Introducing the Drum to Children
To start children off with drumming, it’s best to find drums that are easy for children to play. Remo makes a selection of children’s drums that are well made, durable and produce good sound quality. The best Remo drums to choose for very young children are those that are made so that they do not rest fully on the floor, like the Tom Drum, the Gathering Drum and the Tubano Drum. These drums naturally allow air to circulate within the drum to produce sound. As children get older, ages 9 or 10 and up – they will be able to play the Djembe – as they will be able to hold it properly. The djembe should be tilted slightly away from the drummer, as the drummer wraps their legs around the drum or holds it between their knees to steady it.
Please feel free to download easy exercises and teaching tools here. Additionally, the videos below provide samples of some of the exercises outlined.
Learning to STOP!
Children should be taught immediately a sign for playing the drum and for stopping. It is a good idea, from the beginning, to introduce drumming with a count-in – 1,2,3 and…It is also important to have a word or signal so that children stop drumming at once. The word “BOP” can be used effectively for this purpose.
Learning Basic Rhythms
For young children, the four basic types of notes: whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and eighth notes – can be counted as “Jungle Rhythms”.
Using Drums to Enhance Nursery Rhymes
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (naeyc.org) has a position paper entitled, “Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices” that can be downloaded and used as a resource. Research presented validates the importance of using nursery rhymes, songs and poems to help young children prepare to read.