Drum Lessons for All Ages, Beginner to Advanced

Drum Lessons

Learn to Play Drums with Merriam School of Music

Looking for Drum Lessons? The Merriam School of Music offers drum lessons of all levels, and for all ages. Build your drum technique with our expert teachers, from the rudiments you need to the drum fills you love. Take lessons in person at one of our GTA-based campuses (Oakville/Mississauga, Vaughan), or experience our online drum lessons as you’ve never seen.

So whether you’ve never sat in front of a drum set, or you’re a seasoned pro looking to add some extra skill levels MSM is the ultimate school to take your first lesson or up your game to the next level.

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Drum Lessons

Preschoolers • Kids • Teens • Adults • Seniors

Best Quality Drum Lessons

Drum Lessons for All Ages, Beginner to Advanced

At Merriam, you can successfully learn to play the drums at virtually any age, and regardless of whether you have past musical experience. If you can dance to a beat, you’ve got what it takes to learn drumming at an enjoyable level. We’ll teach you the basic drum beats you’ll need to start playing along with the music you love and get you feeling comfortable with the rudiments and core components of the standard drum kit: bass drum, hi-hat, snare drum, toms, and cymbals.

For students with an existing foundation, our advanced teachers can take your playing to a professional level, ready to perform with a group, and potentially begin earning money from your playing.

Beginner Drum Lessons

Good Fit Guarantee

Love Your First Drum Lesson, or It’s Free

Your first lesson with a new tutor is protected by Merriam’s Good Fit Guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your lesson, you don’t pay. No questions asked.

Expert Instructors

Get matched with the perfect teacher, who understands your style of learning, the type of music that excites you, and who can encourage and coach you towards your goals. Every one of our 100+ teachers undergo 3 interviews, 80+ hours of training, and extensive background checks.

Convenient Scheduling

Merriam School of Music is open 7 days per week offering lessons at two convenient locations in the GTA (Oakville & Vaughan Campuses), with 150 teachers to choose from, both on location and in your home.

RCM Exams

Merriam has been training students for RCM exams for 30 years and knows exactly how to prepare you for success. They can be done on their own, or together with Merriam’s own university-endorsed exam system.

HD Performance Videos

Receive an individualized High-Definition Video Log of all of your performances throughout the year - never miss a special moment again, and easy to share with friends and family

Ensembles & Bands

Merriam offers a variety of ensemble piano courses, some paid, some free so that piano students have a chance to expand their learning beyond a solo instrument experience. Most are by audition, so ask your teacher or your Education Counselor for more information

15+ Recitals

Students have 15 chances per year to perform their music. The performances are a mix of formal and informal, solo and group, and are offered in a variety of settings including our performance hall “Studio A”, and the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

No Long-term Contract

We’re confident you’ll be with us for years. But for any reason, if you need to end your journey with us, 30 days' written notice is all we require to stop lessons, penalty-free.

5-Star Google Rating

The most reviews, the highest rating. Merriam serves over 3000 weekly students, and our customer satisfaction rating is over 97%.

Drum Lessons

Drum Lessons in Person or Online

In-Studio, In-Home & Online Piano Lessons

We provide convenient and flexible ways to take music lessons at Merriam. For students who are close to our campuses in the Greater Toronto Area, join us for in-studio lessons, recitals, studio time, master classes, faculty concerts, and more.

For international students outside of our area, we offer highly effective and organized online lessons which utilize the newest online education technologies. Experience high-quality video and audio, the world’s most powerful whiteboard, Youtube and Google Drive, and Merriam’s huge audio/video library, all in a single browser tab.

Drum Teachers With Degrees

The Perfect Drum Teacher For You

Choose from a wide selection of top-rated drum instructors, each with their own unique playing style, performance credits, and personality. We’ll ensure you’re well-matched and watch your progress rocket forward in double-time.

Our private drum lesson coaches have degrees from prestigious universities such as the University of Toronto, Berklee, Humber College, more. From beginner drum lessons to advanced improvisation, these pros know what it takes to build your skills quickly.

