Over my time teaching I’ve noticed a particular trend, one that I felt the need to write about. This is the impact that parental engagement has on a child’s drumming ability progression. Of course, all students are different in their own way; I’m only commenting in a general nature on what I’ve found to be true and common in my experience as a teacher but also when I was a child. For easy digestion I’ve split this into 2 parts. Part 2 will have some more examples of how you can nurture your child’s progress.
A bit of background, my dad is a talented drummer who can sing while he plays. He started of belting away Iron Maiden tunes before he transitioned to several Greek and English bands. He sings while he plays which is amazing to begin with but when you consider that a lot of Greek music involves odd time signatures it takes this amazingness to new levels, but I digress. As a child I would be so fixated on his drumming and I think it’s natural to see our parents and want to be like them, so from an early age drumming was instilled in me. When I was old enough to be able to want to do things, I wanted to be a drummer. Now long story short, my parents for some reason pushed me onto other instruments such as piano, and clarinet. At the time this killed my passion for music, my teachers in those instruments I realised weren’t that engaging and I guess a bit old school which isn’t helpful when you’re guided into an instrument that you’re not desiring.
So that was it for music for me, until I was a rebellious teen and the passion for music and especially drumming had come back, I was getting a drum kit, and no one could stop me. Predictably with this attitude only then did my parents start supporting my drumming! My dad started handing me down his cheaper kits and my mum allowed me to set up a kit in the lounge room. Now why did I ramble on about my background? Well because even though by this point, I was about 16 or 17 I was still yearning for that approval from my parents deep down. Now that I had their support, I felt unstoppable. The other thing I want to note which helped me is the passion for drumming. I was practising for hours maybe every day; in my mind I was desperately trying to make up for lost time. I started getting into and experimenting with bands and my music journey was well on its way. This ties into my findings as a teacher.
Although I have a wide spread of students from ages 4 – 50, I’m talking about the impressionable age range of 4-12 specifically.
Children I teach in the age range of 4-12 get into drumming for various reasons but I like to split it into 2.1, Imposed by the parents or 2, because the child naturally gravitated towards drums. Either way the impact of parental support cannot be encouraged enough.
A lot of parents contact me just before or after the acquisition of a drum kit, naturally the next step is to seek help on how to use it through drum lessons. This is an amazing gesture of support. So as a parent this is an incredible and supportive thing to do, as drum lessons will benefit a student in several ways.
Some ways drum lessons can benefit a student:
- They’re technically learning another language
- They’re developing their brains through the application of maths/numbers in the music world
- The development of discipline
- Development of attention to detail
- Development of coordination
- Development of rhythm and timing
- Development of posture
- Development of proprioception
- The list of benefits goes on and on, stay tuned for another blog post haha!
A study conducted by Guitar Center also found that “students participating in supplemental music lessons enjoy a variety of positive effects and healthy habits – including self-imposed limitation of screen time; increased problem-solving skills, time management and prioritization; increased self-awareness and social skills, and more.” (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/85-percent-of-parents-perceive-children-who-participate-in-music-lessons-are-better-able-to-problem-solve-and-manage-their-time-guitar-center-research-study-finds-300912109.html)
So, you have a child with a drum kit, and you’ve arranged drum lessons. This is an amazing start. Understandably for many reasons parents stop here, however in my next post I’ll share some other ways you can help your child flourish in the world of drumming with some real-world examples.
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.