I Drum, Therefore I Am: Being and Becoming a Drummer (SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music)

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9781409447948: I Drum, Therefore I Am: Being and Becoming a Drummer (SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music)
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Despite their central role in many forms of music-making, drummers have been largely neglected in the scholarly literature on music and education. But kit drummers are increasingly difficult to ignore. While exponents of the drum kit are frequently mocked in popular culture, they are also widely acknowledged to be central to the musical success and aesthetic appeal of any musical ensemble in which they are found. Drummers are also making their presence felt in music education, with increasing opportunities to learn their craft in formal contexts. Drawing on data collected from in-depth interviews and questionnaires, Gareth Dylan Smith explores the identities, practices and learning of teenage and adult kit drummers in and around London. As a London-based drummer and teacher of drummers, Smith uses his own identity as participant-researcher to inform and interpret other drummers' accounts of their experiences. Drummers learn in multi-modal ways, usually with a keen awareness of exemplars of their art and craft. The world of kit drumming is highly masculine, which presents opportunities and challenges to drummers of both sexes. Smith proposes a new model of the 'Snowball Self', which incorporates the constructs of identity realization, learning realization, meta-identities and contextual identities. Kit drummers' identities, practices and learning are found to be intertwined, as drummers exist in a web of interdependence. Drummers drum; therefore they are, they do, and they learn - in a rich tapestry of means and contexts.

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About the Author:

Gareth Dylan Smith is a drummer, teacher and scholar based in London, England. He plays mostly rock, punk, folk, blues and musical theatre, and has performed, taught and presented his research on four continents. Gareth writes for DrDrumsBlog.com and is Editor at SUS Music. In his 41-year career, Bill Bruford, who has generously provided the Foreword to this volume, has played with Yes, King Crimson and Genesis, as well has his own groups, Bruford and Earthwords. Bruford retired from public performance in 2009, but he continues to be active as a speaker and lecturer.

Review:

'Recommended.' Choice 'This is one of those rare books which is at once scholarly, penetrating and insightful, whilst being highly entertaining and at times extremely funny. It's a joy to read.' Lucy Green, University of London, UK 'This work will likely be considered Opus 1 by the world's emerging king of popular music pedagogy.' Clint Randles, University of South Florida, USA 'Gareth Dylan Smith is the perfect candidate to tell the story of who we are as drummers and why we drum in the first place.' Pete Fairclough, jazz drummer and teacher at LIPA, UK 'Smith has demonstrated outstanding scholarly achievement'. Matt Brennan, University of Edinburgh, UK 'This is an important, serious and very well considered study of what it is like to be a drummer. All the topics that Smith covers are interesting and relevant to players and educators alike ... I hope he continues his study into what makes us tick!' Toby Goodman, drummer, percussionist and teacher 'As drumming is such a primal, ancient form of music making it is fantastic to finally have a book that focuses on how important it is to the identity and lives of drummers. This will be a valuable resource for people within music education and I wish it had been available when conducting my own research. The chapter on gender is particularly relevant to changes taking place in the way we see gender and sex in instrument choice and popular music.' Gemma Hill, drummer, writer and teacher 'Gareth Dylan Smith [...] also known as Dr. Drums, has turned an in depth study on drumming and identity into a compelling, informative, and entertaining read... Smith seamlessly mixes scholarship, analysis, and expert storytelling to profile the identities of the participating drummers and illuminate the myriad ways in which drummers learn to drum, or more profoundly, learn to think like or to be like drummers... Smith's considerable wit and personal affinity for the subject matter make for a particularly engaging read... "I Drum, Therefore I Am" includes considerable theoretical material and would; therefore, appeal to advanced level college-aged drummers, drum instructors who hope to understand their students with greater insight, and college or graduate level faculty teaching drummers or courses on popular musicianship and identity.' APME E-Newsletter 'Book of the Month' Drummer Magazine 'Part auto-ethnography, part survey, Smith's study reveals rich insight about being a drummer, as a career, as a lifestyle choice, and as a principal basis for self-identity. As a window into the world of drummers it works well and should appeal to its intended audience; scholars of sociology of music and of music education, music educators and to drummers. ... an enjoyable and intelligent read, and is enhanced by Smith's sharp sense of humour which comes through well and in places made me laugh out aloud ... To conclude, Smith has written an interesting and entertaining text which contributes to debate within sociology of music, and music education. The book provides fresh insight into its subject matter and presents opportunities for further study in relation to organizational aesthetics and other fields of management, business and marketing studies.' Organizational Aesthetics 'Smith has produced one of a very few academic studies which addresses the motives, perceptions and attitudes of kit drummers. It is almost certainly the only study of its type... The book reveals rich insight about being a drummer, as lifestyle choice and as basis for self-identity. Here we have a glimpse of how drummers perceive themselves, and why they do what they do, and what is apparent from the findings is that drummers may be viewed not only as performers but also from a lifestyle marketing perspective... It therefore seems important that a study has been published which more precisely explains and improves understanding of "the drummer"... Furthermore, the study posits that any attempt to understand drummers must also take into account other factors. It is here that Smith's personal writing style and ready wit work well and enables him to explore relatively sensitive issues such as gender, ethnicity and cultural heritage, in a lively and entertaining way that is rarely achieved in academic writing... Overall, "I Drum, Therefore I am" is an original and engaging text.' Arts Marketing 'Smith identifies three core audiences for his book: music educators, sociologists, and drummers. No doubt, all three will find the book useful... I Drum, Therefore I Am stands out as a valuable, original contribution to music scholarship. As both a musicologist and a drummer, I found his mix of academic ideas, classic drummer humor, and personal anecdotes highly engaging. The book is the first to exhaustively tackle a critical topic of which all music scholars should be aware.' Notes 'Smith's target audience of sociologists, music educators, and academically minded drummers will feel indebted to his singular achievement on behalf of a class of musicians easy to deride but impossible to do without.' Rock Music Studies The book [...] serves multiple purposes: as an ethnographic study of drummer's experiences and practices; a treatise on the symbiosis of identity and learning; an introduction to popular music pedagogy; and as a memoir of some of Smith's own experiences as a drummer. As a result, it fulfills his intention of appealing to drummers as well as music educators and sociologists of music and music education.' Music Reference Services Quarterly

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Despite their central role in many forms of music-making, drummers have been largely neglected in the scholarly literature on music and education. But kit drummers are increasingly difficult to ignore. While exponents of the drum kit are frequently mocked in popular culture, they are also widely acknowledged to be central to the musical success and aesthetic appeal of any musical ensemble in which they are found. Drummers are also making their presence felt in music education, with increasing opportunities to learn their craft in formal contexts. Drawing on data collected from in-depth interviews and questionnaires, Gareth Dylan Smith explores the identities, practices and learning of teenage and adult kit drummers in and around London. As a London-based drummer and teacher of drummers, Smith uses his own identity as participant-researcher to inform and interpret other drummers accounts of their experiences. Drummers learn in multi-modal ways, usually with a keen awareness of exemplars of their art and craft. The world of kit drumming is highly masculine, which presents opportunities and challenges to drummers of both sexes. Smith proposes a new model of the Snowball Self , which incorporates the constructs of identity realization, learning realization, meta-identities and contextual identities. Kit drummers identities, practices and learning are found to be intertwined, as drummers exist in a web of interdependence. Drummers drum; therefore they are, they do, and they learn - in a rich tapestry of means and contexts. Seller Inventory # APC9781409447948

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