Much to the dismay of everyone in the household, your child has received a drum kit for Christmas! So now what do you do? There are ample resources online that will help your child be the best drummer he or she can be, but who has time to surf the web for hours on end? You can read the information we found here and be an expert in no time. There are several ways to teach drums to kids. You can: hire a tutor, buy a video or computer program, or teach them yourself (by far the most challenging!)
If you have the extra cash available, I suggest hiring someone who’s familiar with reading drum music. The expertise level of this person will depend upon a few factors like the age of the child, the difficulty of the music, and the end goal. By end goal, I mean you need to decide where you and the child would like to go with this whole music thing. Do you want the kid to be the ultimate super rock star, concert percussionist, or just give him or her an outlet for their massive amounts of energy?
Once you’ve decided where you’re going with the drumming thing, you can start to narrow down a tutor for them. A good place to start is the place where you bought the drum kit in the first place. Many times they will have contacts and resources for you to find a tutor for your child. This might not be the cheapest route, but is definitely a good way to go if you want to make sure your kid is exposed to real working drummers. These tutors may even have gigs or be in a band. This is great exposure for an older student who might be thinking about drumming as a career.
Another option is to find a tutor in a college or university nearby. Getting a student to help will be your best bet money-wise, but occasionally professors step into tutor-mode for some side income. Caution: Professors are the most expensive option for tutors! However, you can consider it something of an investment, as they are likely to provide the student with far more education during their drum lessons. The student might even be assigned homework to work on drum rhythms. This will be such a help when they come home and work on “tap tap tap” as opposed to “bang bangity bangbang bang!”
The next way to prepare your child for learning how to play the drums, if you’re uncomfortable with a tutor, is to buy a how-to-play-drums DVD or computer software that will teach them the skills. These sell for anywhere from relatively inexpensive to highly expensive. I found some used programs on an auction website for pretty cheap! You can also use craigslist.com or other classified type websites to find the tutor you’re looking for. Using the good old newspaper is still another way to find books, DVDs or computer programs that will teach drum techniques to your student.
If you’re the pioneering sort, you can always teach the child yourself. This is the best option if you have a young learner or a student who isn’t going to make a career out of it. If you took drumming in high school, used to be friends with a drummer, or have even seen a drummer in a concert or on TV, you may understand the basics of what is required. Although I don't reccommend this for long term, it is a great starting point.. This type of teaching drums to kids is the easiest because you just have to know some simple moves and rhythms. Almost everyone knows just a little bit about “the beat” and this will save you some serious coin in the end! And even if you don’t, get help from the pros when teaching your child drums. There are some excellent method books available at your local music store that can make you seem like an expert after only a few days. Good luck finding that perfect way to teach your child how to play drums!