Professional Development

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. All require regular care and maintenance. In this blog post, we'll talk about one of the most difficult percussion instruments to maintain: Timpani.
We created the Yamaha Mallet Resource Guide to act as an effective supplement to any classroom method book. Music educators can use the guide's exercises, scales and études to help students learn more about mallet percussion and develop their knowledge and musicality.
I am interviewing prominent people, some in the music industry, others not. For this Q&A, I talked to Congressman Mark Amodei. I chose to interview Rep. Amodei from Nevada because it's important to emphasize that arts education is a nonpartisan issue. Amodei, a Republican member of the House of Representatives since 2011, speaks joyously about his former music teacher as well as his memorable music-making experiences as a public school student in northern Nevada. Each year, he makes time to meet with me in his Washington, D.C., office, and he remains one of music education's ardent supporters.
In Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin: Performers, Teachers and Entrepreneurs, we outlined how percussionists Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin balance teaching at the University of Maryland School of Music, performing as principals in the National Symphony Orchestra and running their own businesses. We asked them to share their thoughts on each other as colleagues and friends. 
Yamaha Master Educator Douglas Droste is the director of orchestras and associate professor of music at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Below, he pens a letter to his younger self, sharing advice, anecdotes and inspiration for a fulfilling career in music education. 
Even the most accomplished band directors can feel a bit out of their league when teaching strings for the first time.  
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.
A small act of kindness can spark a decades-long mentor relationship. Dr. Reginald McDonald still remembers when Herb Cox, a former band director in Atlanta, graciously stepped up to help him tune his middle school concert band during his second year of teaching. McDonald says that several of his students were not sitting correctly, making tuning stressful and labored.
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.
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. Unfortunately, many directors don't know how or think it's too difficult. Yes, changing drum heads on timpani is more involved than it is for tom or snare drums, but anyone can do it. Here's how.

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