The drums are a fun and exciting instrument for kids to learn! They offer a unique way for children to express themselves and build self-confidence. The drums teach rhythm and coordination, and they are a very versatile instrument that fit into tons of popular musical styles.
If your child is interested in learning to play the drums and you’re considering drum lessons, there are a few things you should know before starting.
My name is Elias Berlinger and I’ve been teaching and playing drums for many years. I’m the founder of the children’s music program My Music Workshop and I’ve dedicated my life and career to making learning music an amazing experience for kids.
In this blog, we will cover what to consider when starting drum lessons for your kids, including finding the right way to learn, choosing the right equipment, and more. So, let's dive in!
What are the options for learning to play the drums?
This is the best time in history to learn to play the drums. With the internet there are so many resources including online drum lessons, instant access to nearly unlimited amounts of streaming songs and music, and virtual access to professionals who can help your child along the way.
When searching for the right way for your child to learn there are three main ways that they can learn.
1. Private, one-on-one drum lessons (either online or in-person)
2. On-demand, online drum lessons
3. Teach themselves
First off, I recommend doing one of the first two. It’s much better to learn from a quality teacher or program than for a child to try to learn on their own.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both private drum lessons and online drum lessons. Let’s briefly break those down.
The good thing is that your child gets individual attention and a learning plan that meets them where they are. The bad is that private drum lessons are expensive (usually about $30 per half hour or $50 per hour), they can be inconvenient, it can be tricky finding a good teacher depending on where you live and your child only gets lessons for 30 or 60 mins per week. The rest of the time they are on their own and asked to practice regularly.
-On-demand, online drum lessons
The good is that these lessons are much more affordable (Our program, My Music Workshop is either $9.99/mo for a yearly membership or $15.99/mo for a monthly membership), they are super convenient, they can be watched over and over, and they have practice built into them.
The not so good is that you don’t have a teacher who directly works with your child and parents do have to make sure to remind their kids to start and do their lessons consistently.
*If you want a deeper breakdown of the two types of drum lessons for kids you can check out our other blog post “Should Your Child Take Online Drum Lessons” here.
You can also check out our Drum Lessons at My Music Workshop for free for a week by clicking below.
If you decide to go with a local teacher. Do some research to find a teacher who has good ratings and recommendations. You’ll also want to make sure the teacher has experience with kids, especially kids around the same age as your child. With younger kids one of the main goals is to keep them engaged and interested in learning to play the drums. So, the teacher has to have a lively personality and know the tools and tricks that keep kids wanting to learn.
What Equipment Does Your Child Need to Start Playing the Drums?
You’ll want to make sure that your child has a good drum set to play before they begin their lessons. You don’t have to break the bank but there are a few important considerations when shopping for a drum set.
The first thing to know is that you can choose between an acoustic or electronic drum set, they are both great. Here’s what you should know about them.
-Electronic drum sets
Electronic drums sets are really good. They are more expensive than acoustic drum sets, but they are much quieter and won’t fill your house with the rumbling of a bass drum or the crashing of cymbals.
If you choose to go this route, make sure to do a little bit of research to find the best electronic drum set in your price range. You can visit our instrument recommendations page here, where we have a few good electronic kits listed that you can pick up on Amazon.
-Acoustic drum sets
Good old fashioned wood drums and metal cymbals are still the preferred instrument for most drummers. But they are loud, they have to be tuned, and entry levels kits don’t always sound that good.
They are less expensive than electronic kits but unless you have some experience with drums or are willing to learn a little bit about keeping drums in tune it might be worth it to consider an electronic kit.
However, if an electronic kit is out of your price range and you can handle the louder volume of an acoustic drum kit and you feel that you can help your child keep it in tune, by all means get one! Get one from a reputable brand if possible. You also don’t need a brand new drum kit, used kits can be a good, less expensive option.
When it comes to choosing sticks, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, there are different sizes available. I recommend size 7A for most kids. The way drumstick sizes work is the higher the number the thinner the stick. A 7A is much thinner than a 2B. Numbers that have an A after it are generally also thinner than those with a B.
A 5A is thinner than a 5B. Stick with size 7A to start with and as your child grows they can change to larger sticks. You don’t need to purchase a name brand stick when starting out but, more expensive sticks from reputable brands like Promark, Vater, Vic Firth, Zildjian and a few others tend to last longer, feel more consistent, and be straighter than generic sticks.
You might also need a drum seat (throne), a bass drum pedal, and a few other items if your drum set doesn't come with them. We recommend some products on our instruments page here.
What Should You Expect When Starting Drum Lessons?
It's important to set realistic expectations for your child when starting drum lessons. Learning to play the drums takes time and practice, so don't expect your child to become a professional drummer overnight. Fun and enjoyment are the first goals when starting out.
Helping your child stay interested in playing is also important. We don’t want them to become overwhelmed too soon and give up. Kids generally aren’t too critical of themselves when they start playing. This is great! Tell them they sound great and they are doing an amazing job of playing and practicing.
Encourage your child to practice regularly, learning to play the drums, or any instrument, is a team effort, but don't put too much pressure on them to perform at a certain level. Instead, focus on the progress they are making and celebrate small achievements along the way.
We have another blog post that will give you some tips to help your child as they start practicing an instrument. You can read it here.
One of my favorite tips is to encourage your child to play (or jam!) along with music. Just put on their favorite songs and let them rock out. There is no right or wrong when they do this, fun is the key!
A few other tips basic tips are to create a regular practice schedule. Doing this is important for your child's success in drumming. Work with your child to create a schedule that works for your family.
Also, make sure your child has a designated practice space where they can practice without distractions. Encourage them to practice for short periods of time each day, rather than trying to cram all of their practice into one long session. I recommend striving for 15-minute practice sessions, 4 times per week and then building from there. Consistency is key.
Starting drum lessons for your kids can be a fun and rewarding experience. Whether you choose in-person lessons or online drum lessons for kids, finding the right program or teacher, choosing the right equipment, and supporting your child along the way can help them succeed on their drumming journey.
The journey is absolutely worth it! The joy of drumming is one that lasts a lifetime. Knowing how to play an instrument is something we get to take with us our whole lives and no matter what your child chooses to do with their skill, the time spent learning will be well worth it.
Be sure to check us out at My Music Workshop, where we do offer an online drum lesson program for kids, that you can try out for free. Click below to learn more about us and start a free trial. See you there!