Monday, March 17, 2008

More On That

In my last post, "Strictly Need To Know", I talked about a teacher who I think is doing his student a disservice. Well, this subject is eating at me and I just can't let go of it. I'm talking about teachers who seem to have some codified, age-old methodology that they believe is the one and only true way to teach a subject. Frankly, that concept makes me sick. I have a student who also takes piano lessons. When his mom told the piano teacher that I was teaching her son to play drumset, he said that's ridiculous, I should be starting him out on snare drum and I should be teaching him rudiments. Well... first off, what the hell does a piano teacher think he's doing telling me how to teach percussion? Second, who says there's one way to teach? As I study modern education theory (and yes, by the way, I am currently studying education theory) it is more and more apparent that the best way to teach is by getting students interested, engaged, and participating in the learning experience. That said, I can't think of a kid in the world who wants to play drums, that thinks it would be great to play rudiments for the next six months. However, if I can get a kid to play drums in a way that he thinks is fun, I'll bet I can get him to play some rudiments in the process. Why does a kid want to play drums? Probably because he thinks it looks like fun. If it isn't fun will he keep trying to learn it? Probably not. If it is fun will he keep doing it? Probably. The kids in the picture I put with this post are from my summer percussion camp. They're playing with their teacher and a full band in front of an entire church congregation. Do you think they're having fun? I know they had a blast. They're nine years old. They didn't know what a paradiddle is, but they played them and they had fun doing it. Now they know paradiddles.

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