An analysis of beginning to intermediate percussion methods used in selected public schools and their relationship to th...


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An analysis of beginning to intermediate percussion methods used in selected public schools and their relationship to the performance requirements of state approved band literature
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vii, 153 leaves : 29 cm.
Ackman, James Kent
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Percussion instruments -- Methods   ( lcsh )
Band music -- Instruction and study   ( lcsh )
Band music -- Performance   ( lcsh )
Music thesis, Ph. D   ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Music -- UF   ( lcsh )
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1998.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 129-139).
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by James Kent Ackman.

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    Chapter 1. Overview
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
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    Chapter 2. Survey of related literature
        Page 12
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    Chapter 3. Methodology
        Page 41
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    Chapter 4. Results
        Page 53
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    Chapter 5. Content analyses of band literature
        Page 107
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    Chapter 6. Summary, conclusions, and recommendations
        Page 119
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    Appendix A. Form letter
        Page 140
        Page 141
    Appendix B. Percussion requirements of selected band literature
        Page 142
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    Biographical sketch
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
Full Text








T6 completion of a dissertation is merely the last project in a sequence of events leading to a doctorate degree, An endeavor of this magnitude would not have been possible without the support and sacrifice of my family and fhends. As such, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the people who have guided me through this long, sometimes arduous, and ultimately rewarding process,

First and foremost, I wish to thank my mother for her unwavering belief in me. She provided moral and emotional support through the entire process and always understood how much the pursuit of a doctorate in music education meant to me. Her understanding and deep compassion are priceless gifts.

My wife, Jan, along with my daughter, Katie, who had to spend a lot of time growing up while I was pursuing my dream, deserve a very special place in my acknowledgments, They had to sacrifice the most of all those who helped me reach my goal, and were also the inspiration that allowed me to handle the difficult times along the way.

I wish to extend my warmest thanks to Dr. Charles Hoffer, my committee chair. He guided me through the whole process and had a more profound influence.on me as a person and a student than he will ever know. Although he taught me many things about music and education, the most important things I learned during the pursuit of this degree had nothing to do with music, and for this he has earned my deepest gratitude, I consider him a friend. as well as a mentor.

Another major influence during my time at the University of Florida was Dr. David Kushner. His impeccably high academic standards and attention to detail, along with his grasp of the importance of events within the larger scheme of things, provided the impetus

for me to become a more discerning scholar. His genuine warmth and humor were also greatly appreciated.

I also wish to acknowledge Dr. Phyllis Dorman, Dr. James Sain, and Dr, Art

Newman, They were all thoroughly professional and personable, and had an enormously positive influence on my educational and musical growth. In addition, I wish to thank my two closest friends in Gainesville, Vikki Truesdail and Paul Barrett, who helped me through some very difficult times and asked nothing in return save friendship. I am indeed fortunate to have two such caring and compassionate friends.

My last acknowledgments are perhaps the most important ones. They go to my grandmother and the memory of my grandfather. Along with my mother and my brother, Jon, they taught me the essential importance of hard work, dedication, and finishing a project, regardless of the obstacles. Their influence is something I will always carry with me. This dissertation is dedicated to their spirit, compassion, and simple human dignity,


ACKNOW LEDGMENTS .... .................................... ................................... ........

A B S T R A C T ............................................................................... .......................... v i


I O V E R V IE W ................................................................................... 1

L IT E R A T U R E ................................................................................ 12

METHODOLOGY .................................. ...................................... 41

R e search D e sig n ............................................ ................................ 4 2
P aram eters o f S tu dy ...................................................................... 44

4 R E S U L T S ................................................. ..................................... 5 3

Regional Results of Survey. ............. ........................... ................... 54
Current Band M ethods Used in Public Nfiddle Schools .................... 55
Analysis of Percussion Books from Band M ethods .......................... 57
Summary of M ethod Books .................... ........................................ 94

5 CONTENT ANALYSES OF BAND LITERATURE ....... .............. 107


S u m m a ry ......................................................................................... 1 1 9
C o n c lu sio n s .............................................. ..................... ................ 12 1
Recommendations for Improvement .................................. ............. 124
Recommendations for Further Research .......................................... 127


B IB L IO G R A P H Y ........................................... ............. ................. 129


A FO R M L E T T E R .................................................................. 140
B AN D LITER ATUR E ...... ................................................. 142

BIOGR APHICAL SKETCH ...... ..................................................... 153

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy AN ANALYSIS OF BEGINNING TO INTERMEDIATE PERCUSSION METHODS USED IN SELECTED PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND


August 1998

Chairman: Charles R. Hoffer Major Department: Music

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between beginning to intermediate percussion books from contemporary band methods and the performance requirements of levels HI-VI band literature typically programmed by high school ensembles in concert, contest, and festival situations.

Contemporary band composers have written with increasing frequency and fluency for percussion instruments. In turn, this has lead to a demand for more comprehensively trained student percussionists. For this reason, there is a need for an examination of whether the skiffs student percussionists are taught in elementary and middle school percussion classes are what they actually need to know in order to successfiffly perforin levels IH-V1 band literature.

A major issue involving contemporary band directors and instrumental music

teachers in the area of percussion instruction is specialization, This is a situation in which vi

a student teams to perform on a particular percussion instrument, such as snare drum, and remains on that instrument throughout his or her public school performing career. This study examines the extent to which specialization influences the content of percussion method books as well as the performance requirements of levels III-VI band literature,
The sample of percussion books from band methods was taken from the results of a survey of 150 middle school band directors in three separate geographic locations in the United Sates, 50 each in Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts.

Schools for the survey were randomly selected from the web-site of the American School Directory. Method books were examined for presentation of skills, concepts, and instruments. The reason for this was to provide a basis for. examination of the efficacy of the method books in preparing elementary and middle school percussionists to successfully perform typical high school band music literature.

Content analyses were performed on the four method book series most frequently cited in the survey as being in current use in middle school instrumental music programs. These method book series were examined for sequence of skills, concepts, and instruments presented in their texts, as well as their musical and educational scope.

In order to examine the extent of the relationship between elementary to

intermediate percussion method books and performance practices, 100 intermediate to advanced band works were analyzed for number of percussion players and instruments required, as well as percussion technique requirements. Works were randomly selected from the approved concert band literature list of the New York State School Association.

