On one wall of InnerBeat Drum School, instructor of proudly displays pictures of student drummers.
Some have been drumming for years and are headed to college and careers in the arts. Others just got started, and are mastering the basics.
In either case, each student started with one lesson, and that lesson is available to anyone who wants to find his own beat.
“These (lessons) aren’t high pressure, but I keep my points pretty clear,” Guest said. “Right away, when students see themselves becoming better drummers, they stick with it more. It has to be fun, too.”
The school draws students from all over the area, and trial lessons are a chance for parents and students to see if drumming is for them. If the student commits to lessons, Guest will customize programs for them.
Trial lessons are taught year-round, but Guest said summer is a good time to start because there’s more time to practice. He said he wants students to have fun learning to play, but that lessons also are a commitment for both students and parents.
“The parents are almost taking the lessons with their kids to help them at first,” he said. “Along the way, they’ll know what level the kids are at, and they’ll see the kids just learning, having a good time and building self esteem.”
It’s also inexpensive. About $60 will buy a starter set that includes a drum pad and pairs of sticks.
“What’s nice about drums is it’s an inexpensive instrument to learn because you don’t start off on a drum set,” Guest said. “If the kid happens to not like it down the line, then you’re not out a few hundred on a drum set that you ended up hanging your clothes on.”
Guest’s lessons aren’t just for kids. He also offers college prep lessons for students to plan to study music as a career, and lessons for adults who want to keep their skills in tune.
Guest will teach workshops at local parks throughout the summer, including , Schenley and Frick parks in Pittsburgh, and parks in Mt. Lebanon. Check out the InnerBeat Drum School website for details.
He also has recorded drum lessons on YouTube for students to use as study guides, and so that prospective students can see what a lesson is like.
“It’s serious, but not too serious,” Guest said. “I want to keep them learning. The kids have to see themselves getting something out of playing the instrument.”
Interested? Here’s what to do:
- What: Trial Drum Lessons, geared toward children.
- Where: InnerBeat Drum School, Potomac Avenue in Dormont.
- Cost: $20 for a trial lesson or $80 per month.
- Registration: Call InnerBeat Drum School at 412-225-9859 to register.
For more information, see the InnerBeat Drum School website.