Why I teach the Rockschool Method
Teaching students to play the drums is a hugely rewarding experience, as every student is different with some demonstrating a raw talent whilst others need more time and encouragement to develop. Neither are more or less worthy than the other and as a teacher it is my job to exercise patience and understanding to help them achieve their ambition or goal they might have for their drumming. Knowing that I may have made a difference in their lives, whether it is to increase their self awareness and belief in their own abilities or help develop the next generation of musician is truly satisfying for me.
My aim is always to provide a professional service to all my students making learning fun, and of interest to them by including their own favourite music, whilst at the same time keeping a structure in mind to every lesson. This is where the Rockschool Method comes in.
I was taught using the Rockschool grades from the age of 8 through to 14 and as this worked so well for me I decided to use the same for my own students. The books which support the grades have been designed to equip all students with a range of stylistically appropriate, industry relevant skills and an engaging, positive teaching experience. This provides students with the practical skills and theoretical understanding necessary to perform at the highest level as confident, self-sufficient musicians or, if they prefer, just for fun.
As a teacher the method provides me with a structured programme for my students to learn a variety of genres and rudiments allowing them to connect with the music they love as well as introducing them to new styles. The books now include some of the most iconic tracks from the world of popular music, all strictly benchmarked to develop key skills and technique as they move through the grades. The exams themselves test on performance pieces, technical exercises and general musicianship questions.
The Grades run from Premiere, Debut and Grade 1 right through to Grade 8, providing a complete journey of development for drummers. For Grades 6, 7 and 8, you can supersize your university application, with up to 30 UCAS points awarded at Grade 8, so for youngsters in particular it all ties in nicely with their education too.
The set up of the method allows me to be mobile and teach at schools or on a one to one basis at my home. In time this could also allow me to travel and teach elsewhere as music is an international language enjoyed by many across the world. The Rockschool method is all I would need!
In my interview with RSL Awards I was asked what my favourite learner success story was and the answer is quite simply every time one of my students passes their Rockschool grade exam, especially the youngsters! For someone who is aged only 7 or 8 to walk into a room with a stranger watching them perform is massive – not only for their drumming but also for their social skills development. They do so well, and to be with them every step of the way and witness their development, and make a difference, is so rewarding for me.
This is why I teach. This is why I use the Rockschool method.