How do you find the drum or dance teacher who is right for you? Why do you even need a teacher? With out help, Djembe playing or conga playing can become repetitive and frustrating. Some of us try to learn on our own, from books, on line videos, DVD’s of Mamady Keita and playing to CD’s or I Tunes.
Maybe we have a friend who plays a little already who knows how to hit the drum. However, if you want to excell, like anything else in life that is learned you need a good teacher. In NLP, one of the main themes is, “if one person can do it, anyone cam learn it” (or something to this effect.
After many years of teaching I will say that for the most part I agree. If there is a willingness to learn almost anyone can do it. This means you, too! So who do we learn from?
Start with the instrument and style you want to learn. Is there a particular music you like to listen or play to? Look on line for dance classes. For example, if you are interested in learning to play west african drums, do a search for events, drum circles or dance classes in your area.
You can go to these event and see the players (or teachers) perform and then contact with them directly. Often there are group classes at various community centers as well. Remember that a great player does not necessarily make a great teacher.
This is a mistake that many of us make. If you find someone you think you might want to study with, do a little backround research with their students, on line or elsewhere.
There are djembe groups on yahoo you can join that are very informative as well as “djembe drum”, my facebook group where you can ask questions as well.
For some of us it is trial and error or learn the hard way. Be wise and find a good teacher to start with.
Once you start taking classes, be sure to practice everyday. Even if it is just 5 minutes. Many people go to a group class thinking this is enough, and come back week after week and never improve. It is frustrating for the teacher as well as the student. However, it is as simple as practicing what happened in the class often.
Get a recording device, learn to take notes and if you can get together with other students in your class. You will be surprised how fast you can advnace if you follow these simple tips!