While Terence Fletcher may have had many a prospective drummer running to the hills (enter notes of Nicko McBrian), J.K. Simmons’ portrayal of a bald headed drum goon hardly paints an accurate picture of music education.
There are few more qualified to teach educators about the finer points of starting a teaching business than Dom Famularo. Dom offers some very unique insight, having taught thousands of students (many of whom are teachers and professional artists).
Unlike Terence Fletcher, Dom Famularo has a far more positive approach to “whipping” his students into shape. Here are some of Dom’s top tips for establishing a successful teaching practice.
“When someone walks into my studio I want them to see two full drum sets, practice pads with an ample amount of sticks. I have mirrors in the room so the student can see what they are doing. This is the kind of stuff that when someone walks into the studio [they can see] it’s clean and it’s well-versed in what we are going to be doing with that student.”
“I’ve got massive shelves with drum books from everywhere. With the books that I use with my teaching facility (which is probably a good 50 or 60 different books) I’ve got three copies of each of those books in stock, so when the student comes to the lesson [we use the book] and they pay me for the book. It’s immediate gratification.”
SET UP AN INVITING SPACE TO INSPIRE
“The room itself has to be an enjoyable room that you walk into. If you have a good room, and [for example] a parent comes in with their child and sees this, they’re going to be pretty impressed with the detail that you have taken on how you want to deliver and represent yourself and your business.”
Dom also stresses that the environment should be drum-oriented. This can be posters of famous drummers, or banners that display company names: “If you contact the companies [whose gear] you like to play, email them and tell them, ‘Dom Famularo said you can send me banners and posters.’ If you show the enthusiasm and the passion for what you’re doing, they’re going to fuel that with what they can do for you.”
Sean Mitchell is a drummer/artist, songwriter and the creator of Drum Geek.