A place for teachers to discuss issues to do with teaching
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By michi
Any thoughts? Are there different qualifications based on the group of "students" that you are working with, or should any given individual be a master drummer before working as a drum teacher in any form?
Anyone can teach anything on the djembe and is entitled to do so. For children, I imagine that the emphasis would be on fun and play much more than on teaching traditional rhythms. I definitely don't think that you have to be a master before you can legitimately teach children (or adults). Moreover, teaching requires skills that a master drummer won't necessarily have. I know of a number of drummers who are at least very close to master level but who can't teach to save their lives. They are walking didactic disasters :)

However, some caveats do apply, in my opinion. For one, you should have technique that's been OK'd by your teacher. Being able to play clear tones and slaps and with correct technique is a must, in my opinion. People will imitate what you do, so you should do it right.

Also, you should have enough experience to spot when someone plays with poor technique, such as wrong angle of attack, hands too far in or out, etc. That's a must too: if you can't correct your student's technique, you may be setting them up for a doomed future on the djembe, as well as exposing them to potential injury.

Finally, if you claim to be teaching traditional rhythms, you have a moral obligation to actually know what you teach. This means that you can play the rhythm with the correct feel, that you accurately teach the various parts, and that you know at least the basics about the rhythm you are teaching (who, where, and purpose).


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By Shaeren
If you have a good teacher, then I think they will guide you and develop your ability to teach.

Personally, I've had a lot of experience of teaching music and come from a family of teachers. I was very lucky in being able to listen to dozens of lessons every week when I was growing up, assisting in some of them and learning how to teach music.

Having now played djembe for several years, my own teacher is starting to push me to teach the class myself and lead the group. It's admittedly something of a challenge for me, as I'm naturally quite quiet, so I'm much better with one on one teaching.

However, my teacher clearly thinks I have the technique, knowledge and ability to teach and now regularly gives me the opportunity to do so. I feel grateful to have such a good mentor and I get great feedback from students when I take the class. I would never just set out on my own without being mentored.
Shaeren wrote: my teacher clearly thinks I have the technique, knowledge and ability to teach and now regularly gives me the opportunity to do so
Wow, that's hard to find, I think. A teacher who is not afraid of the competition he is about to create. I had to set out on my own without being mentored: learning by doing...
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By Shaeren
Goodness, I must be luckier than I realised!

I think it's because his vision is to expand and having several teachers allows him to handle more classes. It's certainly been useful to have one doing dunduns and one doing djembe, which is what we do at the moment, and when either of us is on holiday the other is still there to handle the class. I suspect he also knows how much the group means to me and that I'm not planning to leave any time soon :)

Really, I've always seen it as a sign of a good teacher if they're willing to develop you as far as they can.