BY VINCE DI ZAZZO
What sets you apart from other instructors?
The thing that sets me apart from most other instructors is my vast experience as a drum teacher. I've given a lot of lessons. I've been doing this for over 30 years. To me teaching is therapeutic and I need to teach as much as my students need to learn! I was blessed with the ability to communicate with people and I knew from a very young age that teaching was what I wanted to do. I'm always listening to drums, or writing about drums or looking for something new to add to my teacher's 'Tool Kit'. Because of the enormous number of lessons I have given, I have developed an outstanding curriculum. All these years committed to my profession has allowed me to attain a level of teaching expertise that just cannot be achieved in any other way.
What advise can you give a student who really wants to excel?
We all want to excel at what we do, but having the drive and desire doesn’t mean there won’t be struggles along the way. Remember, the most valuable thing you can make while practicing is a mistake. You can’t learn anything from being perfect! Learning to play the drums takes patience, persistence and discipline in order to master it. "Practice makes perfect." It's true, the more you practice, the better you become. Schedule a daily practice routine and try to stick to your schedule. If you want to be successful you must be that person who forms the habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do.
Do I need a drum set if I am taking drum lessons?
You will not need a drum set for the first few lessons. The first few lessons will be spent on teaching you proper stick positioning, proper movement, learning notes and their values as well as time keeping exercises. We could spend a few months on just a practice pad, building your technical chops if that's what you wish! Don't worry, all that hard work on the practice pad will absolutely pay off when you see how beneficial they are when you apply them to the drum set.
Do I have to learn to read music?
It's true, there are many amazing self-taught drummers, but learning how to read would be most beneficial in your development as a drummer and musician! There is a popular misconception that reading music is hard. You will be surprised how fast you will learn how to read. You will be reading notes and exercising strict tempo within the first lesson!
Is it possible to take drum lessons with you even if I don't live in Montreal?
Yes! Thanks to the modern technology of Skype, you can study drums with me from anywhere in the world! I will happily teach you drumming in the same manner that I have taught hundreds of students throughout my years as a leading drum teacher in Montreal. For more information about Skype lessons, please send me a message through my Contact page. Looking forward to meeting you in Cyberspace!
Is my child too young, or am I too old to play drums?
You are never too old to learn. I have had and continue to have students in their 40's, 50's, 60's and even in their 70's taking drum lessons. The secret is in managing your time. Schedule a daily practice routine and try to stick to your schedule. The majority of my older students claim that taking lessons helps them cope with daily stress. As a rule of thumb, if your child is tall enough to sit behind the drum set with both feet comfortably on the foot pedals, then you are ready to go. Having said that, I find that a child should be at least 6 or 7 years old before introducing them to a serious drum program. They just respond better to curriculum.
I live in an apartment complex. Can I still take drum lessons without disturbing the neighbors?
Drums are absolutely loud! But you can purchase sound dampening pads which reduce noise by 95%. You may also want to consider the purchase of an electronic drum set which can be extremely quiet for the neighbors and very enjoyable for you. I would be more than glad to advise you on this matter, just give me a call.
How often should I attend drum lessons?
Lessons are scheduled once a week. This is to allow you enough time to practice and absorb the lesson's material. Sometimes assignments are practiced wrong, and bad habits may be forming. It’s easy to fix a problem if it's only been a week since your last lesson. The flow in which I assign the lesson's material is based on a 6 day practice routine.
How much practice should I do daily?
Practice is so essential to your development and progress! The main thing is to make your practice productive, and fun. You will quickly learn that practicing is addictive. It's true the more you practice, the more you want to practice. Unfortunately the opposite is also true. The less you practice, the less you feel like practicing! Set a time each day for practice and discipline yourself to stick to your schedule. The weekly assignments are based on a daily practice schedule ranging anywhere from 25 min to 90 min of practice, depending on your level.
What do I need to bring to my drum lessons?
Yourself, a spiral copybook in order for me to write down your assignments, your music books, a pair of drumsticks, lesson fee and any other material I have given you in previous lessons.