In 2015 I was lucky enough to be accepted onto an advanced drum camp in America with a great teacher. While we were there the theme of the whole week was that we would be taught something at the beginning of each session, then we would be given time to work on it on our own before then showing the rest of the group. A truly great way of teaching. The part I loved the most about this method was the self discovery, I found lots of things that I could do really well that I’d never put into certain contexts before, but there were also parts that I found incredibly tough and had to really work hard at before showing the group
In our one-to-one lessons, maybe we only have half an hour, so 10-15 minutes of working on something would be a huge amount of our time, so it can hard to really work away at something and practise, plus with nothing else going on in the room it’s tough to really lose yourself in creating something on drums. The group lessons are an hour long, meaning we have plenty of time!
Some of my best practise is done when I get given an idea and am allowed to totally run with it, rather than being told exactly what to do, or when I am finding something really tough, allowing myself the time to get stuck in and work on it, and so I want to give everyone the opportunity to try this out too.
One of the biggest things I hear is that although we get some great work in during lesson time, not a lot of practise is done at home, perhaps that’s because we always work in the almost ‘personal trainer’ style, so I’m hoping this could also change that too!
My goal is to still learn songs in these sessions, but also to have drummers that have great technique, and most of all, total creativity & control. Being given 10 minutes to work on creating a 16th note drum fill with a bass drum in for example, then showing off their work before we then look at further improvements etc, rather than just playing it a handful of times for me.
If any parents have been in the room during a lesson, I’ll often say ‘keep it going for a minute’ or ‘ just a bit longer’ etc, but this can seem like a really long time for people when I’m watching the whole time, but many of my drummers are now getting to a point where we need more than a minute’s work on something, helping them understand that if we really grind for something, put in the effort, we can get something great out of it. I honestly believe that this could be the next step in helping progression on the instrument.
I’m really excited that this could create the very best drummers!