“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” - Plato
Music expresses our innermost thoughts.
While it is a great tool for creative expression, it’s best to practice so you get the most out of playing and creating music.
Drums are a versatile instrument with a lot of potential. Drummers are often accompanied by other types of percussion and they provide the rhythm and backbone of a band. Drums are the heart of jazz music and can create a unique sound in any style.
You may wonder if it’s worthwhile to dive in and enrol into a music school to learn the drums. If you dream of improvising in a jazz band or becoming the best next rock drummer like John Bonham, consider the different ways to learn how to play drums.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the pros and cons of drum and music schools, and how they can help you learn how to play the drums.
So What is a Drum School?
As the name suggests, a drum school is a type of music academy that specialises in music education and focusing in on learning drums. Depending on the school, these are appropriate for kids, adults, beginners and more advanced students.
Rather than focusing on overall music theory and notation, you’ll learn about rhythm, tempo, and time signatures. The curriculum for drummers differs from those learning instruments like piano, singing, guitar and bass and brass instruments. Your music teacher will have to be an expert in percussion instruments.
Attending a music school provides training for aspiring drummers, taught by qualified teachers. There’s a difference between learning at a private music institution like a university, which specialises in music, drama and art degrees too. Depending on your situation, you must look into which is best for you.
There are plenty of amazing music schools across Australia. Music schools give you the experience to play in a studio and collaborate with and be accompanied by other musicians while getting guidance from your teacher. You’ll get advice on what drum kits play the best, what equipment to get, and advice on the music industry.
Unlike self-taught musicians, students will be guided by a teacher who will provide tuition (for a fee) and prepare them for either a recital, audition or performance.
The Level you Need to Attend a Drum School
Your level of skill is important when enrolling into a music school, but not for the reasons you may think.
Anybody can get some type of musical training, but important that your training matches your skill so you can get the most out of it. Your course will place into the right stream depending on your skill–an audition will help the school gauge your skill level and develop a student profile.
There isn’t a specific level you need to attend a drum school. Instead, it’s important to know what level you’re at, so you can get the right training that is the right amount of challenging for you.
The same goes for any kind of music training, including theory, jazz or classical piano and contemporary rock training.
While most schools may offer classes based on your level, not all will. It’s important to do your research before you enrol or get a private drum tutor.
Playing drums at a school can be a whole heap of fun if you’re attending the right classes, making excellent progress, and practicing what music you’re interested in. It doesn’t matter if you’re learning for a professional career in music or fun, as long as you enjoy what you’re doing!
Drum Training at a School
Music and drum schools don’t tend to have offers for free classes, but you can sign up for classes when you want. It’s quite easy to learn and play drums whenever you want when you’re enrolled at a music school, as you’ll most likely have access to a studio.
Your classes will depend on your teacher. A great drum teacher will help you get the most out of your lessons and encourage you to play drums outside of class–maybe they’ll even inspire you to become a professional drummer.
Ultimately, music is about fun!
Whether you’re learning piano, guitar or drums, most lessons at a music school will be in groups. Most classes are organised by what level each student is at, but it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone will be at the same skill level and you might not all have the same tastes in music styles.
Collaborating is a big part of learning music at a school. To become a professional musician, you need to work with other musicians well.
Music school is a way to learn how to work with many musicians with different points of view, varying interests, backgrounds, experiences and skill levels.
This means you won’t always be playing what you want in school, so be patient. The most important thing is to stay passionate about learning and playing drums.
Getting out of your comfort zone may help you become a better drummer.
Before you get lessons at a drum school, there are a few details to be aware of.
Not all drum schools are equal. Different schools offer different teaching approaches.
Price is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a drum school.
Whether you choose to learn the drums at a school with a private tutor or at a university, you must invest time and money into your practise. If you choose private lessons at a drum school, you’ll first need to pay your teacher each lesson, but there are other costs to consider.
You will need to invest in drum equipment, which can be quite expensive.
Fortunately, there are many second-hand and renting options available online. You may also need to pay to travel to your lessons, but if this isn’t a great option for you, there are also online drum lessons available.
You should consider where your lessons are since you’ll be going there at least once a week, depending on your schedule. Depending on your location, you might have a lot of options nearby, or you may have to travel across town.
It’s handy to go for the convenient option of what classes are close by to where you live or work.
This way your classes will be easy to attend, but it’s also worth considering the quality of a school if the teacher is reputable and the style of drumming taught.
If your school is across town, you might be more likely to skip a class when it’s raining outside–but if you love the school and teacher, you are more likely to attend every class you can!
The most important thing to consider is your teacher’s passion for teaching the drums and music. You can never know if you’re going to get along with your teacher before you meet them, so it’s important that when you meet them, you get along with them.
Your teacher is your first point of contact when it comes to drum, and a great teacher will keep you motivated and excited to keep learning, and this may help you progress as a drummer.
You need to make your teacher’s teaching style and techniques work for you. Of course, you can’t find this out before class, but it’s worth researching your teacher and getting a solid understanding of them.
If after the first few lessons, you’re not finding your teacher’s teaching techniques are working for you, it’s not uncommon to seek another teacher or school.
Ultimately, drums are a great instrument to learn at a music school, but take some time and carefully consider your options and decide what kind of drum tuition is best for you. Find your first drum lesson here.
Prepare for your lessons
If you’re a true beginner, you need to prepare for lessons. First, invest in a drum set or find a studio you can practice in. A drum kit includes a bass drum, snare drum, a ride and crash cymbal and hi-hat cymbals, a floor tom and two rack toms. You will need to buy some sticks too; any will do at first.
As you learn, you will find what sticks are best for you to play with. It’s not a great idea for beginners to buy a lot of equipment for their drum kit as they’re starting out, as they won’t be aware of exactly what they need, so basics are best!
Learn some drum beats and rudiments before you invest in a kit like you’ve seen your favourite drummers play. Overall, it may take years to drum the way your idols do, but if you stick at it, you'll be there in no time.