I’m In The School Band – Should I Take Private Lessons?
Band teachers appreciate having students who take private lessons in the band. Students who are privately taught tend to advance faster and with greater comprehension than those who are not. Having these students in the band improves the overall quality of the band performance. The increased proficiency of the students who take private lessons can also benefit those students who do not take private lessons.
Most school band programs provide lessons for band students. Most band teachers are specialists in one family of instruments; brass, woodwinds, or percussion. The average band teacher is highly proficient on all the instruments and is skilled at teaching band students, but most will agree there is no substitute for a private instructor. While the school band provides lessons for the students, band teachers often are not able to spend as much individual time with each student as a private instructor can.
When a band teacher knows a drummer has a private drum teacher, she can be comfortable selecting pieces for the band concert that contain skills the drummers have not yet learned in school band. This allows the band teacher a wider selection of music from which to choose, which can give the band students opportunities to play more interesting and exciting pieces.
As a former band student, I am eager to see what my drum students are working on in band. I often work with drum students on their band concert material and solo ensemble festival music. When needed, we will deviate from our current course of study to concentrate on a skill or technique that is present in the student’s band music or solo ensemble music. This ensures that the student is prepared to perform their parts for the band concert. Skills that are learned in this way eventually be part of a drummer’s repertoire anyway, we just get to it sooner than we would have normally.
Some schools give band students credit toward their grade if they take private drum lessons. Be sure to check with the band director for private drum lesson incentives for band students.
Many drum students are interested in playing drums in settings other than school band. Performing in settings such as rock bands, church worship teams, and professional drumming gigs, interests many drummers. A private drum teacher will want to know all of the interests a student has and will structure the drum lessons accordingly.
Taking private drum lessons will allow a drummer to learn faster and more thoroughly, will benefit the entire band, and will improve the drummer’s opportunities inside and outside of the school band.