The final portion of the study is devoted to a discussion of conclusions from the survey and content analyses of method book series and band literature. In addition, recommendations are made for improving the musical and educational content of percussion method books, as well as facilitating the training of future music educators in undergraduate percussion skills classes.



Percussion instruments have been a part of musical culture since the dawn of

civilization. From prehistoric log drums to contemporary electronic drum-machines, there has been significant interest in the performance and educational areas of this particular family.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, the trend in public schools was to program music for concerts featuring works of contemporary band composers in addition to standard marches and transcriptions of orchestral works, These composers were trained in the 20th century style of composition, which involved inclusion of the percussion section as part of the main fabric of the music. I This was a dramatic departure from percussion's traditional role of accompanist to the band.

During the second half of the 20th century, often referred to as the "golden age of percussion," band and orchestra composers have written with increasing frequency and fluency for percussion, exploring their musical and color potential.'

In the 1980s, percussion entered the arena of technology with the development of electronic percussion instruments, Today, using NMI (musical instrument digital interface) and other advanced capabilities, percussionists and composers have at their disposal an almost infinite range of sounds and timbres.3

I Harold F Abeles, Charles R. Hoffer, and Robert H. Klotman. Foundations ofMusic Education (Second Edition). Schirmer Books, New York, 1973. page 284.

2 Gary Cook, Teaching Percussion. Schirmer Books, New York, 1988. page 9.

The practical implications of this philosophy of composition with regard to percussion performance requirements are twofold, 1.) The number of percussion instruments employed in contemporary band literature has been expanded to include ethnic and world percussion instruments such as marimbas and Latin percussion. 2.) Percussion parts contained in contemporary literature have become more sophisticated and demanding.4

Need for Comprehensive Percussion Instruction Along with this increased emphasis upon percussion writing has come a demand for comprehensively trained percussionists, musicians who can perform competently on a vast array of instruments: pitched and non-pitched, melodic and rhythmic.'

Contemporary percussionists must develop diverse skills in order to meet the performance demands of modem band literature, It is a difficult dilemma for the contemporary band director: whether to program a piece containing a crucial mallet part that none of the percussionists can play, or use a musician from another section to perform the part. 6

With the implementation of the National Standards for music education, there has been a widespread use of percussion instruments for classroom instruction. The

I Steve Wilkes. "Welcome to Planet Electronic Drum." Percussive Notes, 35: 57-8 n6 1997.
4 Ibid.

5 Cook, page 3.

6 Donald Gilbert. "Changing Concepts in Percussion. 77?e Instrumentalist, 23: 64- 5 n 10 1969,


Orif-Schuiwerk method, among others features percussion instruments as the basis of musical instruction. Percussion education is appropriate for standard number 2, regarding the student's ability to play alone and with others, a wide variety of instruments.'

This quandary facing modem percussionists and music educators is recognized

by Richard Colwell and Thomas Goolsby (1992) in The Teaching of Instrumental Music. Their summary of the problem is found in the following quote:

In spite of their ancient age, the percussion instruments have not been quite respectable until recently. They have had no
literature of their own, no good texts or method books,
and no systematic approach for learning the necessary

The perception of percussionists as musicians is diametrically opposed to their traditional reputation as mere time-keepers, which has primeval roots. The perception of the role duality of percussionists also provides an equitable starting point for the examination of contemporary percussion education.9

Robert Buggert (1956) mentions his belief that instruction for percussion instruments is by its nature different than instruction for woodwind and brass instruments. He attributes this to brass and woodwind players receiving instruction in

7 National Standards for the Arts (Music). Music Educators National Conference Reston, VA, 1996.

8 Richard Colwell and Thomas Goolsby. The Teaching of Instrumental Music. (Second Edition). Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1992. page 323.

9 Cook, page 3.


areas such as scales, clefs, and phrasing, which are typically not included in percussion instruction.

At the same time, however, Buggert maintains that percussionists should also team "musical reading." This indicates a pattern of the duality with which percussionists have been historically viewed,"

Kenneth Mueller (1972), in a discussion concerning college freshmen

percussionists, states that it is "almost impossible to find a high school percussion student capable of playing 0 of the percussion instruments." He further emphasizes that his statistics revealed that 25 percent of incoming college freshmen percussion students could not adequately play the snare drum, 75 percent could not perform competently on timpani and that 94 percent of all freshmen percussion students lacked minimal skills on mallet percussion instruments. I I

Mueller's observations support Colwell's position that public school students have historically not received adequate and appropriate instruction on all percussion instnnnents, His observation that there is an apparent lack of both comprehensive percussion instruction and a suitable curriculum for public school percussionists provides a starting point for the investigation of what percussionists are being taught percussion curriculum and percussion performance requirements of typical concert band literature.

10 Robert Buggert."The Beginning Drummer." Ae Instrumentalist, 11: 67-8 n3 1956. 11 Kenneth A. Mueller. Teaching Total Percussion. Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NJ, 1972. pages 19-20.

Purpose of Study
The purpose of the study is to gather information related to the following fundamental question regarding the teaching of percussion: Are the concepts and techniques taught to beginning and intermediate percussion students consistent with what they actually need to know in order to successfully perform music typically performed in high school band concert situations?

In essence, the study is a search for information with which to analyze the

useMness of beginning-to-intermediate percussion curricula (elementary through middle school) for the percussion performance needs associated with contemporary high school (Grades III through VI) band literature.

This study is intended to the degree to which what is being taught to student

percussionists in the classroom of public school band programs prepares percussionists for the actual performance requirements of representative concert, festival, as well as solo/ensemble music, Thus, several crucial topics impacting contemporary public school percussion instruction are covered:

1. specialization

2. beginning percussion instruction

3. implementation of mallet instruments into public school

percussion curriculum

4. matched-grip versus traditional grip

5. implementation of comprehensive curriculum for public school

6. training of undergraduate non-percussionist music majors

in percussion skills class


Research Questions

In order to examine the relationship between percussion method utilized in the instruction of public school percussionists and the performance requirements of high school band literature, this study will address three core research questions.

1. To what extent do the skills and concepts taught in the beginning and

intermediate band methods books contribute to the skills required for the performance of band music of Grades IV-VI difficulty?

A determination of this raises two additional research questions:

2. What is the content of the beginning and intermediate band methods books in terms of percussion instruments?

3., What are the skills needed for successfully performing the percussion parts in band music of grades IV-VI difficulty?