Drum Teacher
Adult Drum Lessons

Step-By-Step Drum Lessons

Exceptional Customer Service

Enjoy our full-time team of dedicated customer service representatives on-site and dedicated to you and your journey. They know the teachers, the administrators, and most importantly, they know you. Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll never want another music school again.

With a focus on customer service and experience, Merriam School of Music is proud to offer piano lessons of the highest quality for all ages, beginner to advanced.

Earn School Credits with Music Lessons

Earn Highschool Credits

As a certified private high school, we’re proud to offer a range of Ontario High School credits – if you’re interested in earning high school credits as a drum student here at Merriam, please let us know and we’ll tell you all about it.

Merriam School of Music is one of the only private music schools in North America to offer high school credits. We’re internationally recognized, university-endorsed, and one of the most respected leaders in piano lessons & education.

Drum Lessons for Kids

Drum Classes & Programs

Private • Group • Enriched • Online

Private Drum Lessons

One-On-One Drum Lessons

Private drum lessons at Merriam will take you from zero – not only teaching the fundamentals and critical practice techniques, but getting you on real stages, playing with real bands, and inspired to learn more. You’ll start with a set of drumsticks and a practice pad, drum rudiments, and likely some paradiddles, quickly progressing to drum beats you love, transcribing drum solos that inspired you, and even into your own soloing.

Private Drum Lessons
  • 30 or 60 Minute Lessons

    Personal weekly one-on-one instruction is available in 30 or 60-minute lengths, in-studio or online.

  • Well-Equipped Rooms

    Each drum instruction room is equipped with two full kits, a DAW computer, sound insulation, white boards, and comfortable seating.

  • Performances HD Video

    Each Student Receives an Individualized HD Video Log of All of Their Performances Throughout the Year.

  • Award-Winning Coaches

    Who better to learn guitar from than those who have actually performed your favourite tunes?

  • Monthly Report Cards

    Detailed, year-end report cards are provided for every student, or weekly check-ins with your teacher to track progress.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey. More than anything, we want you to have a super positive-experience learning piano at Merriam Music.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

  • No Long-Term Contract

    If you need to end your journey with us, for any reason, 30 days written notice is all we require to stop lessons, penalty-free.

  • High School Credit

    Merriam proudly offers the Ontario High School private credit program - if you’re interested in earning a full High School Credit for your work here at Merriam, please let us know and we’ll tell you all about it.

Online Drum Course

Online Drum Lessons

See your teacher from multiple angles. Get instant access to the tracks and videos you need. A continuous online session that connects each lesson throughout the year. 

High-quality audio and video. And all from a single permanent link that never changes, and all inside one browser tab.

Online Drum Lessons
  • 30 or 60 Minute Lessons

    Online weekly one-on-one instruction is available in 30 or 60-minute lengths.

  • Save Valuable Commuting Time

    For a working family, the cost of a music lesson itself isn’t the most expensive part - it’s the huge amount of time spent driving to and from the lesson.

  • Performances HD Video

    Our online students still experience the feel of performing, with all the same excitement as our in-studio experiences. Record recitals and songs at home, we’ll edit and mix them, and broadcast it to our school community in special recital streaming events.

  • Award-winning Coaches

    The coaches we offer in-person are the SAME coaches you get online.

  • Tailored Lesson Plans

    We welcome students of all ages and levels - but we know from years of experience that what works for a 7-year-old won’t work for a 17 or 47-year-old.

  • Never Miss A Lesson Again

    Thousands of music lessons get canceled every day, whether it’s traffic, a conflicting sibling activity, mild illness, weather, parent scheduling conflicts, or vehicle breakdowns. Online lessons create better continuity, period, and since most canceled lessons are paid for, saves you a ton of wasted money.

  • Member Discounts

    We’re confident you’ll be with us for years. But for any reason, if you need to end your journey with us, 30 days' written notice is all we require to stop lessons, penalty-free.

