Fix It: Tips for Teaching Snare Drum Basics

The snare drum is the foundational instrument for all percussion instruments. We learn technique and develop our hands while learning snare drum.

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  686 Hits
686 Hits

Case Study: A Rocky Road to PASIC

When V.R. Eaton High School in Haslet, Texas, opened its doors in 2015, director of percussion Matt Moore immediately started a percussion ensemble. In its inaugural year, the group of 11 went to the North Texas Percussion Festival and finished last.

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  1630 Hits
1630 Hits

Case Study: Implementing Student-Led Backward Planning

For several years, I have taken the curriculum planning and classroom management approach of backward planning and modified it to a pedagogical approach for percussion students in grades 6 through 12 within the Wakeland High School cluster in Frisco, Texas.

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  1745 Hits
1745 Hits

Fix It: Snare Drum Rolls Teaching Tips

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a time when you were conducting on the podium and cued a much anticipated, exposed and important snare drum roll. What did it sound like?

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  7174 Hits
7174 Hits

Enhance Snare Drum Performance with Instrument Selection, Preparation and Tuning

I clearly remember the first time I heard – or rather, felt – a snare drum. It was during the annual Memorial Day parade in my hometown of Montville, Connecticut, and I was no more than 5 years old. 

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  5605 Hits
5605 Hits

Four Steps in Caring for Mallet Percussion Instruments

After a semester of percussion activities, it’s time to assess all your instruments, including marimbas, vibraphones and xylophones, and take proactive steps to protect your equipment.

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  5871 Hits
5871 Hits

6 Keys to Creating a Game Plan for Your Ensemble

I approach teaching like a coach would their sports team. As music educators, we must always remind ourselves that music is an activity — it is an ACTIVE pastime for students. 

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  3960 Hits
3960 Hits

Pick the Right Drumsticks and Mallets

A percussionist’s gig bag brims with sticks, mallets, brushes, keys, heads and tape. When choosing the implements to include in their arsenal, drummers have important factors to consider.

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  2275 Hits
2275 Hits

10 Tips to Start a Middle School Drumline

Middle school band is often where students begin their musical journey. It is a time when the three basic elements of music — rhythm, melody and harmony — begin to take shape and make sense to students. 

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  7996 Hits
7996 Hits

Deconstructing Mallets: Find the Best Mallets for Your Percussion Section

Once upon a time, mallet choices were limited. The hardness of a mallet was the most dramatic way to change the sound of an instrument. 

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  6673 Hits
6673 Hits

Setting Up Jazz Figures on the Drum Set

How do you treat figures on the drum chart in big band and small group jazz? I want to provide some clarity for those of you who are jazz band educators who do not play the drum set.

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  9916 Hits
9916 Hits

Timpani Maintenance: Three Common Problems and How to Fix Them

The percussion family consists of vast number of instruments. In a standard music room, there will be timpani, marimbas, xylophones, bells, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, tambourines, triangles and much more. 

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  8439 Hits
8439 Hits

Free Yamaha Mallet Resource Guide

We created the Yamaha Mallet Resource Guide to act as an effective supplement to any classroom method book. 

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  4146 Hits
4146 Hits

Reflections on Being Colleagues and Friends -- Eric Shin and Jauvon Gilliam

In Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin: Performers, Teachers and Entrepreneurs, we outlined how percussionists Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin balance teaching, performing and running their own businesses. 

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  2205 Hits
2205 Hits

Case Study: Summer Percussion Camp in Fort Worth

You can feel the enthusiasm and hear the reverberating sound of music and movement. Every summer, 75 high school students in Fort Worth, Texas, hone their percussion skills. 

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  3668 Hits
3668 Hits

Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin: Performers, Teachers and Entrepreneurs

Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin aren't well acquainted with the oft-repeated saying, "When one door closes, another opens."  For this powerhouse percussion duo, opportunity repeatedly knocks, and doors keep opening wide.

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  3442 Hits
3442 Hits

How to Change Timpani Drum Heads

Timpani heads do not need to be changed very often – we recommend every 1 to 2 years – but it's still important for band directors to know how to change them. 

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  5645 Hits
5645 Hits

How to Choose the Right Mallet

Imagine that it's a new school year, a new band/ensemble season, and the percussionist arrives to rehearsal to see what music is in store for the first concert.

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  61690 Hits
61690 Hits

Teaching Musicality to Percussionists

As an educator, I have never understood why young percussionists are not taught more about musicality. My wife is a flute teacher, and she teaches musicality to kids in sixth grade. 

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  3823 Hits
3823 Hits

10 Things to Know When Buying Front Ensemble Equipment

Good things come in waves. After a few years at a new high school, your marching band is going great. The booster program is very active and has been raising money. 

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  9926 Hits
9926 Hits

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