Here are some ideas for keeping the decibels down in your drumming classroom.
Get some cheap hand towels from Target or maybe try these from Amazon. Toss them on top of the bucket or fold them once or twice first. When the sticks hit them, the sound will be dampened by 10-15 db.
Reducing the number of buckets is the quickest way to reduce volume. When students work in partners, your bucket total will be cut in half. I never use more than 10 or 12 buckets at a time. However, make sure that all students have sticks; this allows students to air drum when it isn’t their turn to play on the bucket. A lot more on this topic here.
3. Teach your students how to play quiet
This one may seem obvious/obnoxious, but a lot of the time, students drum loud because nobody taught them how to drum quiet. And if you are able to control the volume at the source, the other techniques in this post become failsafes. Teaching students to play quietly on the bucket is very doable. Here’s how:
- From day one, teach students to keep their sticks low to create quiet sounds.
- Perform all music at a variety of volumes. Example: If the students learn a One Bucket Groove, have them perform it quiet as well.
- Constantly model what it looks like to play quiet
- Try all activities (echo patterns, warm ups, games, etc.) at low stick heights.