his playing.
 

Monica McCoy

Senior Member
What I value in my teacher is the structure and direction he provides. I'm challenged with new material and constantly improving.

He's very passionate about the drums. Gigs three days a week and teaches just one. Been playing 40 years and has had a roster of hundreds of students over the years.

Every so often we compare my playing to an earlier time and he gets a little tear-jerked over my progress. He's proud of me. That's how I know I have the right guy.

www.tommendoladrums.com
 
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