The violence in the drums

Some of my young students are full of energy. Their parents thought that drums would be a great way to release the extra spark they have and so they come to my studio just for that. And I agree. I think that all too often, those active children get placed in a violent set up: Karate, Krav-Maga, Kung fu and the likes. And, although the philosophy of these arts is to not hit or avoid hitting someone, what they teach is just the opposite: how to hit, how to punch through your violent tendencies with an aggressive and potentially lethal act. Drums do not promote that. They promote hitting, yes, for sure, but in the purpose of music. Your ultimate goal is not to learn to knock someone down but to participate in something artistic.

I highly recommend drums for just this kind of children, the wild ones. In European history, the drums belonged to the military. The drummers were marching in the army with the flag bearer. They were taught to have a strength of character they didn’t ask from a fiddle player, for example. Discipline was an essential part of their education, they had to do drums routines like others were learning to shoot a gun. And there was the physical exertion too. Drums needed to be played loud, very loud. They had to make three thousand men charging the enemy walk the same step. Being a drummer was not for the faint of heart. The violence of the drums was inside the craft on all levels.

In today’s culture, it can be translated to those children and teenagers who are always boiling inside, the ones with an impossible energy to tame. I get a lot of those in my studio. We become fast friends. I think I understand them because it takes one to know one.