Monday, June 1, 2015

Schoolhouse Review: JazzEdge's DrumsWithWillie #hsreviews

JazzEdge  Review

I've always thought that music lessons of one kind or another are very important for all students.  I played clarinet and bass clarinet and twirled flag in the band through junior high, high school, and college.  As part of the band, I learned how to be a team player.  I learned what it truly means to take pride in what you do.  I learned that a group is only as strong as its weakest link. I learned that playing well with others matters -- in a concert setting, in a marching setting, in life.  Here in my neck of the woods, there is no homeschool band for my kids, but I've made sure to let everyone take some type of musical lessons.  All four of my children have taken piano through the years and the Princess still takes today.  My eldest daughter (the OT Student) added guitar to her musical abilities.  Both she and her sister the Bride-to-be took voice lessons.  You might even remember that last summer we reviewed JazzEdge's HomesSchoolPiano.  Like I said, I think music lessons are important.  Learning to read music, count rhythms, and practice until you get something right are valuable skills for anyone.

The Eagle Scout has long wanted to learn to play drums.  Yes, I know, that might just be every mother's nightmare, but I'm married to a drummer so . . . I'm kind of used to the click-click-click of sticks.  {When the MainMost and I were dating, he used to airdrum the steering wheel as we drove along the road.  That may actually be when I first fell in love with him.  Just don't tell him I said so.}  And one of my very best childhood friends was a drummer, so I was excited when we had the opportunity to review DrumsWithWillie -- another of the great JazzEdge classes.  
my favorite drummer boy

For purposes of this review, we received access to all three of the drum lesson levels for one year.  It is recommended that your drum student be equipped with a basic drum set to include kick drum, snare, hi-hat, and at least one cymbal.  Obviously, your aspiring drummer will need at least one set of drum sticks, as well.  Lucky for us, my favorite drummer -- the MainMost -- has a complete drum kit at home and my son even has access to an electric set at church.  It's the one his daddy plays on every Sunday.  With all this drum equipment at our disposal, it was quite easy for the Eagle Scout to begin his drum lessons.

DrumsWithWillie is an online program that can be accessed via computer, tablet, or iPhone which makes it super easy for my guy to learn new skills and practice, practice, practice.  He can watch a video at home on the laptop and then access the same video for practice sessions when we head out the door to church.  (The lessons are all taught via streaming video so you're going to want to make sure you have a good connection.)  What we really like about this program is that you work through the lessons at your own pace and you can watch and re-watch as much as you want to do so.  If you find a concept or technique difficult, you are encouraged to keep at it until you feel comfortable with what you've learned.  Students also learn to be expressive as they learn to create music.

JazzEdge  Review

Divided into three different levels (of 6 units each), students are taught from the very beginning stages of drumming with no prior ability necessary all the way through to creating their own arrangements and understanding techniques for all types/genres of music.  It has been most interesting watching my son follow in his father's footsteps as he learns how to take the snare drum apart and tune it himself.  I am enjoying hearing the rhythmic sound of sticks wafting down the hallway as he practices in his room.  I like that he has a passion for learning and that I can provide music lessons right from home.  No need to travel, but enjoyment at his fingertips with just the click of a button.

Now, I don't know anything about the technique of "rat-a-tat-tat" and "clicka-clicka-clicka", but the beauty of DrumsWithWillie is that I don't have to.  My guy is 16 and as soon as the account was set up, he was ready to begin.  He doesn't have to have his mom standing over him to learn.  Expert teaching will create expert students every time.  Willie has his attention and respect -- and that's enough to keep him interested.  

For more information about JazzEdge's DrumsWithWillie, be sure to visit the following Social Media Sites:

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review 
DrumsWithWillie as a member of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

JazzEdge Review
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