How much do lessons cost?Hemel drum lessons with Chris Pusey-21

My current rates, as of September 2020, are £27 for 45 minutes, and £20 for half an hour.

How do I pay for lessons?

I accept cash, BACS bank transfer or Paypal as forms of payment. Lessons need to be paid in advance. I prefer that lessons are purchased in blocks of five or ten, although if this is not possible I do understand, and I accept payment on a rolling basis. Please get in touch to discuss your preferred payment method.

Where is your teaching studio?

I teach from a purpose-built soundproofed garden studio at my home, near Highfield Park, St Albans, AL4. There is ample on-street parking outside my house.

How often should I / my child have lessons?

I recommend weekly lessons – I feel that this gives enough time for the student to focus on a given exercise and practise it thoroughly, whilst also allowing sufficient progression.

How long are lessons?

I prefer to teach 45 minute lessons, as this gives us time to cover a lot of material in detail, without getting mentally or physically tired (drumming can be hard work!). For some younger students this can be too long, and I would recommend 30 minute lessons. This depends on the individual child, and we can discuss this when you get in touch.

Hemel drum lessons with Chris Pusey-17What ages do you teach?

I usually accept students from the age of 7. In some cases I do take on younger students, but it depends on the individual child – please get in touch to find out if I can help. There is no upper age limit!

When are lessons available?

Please contact me for my availability. Because I am active as a performer and am often away at weekends, I usually teach on weekday afternoons and evenings, except for one-off and rescheduled sessions. When you get in touch it would be helpful to let me know a range of times that would work for you, so we can work out a time that suits us both.

Do I need to practise between lessons?

Yes. I expect my students to practise the material that we go through in the lessons. If you have a drum kit at home, that’s ideal. However, if buying a full drum kit isn’t feasible just yet, you can use a rubber practice pad, which generally cost around £10-20, and are great for working on rhythms, technique and co-ordination.

I suggest getting into a regular practice routine, for example practising after school every day. Regular practice, even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes a day initially, will mean much faster progression than one longer practice session once a week. I want my students to get as much out of our lessons as possible – the more effort that goes in, the greater the drummer!

Do I have to learn to read music?

I strongly encourage my students to learn how to read music, and also to transcribe their own drum parts – don’t worry, I can help you to learn these skills step by step! It’s really important to begin learning these skills early, especially if you’d ever like to perform live gigs. In addition, it is useful to learn to play without written music – from memory and by ear.

What do I do if I need to cancel a lesson?

I appreciate that with all the pressures of a busy lifestyle, sometimes it is necessary to cancel a lesson. All I ask is that if a lesson needs to be cancelled, I am informed in good time so that we can reschedule at no extra cost to you. If a lesson is cancelled within 24 hours of the scheduled time, I will not be able to reschedule, and payment will still be required.

All lesson dates are itemised on the invoices that I send out for payment. If you need to cancel a date, I simply move the rescheduled lesson to the end of the block in my diary.

Hemel drum lessons with Chris Pusey-5

What should I bring to the lessons?

I ask my students to bring their own pair of sticks to each lesson, as every pair of drum sticks feels different to play, and it is important to get used to your own instrument. Please also bring a folder for the music, worksheets and notebook that I will give you. It’s important to be prepared, as it means you will progress at a much faster rate.

Will I have to buy loads of books?

Initially, no – I have developed my own materials for beginner drummers. If you want to start working towards a grade exam you will need to buy the exam book, and if you’re keen, I’m happy to recommend other books that you will find useful.

Are you DBS checked?

Yes, I have several recent checks, and you are more than welcome to view the certificates. I have recently worked in a lot of Primary and Secondary schools in Hertfordshire, and am re-checked periodically.

Can I sit in on my child’s lesson?

Of course! You’re welcome to sit in on your child’s lesson until you’re sure they’re happy and comfortable. However, I don’t recommend this as a long term solution – often the parent being present can put the child off and they can feel shy (though obviously this depends on the student). I’m afraid I don’t have a waiting area, although if the weather is nice you’re more than welcome to sit in the garden!