Private Lessons

Lane Armey

Regardless of your percussion goals or ambitions, consider taking private lessons.

No amount of ensemble rehearsal or home practice can compensate for a solid 30-minute, weekly focused lesson with a qualified instructor.

Benefits of One-on-One

Lessons allow you to work on detailed technique and specific rudiments as well receive personally tailored information designed to help you reach your goals.

Private lessons also provide you with a disciplined practice and improvement schedule that may be hard to create on your own.

And if you have percussion goals, such as auditioning for a competitive drum corps or indoor percussion ensemble outside of your local group, working on the specific skills needed to rock your audition is an absolute must.

With the growth of these activities, the competition for spots is fierce.

Remote Learning

While some of us are lucky enough to live in areas full of high-quality ensembles and instructors, others undoubtedly are not. Thus the rise of remote/online lessons, often taught through Skype or another online video/chat service, has become more popular. You still get personal one-on-one instruction plus an opportunity to meet with instructors across the country.

If you are interested in learning a new technique that is specific to a particular group or region, reach out to some of those instructors and ask if they would consider doing an online lesson.

I spoke with Jeff Shipman, owner of Stage 4 Percussion & Brass, a music studio in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, that offers Skype percussion lessons.

Shipman has students all over the United States that used Skype lessons to build skills that enabled them to win spots at drum corps and indoor drumlines.

In his words, “You don’t go to the lesson … the lesson is wherever you are.”

Regardless of how you access them, private lessons can be a big component of pushing you to the next level.

About author

Lane Armey

Lane Armey is the battery percussion coordinator for Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif. In the past, he has worked with various groups including Northwestern University and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.

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