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So Your Child Wants to Start Drum Lessons - Don't be Afraid

 by Aaron Sizemore

Leo on drums

“I want to start drum lessons!” It’s a statement that sends shivers of dread up and down parental spines. Why couldn't it be the flute? But it’s really no surprise that percussion resonates with children. Rhythm is as fundamental to music as the heartbeat is to life. It is built into the bedrock of human culture, into our DNA. So why does the dreaded "D" word send parents into a full-blown fight or flight response? Based on the countless conversations we at Music House have had with panicking parents, it all seems to boil down to 5 typical objections. All of which have some pretty simple solutions.


Objection #5: "Drums aren't really legitimate instruments. It's all banging and no melody. I want my child to learn to read music."

Nonsense. Drums and percussion are the backbone of music. They are the force that drives orchestras, jazz combos, rock bands, polka power trios, you name it. Drum and percussion lessons develop more hand, eye, and foot coordination than other kinds of music lessons. It’s far from an easy musical instrument to play well. And it's not even a single instrument. The world of percussion encompasses a multitude of instruments, including xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, and yes, triangle. Drum lessons are just a step into that vast world -- a world in which the reading of both rhythmic and melodic notation is crucial.


Objection #4: "We don’t have room for a big drum set in our home."

biggest drum set

The drum set pictured above is a wee bit atypical. The drum sets at Music House require less than 64 square feet. That's smaller than a walk-in closet.


Objection #3: "Drum sets are extremely expensive."

Your child does not need a state of the art drum set to start learning. In fact you can pick up a full, 5-piece starter set for $250 or possibly even less. That's about $50 more than a decent entry level guitar. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Ludwig Junior - an affordable 5-piece from a well-known, respected company. About $300.
  • DDrum D1 Junior - this is a perfectly fine 5-piece set that will cost you about $250. Everything is included.
  • Mendini MJDS-5-BR - You'll need to upgrade this one after the first year or two, but it will get your child started for only about $165.


Objection #2: "My child's hearing will be destroyed."

It's true -- drums can damage hearing. But that damage is entirely avoidable. Just pick up a pair of Vic Firth drummer isolation headphones ($27) and you're good to go. Just make sure your child uses them when practicing.


And (drum roll please)...

The #1 objection to allowing a child to start drum lessons: "The mere thought of my child practicing the drums every day gives me a skull-splitting migraine."

Drums are loud. There's no way around this one. However, in reality, your child will be practicing no more than 30 minutes per day. Maybe less (we would actually be thrilled if all our drum students practiced that much). If you keep in mind that each day has a total of 1,440 minutes, 30 minutes or less doesn't sound so bad.


So take a deep breath and shake off that fear and face the music. Yes, drums are bit more obtrusive than the flute, but they really aren't as disruptive as you probably think they are. And if they happen to be the spark that ignites your child's passion for music, they just might end up being a fear well worth overcoming.

Interested in Guitar, Piano, Voice or Drums?

We've created an ebook with over 20 pages of expert advice about what to do and think about BEFORE starting. Download and enjoy!

Free eBook - Get started in music with over 20 pages of helpful tips

Written by Aaron Sizemore
Aaron Sizemore
Co-founder & Executive Director at Music House