Percussion books (I-rn) from selected beginning/intermediate band methods

were investigated for their content, scope, and educational philosophy, and their practical application to percussion performance requirements of state band literature.

Examples of percussion methods to be examined in this study include the

following: Feldstein(YReilly~s Yamaha Band Student: A Combined Percussion Book, Pearson's Standard of Excellence: Comprehensive Band Method, O'Reilly/Williams' Accent on Achievement, and Rhodes Essential Elements.

Levels Ill-VT band music listed in state-approved band literature lists published by groups like the Florida Bandmasters Association was examined for percussion performance requirements. The works were analyzed for instrumentation needs, rhythmic, rudiments, technical, harmonic, and melodic aspects,


The results of the examination of band literature were then compared with the curricula presented in the method books. This comparison is an essential part of determining the degree to which early classroom instruction provides the essential preparation for students to meet the performance requirements of moderate to difficult band literature typically performed at the high school level.

It was also necessary to investigate whether elementary and intermediate

percussion curricula provide the foundation for students to be able to achieve a level of performance suitable for the performance of high school band literature.

In order to accomplish this, a survey of percussion books used in selected middle school band programs was implemented to determine what method books are currently being used for beginning and intermediate percussion instruction.

Content analyses were performed on the percussion books of the selected band methods. The categories examined included the amount of time devoted to each of the four basic performance areas: snare drum, timpani, mallet percussion, and accessory percussion. The sequence, practicality, and clarity of the material was also examined, as were special pages devoted to a particular skill or instrument.

The final portion of the study is devoted to a discussion of suggestions for improving the content of elementary to intermediate percussion method books.

Assumptions for the Study

1. While some probability exists that a small number of high school band directors do use percussion method books for instruction, the assumption was made that the percentage was negligible. This fact is supported by Andrew Preston (1975), whose results indicate that the most prevalent shortcoming with regard to percussion instruction


in public schools is the narrow and restricted scope of instruction provided for beginning and intermediate-level percussionists. 12

2. The majority of beginning to intermediate public school percussionists are taught in group settings using the percussion book from a standard band method book.

3. The percussionists who are taught from these group method books

eventually become members of large school ensembles such as band or orchestra.

4. Public school band directors follow the curriculum presented in the percussion books of band methods.

5. Students have access to percussion instruments required for performance, That is, students cannot reasonably be expected to be able to perform on an instrument rarely found outside of school (e.g. xylophone) unless they have access to the instrument.

6. Students have regularly scheduled full ensemble (e.g. band, orchestra) rehearsals and lesson times during school hours.

7. The majority of public school percussionists do not take private lessons.

8. Grades I-11 band literature is designed primarily for beginning bands and as such presents few technical or percussion performance problems.
9. The majority of public school band directors are not percussionists.


1. Method books selected for this study will be restricted to the contemporary standard band methods commonly used in public school instrumental music instruction.

17 Andrew Conrath Preston. Me Development and Evaluation of Selected Instructional Materialsfor Teaching Percussion Instruments in the Beginning Band Class. Ed. D. Dissertation: Music.University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 1975. pages 4-5.


The first three levels of these method books were explored, with particular attention given to content, scope, and sequence.

2. Band literature works were limited to difficulty levels III-VI of state contest lists in order to provide a representative sample of the more complex concert works currently being programmed at festivals, concerts, and recitals. Levels 1-11 band works contain limited performance problems for percussionists.

3. The study was restricted to the examination of band literature that is typically performed by concert band and wind ensembles. Consequently, jazz band and marching band literature were not included because of the specialized nature of the music.

The reason for selection of method books at these levels for analysis, which

represent curriculum offerings for elementary through middle school, was that the vast majority of high school band directors do not instruct percussionists from percussion method books because they simply do not have time in their daily schedules to do so.

Furthermore, nearly all band methods end after level three in the sequence. In other words, band methods are typically not written for high school instruction. Thus, for all practical purposes, the training of percussionists ceases at the end of middle school. A further consideration is the fact that most public school band directors are not percussionists and thus are unable to provide advanced instruction for percussionists.

In addition, public school administrators are often reluctant either to hire a

percussion specialist or expand a high school band director's teaching responsibilities to include percussion lessons either before/after school hours or within their daily schedules. Administrators typically face tight budgets and therefore have a fixed amount of funds available for instrumental music. Thus the reasons for the limited time devoted


to percus sion instruction at the high school level are financial considerations rather than philosophical.


Non-pitched instruments are percussion instruments that are incapable of playing melodic or harmonic parts. These instruments include snare drum, bass drum cymbals, wood-block, triangle, and gongs.

Pitched instruments are instruments that traditionally play melodic and/or harmonic lines such as bells, xylophone, marimba, and vibraphone.

Standard band literature refers to works on state-approved band lists such as the Florida Bandmasters Association, Massachusetts Music Educators Association, and the Illinois High School Association.

Rudiin~nt are the combinations of rhythmic patterns found in the Percussive Arts Society's Standard Drum Sheet of 40 Rudiments-single-stroke roll, flam, paradiddle, double-stroke roll, flam-taps, etc. 13

Grup bandbooks refer to the books commonly used in public school percussion instruction (e.g. Ployhar's Band Today).

Group instruction refers to classes involving two or more band students, one of whom is a percussionist, within scheduled school hours.

Private instruction is individual instruction of a student percussionist by a percussion specialist that takes place outside of school band rehearsal hours.

13 Percussive Arts Society, P.A. S International Drum Rudiments. Ludwig Industries, Inc., Elkhart, IN, 1990.


Starter kit refers to a collection of instruments and texts used by beginning percussionists-snare drum, drum pad, and method book.

Accessory percus1io refers to percussion instruments that cannot be easily grouped in the other main categories such as gong, suspended cymbal, woodblock, and triangle. 14

Speilization means the student percussionist plays only one instrument and does not receive instruction or experience on other percussion instruments.

Percussion ensemble is three or more percussionists playing literature specifically composed for such an ensemble.

Matched. grip is the method of holding sticks or mallets in which both hands are the same, This grip may be employed with any percussion instrument requiring sticks, mallets, or brushes.

TraditionaLgrip. is the method of holding snare drum sticks in which the left and right hands are not the same: i.e. the right hand is the same as matched grip but the left hand is different. This grip is used only on snare drum and drum set.

