Olderschool, of course you don't start reading charts as a beginner. But, you need to develop those skills along with your others AT THE SAME TIME. That's how I learned, and I believe that's a good way to.
Maybe the kid will join the school band. If he does, he'll HAVE to learn how to read music.
Also, how's the teacher going to convey what he wants the kid to practice if the kid can't read music
READING IS VERY IMPORTANT.
My younger brother started playing guitar at 7 years old. He started to learn to read music, AND play the guitar. What's the difference?
The difference is that guitar music is different than drum charts.
Look, I read. I read EVERY week where I play (some level or another). But the OP specifically asked if a 7 year old was worth emphasizing DRUM chart reading over other skills. I say no....others say yes. If I was teaching a 7 year old Piano, guitar, etc... then my logic and response would be totally different. I would emphasize reading for sure. But the fact is for 99% of drummers, reading is not a necessary skill. Certainly not for a 7 year old.
Why? A drummer uses totally different skills and muscle dexterity. Our craft requires more physical coordination and muscle memory than guitarist or piano players (I know, I know they require some too but not as much as drummers). IMO, reading is not as important to drummers because drummers, in the norm, do not require reading skills (I'm sure the flaming will begin by those who do require reading and can't comprehend the reality that I'm discussing normalities and not oddities of those in our craft).
As an example, even to this day at my age, when I want to practice drums to a new song, I listen to the song and away I go. No drum charts are required. And 99% of drummers here are the same. Hell....you are probably the same. But when I want to learn a new song on the piano, guitar, or lap steel the first thing I do is print out the music.
So that's why IMO, I believe developing a 7 year olds rudiments and techniques far outweigh reading drum charts at his age if you only have limited time to practice.
Edited by Olderschool, 17 February 2017 - 04:26 PM.