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A Checklist for Parents of Young Drummers!

Note from the editor: We have a brand new contributor to Life360 Now! Please welcome Laura Lamere. She is a rocker mom (one of her three teenagers happened to sing in a rock band), freelance writer and former public relations executive. When her eldest son, the rocker, went off to college, she started writing about raising creative kids in a style that is part memoir, part resource – exploring the many ways you can support your rocker and creative kids. With two busy teenagers still keeping her busy at home, Laura has lots of stories to share! You can read more of Laura’s writing on her blog: LauraLamere.com, but she will be posting here every Monday morning! So be sure to come back and check out her Parenting Creative Kids column and leave your thoughts in the comments below each post!

A Checklist for Parents of Young Drummers!

by Laura Lamere

Choosing a musical instrument for your child can be a challenge – especially if you’re not a musician yourself. You may insist on piano lessons at home; or you may wait for your child to sign up with the school music department and let the teachers tell you which instrument your child should pursue. Just for the record, I’ve done both! But my middle son drummed on just about everything in sight from a young age – the walls, the furniture – even himself (really cool!) So, it seemed that drumming had chosen him and not the other way around. We set him up with drum lessons and purchased a drum set – along with most of the things on my checklist below. But this list also includes things I wish I had known about: Soundproofing? Genius! Extra Drumsticks? Duh! And joining in on practice time? REALLY FUN!  

If, like me, you’ve decided to buy a drum set for your son or daughter, I‘d like to congratulate you – drummers are, by design, notoriously loud – and because of that, among the most difficult musicians to host in your own home! You are obviously of hearty stock and I commend you for making the commitment to support your creative child! I know you’ll come to love the sound of your child drumming away happily in your basement! (…or…not.)

 If you are planning to buy a drum set for your son or daughter, you’ll also need:

  1. Lessons – Find a teacher right away and introduce your child to the basics. You may not continue them in the long run, but even a few lessons will help your child gain confidence and enjoyment. (Click here for a basic drumming video.)
  2. Extra drumsticks – Drumsticks can break so he’ll need more than one pair, and, if he is taking lessons, he’ll need to bring a pair along with him.
  3. A good stool – Invest in a stool made for use with drum sets and buy the best one you can afford; you’ll want him to be comfortable.
  4. Drummers Headphones – Buy several pairs of the best headphones you can afford. Not only does your drummer need to protect his hearing, but you do too. His friends will also wear them if you have several pairs handy. (Click to see Drummers Headphones.)
  5. Invest in soundproofing – Soundproofing materials are available online if you want to do it yourself or click here for an example of what a company can do for you.
  6. Other instruments – I know this sounds like overkill, but to make your child’s experience even better, buy other percussion instruments like hand drums, maracas, tambourines or even a guitar or keyboard to have on hand for jam sessions. You can search garage sales, or visit a used instrument store in your area. If you have room, your basement could become the place where the kids want to hang out! What’s better than that? (OK, well, at least you have extra headphones on hand!)

14 Responses to “A Checklist for Parents of Young Drummers!”

  1. Peter Schott

    Sounds like great advice. Our kid is currently on piano, but wanted to play (with) drums quite a bit when younger. We got a somewhat cheap electronic drum kit. Decent enough to make drum noises, play with the beat, and all that. It wasn't a drum set by any stretch of the imagination. Seeing that keeping a beat going was somewhat difficult and that she quickly lost interest, we're waiting to see about other instruments for a while. If she does go the drum route, I'll keep this in mind. Have to admit that I dread the idea of soundproofing a room in our house, but I like the headphone option.

    Reply
    • Laura Lamere

      Sounds like you are open to supporting your child's interests – whatever they are! That's the key…and headphones do help!

      Reply
  2. Ann

    Interesting tips. In both of my houses to date, I've had neighbors that played the drums. I sure do wish they'd invested in soundproofing!

    Reply
    • Laura Lamere

      Unfortunately, hiring a soundproofing company can be expensive – maybe you could talk with your neighbors about reasonable times to play that work for both of you?

      Reply
  3. mechele johnson

    Our son is a drummer of a different sort. We are Native American and since the age of 1 he has been pounding away on our style of drum. He is six now and can perfectly keep up with the big guys at cultural events and knows by heart at least 100 songs! He is amazing…

    Reply
    • Laura Lamere

      This is so cool! I love hearing about your young son's talent! My son actually started with hand drums at school and moved on to the drum set. I really loved watching him play! Now I watch him perfect his vocal percussion skills in his a capella group!

      Reply
  4. @poisonsix9

    Drums are amazing. I never realized how difficult it can be to keep a beat especially the more intricate ones. My girls all loved playing drums when they were small but lost interest as they aged. Great tips!

    Reply
    • Laura Lamere

      Thanks for your comment! It's great that you mentioned how challenging drumming really is! My son tried to teach me to keep a very simple beat on the drum set – and I failed miserably! (It was very entertaining for him though!)

      Reply
  5. Sander Zhu

    Many people say that drums are easy. Then they find out that there's a lot more than just a snare drum. They are probably the hardest instrument to play. Not because it's hard to hit each drum/cymbal, but because you must keep a steady beat.

    Reply
    • Laura Lamere

      Thanks for commenting, Sander. Do you play the drums? Is there anything you would add that parents should know?

      Reply
  6. Liz

    Such great advice. My little one is 5 and he wants a set now and I am not prepared to get him one because we cannot soundproof the room yet hopefully you have a pair of good ear plugs?

    Reply
    • Laura Lamere

      Hi Liz – we didn't go for the drum set when my son was little either – some parents choose to – it all depends on you! As I mentioned in the comments above, my son actually started on the hand drums at school – these are a little quieter and can help your child see if it is something they like and want to continue. There might be a music class or drum teacher in your area that would allow your child to try it out!

      Reply
  7. Abby Kraynick

    Good Advice.. I want my kids to play whatever makes them happy. I am all about music & being creative. Better than sitting on a couch playing video games!

    Reply

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