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ABC Academy of Music

Lessons & Classes for All Ages

Robert Kirsch-Spring2020-07-14T11:26:32-04:00

Project Description

B.Ed. Music (York U)
B.A. (University of Guelph)

Rob is a drummer and composer, specializing in jazz, free music, R&B, funk and folk music. He has composed for and recorded with the likes of Bolete, Emily & the Mainlanders, Vulpis Vulpis, Sam Keshen and the Vybe Tribe. He is currently completing York University’s Bachelor of Education program, after which he will be a certified high school music teacher.

Rob’s approach to teaching uses the interests of his students as media for learning musical concepts and techniques. Together, he and his students extract lessons from a list of songs and genres that the student puts together. Rob develops his students’ “ear” for aural learning as well as their ability learn from written notation. Composition and improvisation are ongoing focuses of his teaching.

Get to know TEACHER…Beyond the Bio!

Hobbies: exercising, reading

Musical influences: ?Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, River Tiber, Miles Davis, John Mayer, D’Angelo

Favourite food: ?Chinese

Least favourite food: ?Sardines!

Favourite music: ?R&B

Favourite song: ?Dreams by Fleetwood Mac

Favourite movie: ? Zoolander

Favourite movie music: The Garden State soundtrack is top notch.

Favourite musical theatre/opera: I have yet to find one I like!

Best quote from your teacher: “Thinking is for practicing, not performing.”

Favourite quote: ?”Only the Sith deal in absolutes.” – Obi Wan

Favourite book: ?The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn

Latest Homework from Robert

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July 27 – August 3

Jonathan

  • Full-kit paradiddles (#1-6). If you want, you can practise each pattern like this:
    • Play along to a metronome at a slow tempo (ex. 50 bpm).
    • Once you feel comfortable with the tempo, increase it (ex. raise it 10 bpm).
    • Keep doing this until you get to a fast tempo (ex. 150 bpm).
  • By coincidence, this video popped up on my YouTube! It attempts to explain why many black gospel musicians are so skilled. The ending bit focuses on drummers in particular. Check it out if you’re interested.

Will

  • Verse’s main beat (bar 3) and chorus’s main beat (bar 5). If you want, you can practise them like this:
    • Play the verse’s main beat with a metronome at a slow tempo (ex. 40 bpm).
    • Once you feel comfortable with the tempo, increase it (ex. raise it 5 bpm).
    • Keep doing this until you get to the tempo of the recording (92 bpm).
    • Play through the entire recording using only the verse’s main beat OR only play during the verses and drop out for the choruses.
    • Repeat the whole process with the chorus’s main beat.
  • “Say-and-play”: Improvise (make up on the spot) a solo while saying what you’re playing using gibberish words/sounds. If you want, you can practise it like this: start by only using one drum, then do it with two drums, three drums, etc.

April

  • Clap/play this and this. If you want, you can practise each rhythm like this:
    • Play all the rhythms with a metronome at a slow tempo (ex. 50 bpm).
    • Once you’ve played all the rhythms and feel comfortable with the tempo, increase it (ex. raise it 10 bpm).
    • Keep doing this until you get to a fast tempo (ex. 125 bpm).

Aidan

  • Learn D’Angelo’s Spanish Joint (or at least the main/verse beat) with this annoyingly 14-part tutorial. The instructor tends to play something in one video and explain it in the next.
  • If you want, check out the whole D’Angelo album, Voodoo. It’s a very, very important album insofar as it influenced many prominent musicians today in the world of black music (R&B, hip-hop, soul, funk, jazz fusion, gospel, etc.).

JULY 14-20, 2021

JONATHAN

AUX cable

Cissy Strut sheet music

Cissy Strut recording

Practise the first bar (that has drums…)

WILL

Cissy Strut sheet music

Cissy Strut recording

Practise the third bar on the first line and the second bar on the second line.

AIDAN

Cissy Strut sheet music

Cissy Strut recording

Practise the third bar on the first line and the second bar on the second line.

APRIL

Work your way through these rhythms however you’d like (drum, clapping, tap dancing, etc.). Count out loud as you play. Once you’ve got ’em, challenge yourself by playing with a metronome (each click = 1 beat). You can challenge yourself further by making the metronome faster and faster.

 

HOMEWORK – LAST WEEK

Hey everyone. Sorry for the late post.

Rob

___________

Kaden

Do “horse gallop” rhythm with your right hand on ride cymbal while counting quarter notes out loud. Play along to Believer by Imagine Dragons.

Mateo

“Basic Beats” sheet

  • Write which drum/cymbal you play next to each note.
  • Use “H” for hi-hat, “S” for snare drum or “B” for bass drum.

Ella

Same homework as last week.