Transfer is the ability of a grip for snare drum to be used on other percussion instruments.

Matrix is a method for comparing and contrasting similar sections of method books such as the snare drum units of three percussion method books.

14Larry Dale Reeder. An Analysis and Comparison of Select Teaching Methods for the University Percussion Methods Class. Thesis (D.A.). University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi. 1994. page 9.


Published research will be discussed by topic as it relates to the current study rather than an examination of each dissertation as a whole. The purpose of this section is to identify and describe several of the significant issues, mentioned previously in Chapter, surrounding contemporary public school percussion instruction:


-percussion ensembles in public schools -comprehensive percussion curriculum

-need for mallet instruction

-heterogeneous versus homogenous instruction

-matched grip versus traditional grip

-training of undergraduate, non-percussionist music majors

Current Status of Percussion Instruction Robert Breithaupt (199 1) notes that a crucial part of the problem surrounding public school percussion education is that until recently, there have been relatively few resources available to music educators in the area of comprehensive percussion instruction: textbooks, method books, and literature for percussionists, As a result, most public school percussionists lack the necessary musical skills, due largely to the absence of 12


melodic lines to play or harmonic parts that fit into what the rest of the band is playing. I

According to Colwell, a portion of the problem endemic to contemporary

percussion instruction is that of specialization. In many public school band situations, snare drummers play only snare drum, with perhaps one student assigned to timpani, and another to bells. Colwell also notes that these students often remain on the same instrument for every selection during rehearsal and performance. He states that this format frequently leads to apathy and lack of motivation on the part of percussionists.

Kenneth Mueller (1972) mentions the complexity of contemporary band music

and its demands upon the percussionist. He states that if students have not been taught in a comprehensive manner, there is the risk that at some point the percussion section will be unable to play their parts. Mueller attributes this to the problem of "specialization": each player is able to play only one instrument, timpani for example, or snare drum, resulting in a limited experience for percussion students.

He notes that percussionists must be consciously aware of the instruments around them, something they may be unable to accomplish without training in a comprehensive percussion curriculum. Mueller also observes that percussionists who are not trained in a comprehensive percussion program often lack a musical approach to performance

I Robert B. Breithaupt. The Complete Percussionist: A Guidebookfor the Music Educator. C.L. Barnhouse Co., Oskaloosa, IA, 1991.

2 Colwell, page 471.

1 Kenneth A. Mueller. Teaching Total Percussion, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NJ, 1972, pages 19-20.


C harles Spohn and John Tatgenhorst (197 1) mention the necessity of

instrumental music instructors providing a suitable melodic experience for beginning percussionists. They maintain that playing only the rhythmic parts of snare drum or other non-melodic percussion instrument will not provide the same type of complete and meaningful musical experience for the beginning percussionist as would be the case for one who learns from a melodic percussion instrument such as bells or xylophone.4

John Stede (1984) discusses the issue of specialization in a survey of selected

college percussion programs in the United States. The survey reports that a majority of university percussion programs place greater emphasis on one aspect of percussion education (e.g. jazz, ethnic, marching) opposed to using either of the more traditional instructional models: (e.g conservatory [performance] or music education).5I

Gary Cook (1988) examines specialization in his discussion on the selection

process regarding beginning percussion students. He states that it is desirable for these students to have a piano background. He observes that having such a background facilitates the reading of clefs, scales, and melodic lines.

Cook further suggests that the beginning percussion kit include a set of bells in addition to snare drum. He maintains that these instruments should be taught concurrently, as part of a comprehensive percussion curriculum.6

4 Charles Spohn and John J. Tatgenhorst. The Percussion: Performance and Instructional Techniques (Second Edition). Allyn and Bacon, Inc., Boston, 1971.
5 John Stede. 'Percussion in Higher Education: A Perspective On Its Present and Future." Percussive Notes, 26: 7-9 n2 1988. pages 8-9,
6 Cook, page 7.

Harry Bartlett and Ronald Holloway (1973) address specialization with their suggestion that comprehensive percussion instruction should be included in the curriculum for second year students. They state that including instruction on mallet percussion instruments in addition to snare drum, bass drum, and timpani allows percussionists to be more involved with the full band. They further state that this format contributes to "fostering a feeling of pride on the part of the student, leading to increased musical growth and sensitivity."

Joseph Casimino (1985) notes that college freshmen who specialized on one instrument in high school and desiring to major in music would be at a disadvantage: "without knowledge of tympani and mallet percussion instruments he would be very limited as a percussionist. "8

Robert Breithaupt ( 199 1 ) believes that beginning percussionists should have the

opportunity to play various percussion instruments in order to provide a complete musical experience. He states that the trading of parts, including mallet/keyboard percussion, helps solve the problems inherent in specialization.9

Douglas Overmier (1990) states that playing band literature involving large

amounts of percussion instruments allows percussionists to feel that they are an integral part of the overall ensemble. He cites the necessity of including the percussion section in the daily warm-up routine of the band, and the switching of instruments. He also notes

7 Bartlett and Holloway, Preface: viii.

8 Casimino, page 42.

9 Breithaupt, page 3.

that "playing in a percussion ensemble is a good way for students to develop musicianship and a feel for percussion performance. "10

James Lambert (1995) states that the percussion section is often neglected in band warm-ups. He advocates that all band warm-ups include the entire percussion section. He further states that snare drum exercises should be coordinated with timpani, mallet instruments and accessory percussion in daily warm-ups."'

