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Band Director Tips for Brushing Up on their Percussion Knowledge

Timpani

Hey there, band directors! If you’re looking to improve your percussion skills, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some tips to help you brush up on your percussion knowledge:

Attend Workshops

Attending workshops is a great way to learn new skills and techniques. You can find workshops in your area or attend a conference to learn from the pros. 

The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) is one example and one of the largest percussion events in the world. It takes place every year in November and features performances, clinics, and masterclasses by some of the world’s top percussionists. The event also includes an extensive exhibit hall where you can try out and purchase the latest percussion equipment.

Snare Drum

You’ll get to meet experienced professionals who will share their knowledge with you. They can give you valuable insights into percussion techniques and provide opportunities to ask questions and practice new skills.

Practice Yourself

Taking the time to practice percussion yourself can be a game changer. You’ll have a better understanding of the instruments and how they should be played. Even if you’re not aiming to become an expert, some basic knowledge can help you instruct your students better. Practicing percussion can also help you develop an even better sense of rhythm and timing, which can improve your conducting skills.

Timing

Collaborate with Percussionists

Working with your percussionists is a great way to learn from them. They can teach you about the instruments and playing techniques, and you can teach them about musicianship and ensemble playing.

 You can even have professional percussionists provide demonstrations during rehearsals or have them teach a lesson to the rest of the ensemble. This can help build trust between you and your percussionists and foster a sense of camaraderie within the ensemble.

Percussion Class

Use Online Resources

There are lots of online resources available to help you learn more about percussion. Check out websites and videos that offer tutorials or lessons. You can find resources that are free or that require a subscription or payment. Look for resources that are respected in the percussion community. You can also join online forums or groups to connect with other band directors and percussionists and ask for advice or recommendations.

Percussion Online Resources

Attend Concerts

Attending concerts featuring percussion ensembles or percussionists is a fun way to learn more. You’ll be exposed to different styles of music and performance techniques. You can also get inspiration for incorporating percussion into your ensemble’s repertoire. Consider taking your students to a percussion concert as a field trip or as part of a unit on percussion in music history.

Read Books

Reading books about percussion is a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the instruments and their history. You can also get ideas for incorporating percussion into your ensemble’s repertoire. Look for books written by respected percussionists or music educators. You can check them out from your local library, or buy them online or from a music store.

Please find below a list of highly-rated books on percussion education:
“Fundamental Method for Mallets” by Mitchell Peters
“Master Studies” by Joe Morello
“Stick Control for the Snare Drummer” by George Lawrence Stone
“Four-Mallet Independence for Marimba” by Eric Sammut
“The Art of Bop Drumming” by John Riley
These books are widely recognized for their effectiveness in improving percussion education.

Conclusion

By following these tips, you can improve your percussion knowledge and become a better band director. Learning is a lifelong process, so don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek out new opportunities to learn and grow. Here are 10 additional resources for band directors to follow up on:

  1. Percussion Source
  2. Vic Firth
  3. Sabian
  4. Zildjian
  5. Remo
  6. Pearl
  7. Yamaha
  8. Innovative Percussion
  9. Ludwig
  10. Meinl

Good luck!

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