How I Keep Drum Students Fired Up In Lessons (It involves chocolate)

How I Keep Drum Students Fired Up In Lessons (It involves chocolate) / How To Keep Drum Students Interested

This is one for any teachers out there (Or people thinking about teaching).

Have you ever been teaching someone and notice they really aren’t paying attention? I’d bet you have. If not, you probably have it to look forward to because it happens to the best of us. Unfortunately I believe it’s the teachers fault. You may think something works for all your other students so it will work for this one. The truth is you may need to change up your teaching style to suit the student.

Some things I do to keep students interested are below but it all stems from doing what the student wants. Yes, you need to make sure they are improving and sometimes that might mean getting them to play a Paradiddle exercise one more time. But it’s important to remember that people don’t normally get into drumming to learn hard things, they get into it to have fun.

How To Keep Drum Students Interested Website

For younger students that have a hard time focusing I like to play little games. Something as simple as asking them how fast can they play on the snare or how loud can they hit a cymbal. In most walks of life children don’t get told by authority figures to let go like this so it can be really fun and exciting.

Another little game is a simple call and response. I play a rhythm and get them to repeat. Students don’t realise this is more than a game and is also great ear training for the future.

I also get students playing along to songs as soon as possible. Normally in the first lesson. Even if it’s just keeping time on the high hat being able to do something with a song really means a lot to the student. This also means that when there mind wonders you can ask them to stay focused for another five minutes with the promise of playing along to their favourite songs as a reward.

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When all else fails I just ask what they would want in return for practising a bit longer. Normally the student will reply with one of the examples above.  Ciaran (in the photo above) threw me slightly recently when his response was chocolate. He said he would practice for 10 minutes in return for a Double Decker. Normally I wouldn’t think this to be a great idea but it really worked. Ciaran made a lot of progress that lesson and has continued to make progress every lesson since. Plus I got 2 Double Deckers and had one myself so it has other benefits.

If you are a teacher and have other suggestions to keep students on track I’d love to hear them so leave a comment below or drop me an email.


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If you are interested in my drum books then check the links below – Paradiddle Creativity – UK Link – Paradiddle Creativity – US Link – How To Practise Drums – US Kindle Link – How To Practise Drums – US Paperback Link – How To Practise Drums – UK Kindle Link – How To Practise Drums – UK Paperback Link