Sylvie

Practice all Basic Beats along to Mugenmirai by Perfume.

JUNE 13-18 HOMEWORK

Kaden

“Working up to jazz” sheet

Mateo

Same homework as last week.

Ella

Rudiments

  • Play 8th-notes with your right hand on the hi-hat only. Play along to “Even Flow” by Pearl Jam.
  • Play all the paradiddles with the accents and without them. Play along to “Do the Evolution” by Pearl Jam.

Wishlist

  • Count quarter notes out loud (1, 2, 3, 4).
  • Play along to a metronome where quarter notes = 100 bpm. Work your way up to 116 bpm (the song’s actual tempo).

“Hotel California – Filling” worksheet

  • Lines #3-7
  • Play along to a metronome where 8th notes = 110 bpm.
  • Count quarter notes out loud for one bar before you come in and continue as you play.

Sylvie

Same homework as last week except get the Basic Beats patterns up to 155 bpm and the 6/8 patterns up to 90 bpm.

JUNE 6 – 11 HOMEWORK

Kaden

“Working up to jazz” sheet

Mateo

“Basic Beats” sheet

  • Write which drum/cymbal you play next to each note.
  • Use “H” for hi-hat, “S” for snare drum or “B” for bass drum.

Ella

Wishlist

  • Count quarter notes out loud (1, 2, 3, 4).
  • Either practice along to the recording or start slower with a metronome and build up you speed. It’s your choice.
  • For the metronome, start at 100 bpm or slower and work your way up to 116 (the song’s actual tempo).

“Hotel California – Filling” worksheet

  • Play to a metronome. Start at 110 and bump up the speed by 5 bpm until you get to 145 (the song’s actual tempo).
  • Also play along to a metronome at 110 bpm for the filling exercises. You don’t have to increase the tempo if you don’t want to; it’s your choice.
  • Count 8th notes out loud for one bar before you come in AND continue as you play.
  • Remember: other than making sure you’re playing in time, don’t think about what you’re going to play for your drum fill. Just let it come naturally and follow your body.

Sylvie

“Basic Beats” worksheet, all patterns

  • Count 8th notes out loud for one bar before you come in AND continue as you play.
  • Play to a metronome at 8th notes = 120 bpm. Once you have played through all the patterns, play them again but at 115 bpm. Then 120 bpm. Do this until you get to 145.
  • Instead of playing the hi-hat for everything, play the ride cymbal.

6/8 Pattern

  • Play along to a metronome where 8th notes = 60 bpm. Try to get it faster, at least to 80 bpm.
  • Right hand on ride cymbal.

MAY 30 – JUNE 4 HOMEWORK

Hi everyone. Here is the practise log for the next 4 weeks. Please bring it to your next lesson. Thanks! -Rob

Kaden

“Working up to Jazz” worksheet, #1-4 only

  • Play along to a metronome where clicks = triplets at 80 bpm. Once you have played through the four lines at this tempo, play them all again but 5 bpm faster. Do this until you are playing them at 125 bpm.
  • For the 4th line, I want you to be able to play it at 150 bpm. I know that sounds fast, but we’re going to eventually start using the metronome as quarter notes instead of triplets. 150 bpm of triplets = 50 bpm of quarter notes. 50 bpm? Piece of cake.
  • Count triplets out loud for one bar before you come in AND continue as you play.
  • Right hand on the ride cymbal.

Mateo

“1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +” Pattern

  • Count out loud one time through before you come in AND continue as you play.
  • Play the hi-hat on every beat.
  • When you’re ready, add the bass drum on beats 1 and 3.
  • When you’re ready, add the snare drum on beats 2 and 4.
  • Play along to a metronome. Start at 70 bpm and work your way up to 100.

Ella

Please prepare a list of 5 songs you’d like to learn to play.

“Hotel California – Filling” worksheet

  • Count 8th notes out loud for one bar before you come in AND continue as you play.
  • I want you to be able to play the main beat (#1) along to a metronome at 8th note = 160 bpm. Start at 110 and bump up the speed by 5 bpm until you get to 145 (the song’s actual tempo). This will take time. Try to get it a little faster each time you practise.
  • Also play along to a metronome at 110 bpm for the filling exercises. You don’t have to increase the tempo if you don’t want to; it’s your choice.
  • Remember: other than making sure you’re playing in time, don’t think about what you’re going to play for your drum fill. Just let it come naturally and follow your body.

Sylvie

“Basic Beats” worksheet, all patterns

  • Count 8th notes out loud for one bar before you come in AND continue as you play.
  • Play to a metronome at 8th notes = 110 bpm. Once you have played through all the patterns, play them again but at 115 bpm. Then 120 bpm. Do this until you get to 135.

