It’s never too early or too late to learn an instrument. Whether they’re taking out their energy on the good ol’ pots and pans, need a hobby to keep them occupied after school, or they’ve been begging you for a drum kit, the answer is clear: drumming is probably on the table in the near future (figuratively, but maybe literally as well).
I know what you might be thinking: “I don’t want to listen to a newbie drummer make noise all day” or “I can’t afford another hobby my kid is going to neglect next week.” Believe it or not, you can start with a quiet practice pad, a pair of sticks, and a teacher before you invest in the real deal. There are also many ways to practice when you can’t have a full drum set at home.
Here’s why you should consider providing the gift of drum to that youngster:
Depending on their age and personality, kids have a lot of energy. Sitting them down with an iPad won’t cut it, and sports aren’t for everyone. Instead of running around the house while you’re trying to make dinner, they could be channeling their energy into drumming. Admit it: it feels good to hit things, and it can even improve a bad mood by releasing endorphins. Parents of preteens, take note.
This might sound like the best excuse ever, but research shows drumming to have a positive impact on cognitive development. Whether it’s listening skills, memory skills or fine motor skills, rhythm training comes with major benefits that can be applied in the classroom. You can even think of playing drums as learning a new language.
One study found that rock drumming for just an hour a week can help autistic children with better focus and social interaction at school. And as if that wasn’t enough, learning rhythm theory teaches counting and fractions, too!
Rather than sit in front of a screen or be tempted by trouble, a regular activity like drumming provides a useful distraction after school. Because it requires focus and energy, it’s also the perfect outlet to relieve stress and anxiety. Some go so far as to describe playing drums as meditative and good for mental health.
When you get moving on the kit, every practice becomes a cardio workout. According to CalorieLab, a 150-pound adult drums away an average of 200 calories per hour. There are dozens of studies that support drumming as a form of exercise. Whether you’re playing pop, funk, or rock, you’re increasing your heart rate and engaging your muscles while moving around the set.
Bonus: Drummers develop coordination between limbs, which exercises the brain, too.
Some shy kids may find that playing a ‘loud’ instrument gives them a bigger voice (don’t forget to give them proper ear protection). But being able to work on a skill, break it down into manageable parts, and feel successful when you master it…that’s a confidence-builder in itself. Learning new rhythms and songs on the drums means overcoming obstacles and looking a challenge straight in the eye.
Many drummers play with other musicians or meet other drummers, and feeling like you’re part of a community can help with social confidence as well.
Whether you’re planning to be the teacher, hiring someone in person, or choosing online drum lessons like Drumeo, you’re making the right decision – one that will positively impact that kid for their entire life.
P.S. Here are some fun performances from kid drummers. You may recognize a few of the names!
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