  • No Long-Term Contract

    We’re confident you’ll be with us for years. But for any reason if you need to end your journey with us, 30 days written notice is all we require to stop lessons, penalty-free.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey.

Best Piano Lessons in Toronto

Drumming is Fun. Drum Lessons Shouldn't Be Any Different

Learn to play the drums with Merriam School of Music and unlock a world of creativity and self-expression. Play along to your favorite songs, and dive into the world of punk, heavy metal, rock, pop, R&B, or jazz. 

There are many online tools today such as Drumeo Edge and Youtube – and countless offers for free drum lessons from pop-up schools eager to sign you up. Merriam delivers an unmatched package of learning tools and leading drum instructors that will guide your learning journey every step of the way, and 100% customized to you and your learning style and pace.

With our proprietary teaching system that expertly combines short and long-term goals and a groundbreaking curriculum, you’ll develop a solid foundation to further your skill level and achieve your musical dreams faster than you thought possible.

And once the foundation is laid, you can explore everything from electronic drums to odd time signatures, double bass drum pedaling to advanced jazz drum lessons.

Drummers are the anchor, the centre of it all. And the first time you feel the thrill of laying down a huge groove with a band surrounding you and an audience out front, you’ll never go back. You won’t find that on an app or Youtube, but you will find it here at Merriam.

You’ll always learn the songs you love while honing the skills you need. You’ll constantly connect with inspiring drum instructors with years of experience, and use the newest technologies to learn, create, and share your music. If you’ve been dreaming about playing the drums for yourself or a family member, join the internationally recognized, university-endorsed, and largest school of its kind in North America: The Merriam School of Music.

A Drumming School Beyond the Beats

We’ll take you beyond the notes on the page, to discover a whole other world of musical satisfaction. Let’s learn the language of music.

Even for drummers who don’t typically interact with music theory, Merriam will have you interacting with sheet music, song form, harmonic motion, and the fundamental components of how music is constructed.

A 10-year-old drumming on stage? Impressive. A 10-year-old drumming their own song on stage? Remarkable.

An adult beginner learning their favourite song? Awesome. An adult beginner leading a full band? Exhilarating.

So for those looking for an experience beyond the basics, a journey that will leave you with an enviable skill level with the drums, but a deep and ever-growing understanding of the music that surrounds us, join us here at the Merriam School of Music for a holistic experience unlike any other.

The Science of Musical Excellence

Joy…Excitement…Excellence…* All hard to define, yet easy to recognize.

Here at Merriam School of Music, we specialize in the science of musical excellence, and every teacher, staff member, every instrument, every classroom, every brick of our facilities embody it.

No matter your age, talent, or goals, you’ll benefit from our attention to detail, innovative curriculum, best-in-class teaching staff, state-of-the-art facilities, and a vibrant community of like-minded musicians, music educators & music lovers.

Whether you just want to have fun or embark on a serious musical career, whether you’re a parent wishing the best for their child or an adult who’d like to brush up on your skills, you can rest assured that Merriam School of Music will wholeheartedly support you with some of the world’s best facilities, staff and resources….*EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.*

Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them; a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement.

Music education can help spark a child’s imagination or ignite a lifetime of passion. When you provide a child with new worlds to explore and challenges to tackle, the possibilities are endless

Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation. By studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives and experience the world from a new perspective.

The Merriam Curriculum 

A Complete Music Education

Students at Merriam don’t just learn differently. Their entire experience is broader and more engaging. They learn creativity and free expression while building confidence, self-esteem, and friendships. It all begins in the classroom, but where it takes them, goes far beyond.

  • Ear Training

    Developing the ability to recognize pitch, intervals, harmony, melody, and song structure.

  • Rhythm/Meter

    Learn to play with various beats and rhythms, develop a sense of pulse and subdivision, and utilize different grooves while improvising and composing.

  • Sight Reading

    Become a fluent sight reader of sheet music and ‘lead’ sheets, so that you can easily sit down and enjoy brand new music without months of practice.

