How to know when your child is ready to start playing the drums!
Your child is showing signs that they are becoming enamoured with the drums, whether they have been to a concert or seen someone play at school your child has caught the bug and won’t stop asking to have their own drum kit. Before rushing out to buy a drum kit you should really take time to consider if your child is actually ready and able to play the drums as drumming requires your child to co-ordinate their fine and gross motor skills, mental speed and listening skills all at once. No one expects a child to be Nandi Bushell straight away, as with learning any instrument it takes time to develop the skills required to get all the intrinsic elements syncing together. At Pro Music we have many drum tutors who can make an initial assessment to establish if your child has the potential to excel.
IS THERE A RIGHT AGE TO LEARN DRUMMING?
Unfortunately, it is not as straightforward as just saying one age is best to start as all children are so different. From your child’s physical size and strength, learning ability, and listening skills. If your child is capable of sitting for 30 minutes, listening to instructions, and being able to reach all the drums and the foot pedals even as young as 5 years old, your child may just be ready.
With one-to-one tuition, the younger your child starts the better drumming, and learning to read music helps with your child’s cognitive development which will benefit your child when it comes to learning in general. As your child’s confidence in what they are learning grows so will your child’s overall confidence and self-esteem. At Pro Music Tuition not only do we provide one-to-one lessons but when your child feels they are ready to get up on stage they will be able to showcase their talent at one of our live and loud concerts where they can play solo or join up with friends to play as a band.
These are a few signs that your child is ready to start drumming;
1. Drum sticks either come in 15inch or 17.5-inch lengths, so even the smallest size it pretty long for a small kid, as long as your child is comfortable holding them and the length doesn’t annoy them they should be ok.
2. It is always a good start if your child is great at feeling the beat, you can recognise this by seeing them dance or using hand percussion instruments. Rhythmic ability is sometimes a natural gift and kids just have it straight off the bat, that does not mean that it cannot be developed with dedicated practice over time.
3. When your child starts lessons they are taught how to read drum notation, this will require your child to be able to count to 4 as most songs have 4 beats in a bar and your child will need to count this in time.
4. Your child really needs the willingness to learn, they need to be able to focus their attention in a 30-minute lesson and take away that knowledge and apply it practicing at home. At Pro music our lessons are 30 minutes long, this is enough for any child or adult.
5. You and your child will need to be able to incorporate practicing the drums on a daily basis. Unfortunately not practicing daily will lead to a lack of results and your child will soon lose interest very quickly if they feel like they are improving. 15-20 minutes of practice a day will make all the difference.
6. Learning to play the drums is a big commitment. Financially, buying a drum kit and paying for lessons is not something that should be taken lightly, your child needs to be mature enough to understand that they can’t just give up after a few weeks.
LITTLE TIPS WHEN STARTING OUT
Here are some handy tips to make your child’s rock star journey as plain sailing as possible.
• Make sure the drum stool is fit for purpose ( don’t just get the old stool out of the shed ) and your child can reach all the drums, cymbals, and pedals.
• Make sure the drums are the right size, go down to a music shop and get your child to try a few out if you are really unsure.
• Don’t expect your child to run before they can, well….Drum. Your child will need to exercise a bit of patience and learn the basics first. With lessons, practice, and patience your rock star will soon be making all the right noises.
• Speaking of noise you can get silencers for your child’s drum kits, there are various type but the quickest and most effective route is by using damper pads which are rubber pads that are just placed over the drum head or cymbal to limit the sound.
• Your child will need some ear defenders (so might you) to protect their hearing especially as when they start playing they tend not to be too great at controlling the power behind the drum sticks.
• Children can find it boring just practicing on their own all the time so get them (and their drums ) involved in group activities too.
IS IT EVER TOO LATE TO START DRUMS?
We can assure you that is never too late to learn the drums, in fact, We’d like to see you try and resist the urge to learn once your child gets started. There is a reason why some of our drum rooms have more than two drum kits, because the parents love having lessons along with their kids. There is nothing more amazing to us than seeing child and parent bonding over their love of music. Be sure to ask your child’s teacher if you can join in and see if feels right for you. We have a buying guide for drums so you can get some tips on what to look out for both you and your child.