Tell me a bit about your son and his experience with VTMA.
Lori: Well, my son is a drummer. He started at the school just before he turned five. He had been drumming on everything when he was little, so we got him a junior kit when he was about two and a half. And my husband got him a DVD on how to play. My son was really interested in taking the drums apart, putting them together, and then eventually learning how to play. So he was able to maintain his interest for those couple of years, but then we realized that we should really put him in lessons because we wanted to make sure that he was learning proper technique and so he didn’t develop any bad habits by just playing on his own. And that’s how we ended up here.
And why did you and your son like this school so much?
Lori: I liked the focus on rock and roll. My husband and I are both into classic rock, we grew up on that music and have been exposing our son to rock music. I had been singing The Beatles to him every night, virtually from the day he was born. We had this thing when I put him to bed and I would sing to him, so we like the rock and roll aspect of the school. And he really likes that kind of music now, too. We also appreciate the focus on performance that the school does. They stress the importance of being able to get up in front of people and beginning to feel comfortable being on stage. We really like that aspect of the school. They do soloist concerts a few times a year and each kid performs a song for the audience. It’s really fun to see.
Yeah, that’s awesome.
Lori: We thought learning how to be comfortable on stage would help his confidence and I believe it really has.
Tell me about the teachers your son has had.
Lori: He has had five different teachers and each one provided a valuable experience. Each one was completely different, so he learned new perspectives from each teacher. They have all been great and they are really good teachers. They have good relationships with the students and most of them have been working musicians, so we try to go see them if we can even if they are no longer his teacher.
Has your son ever taken part in the camp or just the classes?
Lori: He has signed up for camp the last two years and really enjoyed it; he is going to do it again this summer. It was fun for him because it was his first experience playing in a band or with other people. He did that for the first time last year. That was great for him!
So, he likes classic rock; you like classic rock. What is your favorite song that he plays and is the same as his favorite song?
Lori: I really loved the first song I ever heard him play. It was Yellow by Coldplay, because it’s the first time I heard him actually playing a full song. I didn’t know the song before he started learning it. That’s another cool thing for me. Because they learn popular music, now he is able to introduce us to newer rock music. So we really like that aspect of it. I’m not sure what his favorite song he’s done is! Probably whatever he is learning at the moment!
Is there anything else that you want to say about his experience or about the school?
Lori: I am really happy with the quality of the instruction. It hasn’t just been “put your fingers here”, “play it like this” or “do that there.” The teachers actually teach technique and theory. The focus on performance and the quality of instruction, those are my two favorite things. This is real music instruction and yet it’s fun, and they work on their performance skills. We have been here a long time, taking weekly lessons and going to the camps. My son has good relationships with the teachers; they help him maintain his chops while he is having fun and learning. My son has gotten quite good at playing the drums, so I am really happy!