by Maree Zollinger
We have introduced how Harmony Arts and Music Academy has been evolving as well as discussed the reasons for some of the additions to our offerings in previous articles. Let’s continue a bit further by diving right in with the drums. Why drums in what would, at first glance, appear to be a piano studio?
The children who have participated in Musikgarten through the years know that we drum in our classes- even the keyboard classes. It stems back to not only the Musikgarten curriculum, but the natural steps of learning on which it is based. Rhythm is an essential part of learning music. It is not enough to know just the notes. Try imagining your favorite song giving every note the same count value (for example, all quarter notes)… Not nearly as compelling anymore, is it?
Since we teach music like it’s a language, let’s draw some comparisons. We don’t speak every word at the same pace. We pause for breath, emphasis, or to separate clauses or ideas. In that sense, there is rhythm even in our daily conversations. Rhythm is the fluctuation of the language of music and is just as important for music to make sense as fluctuation is to help our words work together to make sense.
That brings us to drums. What better way to improve rhythm than by playing a percussion instrument centered on just that? Of course we still teach rhythm in our Musikgarten classes, but drums build on the foundation set by Musikgarten to further develop that skill. It’s kind of like taking a general English class and then taking a reading literacy class. You need to know English for the literacy class to be of real benefit, and the literacy class dives deeper into one aspect of English itself. Musikgarten provides the foundations that help students in our other offerings. Drums help us focus on rhythm specifically.
Another reason for adding the drums is because drumming is a great outlet for anxious or wiggly kids. It’s an active, adaptable opportunity to meet a lot of children where they’re at. Got a real mover? Tie a shoelace on either end of a bucket and let your drummer march and drum simultaneously. Got a little one who gets stressed? Drums are great for self-expression and stress release. Struggling to get the rhythm right on a piano piece? Drum it out first and get the rhythm down, then try again on the piano.
Can you see why we like the drums? Why wouldn’t we offer something that impactful at our studio? Exactly. That’s why we do. We love the children who come through our doors, and we know that drums are a great asset in our efforts to help them succeed.