Drum Lessons: The Differences Between Learning as a Child And Learning as an Adult

As you would expect, there will be huge differences in your lessons if you’re learning to play the drums as a child or if you’re learning as an adult. This is exactly how it should be; children and adults have totally different learning needs and styles and their drum lessons should cater to that. It’s important to find a teacher who has experience teaching at whatever age and ability you are so you can make sure that you’re getting the most from your lessons.

So, what can you expect as a child beginning lessons?
More structure
Children are often less focused and more easily distracted than adults so it’s important that lessons are carefully structured. There should be appropriate time allocated to practice and, just as importantly, time allocated for fun playing! This is especially important when playing an instrument such as the drums; although careful practice is needed to master the skills and techniques, it’s important to let younger students have fun and really let go with the instrument so they stay engaged in their learning.
Teacher-led direction
Hand-in-hand with the above point is the fact that younger students will need a more teacher-led approach during their drum lessons. Children, naturally, are more focused on the ‘here and now’ rather than looking forward to their future so it’s important that the teacher is heavily involved when decisions need to be made about their musical direction. Say, for instance, the child is an excellent drummer but is lacking the discipline or motivation to commit to grade exams – it is important that the teacher encourages and recommends a new approach in the child’s learning so they will be able to take the exams in the future, rather than just letting the opportunity slip away.


What about adult lessons?
Student-led lessons
Adults are naturally more self-confident and assertive than children and it is therefore natural that they will take much more of a role in determining the direction of their lessons. If an adult decides that they would rather play the drums for pleasure rather than obtaining grade qualifications, their teacher should respect this decision and they should work together to plan lessons accordingly. It would be a great idea for the student to bring in some music that they would like to play which could then help to set the tone of the lessons. There is generally a lot more freedom when teaching adults.
Less enforced discipline
Most children require a little enforced discipline to study effectively, whether it’s at school or during their music lessons. Discipline enforced by the teacher is a great tool for learning as it will ensure that the child both pays attention during the lessons and practices once they get home. Generally, it’s a different story for an adult student who will have decided to take up the drums purely because they want to, rather than being pushed into lessons by a parent. There should be little to no difficulty with adult students not wanting to practice or not taking part fully in the lesson.


It’s clear that there are a few big differences in drum lessons for adults and those for children; it’s important to ensure that you employ the right teacher who will get the best from you whatever your age.