If you have a child, know a child, have ever seen a child or even are a child, then you may have heard the pleading for a first drum increase in volume over the past few months. Drums are everywhere and are one of the favorite instruments that kids ask for during the holiday season. For the parent, relative or caregiver who wants to encourage a healthy relationship with music and rhythm, it can be a little overwhelming to have to pick between drum sets, hand drums and other percussion instruments. However, with just a few quick tips, finding the perfect drum for a child can be easier than trying to wrap it up in holiday paper in anticipation of the big days ahead.
Drum sets for children can be a way to encourage drumming in a performance setting. These drums allow a child to experiment with many different sounds and styles of music, and it is the configuration of a drum set that may be most important in the decision-making process. Look for good hardware will hold the drum set together safely, and quality construction of the drum shells and skins. Keep in mind that a smaller drum set will only last so long as a child grows, and that if you anticipate a lifelong habit of drumming, bigger drum sets can have a better overall construction than the “toy” based styles. Additionally, drum sets can have different pieces added at different times, giving a child the ability to learn his or her own rhythmic sound and evolve it into an individual expression of music.
Hand drums like bongos, djembes and even child-sized cajons are great for kids who want to experience drumming in a more natural sense. These drums are all portable and have sizes to fit any child, and allow for a tactile expression of rhythm that can follow the child’s own unique beat. Hand drums are a favorite of music teachers and therapists because of the benefit they bring in those settings, and with the djembe, for example, a child can be encouraged to use his or her hands to communicate through the drum. Plus, hand drums are a great way to invite others to join in the fun of group drumming activities.
No matter the style of drums you choose for a child's beginner drum set or hand drums, the gift that they receive will be remembered for years to come. By encouraging a hobby or passion that helps develop self-awareness, creativity and a love of music and rhythm, you are giving a gift of experience, and one that lasts a lifetime.