There’s so much fun to be had as a young student taking drum lessons in Orlando. Whether your young drummer wants to be like Travis Barker of Blink 182 fame, Meg White from The White Stripes, or Butch Trucks of Allman Brothers Band fame, all drummers have to master different rhythms. Drummers have to internalize being able to produce different rhythms and execute flawlessly. But, even for drummers taking drum lessons in Orlando or elsewhere, mastering rhythm can be difficult. That’s why good teachers understand that one of the best ways to help young students comprehend techniques is to make learning fun. Motivating young students to stay engaged is always easier when you incorporate games into the mix. Here are 4 of our favorite games that keep the drumming party going. Parents, even if you know nothing about drumming, you can do these at home, too!
1. The Letters and Syllables Game
You can approach this game from lots of different angles. During drum lessons in Orlando, we like to ask kids for names of their siblings, best friends, or pets to get the game going. For instance, we could take the names Bucky and Joe and turn them into rhythmic games. Bucky has two syllables and Joe has one, so we’ll turn them into two different rhythms to practice.
We can take the two syllables of Bucky and turn them into a pattern using the whole drum kit. Bucky replaces the 1+ counting and Joe replaces the quarter counting when spelling it out around the kit. This is a great way for kids to learn different patterns and to associate these patterns with things they love, like friends, siblings, or pets!
2. Gator, Mouse, Mouse, Mouse
If you’re familiar with drums at all, you might be able to guess what this game involves. This game helps young students focus on accents, which are integral parts of learning to be a master drummer. We think it is important to introduce accents to students early on in their foundational learning. In this game, the gators are the accented notes that are played loud, about 12 inches off the drum’s surface. The unaccented notes, as you might have guessed, the ones that are quiet and played close to the drum surface, are called mouse in this game. You can create a comprehensive lesson by moving the gator around to cover all kinds of accent patterns. This is also an easy way for kids to remember rhythmic patterns that they can practice again and again.
3. Who Can Be the Slowest Drummer in the World?
This one is particularly fun for kids because it goes against their natural tendencies to constantly speed everything up and make everything louder. They always love this game because it’s a fun challenge for them! Our drum teachers in Orlando teach kids that in order to understand a technique well enough to master it, you first have to slow it down. Mastery requires discipline and total control, which is what this game reinforces.
Using a metronome, I typically get my students to buddy up with a partner and have a competition: Who can be the slower drummer? We give students new patterns to try and challenge them to see who can hold the title of Slowest Drummer. This is a good way to relax in their their drum lessons!
4. Pick the Pattern from the Song
Well, this one is fairly self-explanatory. It also breaks up the monotony of exercise after exercise and allows students to hear music and start to feel time and phrasing while listening to musical cues. This game is simple and easy: First, students pick out a song. It can be any song! Next, pick a pattern you want them to learn. It can be rudimentary like single strokes RLRL / LRLR, Doubles RRLL / LLRR. Finally, show students the pattern first and then ask them to play the pattern for the duration of the song. You can have them change up the subdivisions your students play if the songs are slow enough.
Hopefully, these games have created some inspired and hopeful thinking about how to engage with your child as they learn this new instrument. If you and your family are interested in drum lessons, contact us today! Our teachers come right to your home for every lesson, plus we offer virtual music lessons, too. Our online music lessons are taught by local music teachers with live lessons tailored to your family!