There are tons and tons of ways to learn the how to play the drums these days. From self-teaching books to Youtube videos, computer programs to in the flesh professionals. With so many options there’s not enough time to give all of them a try!
So, how do you know you are getting the most out of your drum education?
We’ve compiled a list of things to consider to help find those answers!
Are you being taught towards your personal goals?
What are your personal drumming goals? Do you want to nail tom fills like Phil Collins or hang out behind the beat like Questlove? Do you want to be a groove master like Levon Helm or drive the band like Lars Ulrich?
The drums are a versatile instrument and have many uses, all of which require a different method and educational trajectory; if you want to play brushes in a jazz band learning drumline rolls won’t really help you get there!
Online programs, as well as schools with rigid curriculums don’t allow for malleability.
Our academy is home to Toronto’s most versatile and accommodating teachers. We have experts in every genre and style who can help you on your way to whatever goal you are aiming at!
Are Performance opportunities provided?
Performances are one of the best ways to learn music. Getting on stage is a totally different experience than being in the practice room, and allows for confidence building and growth like nothing else.
Performances also provide a goal to work towards, and there is nothing like the pride and self-satisfaction of getting up in front of friends and family (and strangers!) to show off that new song!
Our school provides professional recitals twice a year. Even with the advent of Covid 19 we found a way to continue safely with online recitals!
Beyond this, we also offer multiple free group classes every week for an opportunity to get up in front of your musical peers and practice dissolving that stage fright!
Are different perspectives encouraged?
The drums are an instrument used in every genre imaginable, from classical to rock to dance! Each of these styles is like a different language. Even if a teacher or musician is well studied, they are often only a master of a handful of genres. That’s why our school has a varied staff, with teachers who excel in every style there is!
At Toronto Arts Academy we make it easy to take different (free!) group classes every week to experience different styles and perspectives!
Are your teachers supportive, qualified and experienced?
We can’t even begin to count how many times students have told us the horrors of their old drum teachers! From lessons that caused physical damage to ones that took a heavy emotional toll, many hyper-traditional schools teach in a way that truly ruins music for many people, and it’s a sad thing to see.
All of our teachers have degrees in music, as well as professional experience performing, writing and recording. Furthermore, they are some of the most supportive people in the world! We want all of our students to excel and love music for a lifetime!
Is High Quality Equipment used in the lessons?
Playing a beginner kit in the basement is a totally different experience from playing a top-of-the-line electronic kit!
In our schools we want lessons to feel like being on the stage! We also want learning to be as easy as possible, which is why all of our lesson rooms are stocked with computers, keyboards, music stands and the best electronic kits the market has to offer!
Are there rewards or a graded system?
Rewards and tests are a great way to maintain motivation, especially for kids. Our school uses the Musical Ladder System, which allows for customized tests every 3 months. If passed, a wristband is awarded. Even better, trophies are also awarded at the intervals of 6 months and a year!
On top of this, if you are looking for an even more structured curriculum you’ve also come to the right place. Many of our teachers are certified by the Royal Conservatory of Music and can help prepare students for their adjudicated exams.
Is There A Space For Community?
Community is one of the most important yet commonly overlooked aspects of musical education. Almost all of the music we love is played together by multiple musicians! However, most private lesson schools forget this crucial matter. As a result the communal bonding and ensemble skills of students remain underdeveloped.
At Toronto Arts Academy we make community a priority! Thanks to our free group classes which happen multiple times a week, students are able to interact with one another on a regular basis. Many regulars of our group classes even become friends outside of the school!
If you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your drum lessons, give us a call today at 647 748 2787! We would be honoured to help you on your musical journey!