Kids are different. Some want to talk it through, and others are private. Teachers know when something is off. This week we are suggesting drumming to your students favorite music: Ask your student what their favorite music is. Turn it on and up, think up a great beat, and drum together. Try to let go of critique or much instruction and have it be more about feeling the music. (easier said than done, I know)
This doubles as an exciting way to end lessons and is especially helpful for those times when the clock seems to move in fast forward and you’ve been pushing a student hard and you want a fun goodbye. During these lighter times, I love asking students to dictate the rhythm I’ve thought up onto a sheet of paper for their binder. It’s nice for them to be able to recall at home, and to have on hand for future lessons. I’ve also had fun with having students compose several beats and then picking one they like best, or moving between beats. You don’t need to be great at improvisation, or have drum circle experience to feel the music and enjoy the beat.
Teaching Music is so much more than getting students to perform music. One of the greatest gifts music teachers can give students is the tools to turn to music to work through hard emotions during hard times. I’m happy to share some strategies that I have implemented in teaching elementary students in my private studio that make space for their hard times, and lead them towards music as a source to work through it.
I hope you enjoy connecting with your students. -K.E.
Our goal is to get more kids playing percussion!