One way to develop understanding of your instrument is to try and explain what you do to someone else.
The process of dissecting your knowledge and movements forces you to become more aware of why you play the way you do. Seeing the instrument through a beginner’s eyes, gives you a new perspective.
No two learners are the same. Everyone will be naturally be drawn to different exercises and songs. They will lend priority to certain fills and grooves. Observing the development of another’s musicality through their musical choices provides a mirror to your own musical choices.
But teaching isn’t for everyone. Many professionals completely refuse to teach. Others use it as a way to supplement their income.
I’ve always been fascinated by watching others learn and my own teaching has brought about great insight into my playing and beyond.
How to Get Started Teaching Others
You don’t need to be technically brilliant to be a good teacher. The fundamental asset in my experience is patience. If you can keep explaining something in different ways until someone grasps the pattern or concept, then you can teach. If you are quick to temper and impatient, you run the risk of having a detrimental effect on the student’s learning.
A good teacher genuinely wants to help others succeed. If this is you, then you already have what it takes. It could be as simple as showing someone else what you have learned in your lessons.
To be able to teach professionally, you obviously need to have obtained a level of competency in your own playing as well. However, no graded exam or performance-based qualification will sufficiently prepare you to teach others.
I learned how to teach drums through the Drumsense teacher training programme created by Colin Woolway. I went through all the beginner material with Colin from the start and he gave endless tips on how to help students through each pattern. I would thoroughly recommend Drumsense, or a similar drum teacher training programme, to develop the knowledge and confidence to teach others how to play.
Check out the Drumsense Teacher Training Programme