Bruce Dalby (1994) discusses the problem of maintaining beginning percussion students' interest following the excitement of the first-year band experience. He states that percussionists should be included in all whole band warm-ups. Dalby also notes that this can be accomplished only if percussionists are introduced to timpani and mallet percussion from the beginning of instruction.'12

Percussion Ensembles in Public Schools Joseph Casimino (1985) cites Gordon Peters' study concerning the desirability of incorporating percussion ensemble in public school percussion curriculum as a vehicle for musical development of public school percussion students. He notes Peters' suggestion that the percussion ensemble provides many opportunities for musical growth, chief among which is the "focus on the melodic and harmonic aspects to compensate for many students receiving only rhythmic training on snare drum."'13

10 Douglas Overmier. "Training Student Percussionists." T-he Instrumentalist, 45: 46-53 n3 1990.

11 Lambert, page 176.

12 Bruce Dalby. "Challenging Percussionists." The Instrumentalist, 49: 56-60 n2 1994. "1 Casiniino, pages 60-61,


Donald Gilbert (1969) maintains that the percussion ensembles should be an

integral part of beginning public school percussion curriculum. He notes that percussion ensembles give students more meaningful and significant musical experiences, leading to more musically complete percussionists. He crystallizes his philosophy of percussion education in public schools with the following statement:

At his very first percussion lesson the young student should ... have
an opportunity to experience the sound and feel not only of the snare drum, but also the bass drum, cymbals, and bells. Within
his first few lessons, he should have the opportunity to perform on
most of the percussion instruments. 14

Gilbert also maintains that it is the responsibility of public school band directors to provide comprehensive percussion instruction even if it entails "changing our (music educators) concept of the elementary percussion class ... with this type of beginning instruction, perhaps we can at last begin to educate versatile percussionists instead of one-instrument drummers."' 5

Anna Watkins (1982) suggests that appropriate music for percussion ensemble, in conjunction with rehearsals designed to develop musical sensitivity, allows the musicians in the percussion section to attain a high level of ensemble playing. She notes that the ability to play as a unit enables percussionists to perform with a greater sense of musical awareness in any area of performance: band, orchestra, or chamber music.

14 Donald Gilbert. Changing Concepts in Percussion: Percussion Anthology. The Instrumentalist Company of Illinois, Chicago, EL, 1969, page 356. 15 Gilbert, page 65.


Watkins further maintains that this happens as a result of percussionists playing music requiring knowledge of the fundamental areas of percussion. 16

Murray Houliff (1977) states that mallet percussion instruments should be included in percussion curriculum from elementary through senior high school. He argues that this contributes to extensive growth in musicianship among public school percussionists 17

Fred Wickstromn (1983) advocates the incorporation of a complete percussion curriculum at all levels of education. Wickstromn states that instruction in each major category of percussion: snare drum, timpani, and mallet/keyboard instruments, should be included in the training of public school percussionists,.18

Jeffirey Dire (1977) notes that beginning percussionists very first lessons are crucial to their development as complete musicians. He suggests beginning that percussionists study a variety of instruments in addition to snare drum (e.g. timpani and mallet percussion). According to Dire, this comprehensive approach to teaching beginning percussionists allows public school percussionists to become familiar with a breadth of instruments and performance requirements, thus enabling them to become more complete, knowledgeable, and versatile musicians.'19

16 Anna Watkins. "The High School Percussion Ensemble," The Instrumentalist, 36: 90-2 n9 1982.

17 Houliff in Casimino, page 66.

18 Fred A. Wickstrom, Jr. "A Curriculum for College Bound Percussionists." Percussive Notes, 21: 54 n5 1983.

19 Jeffrey M. Dire. "A Beginning Percussion Curriculum Based on Comprehensive Musicianship." The Instrumentalist, 32: 74-6 n2 1977.


Steve Rehbein (1996) cites a recurring problem among incoming university

freshmen and first year percussion students as lack of versatility. He observes that these students 6'ften possess a working knowledge of only one instrument, usually snare drum. Rehbein attributes this lack of adaptability to students' public school percussion training, in which specialization is the norm.20

Comprehensive Percussion Curriculum Dave Black (1996) notes that percussionists are often ignored by band directors "~except to correct major errors." He mentions the fact that percussionists are often not given the same kind of specific instructions regarding dynamics, phrasing, and overall musical expression as woodwind and brass players.21

Bruce Dalby (1974) provides insight into the cause of this lack of overall musical skill on the part of percussionists. He notes that many band directors are unsure how to have percussionists participate in warm-ups. He also maintains that in rehearsal, it is often the case that wind players learn new notes and scales, while percussionists are left to accompany the band with quarter and eighth-note patterns.22

Dalby's view that potential instrumental music educators lack fundamental training in percussion is supported by Breithaupt (1991) and Albin (1979), who both cite a crucial

20 Steve Rehbein. "Versatility and Specialization: The Anthem of the Contemporary Percussionist." Percussive Notes, 34: 47 n6 1966. 21 Dave Black. "Of Musicians and Percussionists." The Instrumentalist, 51: 17-22 n2 1996.

22.Bruce Dalby. "Challenging Percussionists." The Instrumentalist, 4: 56-8 n2 1994.


need for both improved teacher training in percussion and implementation of a more comprehensive percussion curriculum in public schools.23

Lance Haas (1984) reports a need for comprehensive musical training for beginning percussionists. He states that a majority of public school band directors consider their programs hampered by a lack of overall musicianship among members of the percussion section. Haas goes on to state that this lack of musicianship is due to the fact that most snare drum literature for junior high and high school students contains a series of rhythmic patterns and little else, He strongly suggests that a lack of comprehensive training, including mallet instruments, is the cause of this limited ability of many percussionists to successfully interpret contemporary band MUSiC.24

Gary Cook (1988) cites a need for comprehensively trained public school percussionists using a thorough musical approach including the melodic, harmonic, structural, and rhythmic elements of music in conjunction with the technical aspects of pitched and non-pitched instruments.

Cook goes on to state that this kind of comprehensive percussion curriculum, if implemented properly from the beginning of instruction, will eventually lead to an increased musical sensitivity, interpretation skills, and overall musicianship among public school percussionists. 25

23 Ibid.

24 Lance Haas. 'Even Percussionists Can Be Musicians." Ae Instrumentalist, 39: 99-101 n2 1984. pages 2-3.
25 Cook, pages 9-10.


Linda Pimentel (1987), another advocate of comprehensive percussion training,

mentions gaps in instruction, particularly of keyboard instruments, in the training of public school percussionists. She suggests that percussion students be required to play a mallet/keyboard instrument for half of each band rehearsal in each of the first three or four years of band participation. 16 She further states that students do not have to study all areas of percussion all the time. However, it is Pimentel's contention that beginning percussionists need to have a sense of familiarity in each of the main areas: snare drum, timpani, mallet, and accessory percussion.

