Learning percussion has many different aspects. Depending on the person and the challenge of the instrument, it will either take a few minutes or several hours (the choice is not yours). But after you do it once you will discover how to complete the task more efficiently. It comes down to this: It's ready when it's ready, so please experiment and prosper as a player. In order to become a well-rounded percussionist, first it helps to enjoy it! If it's too much work, it will be a chore to advance musically. One difficulty for many percussionist is the self-expectation to be experienced at many different instruments Percussion (i.e. Drummin') has more variety than other instruments, which is a good thing!
Each area has particular required skills and yet all are interrelated. Within each area there are different levels of strength. I challenge anyone who takes lessons to at least understand the basics in each category. They will gravitate towards at least one area (hopefully more than one) in their lessons. Lessons are oriented toward each individual and notes are kept as to their ongoing advancement. I have seen that the stronger the individuals are in a program. the better prepared the band or musical group as a whole will be to take on challenging music. Beyond the band room, many studies show the benefit of musical study to help in learning other higher thinking skills.
The length of a lesson (private or group) is not like baking a cake -- leave it in for exactly 30 minutes and a drummer pops out. A lesson is a stimulation process for the mind and body to focus on specific points of concern and specific muscle groups. This focus session is all the more enhanced when the student comes in fully prepared to take his/her part in the conversation, whether it be questions, answers or both.
Be sure to bring your music (in binder), pencil, instrument, and any other items needed. Use of music theory skills will be called upon whenever applicable to literature studied in lessons as these fundamentals assist you and advance your understanding in your private study and any other music in which you participate.
Contacting the instructor in between lessons is encouraged if the student has questions concerning materials presented in class. E-mail is most efficient, but if the question arises during a practice session a text or phone call is fine as well.
The amount of time spent practicing depends on the goal of each individual student. I suggest forming an attitude that requires one to work on deficiencies. Even a little effort will result in a lot of achievement. Setting practice goals will help give a sense of direction. A goal of what to do and how long to do it is a guide to begin a regular practice regimen. Daily practice adds up and reinforces good habits. Like hygiene, sleeping, eating and socializing, you must do them on a consistent basis:
otherwise you will either stink, lose your teeth, fall asleep at the wheel or turn into an undernourished boney person! Practice is, well, not quite that extreme but similar! Daily practice is so much better than cramming. Talk to your teacher about how to practice. When you are in a lesson you are "renting" your teacher's ears and experience. To make progress you must take what they tell you and apply it at home and other musical situations between lessons.
Before you Practice
- Know what you are going to practice and when, find a regularly scheduled daily practice time.
- It is best to remember that it is quality, not quantity that counts. 30 minutes of concentrated practice are worth hours of sloppy practice.
Feel free to put my vital information (Click here) in your address book and contact me for any questions. I check my e-mail frequently if that is convenient for you.
As of Fall 2012 lesson fees will be:
½ hour: $25.00
¾ hour: $38.O0
1 hour: $50.00
For a 10% discount on lesson fees, payment can be made monthly in advance. This can be paid by cash, check or charge (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover).
There will be a fee charged of 1/2 lesson price for no shows or missed lessons without cancellation. This rule must be implemented for respect of my time just as I respect students/parents time and make myself available for lessons each week. Each weekly student is allowed 1 missed lesson within a two month period.
If lessons are missed on a regular basis for more than two consecutive months, your lessons will be terminated (without refund) and the next student on the waiting list will be given your time slot. Students with lessons required by the band program will occasionally be given group/chamber lessons or in-class coaching sessions. These are beneficial when preparing for ensemble performances and to observe students in an ensemble setting which can reveal many aspects that individual lessons cannot. Chamber class will be 2 full class periods at the some cost as a single private lesson.
I try to stay on time for scheduled lessons, including a timer set to ring a few minutes before the end of the lesson. If I am still with another student and your lesson time approaches, please let me know you have arrived and are waiting to begin.