Instruction in the drums starts with the basics. In the early stages
students learn how to hold a pair of drumsticks and how to play drum rolls and basic drum
rudiments (rhythm exercises for coordinating the two hands playing together). Students
gain experience playing on a drumset where all four limbs have to work together. The
basics of reading rhythm are introduced through handouts specifically geared to the
studentís knowledge and experience.
As students progress they work on more complex rhythmic patterns and
undertake a more thorough study of drum rudiments in order to develop greater independence
of two hands and two feet. Two excellent books are introduced when the time is right:
Stick Control by George Stone continues the focus on the two hands working
together, and Syncopation For The Modern Drummer by Ted Reed introduces Jazz drumming and accents
while further developing reading skills.
While music theory relating to notes and harmony is not directly
relevant for drum students, instruction in general music theory is available to any
students who are interested. Those applying for high school or university music programs
are instructed in all facets of music theory necessary for a successful application using
the xylophone to learn scales, chord structure and other theoretical elements.
Jazz, Rock, Funk and Reggae styles are explored along with the rich
and diverse rhythms of Latin and South America that have become so important in North
American musical style.
Students are always encouraged to let us know what they are interested
in and we strive to help them to achieve their own aspirations, whether it is to learn a
specific piece of music or to gain acquaintance with a particular musical genre.