I have newfound respect for drummers. Really. We usually think of them as the cool guy, showy and loud. But after going through a term of lessons with #2, I have found the opposite to be true. Drummers are probably the most disciplined member of the band and their role is extremely crucial – to keep time, as the other members are depending on him.
I was going to turn down this collaboration, but as usual, my older girls asked me “How’s your day been, Mum?” I casually mentioned the email and was surprised at #2’s enthusiasm. Being the President of her school’s band, her personal goal is to pick up as many instruments as possible, and she wanted some real lessons to learn drum fills.
I decided that I should set aside an hour a week to spend time with her as she’s been really busy this year and I hardly get to see her except during meal times. Besides, a mother-daughter angle would be nice for the review.
Having passed my Grade 8 in piano (waayyy back then), I thought how hard could it be to play percussion instruments right? The kids thought it was pretty cool that mummy was taking drum lessons, but honestly, I never imagined picking up another musical instrument as an adult. I hardly even have time to play the piano anymore.
We started at the Beginner level but with our music background, found the lessons rather slow. Our instructor, Jason, decided that we were ready to move on to Level 2 after a few lessons of teaching us the foundations.
It was good that he spent time reinforcing basic things like holding the stick properly; as a boy who came from another music school found it difficult when we moved on to play at a fast speed and his incorrect technique hindered him. It is always better to start off learning the correct method, and our instructor ensured we did that.
We were expected to purchase our own set of drum sticks and bring our own earphones. I belong to the don’t-let-kids-pick-up-drums-because-it-is-so-noisy era, but my fears were allayed as these electronic drums do not make a din.
|Enjoying her lessons
Each week, we learned a new rhythm and Jason was patient and very experienced in breaking down the parts into manageable bits. #2 could follow the speed of the class with no issues and was able to do the improvisations.
As for me, it was more challenging than I expected. Your right hand is playing one rhythm, your left another, your right foot is stomping to a constant beat while you have to keep your left leg on the left pedal to keep the high hat closed. Not easy! And just when I got into the groove, it was time to transit to a different rhythm for the Chorus! I had to focus fully to keep everything going. It gets better once I got the hang of it, relaxed and allowed the music to take over instead of trying too hard to follow the notes as you do with piano scores.
It is actually a good instrument for kids to learn to develop their concentration and coordination, besides the musical aspect.
We chose the Contemporary Track, and during the 1-hour lesson, a section was devoted to group sharing. This term’s theme is “the story of mankind” and he would go through the different civilizations and discuss how history impacts culture and humanity. They also have a Praise Track for Christians, which is also suitable for small group sessions.
After 11 sessions, I felt such a sense of achievement and we thought it would be good to do a recording to showcase my newfound drum skills. It took me a good 45 minutes to record just one song, keeping (almost) perfectly on time and with smooth transitions.
I was so proud of myself.
However, when I returned home and showed the video to the kids, they were unimpressed. #5 commented, “Mum, drummers don’t play like that. They must hit the different drums very quickly.”
I wanted to launch into an explanation of how much effort it took me to learn all that and how much concentration was required to get through a whole song perfectly. Ah well. I know how much I have progressed and am content with my own achievements. One day perhaps, they will have drum lessons and come to the same realisations 😉
Role reversal! And now she’s proud to say that her mama can play the drums too. It is an awesome feeling to bond over music with your kids, being in sync, drumming to the same beat. That was what motivated me to focus hard and not let them down!
They have lunchtime classes at International Plaza and also classes for children aged 7-12, as well as holiday programmes. Kate is too young to start but she couldn’t resist donning the earphones and having a go at banging on the drums.
Besides drum lessons, Believer Music offers a whole suite of courses including guitar, electric guitar, ukulele, keyboard and voice lessons.
Registration for Term 4 is open until 30 July 2017.
International Plaza (IP)
10 Anson Road #03-28
Tampines Plaza (TP)
5 Tampines Central 1 #01-01A
One Commonwealth (OC)
1 Commonwealth Lane #06-05
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.