  • Technique

    Learn to control your instrument at the highest levels, so that every nuance of tone and dynamic can be used in your performances while avoiding any pain or long-term damage.

  • Improvisation

    A true test of your knowledge and musical skill is whether you can communicate simple ideas on-the-spot' whether in a classical, jazz, or pop setting. Students as young as 4 years old are improvising at Merriam.

  • Composition

    Students are trained to compose with basic melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic principles as a way of applying musical concepts and ensuring that they have comprehended the knowledge.

  • Music Theory

    Understanding advanced harmonic and compositional concepts aids in the performance of difficult pieces expand their improvisational vocabulary and give context to music from the past and present.

  • Ensemble

    Learning to play with other musicians is the best way to apply rhythmic concepts, at the same time as improving social & communication skills. It's also a lot of fun!

  • Technology

    Learning and performing music with advanced technological tools helps students connect their lessons to everyday life, and makes the entire experience more relevant and engaging.

Private Drums Lessons

One-On-One Drums Lessons

Private drum lessons at Merriam will take you from zero – not only teaching the fundamentals and critical practice techniques, but getting you on real stages, playing with real bands, and inspired to learn more. You’ll start with a set of drumsticks and a practice pad, drum rudiments, and likely some paradiddles, quickly progressing to drum beats you love, transcribing drum solos that inspired you, and even into your own soloing.

Private Drum Lessons
  • 30 or 60 Minute Lessons

    Personal weekly one-on-one instruction is available in 30 or 60-minute lengths, in-studio or online.

  • Well-Equipped Rooms

    Each drum instruction room is equipped with two full kits, a DAW computer, sound insulation, white boards, and comfortable seating.

  • Performances HD Video

    Each Student Receives an Individualized HD Video Log of All of Their Performances Throughout the Year.

  • Award-Winning Coaches

    Who better to learn guitar from than those who have actually performed your favourite tunes?

  • Monthly Report Cards

    Detailed, year-end report cards are provided for every student, or weekly check-ins with your teacher to track progress.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey. More than anything, we want you to have a super positive-experience learning piano at Merriam Music.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

  • No Long-Term Contract

    If you need to end your journey with us, for any reason, 30 days written notice is all we require to stop lessons, penalty-free.

  • High School Credit

    Merriam proudly offers the Ontario High School private credit program - if you’re interested in earning a full High School Credit for your work here at Merriam, please let us know and we’ll tell you all about it.

Online Drum Course

Online Drum Lessons

See your teacher from multiple angles. Get instant access to the tracks and videos you need. A continuous online session that connects each lesson throughout the year.

High-quality audio and video. And all from a single permanent link that never changes, and all inside one browser tab.

Online Drum Lessons
  • 30 or 60 Minute Lessons

    Online weekly one-on-one instruction is available in 30 or 60-minute lengths.

  • Save Valuable Commuting Time

    For a working family, the cost of a music lesson itself isn’t the most expensive part - it’s the huge amount of time spent driving to and from the lesson.

  • Performances HD Video

    Our online students still experience the feel of performing, with all the same excitement as our in-studio experiences. Record recitals and songs at home, we’ll edit and mix them, and broadcast it to our school community in special recital streaming events.

  • Award-winning Coaches

    The coaches we offer in-person are the SAME coaches you get online.

  • Tailored Lesson Plans

    We welcome students of all ages and levels - but we know from years of experience that what works for a 7-year-old won’t work for a 17 or 47-year-old.

  • Never Miss A Lesson Again

    Thousands of music lessons get canceled every day, whether it’s traffic, a conflicting sibling activity, mild illness, weather, parent scheduling conflicts, or vehicle breakdowns. Online lessons create better continuity, period, and since most canceled lessons are paid for, saves you a ton of wasted money.

  • Educational Counselor

    Every student/family is taken care of at all times during their entire journey.

  • Member Discounts

    Up to 50% Off Member Discounts on All Merriam Music Products and Services Including Pianos, Studio Facilities, Books Etc.

