I play and teach drums and piano. Now, you say, of course, that’s what the name Sol Garnier is attached to on the internet. Yes, that’s true, but there is much more than that… for the student.
I get to play piano with the drummers and drums with the pianists. I don’t do it every lesson, as I don’t want our time together to become “rehearsal time”, after all people are here to learn and try the new exercises I’ll give them, but I do it fairly often. It is fun to accompany a drummer while they are holding a groove. It teaches them that the drums blossom when in a band. I do the bass on my left hand, the improv or the chords on my right. I show them how to use dynamics, fills, orchestration, all the basic concepts of music that will give them an edge once they join a band.
For piano player, I have a Cajon. It’s a wooden box on which you sit and then proceed to play with your hands. It’s a great instrument, you get the bass drum sound in the center, the snare on the side and the click with your wedding ring if you happen to have one and I do have one. For the piano player it’s a treat. They get to concentrate on form and structure as well as rhythm and flow. All of the sudden the need to play the chords at the right time becomes more crucial. It’s not easy, but I see them smiling when I take the box out.
It is fun for my students to have a teacher that plays different instruments. It’s a blast for them to experience their skills in a different set-up, where they get to stretch their concentration, where the territory is both new and familiar. Besides, it gets everybody even more fired up for music, and that’s always my goal.
Oh, and the picture is a guy sitting on a Cajon.