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Trinity mainstream versus Trinity Rock and Pop for drum kit?

(14 Posts)
dinosaurinmybelly Tue 26-Apr-16 14:38:24

Hello - DS1 has been playing drums now for 2 years and is ready for grade 1. We've done Trinity exams for piano and so I'm familiar with the exam entry process. His drum teacher is a bit vague on which exam he should take (Rock and Pop versus mainsteam) and so I'd like to hear from other Mums / professionals if there are any reasons to prefer one over the other.

From a non drummer viewpoint, the Trinity exam looks more comprehensive than the Rock and Pop. However as we are used the set up for trinity (pieces, exercises, musical knowledge, aural), I'm inclined to go that route.

Any thoughts most welcome!

Ferguson Tue 26-Apr-16 19:18:00

It all depends on what he is aiming at eventually, what kinds of music he likes (and listens to), and whether he plays any other instruments.

I played drums for over forty years - pubs, clubs, folk, jazz, big band, some Classical, pantomimes and stage shows, barn dance band. I also taught recorder at primary school for ten years, coached Yr2 children on percussion to accompany the Christmas production each year, and did keyboard with Yr6 including introducing MIDI and sequencer basics.

Obviously, the Rock and Pop will mainly concentrate mainly on that (but I hope will also include SOME other genres) while the mainstream SHOULD include all styles of music. These days, it is also useful to have some knowledge of Music Technology, Recording, etc.

I can check the Trinity web site if you are still in any doubt.

dinosaurinmybelly Wed 27-Apr-16 20:34:26

Thank you so much for your reply! I hadn't thought about the choice of music being different. In the end, I took a look at both syllabus today, and I think the Rock and Pop will appeal more. It's so important to enjoy what you play - especially at these early stages.

drummersmum Sat 30-Apr-16 00:35:57

Have you considered Rockschool? Great repertoire, from rock to funk to pure jazz. DS has done all grades, preparing Gr8 now and it's been fabulous. Till Gr5 they have alternative pieces from their books Hot Rock or something like that which has famous tracks. Lots of technique which is important, general knowledge questions, and later on improvisation etc... The qualification has same UCAS value and is recognized at the same level.

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 30-Apr-16 06:34:15

I'd second Rockschool (it's exams are validated by Trinity, I think, and mark scheme is similar). If DS1 was doing grade 5 I'd have gone for the Hot Rock book rather than the grade book. I think he just plans to do grade 6 and 8 some time, but those would be with Rockschool. He's doing grade 6 Rockschool on bass guitar and really enjoys it.

hertsandessex Tue 31-May-16 10:12:03

It depends what he enjoys and where he wants to go but but if serious about drumming in different styles and becoming more of a musician then I would go for Trinity Guildhall not Rock and Pop. Rock and Pop is a lot easier (I think my son found some pieces in grade 7 rock and pop that were in grade 5 trinity guildhall) and if you talk to a serious percussion player they turn there noses up at rock and pop. Also I have seen a lot of children who have learnt rock and pop and not much else who are stumped when they are a bit older when faced with anything a little different. Maybe in the end he will be happy with rock and pop type stuff which is fine of course but I would continue with the broader drum syllabus as long as possible to make sure he is not interested in the wider drum/percussion world.

Mistigri Tue 31-May-16 11:33:42

If he has already done exams on another instrument, is there any real value in taking a grade 1 exam? Could you wait a year or two and go straight to grade 3? - on the assumption that by then your son may have a clearer idea of what type of music he wants to play and hence which syllabus is best suited.

We've looked at the Rockschool exams for guitar and I think they are well designed (and the accompanying app for the pieces is excellent), but at least in the higher grades it's very rock oriented - so it depends if this is your son's thing or not.

drummersmum Wed 01-Jun-16 12:35:31

At this point I think it's important to say that Trinity Rock and Pop and Rockschool are completely different things.
Rockschool is a different music board with different books and exams.

hertsandessex Wed 01-Jun-16 12:59:11

And for the sake of completeness Trinity Rock and Pop Drums and Trinity Percussion Drums are also completely different things.

NickDrumsTeacher Tue 22-Aug-17 14:20:38

I hope you've resolved your dilemma, Dinosaurinmybelly.

I wanted to echo what Ferguson mentioned, which is that the choice is dependent on what kind of music the student enjoys more. You gotta love what you play. This is mainly from a motivational perspective (i.e. what the student will enjoy the most).

With regards to the suitability of a curriculum from a technical perspective (what you actually learn), most tend to be on an equal footing in my experience. Keep in mind that most styles of popular music, are derivative to a common root (Big Band), so learning the skill of playing in itself (e.g. coordination, technique, time) can be done through any curriculum. It's down to the teacher to make the material interesting, and well-rounded (by using extra material, etc).

Drummersmum and LooseAtTheSeams, I agree that the Rock School grades are great. The Trinity Guildhall curriculum is brilliant too. Ultimately, they're just paths that lead to the same outcome of playing drums, and developing musicianship.

I like to use either curriculum as well as just exploring the subject, and developing students, using a wide variety of material.

What's central to me, other than learning to play of course, is for the kids to learn to listen (to become good musicians), develop discipline (to maintain the skills they learn), and be good team players (to be able to work in an ensemble).

Apologies for the late comment, and likewise, the length of it!

Nick smile

Paulweller11 Tue 22-Aug-17 21:21:48

My dd (about to do gr4) is doing rockschool.
Trinity rock and pop is a lot lot easier.....
She hasn't played any of the trinity guildhall stuff, but according to her drum teacher, it's harder than Rock School.
I'm not sure- I think they just setup the exam differently.
Rock school is good because there is an app- KR Player that you can download onto iPad with tracks on it .....and you can slow the tracks down (or speed them up if you like).

Paulweller11 Tue 22-Aug-17 21:22:19

Haha just noticed this was last yr

hertsandessex Wed 23-Aug-17 08:22:28

lol Nickdrumsteacher is a bit behind the beat.

drummersmum Wed 23-Aug-17 11:21:32

Dragging grin

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