If you’re teaching mallet percussion in high school and have never attempted to sight read music on a mallet instrument, walk over to a xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel or vibraphone right now and try it. Even pianists will be surprised at how difficult it is. With your eyes focused on the music, you can barely see […]
A good buzz roll should sound even, seamless, and remain under control at all dynamic levels. The best drummers devote a great deal of their practise time focusing on it. In Playing and Teaching the Buzz Roll – a short video excerpt from my NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) Winter Convention snare drum […]
The development of good percussion technique is not often on the teacher’s or student’s mind during those first weeks or even months of classes. After all, there’s nothing easier than playing a note on a snare drum, xylophone or timpani: any beginner can hold a stick or mallet above a drum head or bar, let […]
(DOWNLOAD Snare Drum Sticking Patterns here) It’s not easy to engage and challenge percussion students in school band class. Just having them play the method book snare drum part – especially during those first months of classes – won’t do it. Having them work on the snare and mallet exercises in a method book helps […]
Summer is winding down and if you’re a high school band teacher, you’ve likely begun to tidy your band room, organize instruments, search out new music and plan programs. But have you taken the time to focus specifically on your high school percussion program? Have you considered whether all your percussionists will be required to […]
I’m always disappointed to discover that my percussion students – and that includes high school music students – have so little knowledge of music beyond pop and maybe some classic rock. I was thinking of this on August 25, the date of what would have been Leonard Bernstein’s centenary. Worldwide celebrations of the event had […]
What Should a Good Drum Teacher Teach? When parents invest in their children’s music lessons – on piano, trumpet, violin, oboe or whatever – they expect certain basics to be taught. A functional technique is one of them. They would also expect a teacher to relentlessly steer students away from bad habits that inhibit technical […]
Used to be that Toronto was known as a jazz town. Years ago there was the Town Tavern and the Colonial Tavern – clubs that regularly presented the world’s greatest jazz musicians. As a teenager I heard Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Stan Getz, Gary Burton, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, the Modern Jazz Quartet – the […]
I recently paid a visit to the University of Delaware where Harvey Price, the university’s head of percussion, played host to a pair of extraordinary, week-long series of workshops: the first ever University of Delaware Jazz Vibes Workshop, led by vibist Tony Miceli with guest David Friedman, and the Bob Becker Ragtime Xylophone Institute, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary. Both programs […]
On March 25th  a memorial concert for percussionist John Wyre was held at Toronto’s Music Gallery. John was a remarkable person and a unique artist who I feel honoured to have known since I was a young percussion student. He passed away on October 31  at the age of 65 in St. John’s, […]
Latest News & Views
- Teaching Mallet Percussion in Band Class: A Carefully Planned Program + Appropriate Testing = SuccessSeptember 25, 2019 - 5:28 pm
- Playing and Teaching the Buzz RollOctober 25, 2018 - 12:11 am
- Teaching Percussion Technique: 8 Essential Points for Students and Teachers to RememberOctober 4, 2018 - 7:41 pm
- Beyond the Method Book: How to Engage and Challenge Percussionists in Band ClassSeptember 18, 2018 - 10:10 pm
Angela Hewitt plays Bach Goldberg Variations on her new Fazioli from the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. https://www.arte.tv/en/videos/100768-000-A/angela-hewitt-plays-the-goldberg-variations/?fbclid=IwAR0Qsf-yuyFm_nP4Y2Mucd1ljF4gpxg9Fn5F_bG0RJlnbofB0BD8MiVGhdQ
Brilliant . . . with an unexpected ending.
The German Government's new #COVID19 campaign is very clever and, dare I say it, funny.
Music class during coronavirus: How the band plays on via @csmonitor https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2020/1027/Music-class-during-coronavirus-How-the-band-plays-on?cmpid=shared-twitter
Latest from U of M re: spread of aerosols during orchestral performance. Researchers working with Minnesota Orchestra to maximize safety. #BandTeacher; #MusicEducation; #PercussionEducation
Not many people know that I play the French horn. I hadn’t played since I was child. But after I was shot, I started speech therapy, physical therapy, and music therapy. Relearning an instrument has been a huge part of my recovery, and I’m getting stronger every day.