Pimentel also observes that reading skills are essential to percussion education. Her contention is that a majority of percussionists learn to read only rhythms. She states that it is most noticeable in keyboard performance, with the biggest hindrance to development in these areas the inability of percussion students to read clefs.27

Garwood Whaley (1988) mentions the focus of technical development over musical development as a continuing issue in percussion education. He attributes this to the fact that technical skills are easier to measure than overall musicianship skills. such as phrasing and style interpretation. Whaley contends that overaU musicianship skills are particularly difficult to measure in contest situations, where performances by public school percussionists consist primarily of rudimental snare drum solos requiring little in the way of dynamic shadings, phrase shaping, or style interpretation.',

16 Linda Pimentel, "Recommendations for the Reorganization of Percussion Instruction. Percussive Notes, 25: 23-6 n2 1987.
27 Ibid.

28 Garwood Whaley. "Percussion Education: Whose Responsibility?" Percussive Notes, 26: 7 n2 1988.


Need for Mallet Percussion Instruction Mario Gaetano (1980) emphasizes the need to instruct beginning percussionists in all areas of performance. He states that students should become familiar with mallet percussion instruments so that they may progress at the same rate as wind and brass players in the area of key signatures and scales.

Gaetano also mentions the necessity of bandrooms containing at minimum a

xylophone, tubular chimes, and orchestra bells in order for the percussionists to be able to perform the eclectic instrumentation required in the majority of contemporary band literature. 29

Jeff-rey Dire (1977) advocates the training of beginning percussionists on mallet percussion instruments and accessory percussion in addition to snare drum. He notes that while it is not realistic to expect all students to become proficient on all percussion instruments, "every attempt should be made to make mallet percussion the student's most proficient area. "30

Douglas Overmier (1990) observes that the majority of band methods include adequate percussion books. He states that these books contain sufficient and useful exercises for beginning mallet instruction and should be incorporated into the overall band curriculum. His main contention is that most public school band directors are reluctant to use these resources because of unfamiliarity with percussion.


29 Mario A. Gaetano. "Teaching Mallet Instruments to Beginners." The Instrumentalist, 34: 30-1 n10 1980,

30 Jeff-rey M. Dire. "A Beginning Percussion Curriculum Based On Comprehensive Musicianship." Ae Instrumentalist, 3 2: 74-9 n2 1977,


Overmier also advocates switching instruments among the members of the percussion section in order to provide a more complete and comprehensive musical experience. He states that switching instruments helps to alleviate some of the boredom extant in contemporary percussion sections and also benefits the band as a whole by involving all band members in rehearsals."

John Papastefan (1989) also advocates the inclusion of mallet instruments in public school percussion instruction. He notes that students who receive early training on mallet percussion are more likely to exhibit more musical sensitivity and growth than those who do not.32

Gordon Peters (1966) maintains that percussionists who play keyboard instruments are better equipped to have successful musical experiences at any level the encounter: amateur, collegiate or professional, He mentions that requiring percussionists to learn mallet/keyboard instruments from the onset of instruction can lead to a more enthusiastic and musically involved percussion section.33

Peters also states that percussionists must be given music requiring note reading skills to play, and not merely rhythms, further noting that it becomes uninteresting for percussionists to have as their only role that of accompanist.

He then categorically states that the band director has an educational responsibility for developing versatile percussionists, and that one way to achieve this is to insist that all

31 Douglas R. Overmier. "Training Student Percussionists." Ae Instrumentalist, 45. 46-53 n3 1990.

32 John Papastefan, "The Mallets Make a Difference." The Instrumentalist, 44: 48 n12 1989.
33 Gordon Peters. "The Marimba in the Band," Ae Instrumentalist, 20: 77-8 n6 1966.


beginning drummers learn to play mallet keyboard instruments and timpani as well as snare drum. 34

Donald Gilbert (1969) states categorically that most obvious omission from public school percussion curricula is mallet/keyboard training. He ijuher suggests that each elementary band room be equipped a set of orchestra bells, so that beginning student percussionists can become familiar with mallet instruments from the very start of instruction. He notes that percussionists who are instructed on mallet percussion and snare drum concurrently develop heightened musical awareness.35

Heterogeneous Class Instruction

A major issue concerning contemporary beginning percussion instruction is the question of whether to start percussionists in a heterogeneous setting such as full band or other mixed-instrument groups, or in a homogeneous group of percussion students separate from the band proper.

Robert Breithaupt (1991) states that public school percussionists with musical knowledge on an instrument such as piano encounter less difficulties in learning all percussion instruments than those who have no prior experience, regardless of whether the instructional format is percussion-only or heterogeneous. He notes that such a prior musical background benefits both students and teachers.36


11 Donald Gilbert. "Changing Concepts in Percussion." The Instrumentalist, 23: 64-5 nlO 1969.


Loren Waa (1965) examines the effect of heterogeneous band methods and private instruction on the musical achievement scores on Seashore Measures of Musical Talents and the Farnum Music Notation Test. He notes that while students who receive private lessons scored higher on portions of the Seashore Measures and Watkins-Farnum tests, the results indicate no significant difference in overall test scores.37

James Shugert (1969) examines the effects of class and private instruction on the musical achievement of beginning band students in Connecticut public schools. His findings indicate that students who receive private instruction score no higher on musical aptitude and musical achievement tests than students taught in heterogeneous classes. He states that results were essentially the same regardless of instrument.38

Andrew Preston's (1975) study is a replication of Waa (1965) and investigates the musical backgrounds of beginning percussionists in North Carolina public schools. His hypothesis states that a supplementary book for beginning percussion students is needed for use in conjunction with the percussion book of the band method.39

As a result of his investigation, Preston noted that his data indicated that brass and woodwind players had higher expectation to develop musically beyond what was expected of percussionists. Preston also includes in his study suggestions for the improvement of basic skills and concepts for beginning percussionists. His suggestions address several

37 Loren Roger Waa. An Experimental Study of Class and Private Methods of Instruction in Instrumental Music. Ed.D. Thesis: Music.University of llinois. Champaign, IL. 1965. 38 James Malcolm Shugert. An Experimental Investigation of Heterogeneous Class and Private Methods of Instruction with Beginning Instrumental Music Students. Ed.D.
Thesis: Music. University of Illinois, Champaign, 1IL. 1969. 39 Preston, page 21.

crucial areas of elementary percussion instruction including scales and melodies for malletikeyboard percussion instruments, as well as timpani fundamentals such as ear-training and pitch changes, in his own method book Flexible Percussion Ensembles. 40

