Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own.
We are a music family. I have said it before and I will say it again. We love music. We listen to it during dinner, we jump at opportunities to experience it live. Heck RNYD and I were even in a classic rock band together when we were younger. The kids love music too, but just now little (A) is really starting to appreciate it. He’s asking RNYD to teach him how to play songs on his bass and he really has a knack for rhythm (not shocking since dad is a bass player).
(A) watches the show “School of Rock” and has expressed interest in seeing the show on Broadway. He has even said that he wants to start a band. This paired with his great sense of rhythm got us thinking, would he enjoy drum lessons? We thought we should give it a try, and knew just where to go- New City School of Music. It’s right down the street from us and we have been there before. We scheduled a lesson with Andrew, and this is how it went.
Andrew came out to meet us in the lobby and you could tell immediately how personable he is. He introduced himself and brought us back to the lesson room. He asked a few questions to see how much (A) knew about drums and music theory. (A) has some basic knowledge thanks to a great music teacher at his elementary school, and some quality time with RNYD.
Andrew first went to his drum book to try some rhythms with (A), who was having some trouble following. This didn’t phase Andrew at all, he pulled out a sheet that he created himself and broke it down to (A)’s level. This worked MUCH better. Andrew explained that sometimes the book is difficult to follow because there is a lot going on on each page, so he developed a sheet to make it easier for his students. He said that one of his favorite parts of working with New City School of Music is the freedom that he and his colleagues have to choose the curriculum that best suits their individual students. They aren’t forced to use a cookie cutter program for EVERY student who walks in the door no matter their level or style. This is good teaching, and as an educator it made me super glad to hear.
Several times during the lesson Andres had to switch things up for (A). He had some difficulty with remembering the 1 and 3 vs 2 and 4, so Andrew helped him to remember and get it (I can’t explain how cause its his method). He also went to the white board to show (A) some of what he was talking about and to touch on the “REAL” music theory parts of rhythm.
As Andrew broke things down for (A) he explained that he has a “growth” mindset, be believes in setting attainable goals for his students who all learn at their own rate. He believes that positive reinforcement and fun are the key to helping his students develop a passion for playing, and that over time it is that passion that drives them to practice and progress. He mentioned that he has had students as young as 4, and students who are developmentally delayed, and they have all made strides. Andrew accepts and loves the challenges that come with each one of his unique students.
Andrew teaches theory and technique throughout the lesson, but he doesn’t force it. When we spoke after class he addressed it by saying, “at this age, its important, but it can be worked on as they grow. I am more interested in fostering creativity, a passion for playing.” He explained that it was most important that they love it because then they will practice it. Kids who enjoy what they are doing, want to do it more often. I am super pleased to say that he did in fact foster this passion during our lesson. (A) has been to many lessons, this is the first time that he seriously inquired about returning. RNYD and I are trying to work out the details, but are excited for (A) to continue to foster his love for music.