What Parents Should Expect!
The Parent (or Grandparent, Aunt, Mentor, Friend or whomever the adult supporter of this “music thing” is)..is directly responsible for the student’s success or failure.
The importance of the parent’(s) and/or a mentor’s support and encouragement to the success of the student cannot be over emphasized. This is not to say that one cannot be a serious student or a successful professional musician without it—but those that begin with it have an advantage.
EXPECTATIONS---Establish your expectations from the beginning and be consistent. Be sure that your student knows exactly what they should be doing—primarily regarding practice.
Agree upon a daily practice time and length and be consistent. At some point your student will not want to do the practice that they should and you will need to remind them of your agreement. Again, be consistent--to help them.
PRACTICE---Many times parents of a new drumming student don’t realize the additional commitment and responsibility that they have assumed. And of course, the younger the student--then more support is needed from the parent(s).
So in addition to providing an instrument, a place to practice and transportation--the parent of the successful young musician must also make sure that the correct practice is being done. Some parents will believe that the student can bear that responsibility. In my experience this is a mistake for all involved…and it’s the student who really suffers the consequences.
The first challenge will probably be in helping your student develop a practice routine. Consistent practice is absolutely necessary and it is up to the parent to help the student achieve this. Practicing drums can be quite tedious—much more so than most other instruments—and apparent progress may not be immediate.
The student will need help in developing the necessary discipline to “do the work” themselves. So….both parent and student need to agree upon a time and the minimum daily amount.
My Most Successful Students Have The Most Disciplined Parents!
Consider “building” to your student’s practice time goals by dividing the practice time into 15-20 minute blocks. Maybe practice 15 minutes in the morning—20 in the afternoon etc.
Having a dedicated practice area is really important for the student (and probably the family too). An area where the drums can remain “set-up” and played at any time is ideal. So that the student may see the drums---play them--get inspired--practice—play, get better.--It’s an extremely productive cycle!
THE SPORTS ANALOGY---A commitment to consistent practice is necessary. The most obvious analogy might be to sports. The usual middle school soccer or basketball team practices as a group for 5-10 hours per week or more on a regular schedule and with coaches helping them practice!!! The “varsity” players of course, practice much more additionally on their own.
Both parent and student must make the PRACTICE commitment—just as if they were joining the soccer or basketball team.
INSTRUMENTS—So, not only are you now responsible for practicing---you also need decent instruments, lessons, a place to practice and ultimately transportation.
Here’s What You’ll Need To Get Started—In Order Of Importance.
· Drumsticks—1pair of quality drums sticks—size 5A or 5B.
· Practice Pad—Made by Vic Firth or HQ. 14’’—not a small one or the Remo version (too loud). And not the old fashioned “Billy Gladstone” black floppy pad.
· The “Stick Control” book by George Lawrence Stone.
· The “Beats That Work" book by Georges Bouhey.
· Metronome—Just an inexpensive one with a headphone output and the loudest “click” you can find.
· Snare Drum Stand—To put the pad on—so that it is more like playing on a drum.