"Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul." -Plato
The songs and sounds we hear have a profound effect on what we feel and think. Humans are hard-wired to react to music, and some who are intensely moved want to create it and learn as much about it as possible.
While individual languages are only understood by specific groups or cultures, the notes played by musical instruments are the same everywhere; isn't that special?
Instruments such as the piano, the trumpet, the guitar, the bass, and the drums have merged to create some of the most memorable sounds of all time. Think about it, what would the world be without the catchy tunes written by The Beatles, the rock anthems of The Rolling Stones, and the poetic melodies of Bob Dylan? Answer: a much bleaker place!
Therefore, without any further delay, in today's article, we shall learn more about percussion-based instruments such as the drums. Also, since the drums are examined in a very structured way in the UK with the ABRSM, the Superprof experts will answer the commonly posed question, is it possible to skip drums or percussion grades? Keep on reading to find out more!
Why Learn the Drums
"Never stop learning; for when we stop learning, we stop growing." -Loyal Jack Lewman
It is the truth; we never stop acquiring new information. From the moment we are born to the moment we pass away, our brain is like a sponge waiting to be filled with the latest skills and up to date facts.
While some have more of an affinity for learning languages and mastering maths problems, others have a talent for music pumping through their veins. So, as a way of recognising their skills, they learn instruments such as the piano, the guitar, the ukelele, the trumpet, or the loud drums.
But what exactly pushes a person to learn the drums, other than the apparent reason that they sound wicked? Well, the following reasons are indisputably good reasons why people all over the UK and other parts of the world want to learn the drums:
- Stress Relief: instead of keeping feelings inside pint up inside, the drums have a fantastic way of helping even the most anxious people relieve frustration, disappointment and stress. Did you know that playing even just for a few minutes can improve your overall mood? Experts have found that physical stimulation and vibrations resonate throughout the entire body and release negative emotions that may be damaging to the body.
- Fitness: did you know that you sweat a lot when playing the drums? Although that may quite obvious for most, the fact that you can burn calories might surprise even the most avid drummers. According to an estimate, when playing the drums and moving to the groove for 30 minutes, amateur drummers can burn between 250-280 calories. That's a hell of a lot more fun than jogging if you ask me!
- Improvement of Academic Skills: it is proven, playing a musical instrument can drastically improve grades while attending secondary school or Uni. Based on recent reports, the drums can aid students in academic subjects such as maths and calculus. Also, learning more about drums can improve verbal communication, vocabulary, and pronunciation. How's that? By learning the lyrics and notes of new songs!
Whether you saw Whiplash, Step Brothers, Drumline, or The Rocker and were inspired to learn the drums, the previously mentioned reasons will make your decision seem even better. Also, it's important to say that even though your flatmates or neighbours might not want you to purchase a loud drum-set, we think it's a brilliant idea; let rock'n'roll live!
Now, you've decided to learn the drums with the ABRSM, what is the curriculum and is it possible to skip grades if you're getting the hang of things faster than usual? Keep on reading to find out more!
Skipping ABRSM Drums Grades
Congratulations on your decision to learn more about the drums. With the programmes offered by the ABRSM, you'll receive not only a further understanding of instrument theory but a hands-on approach that celebrates the instrument!
It's important to mention that since the drums are a percussion instrument, the lessons are very general and incorporated together. Therefore, according to the most updated information from the ABRSM site, there are four percussion-based exam programmes offered. Such as? Percussion combined (which is the most popular), snare drum, timpani, and tuned percussion.
As many who are familiar with ABRSM examinations already know, every instrument has eight grades of study; hence, it comes as no surprise that the percussion combined topic is the same.
Nevertheless, when studying with a structured examinations board such as the ABRSM, many may think that there are no shortcuts to get ahead faster and that the traditional way of completing eight grades of assessments should be done. However, everyone progresses differently, and some may wish to skip a grade or two based on their talent. Is that wrong? Of course not!
While skipping some music-based exams might not be admired by the most conservative types, there is absolutely no law that prohibits students from skipping percussion grades in the UK with the ABRSM. Depending on the advice of music teachers/tutors, amateur drummers may have enough skills to jump through the first few levels of exams.
Skipping ahead is an extremely viable option since all of the grade exams (1-8) for percussion instruments follow the same pattern and require students to master musical pieces, aural reviews, scales, arpeggios, and sight-reading. The only difference that is experienced from grade to grade is the level of difficulty and expectations from examiners.
The essential thing to keep in mind when confronting the possibility of skipping grades is that it can only be done before class 5. Why? According to the rules of the ABRSM, music exam grades after grade 5 cannot be skipped. For instance, before studying for grade 6, 7, and 8 percussion exams, there is a prerequisite that cannot be challenged and the following describes what must be passed at a Grade 5 or higher level:
- Music Theory,
- Practical Musicianship,
- Solo Jazz Instrument.
If any of the previously mentioned accreditations was received, students could finish off the final three advanced grades of percussion combined etc. Also, it is worth stating that equivalent music programmes from countries such as Australia, Ireland, Canada, and the US may be accepted before moving onto advanced levels.
Therefore, all in all, skipping the grades of an ABRSM course is extremely plausible before grade 5. Also, it's essential to remember that Grade 5 of any practical or music theory exams is the most crucial; if you pass you can make it to the harder levels and if you don't you might have to retry until you succeed.
What if you need remedial help to pass drums grades? Look no further than the following subheading to find the answer!
Hiring a Professional Drums Tutor
"Tutors don't just give out answers. They want students to understand how to do the work on their own." -Ashley Brown
If you want to ensure success when learning a new musical instrument, there is one thing that works better than anything else. What may that be? A private music tutor! Music tutors are readily available all over the world, and thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever before to find an instructor that suits your needs.
Tutors are like friends who want to see you succeed and work hard to get you where you need to go.
Nonetheless, many aspiring drummers and other instrument players struggle to find tutors due to the overwhelming amount of options available. Where can you find the best drumming tutors on the market? Easy, Superprof!
The Superprof tutoring community is arguably the best currently offered on the internet. Why? Over 1000 subjects taught on the site, more than 12 million enthusiastic tutors available, the overall affordability, and experience of instructors. According to our current and most up to date details on our website, there are 314 drums tutor in the United Kingdom that offer online and in-person lessons for students of all levels.
Although the brilliance and logic of hiring a private tutor to learn more about the drums are quite straightforward, some may need more convincing. Therefore, the following are bulletproof reasons to hire a professional drums tutor today:
- One-on-one Learning Sessions,
- Self-confidence is Boosted,
- Specialised Tips and Tricks are Acquired,
- Years of Experience are Transmitted to You,
- Direct Answers to Your Questions.
If the reasons mentioned above don't convince you to hire a tutor, we don't know what will! Drum tutors can be found on the Superprof site at a time and location most convenient for you. Also, many of them have already completed percussion-based exams with the ABRSM and can impart their wisdom with you.
In conclusion, we hope that as an aspiring drummer/drumming enthusiast, you achieve greatness and can skip ahead a few grades if your skills are really at that level. Playing a musical instrument has only positive consequences, and the drum is a beautiful instrument to dive into!