Jim Howell Drums Set & Percussion Instruction www.jimhowelldrums.com
by Jim Howell
(Tucson, Arizona, USA)
On tour with Rich Hopkins and Luminarios in Germany 2004.
I have been teaching drum lessons inside locally-owned retail music instrument store, Beaver's Band Box, for over seven years. I instruct six-days-a-week splitting my time between both of their Tucson locations. More information about me and my lessons and links to music I have recorded is available on my website:www.jimhowelldrums.com
A funny story happened to me a couple of years ago when teaching. You can never know what to expect. (I try to remember this for every audition, gig or when teaching lessons.) Keep an open mind and be ready to improvise.
Upon an introductory lesson I had a discussion with a new student about her music listening tastes. Knowing that she was heading into the 5th grade, I assumed she listened to some "tween" pop music or maybe some Disney Channel artists, etc. So I had a few things play-listed in iTunes to listen to and talk about drumming-wise.
So when she looked at me with a serious face and said, "I just love Smooth Jazz". I had to do everything in my power not to crack up. I didn't want to offend her but it was so not what I anticipated and she was so serious and earnest in her reply that it was about the cutest thing a student had ever said to me during a lesson.
So helping that student learn to play drums so she could accompany her favorite Hannah Montana song was not going to be in the future lesson plans. Luckily, I did have some Harvey Mason, Dave Weckl, and George Benson in my iTunes folder. So we did some brief listening and discussed the drumming and some general ideas about the types of notes being used in each example. Then we were off to the method learning for the day.
So once again I learned to be ready for anything and flexible enough to shift gears and improvise!