Many of us take drum class after drum class which is great for imersion, for learning by being part of something on a continual basis. But I have noticed that many people will come back to the same class time and time again with out any progression or improvement. Are you getting the most out of your drum class or learning experience? It is important to take a look at how we learn. It not only will help you to imrove and be a better more knowledgable player but it also helps and inspires the teacher to see his or her students improving and learning the material they are teaching you.
Here are some keys and tips to getting the most out of your drum classes or learning experience. In my experience as a teacher (for over 25 years) and also as a student I would say that it is imperative to record your drum class on a portable device. There are many out there and they are not expensive. If you have enough storage space on it, leave it on for the whole class. Otherwise, you will be fiddling around of it and it can be a distraction to both you and the teacher or other students.
When you get home, I highly recommend listening back to the class in it’s entirety. Even if you just listen to part of it you will be amazed at how much you missed, or did not hear at the time. We take in a lot of data but we also miss a lot. I am still watching videos of classes from years ago!
If you have any form of notation you use it is great to go through your recording and make notes on the pieces or music you learned as well. It is great to have notes as a tool for remembering as well as comparing to others as well. Also, there are many sources on line for notation and it is fun and useful to compare notes sometimes.
Even if you do not take notes at least listen to your tape once or twice before you go back to the class again. I like to make a CD for the car I listen too as well. You can also take notes and write down question you may have to ask the teacher next time you are in class.
Often, I do not even get a part until I get home and listen to the tape! If you have friends in the class I suggest getting together outside of your class for a study group to go over the material you are learning in your class as well.