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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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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.

 

MAY 23-28 HOMEWORK

Kaden

“Triplets” worksheet

  • Count triplets out loud.
  • Play quarter notes on the bass drum.
  • When you’re first practising these patterns, you can use what ever sticking is easiest, but I eventually want you to be able to play them using alternate sticking (both R-L-R-L-… and L-R-L-R-…).
  • Play along to a metronome at 110 where each click is a triplet (not a quarter note). Then bump the tempo up to 115. Then 120. Then play along to Gravity by John Mayer.

Mateo

“1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +” Pattern

  • 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

In general, be careful not to “drag the time” (slow down). Pay attention to this in your practising.

“Hotel California – Filling” worksheet

  • Try practising along to the recording. If it’s too fast, you can play the patterns more slowly with a metronome. The song’s tempo (speed) is 75 bpm, so if you’re using the metronome, try playing  it at 70. If that’s still too fast, slow it down more.
  • Your fills must be in time with the music/metronome.
  • Use a variety of drums in your fills.
  • Use a variety of rhythms in your fills (8th notes, quarter notes, 16th notes, rests, etc.).

Sylvie

“Basic Beats” worksheet, #5-9

  • Count “1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +” out loud.
  • Play to a metronome where each click equals an 8th note – “1” (click), “and” (click), “2” (click), “and” (click), “3” (click), “and” (click), “4” (click), “and” (click). Start with the metronome at 70 bpm. Once you’re comfortable at that speed, bump it up to 75 bpm. Then 80 bpm. Do this until you get to 100. You don’t need to go faster than that.

MAY 16-21 HOMEWORK

Kaden

“Triplets” worksheet

  • Count triplets out loud.
  • Play quarter notes on the bass drum.
  • When you’re first practising these patterns, you can use what ever sticking is easiest, but I eventually want you to be able to play them using alternate sticking (both R-L-R-L-… and L-R-L-R-…).
  • Play along to a metronome at 110 where each click is a triplet (not a quarter note). Then bump the tempo up to 115. Then 120. Then play along to Gravity by John Mayer.

Mateo

For Mom: Here is an article written by a music educator that offers insights about motivating children to practice. The author recommends that the success of a practise session be measured by the musical goals accomplished and not by how long the practising went on for. This is why I have stopped assigning a designated time length for practising (no more 30 minutes per day, etc.). Using this approach, Mateo would establish goals for each practise session by choosing which parts of the homework he would like to practise that day. I am reluctant to include a day-by-day practise schedule in these homework posts because it may be too inflexible for Mateo, or any child, to properly follow. Because Mateo knows his schedule better than I do, I think it would be best for Mateo, or you and Mateo, to divide the homework according to how many days he expects himself to practise that week. What do you think of this? You can reach me at [email protected] if you would like to chat.

“1, 2” Pattern

  • Play along to a metronome. Put it at 70 bpm (beats per minute).
  • Count each number at the same time the metronome clicks – “1” (click), “2” (click).
  • When you can play the patterns at that speed, put the metronome to 75 bpm and do it again. When you can do that, play the patterns at 80 bpm. Continue to increase the speed by increments of 5 bpm until you get to 100.

“1 + 2 +” (1 and 2 and) Pattern

  • When you see a plus sign (+), it just means “and”.
  • Play the hi-hat on everything (1, and, 2, and).
  • When you’re ready, add the bass drum on beat 1.
  • When you’re ready, add the snare drum on beat 2.
  • Play along to the metronome. Count the clicks with “1 and 2 and”. Each click is a note – “1” (click), “and” (click), “2” (click), “and” (click). Again: start at 70 bpm and work your way up to 100.

Ella

“Hotel California – Filling” worksheet

  • Try practising along to the recording. If it’s too fast, you can play the patterns more slowly with a metronome. The song’s tempo (speed) is 75 bpm, so try playing  it at 70. If that’s still too fast, slow it down more.
  • Your fills must be in time with the music.
  • Use a variety of drums in your fills.
  • Use a variety of rhythms in your fills (8th notes, quarter notes, 16th notes, rests, etc.).

Sylvie

“Basic Beats” worksheet

  • Count “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and” out loud.
  • Sometimes play with a metronome. Sometimes play without one.
  • When you play with a metronome, your counting and the metronome’s clicking should line up. Each click is a note – “1” (click), “and” (click), “2” (click), “and” (click), “3” (click), “and” (click), “4” (click), “and” (click). Start with the metronome at 60 bpm (beats per minute). Once you’re comfortable at that speed, bump it up to 65 bpm. Then 70 bpm. Do this until you get to 80. You don’t need to go faster than that.

MAY 18-23 HOMEWORK

Hey everyone,

To help you remember to fill out your practise logs, do it right after you finish practising. You can even fill it out as you’re practising. Please bring them to every lesson.

