JazzEdge creator Willie Myette is a Berkeley College graduate who has used his expertise to form clear, concise, and fun lessons for those interested in the piano or drums. The drum instructor Mike Marble teaches to all levels, and the lessons are all streamed right from your computer. It's almost as good as having him right by your side - in ways, it's even better because you can take him anywhere with you on any mobile device! He takes pupils through the basics in the first level, and he moves them through his six step learning cycle that teaches them to mastery. He lays a great foundation with his tested musical standards, all while making it engaging and exciting. His six step cycle is as follows:
- Ear Training
- Reading Music
Being that he's never had any formal instruction, I had Connor start with the Core Drums lessons. It took him through a lot of basic instruction regarding the six step cycle. Then he moved on to the Level 1 lessons. He is now through those and working through Level 2 lessons. One good thing I have seen about it is that the computer doesn't block you out once you complete a lesson. I know Connor has gone back to work on something to make sure that he is doing it correctly. It's a great thing to have that availability before moving on to something more difficult, or just a quick refresher when you need it.
Here are all the things Connor has to say about DrumsWithWillie.
"It is really cool! It's a great tool because not only is someone instructing you on HOW to play the drums, you get to watch Mike actually do the thing he is teaching on that day. For visual learners like me, it is so good because I can back the video up and watch him again and again until I get it.
He tells you how to READ drum music. It's so different than regular sheet music.. Every piece on your drum set has its own line of music. When you can read drum music, you can learn more about rhythms. I have learned that keeping the rhythm is really important. He taught me how to listen to how I am playing and to stop to get back on track to keep the rhythm.
I never knew how important it was to know how to hold your drumsticks properly. Different sizes of drumsticks make a difference in how you play. I don't have the right size right now, so I am doing the best I can.
My favorite part is learning grooves. I have learned at least 4 different grooves so far. Different types of songs use different grooves. They are a lot of fun to play, and it really is encouraging to me to hear something I play sound really good."
DrumsWithWillie has been so good for Connor. As I said earlier, it is something that he has been interested in for a long time. But when he didn't have any success, he had given up. I have seen this program give Connor confidence in learning the drums, and I am happy to see him excited about it again.
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JazzEdge also has other programs for those interested in learning piano. You can read more about what my fellow reviewers thought about all the products here: