re: I'm getting Dad hands!!

My student teacher began his assignment with me this week, a percussion major from Univ. of Houston. As we talk shop between classes, I become more aware of how little I drum nowadays! The technique needed for 4 beginner percussion classes stays fairly simple, so I find myself never drumming the more advanced stuff anymore.

It really doesn't help when your student teacher is Brian Perez:)

I can't drum for more than 30 seconds at home before I'm attacked by my 2 and 4 yr olds wanting to join in. Any Dad's out there have a few tips on how to keep the chops up, with such young kids in the house?
Get them some ralphie jrs or some as-mms and tell them to work on their Shirley Murphies so you guys can chop out!
I went through that in the early and mid 1990s.  They would crawl all over my drumset, get into my sticks and mallets, and drag my practice pads, cowbells, and woodblocks all over the place.  My two guys, now a senior and junior in high school, would pull out the Fisher-Price toy drums and play while the other slipped on socks (for gloves) and conduct; then they would swap out.  Then they would fuss about how the other was missing the cutoff, etc.  It was really hilarious.

I noticed that my hands started getting more stiff over time from lack of practice time at home.  Once they reached 8th/9th grade, I was able to return to a more regular practice routine and drum much more.  My hands still get a little stiff once in a while, but this particular connection I have with my two sons is priceless.

Ain't life grand!
Bring your practice pad in the bathroom.
Right there with you, Ralph! But at least where I live I get called to play a lot (medium-sized town without a large pool of professional percussionists to choose from). Sometimes there's not much to the gig, but it's still playing. Mostly suspended cymbal or bells at a church, or a cocktail gig at the martini bar...

This is a little bit of a catch-22, though isn't it? The more you want to play or prepare a recital or something, the less you will spend with your kids or your students. But, the thing that might have the most buy-in with your students is your ability to hang with them on ";Flam I Am"; (I've been working on that all semester -- trying not to embarass myself!).

When my students ask, I tell them that my focus now is less on my playing and more on my teaching, conducting/score study and writing. I think they respect that I'm honest with them. And they know that my chair in the symphony rarely calls for me to do much more than a bass drum or cymbal part, but I think they respect that it's the maturity I bring to the part that keeps me ";hired.";

Having had two student teachers this semester who are both percussionists has also highlighted this! I have the ";teaching chops"; and they have the ";playing chops."; We are learning from each other!
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