Rob

______________________________________

Ezra

Best Song Ever patterns

  • Practice with a metronome. The clicks are 8th notes. Start at 90 bpm. Once you have played through all the patterns, do it again but with the metronome at 100 bpm. Then at 110, etc., until you get to 140. Don’t go faster than that.
  • Count 8th notes out loud as you play.
  • 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 (beats for minute). If you don’t have a metronome, you can use this online one. Each click is an 8th note – “1” (click), “and” (click), “2” (click), “and” (click), “3” (click), “and” (click), “4” (click), “and” (click).
  • 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.

Isobel

Basic Beats

  • Count 8th notes out loud as you play (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).
  • Count one bar of 8th notes before you start playing the patterns.
  • Play patterns 1 – 4. Then 5 – 9. Then 1 – 9. Then 1, 3, 5, 7, 9. Then 2, 4, 6, 8.
  • Play along to a metronome at 90 bpm (beats for minute). If you don’t have a metronome, you can use this online one. Each click is an 8th note – “1” (click), “and” (click), “2” (click), “and” (click), “3” (click), “and” (click), “4” (click), “and” (click).
  • Next, play along to Shape of You by Ed Sheeran

Ewan

Here is a new practice log. Also, here is the Believer worksheet. You forgot the original at our lesson.

Believer

  • Play the first two patterns.
  • Count triplets out loud as you play.
  • Count one bar of triplets before you start playing the patterns.
  • Play along to a metronome where each click is a triplet – “1” (click), “trip” (click), “let” (click), “2” (click), etc. If you don’t have a metronome, you can use this online one.
  • Play both patterns at 110 bpm (beats per minute). Once you’re comfortable with that tempo (speed), try playing them at 120 bpm. Then 130, etc., until you get to 150. You don’t need to go faster than that but you can if you want.

MAY 11-16 HOMEWORK

Hey everyone,

Please bring your practise log to every lesson. Thanks!

Rob

_________________

Ezra

While playing along to No Problem by Chance the Rapper, use alternate sticking leading with the left hand (start with your left hand) to play 1 bar of eighth notes on the snare drum followed by 1 bar of quarter notes on one of the rack toms (you choose which one). Do it again, except 2 bars each. Then 4 bars each.

  • Then reverse it; play the eighth notes on one of the rack toms and quarter notes on the snare drum.
  • Then eighth notes on floor tom, quarters on ride cymbal. And reverse it.
  • Then eighth notes on other rack tom and quarters on floor tom. And reverse it.
  • Then eighth notes on hi-hat and quarters on snare drum. And reverse it.

Play the Best Song Ever patterns along to a metronome.

  • Each click will be an 8th note.
  • Start the metronome at 70 bpm. Once you have played through all of them, do it again but with the metronome at 80 bpm. Then at 90, etc., until you get to 120. Don’t go faster than that.
  • Be sure to count 16th notes out loud as you play. If you find it easier to count 8th notes, you can do that too.

Elora

Same homework as last week except play all the hi-hat parts on the ride cymbal instead.

Isobel

No homework. Don’t worry – we will talk.

Ewan

Play the first two “Believer” training patterns. Count triplets out loud as you play them.

MAY 4 – 9 HOMEWORK

Hey everyone,

Don’t forget to fill out your practise logs when you need to and get a parent/guardian’s signature!

This week, I want you all to include time for “free play” in your practising. This is time to just have pure fun on the drums. Do what ever you’d like! Some things I like to do for free play when I’m practising are create new drum beats and play along to songs I like. Please include free play in your practise logs if it something you did that day.

Rob

Ezra

While playing along to 24K Magic by Bruno Mars,

  1. Using alternate sticking (R-L-R-L-…) on the snare drum, play 1 bar of eighth notes followed by 1 bar of quarter notes.
    • Loop it.
    • Also try playing it on the toms, hi-hat, and any combination of drums.
  2. Do it again, except 2 bars each.
  3. Do it again, except 4 bars each.

Play the Best Song Ever patterns along to a metronome.

  • Each click will be an 8th note (NOT A QUARTER NOTE).
  • Start the metronome at 80 bpm. Once you have played through all of them, do it again but with the metronome at 90 bpm. Then at 100, etc., until you get to 120. Don’t go faster than that.
  • Be sure to count 16th notes out loud as you play. If you find it easier to count 8th notes, you can do that too.

Elora

Play all of the Basic Beats.

  • Count eighth notes out loud as you play (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).
  • Play them along to Something Big by Shawn Mendes. The speed of the clapping sounds at the beginning of the song are how fast your 8th notes should be – clap (1), clap (and), clap (2), clap (and), etc.

Also play them to Heart Attack by Demi Lovato.

Isobel

I hope you feel better soon! If you have the energy, here are things you could practice:

Play all of the Basic Beats.

  • Count eighth notes out loud as you play (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).
  • Play them along to Something Big by Shawn Mendes. The speed of the clapping sounds at the beginning of the song are how fast your 8th notes should be – clap (1), clap (and), clap (2), clap (and), etc.
  • Practise while looking at the sheet music AND without looking at the sheet music.

