About Child Drumming: How to Teach Drums to Children
Children Are My Best Friends!
A Note by Dr. Peyman Nasehpour
I teach the tonbak to children and I believe that it is always easier to teach the children than teenagers, though some believe that children learn music not so easily and you need to spend much time to teach them a line!
This is in fact our problem that we are not able to communicate with them and understand their world.
What my experience says we should use a special language if we like to communicate with them. We should not use strange and complex words. We should not apply long sentences and we should try to explain things as easiest as possible.
The western notation is really hard for children. There are some reasons. The first is they have to learn some symbols that are always with some problems. The second is the duration of the notes. We have to teach them that for example this note is one forth of the other one. Fractions are always hard to understand. Ask yourself what the meaning of 1/8 is.
For teaching the Persian rhythm cycles I apply the ancient method of the Persian music that is called the Ataanin method. The Ataanin method applies some meaningless words such as Tan, Tanan, Tananan, Taan, Taarn, Tanna and so on in order to recite the Persian rhythms. A rhythm cycle is a combination of these words. It is so easy for children to repeat the rhythm cycles by pronouncing these sentences such as Tanan Tanan Tananan Tan (the kereshmeh rhythm cycle that is 12 beats divided into 3, 3, 4 and 2.).
The first basic stroke that I teach to children is the snap that we call it in Iran the pelang or beshkan.
Then I teach them the tom and the bak. I start with simple rhythms and then gradually I make the rhythms complex.
The most important thing is that you should let the child talk in your class and if you listen carefully then you will be able to understand what he/she wants to say. They are always honest and this is really valuable.
We should always be kind and patient and encourage them.
I love children. They are my best friends!