Drum Teachers: How to Adapt Your Lessons for Advanced Students

Many teachers may be under the impression that it is much easier to teach more advanced students than it is to start from scratch with a beginner student. Although this is true in some aspects, it is very important that drum teachers adapt their lessons to ensure that their advanced students are making the most of their teaching time. It is not enough to simply expect them to get along with minimal guidance! Let’s have a look at some of the ways we can adapt our lessons…

Student involvement

One of the best aspects to teaching with more advanced drummers is that you can have much more of a reciprocal relationship with your student which should mean a higher level of learning satisfaction from them and a more enjoyable experience for you as the teacher.

Ways to get your students more involved:

• Ask them to bring in some music that they are interested in playing
• Asking how they would prefer your lessons to be structured
• Get their feedback on what they think they need to improve on
• Make informed decisions together on whether to take grade exams
• Perform together

Focus on performance

Once your students have acquired all necessary skills, you should start tailoring your drum lessons to start focusing on performance technique. You want to inspire them to drum with panache and grow in confidence with their drumming. Why not put a date in the diary where they can perform in public? If you play another instrument, you should arrange for your student to play with you. Many drummers aspire to accompany a band – if your students are looking to join a group, it will be well worth your time to do some research and use your musical contacts to arrange for them to audition.

Progress is everything

As your students are already at a high ability in their drumming, it will be worth your time to encourage them to take their talent further. If they haven’t yet attempted to take any grade examinations, it’s a great idea to advocate for them acquiring these qualifications so they can prove that they are at a certain standard.

Occasionally, a student will come your way who is obviously in command of a prodigious drumming talent. It lies with you, as their teacher, to make suggestions to them regarding auditioning for music college or to become more heavily involved in performances and bands. Obviously, you shouldn’t push your students in the direction of anything they are reluctant to do but there is no harm in recognizing great talent when it comes your way! Do your best to inspire and encourage your students to continuing getting better, acquire new skills and grow in self-confidence. The rewards are huge if you are prepared to put the effort in!

It should be clear that you definitely need to adapt your drum lessons for your more advanced students as they will struggle to progress if you leave them to get along without any specialized teaching from you. Make sure to get them more involved with the content and direction of your lessons and be sure to focus on performance and progress.

Analyzing the skill levels of your students should be done in a careful and systematic manner. Intuition is a good thing to have for a music teacher but a little help from math and science will also go a long way. Try to find help online on how to do this properly. With drum lessons, students should definitely feel that they are progressing and advancing in skills and knowledge and that a professional is handling their training.