Practicing

Tips for how to practice well, or how to encourage students to practice

Playing drums looks so easy until you start learning it. Yes, the beats are easy to catch when you listen to a song, but when you actually learn how to hit the other instruments to a song, it turns out to be difficult.

 

Like other musical instruments, playing with beats is easy to learn when you are a child. If you have a child that wants to learn this, then encourage them to learn it now than later. In that way, they can master the skills needed for playing with beats over time.

 

Techniques In Learning Drums

 

When it comes to kids, it’s important that they learn kid-friendly techniques so that they can learn a musical instrument easily. Here are some of the tips and reminders you should remember if you or your child is starting to learn how to play with beats.

 

  1. Pick a set your size.

 

Except for pianos, you can find a size that fits you or your child. Since children have shorter arms and a shorter height, buying a set that will accommodate their height is a must. This will help them move better because all the pieces of the set will be within their reach as compared to if they learned from an adult set.

 

You can buy sets for kids in department stores or on online websites of the brand of your choice. However, it is highly recommended that you view the set in person so that your child can check if it’s the right fit for them.

 

  1. Know how to grip the drumsticks properly.

 

One of the first lessons they will learn is how to hold the drumsticks properly. The right way to hold it is to start placing the stick on your palm when your palm is facing up. The stick should be in a 45-degree angle so a side of it should touch your thumb and the rest of the stick is slanted towards your chest. Then, curl your thumb and your other fingers to the stick and face your hand downward. This way, your child will have a firm grip on the sticks and they won’t be flying around when they start hitting the set.

 

  1. Take note of your posture.

 

Before your child even starts spending so much time practicing, make sure that they got their posture right. The right posture in playing percussion instruments is to sit up straight, without your back curling or slouching. Your neck should also follow and your shoulders. Even if you will be reaching out to different pieces of the set, your shoulders should be thrown back and not crouched forward.

 

Why is posture important? It may not be obvious but bad posture can affect the quality of your practice and your health in the long run. Bad posture can lead to back and neck pains which will make it uncomfortable to practice. At the same time, some joint problems can occur if you continue practicing with bad posture. These things might just discourage your child from practice.

 

  1. Develop a listening ear.

 

Some people claim that they don’t have an ear for music, but this does not mean that it remains like that. Yes, there are kids who are born to play with beats or are considered natural in playing this musical instrument. However, this should not be a reason for those who aren’t “a natural” should give up.

 

If you notice your child having a problem, encourage them to learn how to listen to the beats carefully and to apply it step-by-step. Since they are children, it is only natural that they think they have followed a certain pattern of beats even if in reality, they haven’t. What you or their teacher should teach them is to learn how to listen carefully and to pick up the beat in every song.

 

  1. Familiarize themselves with musical notes and symbols.

 

Last but not the least is that they should familiarize (or better yet, memorize!) musical notes and notations when it comes to playing with this musical instrument. This is a must because it will be hard for your kid to keep up if they can’t read notes and musical sheets. This can also be a cause of delay for when your child is learning a song.

 

 

About Darren (the author):

Darren Perkins is a drummer, teacher, and the owner of Red Drum Music Studio, a studio in Melbourne that teaches kids – and kids at heart – how to play drums. His fascination of everything related to drums, music, and education has led him to share his own experiences and ideas online through guest blogging.

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“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver,” Proverb 25:11. –Holy Bible

How true!

Here are 35 quotes in 5 categories to chew on, memorize, or frame for your music studio. Or if you’re like me, plaster them all over the house on sticky notes.

Some of them are good reminders. Others lift me up when I need it. They encourage me to be the best teacher of music students I can be. I enjoy others’ favorite quotes, or  ideas  about how to use them with students.

Your studio website is a great place to include a quote. Don’t have one? You get one when you use Music Teachers Helper!

Quotes to Facilitate Teaching

  1. “We’ve been given two ears and two eyes but only one tongue, so we should hear and see more than we speak.” –Greek proverb
  2. “I never teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” –Socrates
  3. “I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” –Albert Einstein
  4. “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” –Mark VanDoren
  5. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” –William Butler Yeats
  6. “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” –William Ward
  7. “Spoon feeding, in the long run, teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” –E. M. Forster
  8. “The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’” –Maria Montessori
  9. “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” –Clay P. Bedford
  10. “What a child digs for becomes his own possession.” –Charlotte Mason
  11. “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” –Bob Talbert
  12. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle
  13. “I’m not a teacher, but an awakener.” –Robert Frost
  14. “Speak less. Listen more. Ask more.” –Robin Steinweg

Quotes on Caring and Kindness

  1. “Be a little kinder than you have to.” –E. Lockhart
  2. “Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” –Plato
  3. “Everything you don’t know is something you can learn.” –Anonymous
  4. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” –Aesop
  5. “The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.” –Anonymous

Quotes of Inspiration and Art

  1. “A great work of art is made out of a combination of obedience and liberty.” –Nadia Boulanger
  2. “If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing.” –Sir James Barrie
  3. “Music is not hard. Climbing Mount Everest is hard. Music merely makes you think.” –Patti Coxwell
  4. “Conflict resolution is only a half-step away.” –Anonymous
  5. “Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.” –Plato

Quotes on Creativity

  1. “A painter paints on canvas. Musicians paint their pictures on silence.” –Leopold Stokowski
  2. “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” –Jack London
  3. “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.” –Voltaire (for more on this subject–Steal Like an Artist )
  4. “Do not let the endless succession of small things crowd great ideals out of sight and out of mind.” –Charlotte Mason
  5. “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if you only try!” –Dr. Seuss

Quotes to Help the Musician-in-Progress

  1. “It isn’t where you came from, it’s where you’re going that counts.” –Ella Fitzgerald
  2. “Lemonade comes from lemons. Take that mistake and make something brilliant of it!” –Robin Steinweg
  3. “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” –John Wooden
  4. “Young people can learn from my example that something can come from nothing. What I have become is the result of my hard efforts.” –Franz Joseph Haydn
  5. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” –Napoleon Hill
  6. “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” –Salvadore Dali
  7. “Accentuate the positive.” –Harold Arlen
  8. “I’d far rather hear a student make music with mistakes than hear a perfect rendition of notes on a page.” –Robin Steinweg

What quotes inspire you? We’d love to hear them!

Music Teachers Helper

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All music teachers are musicians. Nobody picks up their first instrument in order to teach it. To keep your teaching fresh, keep learning — and keep playing. Consistency is important, but sticking to the same materials, same approaches, same routines, and avoiding risks, can lead to boredom and resentment on the part of the teacher, and an uncomfortable and less productive experience on the part of the student.

One of the nicest risks to reach for, one which probably has the most impact on teaching, is performing. Those teachers who are already active performers know what I mean, though even we can all benefit from stretching ourselves — trying new repertoire, new genres of music, new venues large or small, formal or informal, new ensembles, different accompanists, solo experiences, or participatory events.

The risks you take by performing improve your teaching because you find yourself grappling with questions of your own that every student also has to handle, such as:  [···]

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