Everything you need to know about my lessons
Who do you teach?
I have taught drums to both children and adults, to those who just want to play in their shed and those who want to play at Glastonbury! I tailor my lessons to each person’s age, ability and ambition. All that is important is that you want to learn. I do put a lower age limit of ten years old on those who I teach, but this is more for physical reasons than anything else.
When do you teach?
Within reason, at times to suit you, although I do ask that we set a regular time each week as this helps both you and I manage our diaries.
Where do you teach?
I almost always teach pupils in their own home. Like learning to drive in your own car, learning to play the drums on your own kit, with everything set up the way you want it, will make you feel more comfortable.
What area do you cover?
I teach in Plymouth, South Devon and East Cornwall. I’m happy to teach anywhere within a 25-mile radius of Plymouth.
Why the drums?
When I’ve asked my pupils that, I’ve received a number of different answers. Some say they find playing the drums to be a good form of stress relief, or even exercise. Some say they wanted to play music, but didn’t want to be like “everyone else” by learning a string or wind instrument. Others found a special appeal in playing the drums, a “cool factor” that other instruments just don’t have. Personally, that’s what attracted me to the drums initially!
Is it hard to learn the drums?
I think of the development of drum skills as a snowball effect. At first you may find some techniques difficult to develop, and you may get frustrated. (Having a patient teacher helps, incidentally!) . But believe me, when you make a breakthrough, there’s no greater feeling of satisfaction. And you’ll then find that other skills come sooner and sooner.
What are your lessons like?
In a word, fun! If you’re not having fun, then the lessons aren’t working. I’d like to think that I’m friendly, approachable, patient and a good communicator, and these things are essential to pass over the sometimes complicated technical knowledge you’ll need to advance on the drums. In my lessons, the pupil dictates the way they want to learn. Some people just want to bring CDs and learn how to play their favourite songs- that’s how I started. Others want to develop more technical skills before moving further, or to use set texts to develop their learning. Like any form of teaching, its important that the pupil is happy and comfortable with how they learn, and we all learn in different ways. It is part of my job to establish that with you.
How much do you charge?
A basic tuition fee of £23 an hour applies to my lessons; I then charge a supplement to cover my costs and time spent travelling to you from my home in Plymouth (Peverell, PL3 4JY). This is based on the time it takes me to travel to the lesson. Every 10 minutes’ travel incurs a supplement of £1. For example, if you are 15 minutes drive away, that is 30 minutes round trip to you and therefore a supplement of £3, or a total cost of £26 per hour lesson.
Do you teach grades?
Yes. I offer lessons tailored around the Rockschool syllabus. Working towards Rockschool qualifications is an excellent way of developing your playing in a structured way, and the great feeling from getting that certificate is worth the work! I’m pleased to be able to say that as of March 2019, well above 90% of my pupils have passed their Rockschool Exams since I began teaching. Grades aren’t everything though- I’m happy to offer entirely Grade-based lessons, or entirely “free-form” teaching, or a mixture of both! Get in touch, and we can chat it though.
What will I need?
A drumkit! Just ask if you’d like advice on what hardware you need. You’ll also need at least two pairs of drumsticks, with different weights and tips suiting different people and styles. Again, just ask if you need guidance. It also really helps if you have some idea of the type of music you want to play. Pigeonholing yourself musically will limit you long-term, but we need to start somewhere! Finally, you will need the time and dedication to practice inbetween lessons. Four or five 20-minute practice sessions a week will normally see a noticeable improvement between lessons.