Percussion instruments offer kids a great introduction to playing and reading music—for fun or for performance. Many experienced, enthusiastic drummers offer lessons for kids on percussion fundamentals. Neil Bettencourt, the owner of Bettencourt Drumming, teaches out of studios in Santa Cruz and Cupertino, California. He says that drumming is a way for students who can’t read music to get started quickly because the sheet music for drums is a bit simpler to read than for instruments that produce tones on the musical scale.
Drum lessons for kids range from $40–$60 per hour, depending on the geographic region and whether the student goes to the drum teacher or the teacher comes to the student.
Hourly or by session
Many drum teachers and music schools charge an hourly rate and others offer 30- to 60-minute sessions with set rates. Here are some cost examples:
Bettencourt teaches players of all ages.
30 minutes: $35; 45 minutes: $50; 60 minutes: $60
He recommends 60 minutes for a student’s first lesson.
Stacey DeGaris, Stacey De & Company School of Performing Arts in Lisle, Illinois
DeGaris offers beginning drum lessons for children age 6 and up using a drum pad and sticks.
30 minutes: $25 after a one-time registration fee of $25
The regular ongoing rate for instrument lessons, including drums, is $31 for a 30-minute session.
Jeffrey Mince in Denver, Colorado
One hour in studio: $40; at students’ location: $50
A drum set is provided at both of his local studio spaces.
He travels to teach all over the Denver and Northern Colorado areas.
Some teachers offer package pricing with slightly discounted lesson rates. Even if they don’t offer package discounts, most teachers bill monthly for students who take lessons on a regular basis. Bettencourt of Bettencourt Drumming is happy to offer one-off lessons without requiring a long-term commitment so students can decide if he’s the right teacher for them.
Many teachers will come to students’ homes to give drum lessons, but most will then charge a higher hourly rate or a separate travel fee to cover the additional time and transportation costs. Depending on where a student is located, Bettencourt of Bettencourt Drumming may not charge more than his standard $60 hourly rate to travel to a student’s location. Jeffrey Mince charges $10 more per hour to go to a student’s location.
Percussion spans all musical genres, and many drum teachers do, too. If a child wants to focus on a particular genre, that won’t necessarily affect the cost of lessons. Sometimes teachers and music schools with multiple teachers charge a bit more because they can offer students the benefit of many years of experience in a wide range of styles and genres. Bettencourt of Bettencourt Drumming says most of his younger students want to start with rock music, and he can generally teach a kid to play the percussion part of a rock song by the end of the first lesson.
Students do not need their own drum sets to take lessons from many instructors. Entry-level drum sets typically cost $300–$500. When just starting out, all students really need is a practice pad and a set of drumsticks. A standard practice pad from Remo costs $20–$25. A slightly higher-end model from ProLogix runs about $50. A nice set of drumsticks costs $10–$12. Add $15 for a few music books, and students are good to go.