Monday, June 11, 2007

Caitlin starts drum lessons

After some consideration on whether or not we should start Caitlin on drum lessons, we took the plunge. Caitlin had been showing strong interest in drums since age 3+, constantly playing her assortment of toy and real drums at home, making 'joyful noise' when she was really into it. She had sometimes even taken my metal pots and covers (to be used as cymbals) to add them to her ensemble (which to our initial surprise she had arranged exactly like a full drum set). My pots have proof of that with many identations from her drum sticks. And everytime we asked her what her favourite musical instrument is, the answer was the drums....

Our initial concern was her age and possible lack of the right motor skills required for drum playing. We had asked some music centres what the right age was and most told us it would be better at age eight. So we put it on hold and continued to pursue musical experience through Kindermusik and presently, the Yamaha Junior Music Course.

We were lucky to have had a dedicated and helpful Kindermusik teacher whom I later consulted upon finding out that her four-year-old son is learning the drums. As she had been teaching Caitlin for almost two years, she had a good idea of Caitlin's musical ability and said she could give me her son's teacher's contact if I was interested (Thanks Sue!). We took Caitlin to see the teacher and another one at a music centre for them to assess if she is ready and teachable.

The one at the centre said she is "great for her age" but was concerned that if we started her too young she would lose her interest totally if she couldn't keep up or do well. He had a student like that before. The other teacher also said she is good and has a good sense of rhythm. He however felt that she is ready to be taught.

We decided to let Caitlin start because we felt that this teacher is good with kids and his teaching methods are unique and kid-friendly as opposed to the normal serious, technical method. He also teaches special children such as those with Down Syndrome and ADHD. We were also reluctant to hold back her interest for fear of it waning if she had to wait too long.

Caitlin's first lesson came and went last Saturday evening. We were all quite excited. Teacher Andrew said she played well for her first lesson and he even videotaped it. I hope to be able to share the video clip with you here when I get it from him.

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