Gary Cook (1989) states that thorough beginning level percussion training cannot be adequately established through use of a heterogeneous class approach. He goes on to mention that many music educators believe in a homogeneous class setting for the initial stages of percussion instruction.41 Cook also states that heterogeneous band methods, when used in conjunction with a method designed exclusively for percussion instruments, are useful in the education of percussionists as part of the overall band program. He also suggests the use of different instrument parts to be played by percussionists e.g. flute, oboe, trombone, as useful sources of sight-reading for bells, marimba, and xylophone.41

Robert Buggert (1956), referring to a difference in the nature of drum instruction compared with brass and wind instruments, cites the rhythmic and rudimental nature of percussion instruments versus the emphasis on notes, scales, and tone production of wind instruments. He suggests that, because of this distinction in percussion education as compared with other instruments, "it is wise if the beginning drummers meet in a separate, homogeneous group." He maintains that this method "appears to reinforce the traditional concept of percussionists as not included in the essential core of the band as a whole." 43

40 Preston, page 20.

41 Cook, page 21.

42 Ibid.

43 Robert Buggert. "The Beginning Drummer." Yhe Instrumentalist, 11: 67-8 n3 1956. page 67.


Presented in Bartlett and Holloway's (1973) text is the philosophy of a class

approach to teaching percussion at three levels- elementary, junior high, and high school. They stipulate that mallet percussion instruments should not be introduced in the first year of instruction. They state the position that first year percussionists should instead concentrate on rhythms, sticking, and technical development. Thus, mallet/keyboard percussion instruments are to be introduced beginning the second year of band instruction.44

Bartlett and Holloway further recommend that beginning percussion students

receive private instruction on mallet/keyboard instruments. It is their view that beginning percussionists benefit most from such a combination of homogeneous and heterogeneous instructional formats, and private instruction.45

Matched Grip versus Traditional Grip One of the central issues confronting today's public school band director and college percussion instructor is the decision of which grip to use with beginning percussionists: matched or traditional. This issue is pertinent to the study because it effects public school percussion instruction not only at the beginning level but also at the middle school and high school levels,

The relevance of this issue to comprehensive percussion instruction fies in the reality that many high school marching band programs emulate the techniques of contemporary drum corps, which incorporate traditional grip on snare drum. As

44 Bartlett and Holloway, page 20
45 Ibid.

a result, the question of which grip to teach beginning percussionists is a frequently discussed topic among contemporary percussion teachers.

Bartlett and Holloway (1973) advocate the use of matched grip for all beginning percussion students, citing the elimination of the "'awkward and unnatural" left-hand grip of traditional rudiment-style playing, leading to the facilitation of learning other percussion instruments. They contend that because matched grip is nearly identical to grips used for timpani and mallet percussion instruments, it is thus unnecessary to teach a different grip when learning a new instrument.46

Larry Reeder (1994) indicates that traditional grip on snare drum is often viewed by teachers as more difficult to teach than is matched grip. He notes that this is due to the fact that traditional grip requires different grips for left and right hands, a situation which requires two separate, distinct performing and instructional techniques.47 In addition, Reeder cites the prevailing view of many contemporary percussion instructors and band directors that matched grip should be taught to beginning percussionists on snare drum because it transfers more readily to other percussion instruments than does traditional grip. This allows for consistency in instruction of performance techniques on all percussion instruments.48

John Papastefan (1990) also advocates the use of matched grip in preference to traditional grip. He remarks that use of the same muscle groups for both hands allow for quicker development of technique on snare drum. Papastefan also cites the ease of

46 Bartlett and Holloway, page 5 1.

47 Reeder, pages 17-19.



transfer to other percussion instruments, which contributes to the establishment of a consistent percussion methodology as well as enhanced musical growth among public school percussionists at all grade levels: elementary, middle school, and high school.49

Robert Breithaupt (1991) suggests the use of different classes of instruments, starting with snare drum and including mallet percussion, for beginning percussion instruction. He concludes that use of matched grip on snare drum facilitates the learning of other percussion instruments, including the following:

1. membranophones (e.g snare drum, bass drum)

2. idiophones (e.g. bells, xylophone)50

Tony Ames, Gordon Peters, and Fred Wickstrom (1980) advocate matched grip for all percussion students because of its versatility and ease of transfer to other percussion instruments such as timpani and mallet percussion. They maintain that this allows percussionists to develop a more consistent approach in the development of comprehensive approach to percussion performance skills. 51

James Lambert and Robert (3rifa (1997) state that all fundamental techniques in percussion are derived from those used in matched grip snare drum playing. They compare the hand position of percussionists to the proper embouchure of wind and brass musicians. They declare that consistency of grip leads to ease of transfer to other instruments, thus providing a foundation for comprehensive percussion musicianship. 52 49 John Papastefan. "How to Practice Percussion." The Instrumentalist, 28: 38-41 n 4 1990.

50 Breithaupt, page 3.

51 Tony Ames, Gordon Peters, and Fred A.Wickstrom. 'Expert Advice for Percussion Students." The Instrumentalist, 34: 17-9 nlO 1980.


Mario Gaetano (1980) suggests that beginning percussionists receive lessons on keyboard percussion instruments in conjunction with snare drum instruction. He emphasizes that the combining of snare drum and mallet percussion is most logically approached utilizing matched grip for both instruments.

Gaetano notes that this type of training provides a consistency of instruction and avoids the problems inherent in teaching different grips for different instruments (e.g. snare drum, xylophone, timpani). However, he also states that in addition to matched grip, students should be cognizant of traditional grip because of its wide usage in the drumlines of high school marching bands. 53 Gaetano also cites ease of transfer to other percussion instruments as the primary reason for instructing beginning percussionists on matched grip for all instruments 54

Papastefan (1990) notes that the traditional grip was originally used in military

bands for performance on a snare drum carried on a sling. The result was a "tilted drum" requiring a specialized grip. He states that with the existence of modem drum carriers, which allow the drum to be placed in a level position, there is no practical need for instruction of traditional gip."5 He also mentions that many contemporary marching bands that are equipped with these carriers use matched grip in their snare drum sections.

57 James W. Lambert and Robert Grifa. "Beginning Percussionists With Good Fundamentals." The Instrumentalist, 51: 26-3 0 nil1 1997. 13 Mario A. Gaetano. "Teaching Mallet Instruments to Beginners." The Instrumentalist, 34: 30-1 nlO 1980.

