Percussion Syllabus

Freshman Year

Repertoire:
Please note: Repertoire for any year of study will be chosen from (but is not limited to) the bibliography of percussion materials which is available from the percussion instructor or the music department. Material selected will be appropriate to the student's current ability level and areas of interest.

Technique:
Snare Drum: Review of open and closed rudiments and development of a technique more suited to contemporary musical needs and orchestral applications, care, maintenance, and tuning of the snare drum, as well as selection of drum size for various styles of literature. Method books and repertoire will be assigned as appropriate from the bibliography of percussion materials.

Timpani: Review of sight singing skills, pitch matching, and basic tuning techniques. Beginning technical studies; roll, single strokes, double strokes, and cross-sticking, muting and muffling, maintenance, mallet selection, etc. Method books and repertoire will be assigned as appropriate from the bibliography of percussion materials.

Keyboard: All major and minor scales and arpeggios (two octaves), both rolled and single stroke, beginning four-mallet techniques including the various grips and their respective advantages/ disadvantages, care and maintenance of the various keyboard instruments, mallet selection (and possibly mallet construction), emphasis will remain on the more traditional meter signatures (4/4, 2/4, 3/4, etc.). Method books and repertoire will be assigned as appropriate from the bibliography of percussion materials.

Drum Set: Basic drum set techniques involving the coordination of the four limbs, introduction to the various styles of drum set playing (i.e. rock, swing, Latin styles, etc.). Method books and repertoire will be assigned as appropriate from the bibliography of percussion materials.

World Percussion: Introduction to the techniques of performing on various percussion instruments of other cultures (Latin-America, Africa, Japan, Australia, etc.). Method books and repertoire will be assigned as appropriate from the bibliography of percussion materials.

Accessory Percussion: Introduction to performance techniques of the many diverse accessory percussion instruments; bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, castanets, etc. Method books and repertoire will be assigned as appropriate from the bibliography of percussion materials.

Multiple Percussion: Introduction of this medium, with beginning studies on two drums, expanding into more instruments, but remaining on drum-type instruments.

Percussion Ensemble: An ensemble experience will be required of all percussion students during each term of study. The only exception to this would be in the instance of study away from campus (i.e. student teaching, abroad, etc.).

Education: Discussion of the various teaching texts and techniques for percussion instruments. Method books and repertoire will be assigned as appropriate from the bibliography of percussion materials.

Sightreading/Orchestral Work:
As far as is practical, each lesson will have Sightreading as an integral part of the study of percussion. Orchestral excerpts and etudes will be introduced as the student's ability level allows.

10 minute recital and a Barrier exam

20 minute Barrier exam is a test of all materials covered during the semester. Student must be able to play any of the materials chosen at random.


Sophomore Year

Repertoire:
The same considerations are examined as in the Freshman Year.

Technique:
Snare Drum: Introduction of unusual and mixed meters, alternative techniques.

Timpani: More in depth tuning techniques studies, technical studies, continuation of sight singing.
Keyboard: Extension of four-mallet techniques, introduction of contemporary pieces involving unusual time signatures and methods of composition, introduction to jazz styles and techniques, especially on vibraphone.

Drum Set: Introduction of independence of the limbs, soloing, more emphasis on stylistic playing.

World Percussion: Continued exploration of techniques and practices

Accessory Percussion: Continued exploration on sounds and technique these instruments, introduction of more varied instruments.

Education: More in depth examination of education concepts and methodologies.

Multiple Percussion: Introduction of instruments from other families of percussion.

Percussion Ensemble: Continued practice in this medium.

Sightreading/Orchestral Work:
As far as is practical, each lesson will have sightreading as an integral part of the study of percussion. Orchestral excerpts and etudes will be introduced as the student's ability level allows. Also included will be a Barrier exam similar to that in the Freshman year and a 30 to 45 minute recital,

Repertoire:
The same considerations are examined as in the Freshman and Sophomore Years. The possibility of a recital (either solo or shared) will be discussed, and potential repertoire selected.

Technique:
Snare Drum: Extension of unusual and mixed meters, alternative techniques.

Timpani: More in depth tuning technique studies, technical studies, and continuation of sight singing.

Keyboard: Extension of two-and four-mallet techniques through contemporary pieces and transcriptions of orchestral and piano pieces, continued study of jazz styles, improvisation, and chord voicings.

Drum Set: Extension of independence of the limbs, continued emphasis on stylistic playing and soloing.

World Percussion:
Continued exploration of techniques and practices.

Accessory Percussion: Continued emphasis on sounds and techniques of these instruments, introduction of more varied instruments.

Education: Further examination of education concepts and methodologies.

Multiple Percussion: Further inclusion of instruments from other families of percussion.

Percussion Ensemble: Continued practice in this medium.

Sightreading/Orchestral Work:
As far as is practical, each lesson will have sightreading as an integral part of the study of percussion. Orchestral excerpts and etudes will be introduced as the student's ability level allows.


Senior Year

Similar studies will continue as in the previous years, with the major emphasis placed on preparing a full solo recital.

Artists in Residence Home

Music Department Home