  • No Long-Term Contract

    We’re confident you’ll be with us for years. But for any reason if you need to end your journey with us, 30 days written notice is all we require to stop lessons, penalty-free.

"Our mission and purpose is to help foster and inspire creative, connected, and well-rounded lives with the power of music."

- Alan Merriam, President of Merriam Music
Common Questions & Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

Drum lessons cost between $25 – $50 USD for a 30-minute lesson, depending on teacher qualification, region, and in some cases student level. Individual teachers offering only a weekly lesson will tend to be closer to the bottom of that range, where schools offering a range of extracurricular activities will be closer to the top.

Generally, parents and adult students should expect to pay $125 – 200 / month for a full lesson program.

Online apps go for much less, normally in the $25-50/month range, but limited or no personal coaching, and largely pre-recorded material that requires a student to ‘self-guide’ and ‘self-motivate’ themselves through the process.

Generally, no – you can’t teach yourself how to drum. There may be a few exceptions where a drummer achieves a high level of competence without personal mentorship or coaching, but typically there are other factors involved such as musical family members, and/or many opportunities to be playing casually with other musicians.

Generally, a new drummer needs constant feedback and input on how to improve technique, how to practice effectively, how to stay inspired and motivated, and how to push beyond the comfort zone.

Further, drumming is more than simply knowing how to physically interact with a drum set. There are complex traditions, cliches, patterns, and performance conventions that are what permit a drummer to interact with other musicians or to ‘sound’ like a particular style of music.

Someone self-teaching themselves may even be able to emulate a complex solo perfectly – but without understanding which elements were improvised, which drew on cliche, or what the drummer was likely thinking about while doing it, it’s nothing more than rote learning and likely not very transferrable.

Just as you can learn a spoken language without a tutor, you can’t learn a language without a tutor and in a vacuum.

Learning the drums comes with its own set of unique challenges. While some may find drumming effortless to learn, others may find it very difficult – just as some may pick up piano easily, while others struggle for years.

It’s safe to say that on average, it takes less time to sound ‘competent’ on the drums as it does on some notoriously difficult instruments such as brass/woodwind or string instruments; but to achieve a top professional level, the amount of time and commitment is on par with other instruments.

Many teachers and programs will prefer that a student take weekly lessons. And most drum students will need between 1-2 years of practice before gaining strong confidence in their abilities.

 

Drums require a very high degree of hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor control, and temporal & spatial reasoning. It’s also the most physical of all instruments.

As a result, it’s not uncommon for drummers to also be strong in math and physics, be good project planners, and also be natural athletes.

The biggest benefit is likely the physiological benefits of rhythm – drummers ‘feel’ the music they’re creating more than any other because of the sheer force involved; and we know from research that intensive dancing, as well as drumming, can release massive amounts of dopamine and serotonin – two hormones critical to our sense of happiness, wellbeing, and reward.

The average age to start drums is between 7-8. However, there really isn’t an “average age” for drummers across the board – it’s an instrument that can be enjoyed right through life, and brings with it numerous physical benefits.

 

Drum sticks have a wooden shaft and a small, hard tip that comes directly into contact with the skin of a drum. That tip can be a plastic coating, or sometimes it’s the same wood material. It creates a very crisp and sharp attack and is the most common instrument with which drummers play their drum sets.

Drum mallets have a similar wooden shaft, however, the ends are fitted with extremely thick sleeves (1-2″ diameter is common) of felt that is packed at varying densities and tensions to achieve a variety of timbres when striking a drum. They have a much softer attack than a drum stick and tend to conjure a warmer tone.

Drum beats are as varied as cuisine or the dialects of a language and are literally too numerous to count. At a tribal/cultural level, beats tend to be associated with the regions they originate from, and since beats and dance are so closely related, each beat will have its own sub-set of associated dances as well. Africa and India in particular both have rich histories of rhythmic music-making which are distinct from other traditions, but within themselves can boast hundreds of sub-genres.

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