If we were to say the word 'drum', what images and musical sounds would instantly come to your mind?
Would it be students in school music classes blissfully banging on the drums during the lesson while the teachers grimaced? Perhaps it would be the fun, foot-stomping rhythm of African drums or the smooth cool beat of a jazz drummer? Or maybe the only drummer you think of is the crazy Animal from The Muppet Show?
Whatever connections you make, one thing is certain: if you start learning this percussion instrument, it will get under your skin and into your blood.
Playing fast around the drums is one thing. But to play music, to play with people for others to listen to, that’s something else. That’s a whole other world.
— Tony Williams —
Not convinced drum lessons are for you? Let Superprof give you some cultural background on this ancient percussion instrument and outline reasons why learning to drum is so beneficial and we guarantee you'll soon be asking 'Where are the best drum lessons near me?'
The Cultural Nature of Drumming
Generally speaking, music historians don't think of individuals as 'inventors' of specific drums, instead acknowledging that the many different styles of drum have evolved over time. Drums made of alligator skin were played in China as far back as 5,500 B.C.E. and ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian iconography shows drums being used in religious ceremonies and cultural events.
Drums can be found in nearly every culture — from the enormous taiko drums of Japan to the goblet drums of the Middle East, and the Celtic bodhran drums to the African djembe — drumming is associated with sacred rituals, ceremonies and celebration throughout the world.
Of course, there is also the 5-piece drum kit. However, even the modern-day drum kit had older origins, traced back to twentieth-century New Orleans jazz drumming styles.
Why Drum Lessons? Four Great Reasons for Learning
Yes, they can be loud and your neighbours may not necessarily appreciate your musical aspirations but the positives must surely outweigh any negatives.
Become a global citizen
With the sheer variety of drum types and music styles out there, you'll never get bored and your drumming skills could take you anywhere you want to go in the world. Even if you can't physically travel, taking classes or organising private tuition can broaden your experience as you discover drums you've never heard of and learn about musical styles from a whole range of cultures.
Fight anxiety and depression
We may joke about 'needing to hit something' if we've had a stressful day, but there is nothing funny about chronic anxiety and depression. Studies have shown there are psychological benefits to group drumming, or 'drum circles', with participants in workshops reporting reductions in negative mental health symptoms after a ten-week class and the maintenance of significant positive changes for up to three months after the workshops had finished.
Increase brain power
Drumming is a whole body activity. This entails a need for coordination — meaning your brain must work to make this happen. Being able to control the different movements of all four limbs, concentrating on reading the music and keeping in time requires your brain to work hard. Working hard leads to strengthing which leads to increased capacity. Training in music is also linked to academic success, not just in maths but in English as well.
As we said earlier, drumming is loud. It's powerful and dynamic. The ability to play like this requires confidence — you're putting yourself out there. If you can do this on the drums, will it translate to the rest of your life? Studies say yes! Hand in hand with your increased confidence will be improved communication and the ability to make new friends.
Once you get started (and hooked) there will be nothing to stop you. The music industry in Australia is huge. With a few drumming skills and knowhow, you can busk, join a band, travel ... or even start teaching or offering private tuition to students who are just like you were when you started.
If you think you'd like to give drum lessons a go, keep reading to find out more about the variety of drumming lessons Canberra has on offer.
Where are the Best Drum Lessons Near Me in Canberra?
If you're just starting out, it might be best to remain open-minded until you find some styles you really love. Try a few different groups, get a feel for the music and teaching styles.
On the other hand, perhaps you've always wanted to try African drumming — or secretly dreamed about playing in front of an enormous crowd as part of a rock band. If this is the case, well done! You've narrowed your search nicely.
Either way, Superprof has a few ideas for places to look for quality drum lessons in Canberra.
- Bec Taylor School of Music
Whether you're five, or ninety-five, you can contact Bec Taylor, or one of her team, to organise private or group lessons on the drums. Bec claims:
'After your first two drum lessons, you can expect to be able to play a basic rock beat ... By the end of your first term, you can expect to be able to play along with a rock song on drums ...'
A wide range of classes are also offered in Bec's inner-north Canberra studio, starting with Lil' Groovers music for fun classes aimed at toddlers, through to adult teaching programs and masterclasses and holiday workshops for the kids.
- Drum Effect
This is African drumming and dancing at its very best! Kate Gascoyne started Drum Effect in 2006, then moved to West Africa for a while in 2008 to study. Kate runs term-length African drumming and dance workshops, drum and dance weekend retreats, and one-day intensive classes from two locations in Canberra. She frequently has her lifelong teacher, Bangourake, teaching alongside her.
You'll find something for everyone in Drum Effect classes:
'Djembe has a lot to offer. For some, it is the physicality of the activity (it's very primal, almost like beating your chest!); for others, it's the intricacies of the traditional rhythms and the pleasure of hearing them fit together.'
Drum Effect will supply you with the djembe drums — all you need to bring along is your energy and your sense of fun.
- ACT Academy of Music
If you're after a drumming teacher with loads of percussion and performance experience, the ACT Academy of Music is proud to introduce you to Derrick who has played with the Royal Military College Band and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra to name just two.
Private percussion and drum lessons are available with Derrick at the academy's Fyshwick studio.
- Let's Rock Music School
Specifically for kids (although adults are welcome too), this music school in the inner south of Canberra is unique in its approach. While you can do private lessons on a range of instruments, including drum kit, the popular class is Rock Band where kids are encouraged to try different instruments and supported to put together performances.
Kids can choose from Junior Jammers, lessons for beginners where the teachers recommend testing out different roles in a band, or Rock Band aimed at older students who have some experience and know what instrument they want to specialise in.
And, here's the best thing:
'All of our bands get to learn songs they love, make new friends and gig regularly around Canberra.'
Finding Drumming Tuition Online
You may have realised, if you've done an internet search for drum lessons near me, the lesser-known drums don't have nearly as many lessons on offer and teachers are scarce. Or, if you are keen to learn drum kit, nobody you've contacted has space for new students.
Drumming lessons in Canberra are hugely popular — but don't worry, there is still a solution.
Superprof has over 800 drumming tutors listed throughout Australia, offering tuition in everything from drum kit to handpan at an average hourly rate of $35.
'But I live in Canberra!'
Again, don't worry. Nearly all of our teachers offer online tuition! So, it doesn't matter where you are, or where they are, you can still get a quality lesson in the comfort of your own home.
So now, you have no excuse not to limber out your limbs and belt out some awesome beats.
'Drumming is not worrying about what you can't do. It's about having fun with what you can do.'
— Chris Adler —