Prolong the Life of Your Instruments with Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

After students, instruments are the most valuable asset in teaching instrumental music. I teach at Lexington Junior High in California, and every day I trust adolescents with these expensive and fragile items with very little supervision.

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  454 Hits
454 Hits

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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  3179 Hits
3179 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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  2256 Hits
2256 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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  2160 Hits
2160 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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  11730 Hits
11730 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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  7397 Hits
7397 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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  7831 Hits
7831 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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  4892 Hits
4892 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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  2801 Hits
2801 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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  10494 Hits
10494 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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  7809 Hits
7809 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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  10921 Hits
10921 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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  10350 Hits
10350 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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  4632 Hits
4632 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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  2381 Hits
2381 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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  3935 Hits
3935 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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  3989 Hits
3989 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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  7005 Hits
7005 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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  69671 Hits
69671 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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  4271 Hits
4271 Hits

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