Lessons focus on developing performance skills and musicianship on percussion instruments with emphasis on concert percussion. Students expand their skills primarily through study of solo repertoire, exercises, etudes, and orchestral repertoire. Course goals will vary from student to student depending on factors such as student’s prior experience, major, and career goals. In most cases, however, the curriculum will acquaint the student with those aspects of percussion playing most likely to be encountered in serious concert music and provide the student with the skills to perform at the highest level in that genre.
Graduate Students—Lessons focus on refinement of ability on concert percussion instruments with emphasis on audition preparation. These skills are developed through practice, performing in ensembles, mock auditions and a recital. Students are encouraged to seek professional gigs in their field, schedule permitting. Specialization in either timpani or percussion is allowed. Graduate students are expected to devote at least six hours per day to personal practice and part-time Percussion Ensemble participation is strongly encouraged.
Non-degree Seeking Students (Post-Graduate)—Lessons focus on refinement of ability on concert percussion instruments with emphasis on audition preparation. These skills are developed through personal practice and professional engagements. Specialization in either timpani or percussion is allowed. Eight or more hours per day of personal practice is expected and part-time Percussion Ensemble participation is strongly encouraged.
Undergraduate Performance Majors—Lessons focus on developing a level of proficiency on snare drum, two and four-mallet keyboard, timpani, accessories, and drum set that will allow the student to go to the graduate school of his/her choice and/or audition successfully for a regional orchestra. These skills are developed through practice, performing in ensembles, juries, and two recitals. Performance majors are expected to devote at least six hours per day to personal practice and full-time Percussion Ensemble participation is strongly encouraged.
Undergraduate Music Education Majors—Lessons focus on developing a level of proficiency on all the major percussion instruments that will allow the student to teach percussion through the advanced high school level and play as an extra or section player with a local orchestra. These skills are developed through practice, juries, and participation in performance ensembles. Music Education majors are expected to devote at least three hours per day to personal practice and part-time Percussion Ensemble participation is strongly encouraged. (Full time participation is recommended.)
Non Music Majors—Lessons will be designed based upon the skill level and interests of each student. Practice and preparation for lessons is expected. Participation in Percussion Ensemble is allowed only with permission of the director.
•In-depth study of concert-style and traditional rudimental drumming
•Development of technical and musical proficiency through study of rudiments, rolls, and ornaments at all dynamic levels
•Primary materials: Délécluse, Peters, Wilcoxon, Pratt, and orchestral repertoire
•In-depth study of classic and contemporary two-mallet repertoire
•Development of technical and musical proficiency through study of scales, arpeggios, and traditional exercises such as Instructional Course for Xylophoneby G.H. Green
•Primary materials: Green, Breuer, Bach, and orchestral repertoire
•In-depth study of four-mallet repertoire including contemporary solo repertoire and transcriptions from all musical eras
•Development of technical and musical proficiency through study of standard exercises and etudes such as Stevens, Burton, and Stout
•Primary materials: Stevens, Stout, Burton, Bach, Debussy, Abe, Burritt, etc.
•In-depth study of orchestral repertoire and etudes•Development of technical and musical proficiency through standard etudes and exercises
•Primary texts: Délécluse, Hochrainer, Keune, Knauer, Friese, Lepak, Goodman, Leonard, and orchestral repertoire
- In-depth study of the techniques utilized on bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, and castanets
- Development of technical and musical proficiency through study of orchestral repertoire Drumset
- Study of basic drumming styles
- Students are expected to take at least one semester of lessons with the drumset specialist. Additional study is encouraged.
•Study of the standard multiple percussion repertoire such as Histoire du Soldat by Stravinsky and Façade Suite by William Walton
•Additional study of solo multiple percussion literature in conjunction with recital performance.
•Students are encouraged to seek instruction from specialists in the areas of Latin percussion, hand drumming, African drumming and other “world drumming” styles.
- During the course of the year, the Messers. Freer and Bassett present several internal masterclasses.
- Topics include: stick wrapping, instrument repair & maintenance, timpani head mounting & clearing, calf head tucking, other special topics
•Many leading percussionists and timpanists visit CSU to present masterclasses and clinics. These classes present an excellent "hands-on" opportunity for CSU percussion students to more about their craft.
•Past clinicians have included: Tim Adams, Joe Adato, Bob Becker, Michael Burritt, Barry Dove, Danny Druckman, Frank Epstein, Cloyd Duff, Will Hudgins, Dana Kimball, Frederic Macarez, Anton Mittermayr, Bob Van Sice, Leigh Howard Stevens, and Michael Werner.
- Mock auditions are held frequently as part of preparing for festival, graduate school, and professional auditions.
- These “mocks” vary in process but can include informal, student-run auditions as well as “formal” auditions with guest committee members including clinicians or members of the Cleveland Orchestra.