 

September 20-25

Ezra

Play triplets on the snare drum or floor tom (you choose), alternating your hands (left, right, left right, etc.). Count “1-trip-let, 2-trip-let, 3-trip-let” out loud as you play. Play along to a metronome at 50 bpm and try to get it up to 70 bpm. If you don’t have a metronome, you can use this online one.

Elora

Make sure you know which 5 songs you want to learn to play. We’ll be discussing them on Wednesday.

For lessons tomorrow

Hey Ezra and Elora,

I already told Ezra this, but I would like both of you to come to your lesson tomorrow with at least 5 songs that you would like to learn to play (or that you just enjoy). The level of difficulty doesn’t matter; I can teach you easier versions of the drum parts that still sound good when you play them along to the song.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Rob

JUNE 8-13 HOMEWORK

Hi everyone. Please print this new practice log for the coming weeks. Bring it to every lesson and don’t forget to have a parent/guardian sign off on each day, even if you didn’t practice. Thanks!   -Rob

Ezra

Basic Beats + fills

  • Before you start playing, listen to the song for a bit and try to identify when the snare drum is playing. This will tell you where beats “2” and “4” are.
  • Count 8th notes out loud
  • Using the “Basic Beats” patterns, play 2 bars of the pattern followed by 2 bars of filling. I want you to improvise the fills (make them up on the spot)
  • Play along to What I Like by Bruno Mars
  • Remember to focus more on listening to the recording than your own playing. This will keep you in time.

Counting Craziness

  • Exercises 1-4
  • Repeat and add bass drum
  • Play along to a metronome at quarter notes = 60 bpm. Increase the tempo by 5 bpm increments until you can play it at 80 bpm

Elora

“Counting Craziness” worksheet

  • Play along to a metronome where 8th notes = 120 bpm. Increase the tempo by 5 bpm increments until you can play it at 140 bpm

Basic Beats

  • Count one bar of 8th notes before you start playing and continue as you play.
  • Play along to a metronome where 8th notes = 150 bpm. You can try going even faster but it’s up to you.

Isobel

Remember to plug your headphones into the drum mat. Have a speaker/computer/tablet/etc. next to you to play the song out of.

Dynamite

  • Play along to Dynamite by Taio Cruz.
  • Here are the patterns written out. Pattern 1 is played during the verses and choruses, and pattern 2 is played during the “bridge” (2 minutes into the linked video). The bridge finishes at the 3-minute mark, which is when you should go back to playing pattern 1.

Ewan

To properly use your drum mat, you need to sit on a chair where your feet touch the floor. Put your drum mat on a second chair in front of you. Because it’s difficult to hear the bass drum when it’s coming out of the drum mat’s built-in speaker, you should use headphones. They make the bass drum sound louder. Plug your headphones into the back of the speaker where it says “headphones”. Have a speaker/computer/tablet/etc. next to you to play the song out of.

Dynamite

  • Play along to Dynamite by Taio Cruz.
  • Here are the patterns written out. Pattern 1 is played during the verses and choruses, and pattern 2 is played during the “bridge” (2 minutes into the linked video). The bridge finishes at the 3-minute mark, which is when you should go back to playing pattern 1.

 

JUNE 1 – 6 HOMEWORK

Ezra

Same homework as last week.

Elora

Same homework as last week.

Ewan and Isobel

Please bring your drum mat and its accessories to our lesson.

FOR ISOBEL AND EWAN ONLY

Please bring your drum mat to your lessons. Thank you.

MAY 25-30 HOMEWORK

Ezra

Best Song Ever pattern #9

  • Count 8th notes out loud.
  • Practice with a metronome. The clicks are quarter notes. Start at 45 bpm. Once you have played through all the patterns, do it again but with the metronome at 50 bpm. Then at 55, etc., until you get to 80. Don’t go faster than that.
  • Count one bar of 8th notes before you start playing the pattern.

Basic Beats + fills

  • Using the “Basic Beats” patterns, play 2 bars of the pattern followed by 2 bars of filling. I want you to improvise the fills (make them up on the spot). We did something similar in our lesson a few weeks ago. To keep your fills simple, you can start by playing quarter notes around the drums set. Then, try using a combination of quarter notes and rests. Then, try adding in 8th notes. Experiment.
  • Play along to What I Like by Bruno Mars.

Elora

Basic Beats

  • Count 8th notes out loud as you play (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).
  • Play along to a metronome at 90 bpm. Each click equals an 8th note.
  • Once you have played through all the patterns, play them again but with the metronome at 100 bpm. Then at 110, etc., until you get to 140. You can try going even faster but it’s up to you.
  • Count one bar of 8th notes before you start playing the patterns.

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