CUSTOMIZED LESSON AGENDAS
In addition to customized playlists, there are 20+ learning modules that we go through to find what motivates students the most. These include games, exercises, drum notation, ensembles/jams, and performances.
Waterfall Rounds, Skateboarding, Level Up Challenge, Catapult, Battleship, Copy/Paste, Music to my Ears, Elimination game, Battle Jams
Isolation Exercises, Note4Note, Hurricanes, Call and Response, Jumpstarts, Metronome Training, Drum Pad Rudiments
Song Structures, Sight reading, Full Scores
Family bands, Talent Show Ensembles, Trading 4’s (Jazz Improv phrasing)
With younger students I use game-based activities that double as exercises and stack points to track progress. For example with Waterfall Rounds, we simultaneously play drum fills without knocking into each other; this builds coordination, stick control, sticking patterns, tempo control, and more.
For drum notation, we choose songs to learn from the student’s personalized playlist (this can include any song they choose). For beginners, I write the musical notation for just one drum beat to start, and then we can advance to multiple beats, then to song structure, then down the line to full scores. Once students advance to Song Structure, they will have their own manuscript book with all of their songs.
As for the ensembles/jams, I play keyboard and lead them by conducting with the count, which the students pick up and start counting themselves. Once they can count the phrasing, we work on instrumental improvisation and song structure. If friends or family play instruments as well, we can arrange them to be part of the ensemble module of the lesson, especially for possible talent shows.
As for performances, I hold monthly student drum shows at the Bixby Park stage in Long Beach.