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!
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:
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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!)