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.
Chamber ensembles allow students to practice and perform with like-minded musicians while providing camaraderie. Being in smaller groups builds performance and technical skills, boosts confidence and connects musicians, says Dr. Matthew Geiger, director of percussion studies at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.
Rather than relying on external motivation, successful teachers inspire students to fuel their own flame to attain a higher level of mastery. To this end, Chris Gleason, instrumental music educator at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, taps into "the deeply human need to direct [one's life] and to learn, create and do better."
Socialization is typically a byproduct of a music program. However, in one music class at Parkway Central Middle School in Chesterfield, Missouri, socialization is the goal. Parkway Central hosts a chapter of United Sound, a national not-for-profit program that provides musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship.
United Sound is a nonprofit that provides musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship.
In Case Study: Peers Support Peers at a United Sound Chapter in Missouri, we looked at how Parkway Central Middle School's band members have embraced being peer mentors to special-needs students through United Sound, a nonprofit that provides musical performance experiences for special-needs children.
You can feel the enthusiasm and hear the reverberating sound of music and movement. Every summer, 75 high school students in Fort Worth, Texas, can hone their percussion skills at one of the most opulent places in the city, the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall.
In Case Study: Summer Percussion Camp in Fort Worth, we learned about the hard work and logistics required to put on the Bass Performance Hall High School Percussion Camp in Forth Worth, Texas. Coordinating the transportation of 75 students to and from Bass Performance Hall is a challenging task. But that feat may pale in comparison to coordinating the transportation of the equipment that those 75 students need in order to participate in the five-day camp.
In 2016, the wind ensemble at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee, performed on the main stage at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival. That performance inspired Lauren Ramey and Cassandra Brosvik, Ravenwood's choir director and orchestra director, respectively, to help their ensembles strive for the same level of achievement.
In the blog post, Case Study: Music Program Teamwork in Tennessee, we learned how the band, orchestra and choir directors at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee, often plan, brainstorm and collaborate during the only time the three of them are free — their common lunch period. Chris Janowiak, Cassandra Brosvik and Lauren Ramey use this same creative planning with their students.
In the blog post, Case Study: A Music Program Succeeds in the Inner City, read how the band program at Rancho High School in Las Vegas was transformed by band director Clint Williams.
Nestled between the city's homeless corridor and a cemetery near the historic Fremont District of Las Vegas, Rancho High School might not seem like the ideal home for a successful performing arts program, but thanks to Clint Williams, Rancho's director of bands, the program is thriving.
Janis Stockhouse's confidence was high on her first day as director of bands at Bloomington High School North in Indiana. Then her jazz students showed up. "They were tossing out vocabulary and words, and I was stumped," Stockhouse says. "It made me feel really bad that I couldn't teach them anything. I wanted to run home."