Drum lessons FAQs

What age do you recommend kids start taking drum lessons?

In our experience the best age to start drumlessons for kids is around 6 - 7 years old. At this age kids are usually ableto focus and take instruction well enough for a 30 minute lesson. They are alsophysically big enough to reach all the drums and the pedals on the drum kit.

Am I too old to start learning to play drums?

The short answer is no. We have taught many students who are well into retirement who have gotten a great deal of enjoyment and fulfilment from their drum lessons. Drumming at any age is beneficial to both your mental and physical health, relieving stress, lowering blood pressure and strengthening the immune system.

I don’t know how/want to read music, can I still take drum lessons?

Yes, of course. We have designed a curriculum specially for students who can’t or do not wish to read music. Most of the students who have used this curriculum make just as swift progress as everyone else. They also, as a bonus, end up being able to read basic drum notation within 6-12 months and realise it’s not as difficult as they first imagined.

I live in a small apartment, how can I practice drums?

There are a few options in this case and, let’s face it, most of us living in HK or any big city have this problem.

  • Rent a practice room hourly from a rehearsal studio. There are several studios who offer hourly sessions from as little as $60 per hour (off peak). We can point you in the right direction if you’re interested in this option. The main advantage of this is that you get to practice on a “real” drum kit and make as much noise as you want.
  • Rent or buy an Electronic drumkit. These days electronic drum kits are affordable, quite realistic, produce excellent sound and offer a lot of flexibility. They can’t really replace the feel of a “real” drum kit but they are perfectly adequate for learning the basics of coordination, timing and technique. Consider it similar to the difference between playing a Piano versus an Electric Keyboard. The main advantage of this option is that you can practice anytime you want in the comfort of your own home.
  • Buy a practice pad and a pair of sticks. By far the least fun of the options here but definitely better than nothing. There are many technique drills and rhythmic exercises that you can doon a practice pad and regular practice of these will benefit your drum kit playing no end.

How long/often should I practice?

Fairly short and regular practice sessions tend to work best for most students. If you can practice 15-20 mins every day you will build your muscle memory fairly quickly which will help you progress steadily. If you can’t manage a practice every day, try to do 3-5 sessions of 15-20 mins per week. The method to avoid at all costs is one long session per week. This is a sure-fire way to get frustrated and disheartened with your instrument.

Should I take 30 minute or 1 hour lessons?

We would recommend 30 minute lessons for kids aged 8-9 and under. Everybody else would be best with a 1 hour lesson.

Do I need any equipment to start taking lessons?

No, not in the beginning. We will provide thekit, sticks and, where necessary, sheet music for your lessons. Once you havetaken a few lessons and feel you’d like to commit more to learning drumming, itwould be very beneficial to have something to practice on (see above for adviceon this).

How long does it take to learn the Drums?

This is a really difficult, almost impossible, question to answer with any certainty. We are all different with different talents and aptitudes - some take to the instrument very easily while others struggle a little at the start. We’ll be able to give you a clearer, but still rough, answer to this question after you’ve taken a few lessons, then we can see how well you’re picking it all up. If you can devote time to practicing regularly with good focus, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be playing drums to a good standard in 12-18 months. But remember, half the fun of learning is the journey.

Vocal lessons FAQs

Do I need to bring anything to class?

A recording device is really all you need to bring - a phone or iPad is good enough - just so you can take a recording of the lesson or an exercise home to study and practise along to. If you want to work on an obscure or specific song which may not be easily available online, then bringing the music whether it’s a track or music score would be helpful. You can also send us the track a few days before your class, so we can get it ready and prepare for your session with us.

How do I practise at home?

In our experience, students seem to get the most effective practice sessions at home when they record the class and practise along to it. If you don’t have time to go through the whole lesson, just pick a section and drill it. You can even fast forward your recording and go to the song section of the lesson and listen to how we applied the technique to song. This is going to be way more effective than singing the song around the house with no real aim or focus.

How often should I practise?

When you’re trying to learn a new concept, we would recommend 15 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. Little and often works best. Not only because it’s physically hard to break old habits and learn new ones but it’s mentally challenging so the little and often approach is most effective. Avoid cramming a 1 hour practise session into 1 day. It is very likely that you will un-do all the good work achieved in class.

How long will it take before I can sing well?

This is a very difficult question to answer as there are many factors which affect your progress. How often you have lessons, how often you practise, where you are currently with your voice and where do you want/need to get to. On average, our students get a basic level of singing within 3-6 months but some taking longer. If you have a good, natural talent for singing, practise regularly and are determined, you could reach a more professional level in around 5 years. However, there really is no set answer as we are all so different.

What styles of music can I sing learning this vocal technique?

We teach students how to sing through their range smoothly with a full, natural tone and singing in this way is definitely needed and applicable to ALL styles of music! Saying that, at Aspire Music, we focus mostly on teaching Contemporary Styles as that’s where our background and experience is.

Will I lose my vocal style and individuality if I work on my vocal technique?

Not at all! In fact good, solid vocal technique will only enhance your style and individuality. Having a proper understanding of technique will give you the confidence and freedom to explore your voice fully, not just settle for what you can already do. Many artists have a lot of style but lack technique and, as they get more successful, their voices can’t cope with the strain of performing night after night. Eventually they lose their voices, need to have surgery and then have to find their voices again through learning good, healthy technique. Don’t follow the likes of Adele and Sam Smith and save yourself a lot of time, energy, money and pain. Learn how to do it properly from the start and you can explore your individuality and stay healthy.

How often should I have lessons?

If you are new to singing or have a stubborn habit that you’re trying to get rid of, then regular weekly sessions are highly recommended. Any less frequent and you will find it much more difficult to build the correct muscle memory. Just as important as a weekly lesson, however, is regular singing practise at home which will ensure you feel like you are making progress and of course, getting your money’s worth.

Which length of lesson should I book?

We generally recommend 30 minute sessions for kids under 9. We tend to split 30 minute sessions in half with 15 minutes of vocalising (exercises) before we start working on a song. For older kids and adults, it depends on what you’d like to achieve in the session. For example, if you are preparing for a performance, audition or exam, then one hour sessions are needed. This would give us enough time to work on some vocalises to help build the necessary muscle memory before working on songs. The vocalises alone can take up to 30 minutes, depending on the condition of the voice.

Do you help with auditions and college applications?

Yes, we have helped many singers with auditions and college applications. We can give you some tools to help condition your voice so you are ready to sing your songs as well as work on the style and technical requirements of your audition pieces.

I’m a very experienced singer with past training, is it worth my while having singing lessons?

If you’re asking the question, then perhaps, yes, you should give it a go. You never know, you may discover something new about your voice. Don’t limit yourself, see what else is inside of you. There’s always new research about the voice and how it works and that’s why our teachers are still training, some for well over 10 years now! If you love your instrument and music, keep exploring.

Do I need to have talent to have singing lessons?

We believe everyone has a voice and we can help you find it, if you really want to! The vast majority of us also have some amount of natural talent and the more you have, the more it helps to make that journey of discovery easier. Talent, however, is not everything. The determination and enthusiasm to build and develop your voice into something you can be proud of is far more important.

What is the right age to start singing lessons?

Typically kids under 8 years old won’t have the focus for solely singing lessons. We would recommend one of our group singing classes for kids under 8 years. In these classes kids get to explore music using their voice and have other activities aside from working on technique. However, all kids are different and we have singing students even at 6 years old who take their lessons very seriously. If you do choose to have singing lessons with us, you are in very safe hands. We are specially trained to know how to look after and bring the best out of every voice, no matter what age!