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Year in Preview

posted 4 Jan 2017, 06:14 by Chris Morris
A very happy new year to all! I hope your Christmas break was relaxed and full of
joy... and maybe a little noisy too.

Lessons at Dundee Drum Academy are just getting back to normal and after a very productive year we start 2017 with an amazing 40 students timetabled for regular lessons. This is an incredible number and I'd just like to start the new year by thanking all - whether you've been coming for lessons for a long time or whether you've just started - thank you for all the support and allowing me the privilege of teaching music lessons.

For me, 2016 was a busy year as I began to study towards my teaching diploma (An LTCL, you can read more about what this is HERE). In order to sit the exam I also had to have a Grade 8 qualification in drum kit, and although I've been playing drums and teaching for a number of years I'd never sat a graded exam before. I didn't take it lightly, and was pleased to have achieved a Distinction on the path to the LTCL. The experience of sitting my only graded exam was definitely a positive one, and I certainly now appreciate how nervous some of the Dundee Drum Academy students can be when sitting their own exams!

Through studying for the LTCL I have been doing a lot of reading, attending courses and improving my own approach to teaching. I feel I have gotten better in the last few months and that's the most important thing about sitting the diploma; I would like ideally to teach in a school (or schools) as well as continuing what I'm doing here, but learning more about teaching and improving as a tutor is the best thing about studying for this diploma.

So, going into 2017 I should (hopefully!) finish up Unit 1 of my diploma in the next week or so and then sit the practical exam in March. But more importantly, what does 2017 have in store for the students of Dundee Drum Academy?

First of all, I'm sure you're all aware that the events we run have a new addition this year - The Snare Drum Challenge. This is the first contest we've run and will be held on the 25th March at the Tayside Deaf Hub. The contest is open to all young people in the Dundee area, regardless of  whether they come for lessons at Dundee Drum Academy or not. The music performed at this event will be original music written by myself, so that everyone has the same chance, and nobody will have seen the notation before. The pieces for all three levels have just been released and can be viewed on The Snare Drum Challenge page.  I encourage all students under the age of 18 to participate and remember, it's not about being the overall winner, but about achieving the best result you can.

As well as the event, a Snare Drum Challenge book will be released in April containing even more original pieces to study. This will be available to purchase through this website, and you can also pre-order a copy along with your entry to the contest.

Of course, we will also have the regular Summer and Christmas concerts too, and after the last Christmas Concert just three weeks ago, I'm already looking forwards to seeing everyone perform at the next ones. I thought everyone played brilliantly and really did themselves proud. So well done to all and we'll see you again in June and December!

There are also several students who are currently preparing both for SQA exams at school and Graded exams through RSL Awards and Trinity. 2017 looks to be a big year for exam successes and I'm looking forward to sharing all the wonderful news with you all here on the blog.

Let me finish this blog by once again thanking everyone who made 2016 a fantastic year and by giving a warm welcome to those of you who have just joined us. May 2017 bring even more joy and success!