Ewan

Play all of the Believer training beats. Count triplets out loud as you play.

For the last line only, practise along to a metronome. If you don’t have one at home, you can use this. Start at 50 bpm (beats per minute). Once you can play it at that speed, try it again at 55 bpm. Then at 60. Then 65, etc., until you get to 80. Stop there.

 

APRIL 26 LESSON

Hey friends,

Unfortunately we didn’t get anything together to perform at this session’s recital, but come on by this Sunday from noon to 3:00 at 225 Geary Avenue to see some of the other students play. Attendance for all students is mandatory. I’ll be there! More information can be found here. Happy practicing.

-Rob

Ezra

Practice time: 45 min/day

While playing along to the recording of Best Song Ever:

  1. Play quarter notes on the bass drum and quarter notes on any of the other drums or cymbals (alternate sticking R-L-R-L-…)
  2. Play quarter notes on the bass drum and eighth notes on any of the other drums or cymbals (alternate sticking R-L-R-L-…)
  3. While playing quarter notes on the bass drum, play 4 bars of quarter notes with your hands, then 4 bars of eighth notes with your hands. Repeat. (Just like in our lesson)
  4. Do that again, except 2 bars each.
  5. Do that again, except 1 bar each.

Play the Best Song Ever patterns along to a metronome at 40 bpm. If you don’t have a metronome, you can use this online one. Once you have played through all of them, do it again but with the metronome at 45 bpm. Then at 50, etc., until you can’t go any faster. Be sure to count 16th notes out loud as you play. Make sure you master the 4th line on the sheet.

Elora

Practice the same homework as last week.

Isobel

Practice the same homework as last week.

Ewan

Practice the same homework as last week except without using your feet. When you feel comfortable with just using your hands, then add your feet back in.

April 20 Lesson

Ezra

Practice time: 45 min/day

While playing along to the recording of Best Song Ever:

  1. Play quarter notes on the bass drum and quarter notes on any of the other drums or cymbals (alternate sticking R-L-R-L-…)
  2. Play quarter notes on the bass drum and eighth notes on any of the other drums or cymbals (alternate sticking R-L-R-L-…)
  3. While playing quarter notes on the bass drum, play 4 bars of quarter notes with your hands, then 4 bars of eighth notes with your hands. Repeat. (Just like in our lesson)
  4. Do that again, except 2 bars each.
  5. Do that again, except 1 bar each.

Play all of the Best Song Ever patterns.

  • Count sixteenth notes out loud
  • After you have played all of them, go through the patterns again except don’t move on to the next one until you are able to play the current pattern without looking at the sheet.

Elora

Practice time: 30 min/day

Play all of the Basic Beats. Count eighth notes out loud as you play (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).

  • Don’t move on to the next pattern until you are able to play the current one without looking at the sheet.

Isobel

Practice time: 30 min/day

Play all of the Basic Beats. Count eighth notes out loud as you play (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).

  1. Don’t move on to the next pattern until you are able to play the current one without looking at the sheet.
  2. Play patterns #1 and #2 in a row without stopping. Loop them (play them over and over again) until you are able to play them at least 4 times in a row without making a mistake (including slowing down).

Ewan

Practice time: 30 min/day

Play all of the Believer training beats.

  • Do at least 2 or 3 of them each day.
  • Count triplets out loud as you play.

April 12 Lesson

CORRECTED VERSION (There was a mistake in Ewan’s instructions in the last post.)

Ezra

Practice Time: 30 min/day

Here are some exercises I would like you to practice so that you can play the main beat to Best Song Ever. You’ll see that I wrote the counting pattern for 16th notes above the beats; make sure you count them as you play. Once the main beat is sounding strong, we will move on to other parts of the song. Work through each exercise, one by one.

Isobel

Practice Time: 20 min/day

Keep practicing the Basic Beats worksheet. Go through the page, playing each pattern separately. Play the pattern over and over again until you no longer need to look at the page.

Go through the page again, playing each LINE (2 patterns in total) separately. Again – play each line over and over again until you no longer need to look at the page.

Ewan

Practice Time: 20 min/day

Here are some patterns to practice that will get you ready to play Believer. Please repeat each pattern without stopping until you can play it without looking at the page. You may notice that there are a bunch of numbers and letters everywhere. Here is what they mean:

  • The big “3” under the word “trip” means that the rhythm written underneath is a triplet. A triplet is a group of 3 notes.
  • The blue writing (1 trip let, 2 trip let, 3 trip let, 4 trip let) is what I want you to say as you’re playing. For example, as you say “1,” you are going to play the notes underneath the blue “1”; as you say “trip,” you are going to play the note underneath the blue “trip,” etc.
  • The letters (L and R) underneath the notes tell you which hand to play with. For example, under the first note, there is n “L”. This means that you must play the first note with your left hand.

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COMING SOON

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