“Everything is music for the born musician.” - Romain Rolland
The drums are an instrument which we hear a lot but rarely talk about. It’s very common in modern music and brings tempo and rhythm to each song.
There are different ways to learn how to play this instrument and in a conservatoire is one of the most recognised ways. It is, however, worthwhile having a look at the advantages and disadvantages of taking this route to learn to play a musical instrument and become a scholar of music performance.
In this article, we'll be looking at what a conservatoire is, who it's for, what you can learn there, and attending one could do for your music career, especially as a drummer.
What Is a Conservatoire?
Conservatoires have a very prestigious image. These are the places that welcome the most talented classically-trained musicians and help them become stars of their instrument be it the cello, trumpet, trombone, etc.
A lot is expected of the students who attend these establishments as they offer the best music education around. As a result, you’ll be granted a degree or recognised qualification upon completing their courses (often a bachelor of music or master of music).
While many conservatoires in the UK have a similar role to universities, they still offer classes for younger musicians, too. For those wanting to be part of a symphonic orchestra, the conservatoire is probably the best place to go.
Additionally, a child will have to find the balance between learning to play the drums and their studies at school. While this may seem great for learning how to play the drums, you need to keep in mind that playing in an orchestral ensemble requires a lot of classical training, rehearsal, and regular concerts.
As we said before, lessons at conservatoires are very intensive and require a lot of work and can result in some people giving up. There are a number of conservatoires around the UK, mainly in the larger cities, and offer some of the best music tuition around.
They’re often a step you have to take before you become a professional musician (at least in terms of classically-trained musicians), actor, or artist. This is the professional choice and it’s a choice you need to take seriously!
They offer prestigious training in the arts. While you mightn’t traditionally think of the drums when you think of an orchestra, drummers are welcome in conservatoires.
Learning to Play the Drums in a Conservatoire
“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen
No matter where you attend a conservatoire, you need to be passionate about music and the instrument that you play and the drums are certainly no exception. You’ll need to want to learn music theory, rhythm, tempo, and time signatures, whether you’re 5 or 25!
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While you can also learn drama, singing, and dance at a conservatoire, we’re going to remain focused on learning how to play the drums at a conservatoire. Some conservatoires have a strict selection process; they only accept the best of the best.
Your training will take place over several years and, if you work hard, you’ll be granted a recognised music qualification at the end of your studies. There’s no place for improvisation with your education at a place like this!
Aspiring musicians will be expected to pay for their education and prove that they’re worthy of the education that they’re getting. This education will also afford them the opportunity to express their creativity and make it as a professional musician and they’ll also get the opportunity to perform live.
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These are the kinds of places where you can find distinguished lecturers and music professors who’ve been classically-trained and attended similar conservatoires to the one you’ll find yourself in. The teaching staff will deliver some of the best schooling throughout the academic year.
We often tend to forget that it’s a music teacher that’ll teach you how to play the drums and you’ll have to follow their advice all the way through your studies.
Attending a conservatoire will also help you to get involved with the music scene in the town where you’re at. Conservatoire courses will teach you everything you need to know in order to perfect your technique and broaden your understanding of music.
You can learn more about music theory and the fundamentals of music whether you play drums, saxophone, cello, flute, etc. This is the kind of education you can only get in a conservatoire.
Information on Learning to Play the Drums in a Conservatoire
“Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” - Alphonse de Lamartine
Do you need your own drum kit? Can you attend a conversatoire aged 35?
Who exactly will be professors be?
You’ll probably ask yourself a lot of questions before you attend a conservatoire. It’s easier to attend a conservatoire when you’re younger. After all, there will be a lot of students leaving sixth form or college and looking for places on their degree courses.
You can spend anywhere between a year and 8 years in a conservatoire, depending on the route you take. You’ll have to commit a lot of time and have a passion for music and play the drums from the moment you attend your audition until the day you’re granted your undergraduate degree or master’s degree.
Whether you’ve just started or are reaching the end of your studies, there is no time to let your passion dwindle or take your foot off the gas. The same is true if you’re learning to sing or play the tuba, these are the kind of teaching establishments that won't let lazy or unmotivated students progress.
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While it’s not a competition, it sort of it. A lot of students have dreams of being the best and progressing and they’ll be very driven as a result. Young musicians, who’ll be taught by qualified professors, will have to get used to the teaching style. Of course, a good teacher will also work out the best way for you to progress. This is true for any conservatoire in the country.
The teachers are at the core of any conservatoire and will be very important in your studies. They’ll help you improve your drumming technique, master time signatures, tempo, and rhythm, and give you a better understanding of the underlying music theory.
A music course at a conservatoire will bring all this together and more. They’ll be more technically demanding and professional than what you’ll get at a general music school but you’ll also get the joy of learning with other driven students, which you won't get with private tutorials.
There are a lot of good reasons for learning to play the drums at a conservatoire as well as plenty of good reasons to just learn how to play the drums. The drums require rhythm and timing and can add something to many different styles of music.
When you learn to play the drums at a conservatoire, you’ll be getting a well-rounded education that may help you become a professional drummer in the future. Of course, don't forget that you can also learn how to play the drums at a university.
While we've mentioned conservatoires throughout this article, there are also plenty of universities up and down the country that offer the same undergraduate and postgraduate degrees for those wanting to learn more about music or drumming.
The reason we've focused on conservatoires is that they are the pinnacle of music education in the UK and are the option for anyone who's talented, driven, and certain that they want to make a career out of their druming at the highest level.
If a conservatoire isn't for you or you just don't have the budget for it, you should consider getting private tutorials in order to learn the drums. On Superprof, for example, you can find private drum tutors all over the country who'll be happy to work with you to create your own learning plan in order to meet your learning goals.
Additionally, if you can't meet up with a private tutor in person, you can always look for online private tutors who can teach you from anywhere in the world thanks to the internet and video conferencing software such as Skype. This is especially good for those who work shifts or during the night. Just make sure you don't schedule your drum tutorials for 3 in the morning and wake all your neighbours up!