Timothy’s First Drum Lesson — from Nervous Anticipation to Musical Exploration

The Podcasting Store
3 min readApr 13, 2023

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by Drew Holmes

I was climbing the 21 steps to the second floor of my store, Boomer Music, just like hundreds of times before, but tonight it was different. I was not in the building as store owner, but as a parent of a student. And Timothy, age 7, was about to have his first drum lesson.

The difference between a skill and a talent is a skill can be learned, while talent is the natural ability to do something and affects the speed with which you can learn it. I have a natural talent for music, which has allowed me to learn the skill of music making at a rapid rate and to a high degree of proficiency.

I can confidently say that Timothy’s musical talent leaves mine in the dust.

Observing this, I wanted him to take lessons and harness his natural abilities while learning how to learn. When Timothy showed serious interest in drums and Peter had an opening in his teaching schedule, I knew it was the right time to try.

We approached the lesson room and saw through the window that Peter was still teaching his previous student. Timothy pressed his face up against the glass in eager anticipation, asking repeatedly if it was his turn. When the time came, I looked for him, but he was nowhere to be found.

“Where did he go?” asked Peter.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “I think he ran down the hall. He’s been excited and nervous about this all day.”

I was 10 years old and in fifth grade at East Bridgewater Middle School, the grade when we could pick our instrument and join the band. Full of nervous energy, I had chosen to play the trumpet and today was my first lesson. Throughout the morning I kept glancing at the clock, wishing it to move faster. At the appointed time, I shuffled into the chain-link cage in the custodians’ room at the end of the hall with a half dozen or so of my classmates who also aspired to play the trumpet.

Clutching my Yamaha trumpet case close, I was nervous about whether I should have tried it out before today’s lesson or waited until class. Dutiful as always at that age, I had waited. My first real experience with my instrument was about to come.

Mr. Lasdow, the high school band director, had come to the school especially for our group lessons. He instructed us on how to assemble our trumpets and how to buzz the mouthpiece and make a sound. I don’t remember much of the lesson that day, but I do recall the feeling of nervous anticipation at exploring this new and foreign activity, of learning a whole new way of expression. For the first time I was drinking from the proverbial firehose as the door to a world of wonder and possibility opened just a crack, spilling a sliver of light into my mind. I had no way of knowing where it would lead, but I had started on the path to becoming a musician.

“Timothy, come back here!” I called down the hall. “Peter is waiting for you. It’s your turn!”

Timothy dutifully grabbed his sticks (and ear protection) and went into the lesson studio. It was better lit than my first lesson and sound absorbing foam, not chain link, surrounded him. But I could see in him the excitement of being overwhelmed, of light spilling out from the edges of openings where he had not known there were doors. At the end, he was exhausted but the wheels in his mind were spinning with possibility.

Where will his path take him? No one, not even Timothy, can answer that yet. It will be obvious only in retrospect, regardless of what he chooses to do, but in the end it does not matter. Whether or not he ends up a professional in the music industry, I know I have done my job as his father by giving him the opportunity to explore all that his talent can be. I’m excited to join him and travel that path together.

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The Podcasting Store

Music retail can be a fascinating business, with lessons learned not just about performing but also about business, mindset, and sales.