54 Ibid.

55 Papastefan, page 38.


The website Percussion Education Online (1997) offers an interactive panel discussion on the subject of which grip to start beginning percussionists: matched or traditional, Band directors and percussion instructors are invited to add their comments to those already present online. The consensus of contributors is that matched grip should be taught to beginning percussionists because it transfers naturally to other percussion instruments, something that is not possible when beginning percussionists start with traditional grip. 56

Nature of Percussion Skills Class

One crucial aspect of comprehensive percussion instruction is that of teacher training at the collegiate level in undergraduate music education courses, which traditionally refers to percussion skills classes and how they prepare future music educators in the area of percussion. Robert Breithaupt addresses this issue with the following quote:

After countless articles, clinics, and seminars on the subject of percussion
instruments and young percussionists, ensemble directors continue to complain that the percussion area is a 'weak link' in their background
and training, 57

The College Pedagogy Committee of the Percussive Arts Society (1996)

developed a set of standards for future music educators in undergraduate percussion

16 Percussion Education Online. ( 199T 57 Robert Breithaupt. 7he Complete Percussionist: A Guidebookfor the Music Educator. C.L. Barnhouse Company., Oskaloosa, Iowa, 1991. Introduction.


methods classes. These standards addressed the need for minimum competency levels to be obtained by students in these classes and also provided guidelines for percussion education instructors.58

The purpose of the percussion pedagogy committee was to provide content guidelines for instructors in order for them to be able to better prepare undergraduate music education majors for teaching percussion in public schools, The goal of these standards is to provide students familiarity and competence in all essentials areas of percussion instruction, including competency on snare drum, timpani, keyboard percussion, drumset, multi-percussion, and accessories, 59

Gary Cook (1988) cites a need for a practical reference source that can be used by music educators in conjunction with an instrumental course for band as an accompanying guide for comprehensive percussion instruction. He examines the instrumental music educator's task of providing guidance for percussionists as they attempt to achieve command of technique over instruments in the three main categories of percussion: snare dnam, timpani, and keyboard instruments.

Cook also maintains that a comprehensive teacher training course in percussion at the undergraduate level is essential for the development of public school instrumental music educators who are able to guide their students toward heightened musical growth as well as development of musical sensitivity and awareness of their percussion students,

51 Standards for the College Percussion Methods Class: From the PAS CoUege Pedagogy Committee. Percussive Notes, 35: 43-4 n3 1997. 59 Ibid.


Charles Spohn and John Tatgenhorst (1971) describe the need for improved training of teachers and percussionists, due to the increasing performance and interpretation demands of contemporary band literature as well as increasing pressure on educators to prepare teachers in percussion.60) They also argue the viewpoint that this task is considerably complicated by the time restrictions of a typical one semester undergraduate percussion methods course.61

Harry Bartlett and Ronald Holloway (1973) offer the view that percussion

instruction should be developed to serve musical ends, and recommended techniques generally used by artist-percussionists currently active in music performance. Their Guide to Teaching Percussion was designed primarily for use as a reference source by educators involved in preservice and inservice training of future music educators.62

Larry Reeder (1978) discusses the problems of pedagogy in teaching percussion to future music educators due to the wide and varied numbers of instruments, playing techniques, and sound production. He states that this type of eclecticism "adds to the confusion of methodologies and produces frustration." Reeder cites the relatively small number of comprehensive percussion methods available in comparison to those dealing with the instruction of brass or woodwinds. He also observes that public school band directors are 'somewhat less prepared to deal with percussionists than they were with wind and string players." 63

60 Cook, page 1,
61 Spohn and Tatgenhorst, page 3.

62 Harry R. Bartlett and Ronald A. Holloway. Guide to Teaching Percussion (Second Edition). William C. Brown Company Publishers, Dubuque, IA, 1973. Preface: vii. 63 Reeder, pages 7-8.


Joseph Casimino (1985) states that most public school music teachers have not received adequate training and preparation in percussion at the undergraduate level in music education. He cites a paucity of published percussion skills method books appropriate for collegiate level instruction as the reason for inadequate instruction. As a result, according to Casimino, these students avoid instruction of students on percussion instruments once they become band directors.64

Rudy Monty (1986) alludes to the need for a comprehensive method book in

training future music educators to teach percussion in public school. He mentions in his study that there exists "no method book was consistently helpful to non-percussionist band directors" for teaching beginning percussion65

Monty further states that a curriculum based on fundamental percussion techniques for snare drum, timpani, and mallet keyboard instruments had a positive influence on band directors who are not percussionists in providing effective instruction of percussion at beginning and intermediate levels.66

Frank Cocuzzi and Kristen Shiner (1988) suggest that undergraduate music education students develop their own handbook during percussion methods class for future use. They maintain that this will better prepare students to teach percussion in

64 JoehAnthony Casirnino. Curriculum Planning Practices for the Development of Percussionists in Selected School Districts of New York State. Ph.D. Dissertation. State University of New York at Buffalo. 1985. page 46. 65 Rudy A. Monty. Percussion Method Books Used in Selected United States Public Schools: Analyses and a Supplemental Guide for the Non-Percussionist Band Director.
Ed.D. Thesis: Music. New York University. New York, New York. 1986. page 21. 66,Ibid.


public schools because it gives them a core curriculum written in their own words, thus contributing to the presentation of clear and accessible concepts to their students.67 Comprehensive Percussion Curriculum William Albin (1979) found that eighty percent of those junior high and senior high and directors responding to a survey stated that the percussion instruments taught in their performing ensembles were limited to snare, bass drum, triangle, cymbals, tambourine, timpani, and bells. He also noted that a implementation comprehensive percussion curriculum in public schools may be related to the preparation of college-level music education students.68

Albin also discovered that sixty-five percent of those secondary instrumental music instructors surveyed believed they were not adequately prepared in their undergraduate percussion skills classes to teach percussion in public schools.69

In his 1985 study, Albin revealed that seventy-five percent of music performed for public school concerts and festivals required only snare drum, bass drun timpani, cymbals, and bells. In addition, the results of the study indicated that less than twenty-five percent of the music performed in concert situations required xylophone or marimba. 10

67 Frank Cocuzzi and Kristen Shiner. 'What Really Needs to be Taught in Percussion Methods Class." Percussive Notes, 26: 24-8 n4 1988. page 26. 68 William Robert Albin. "Teacher Preparation in Percussion: Results of a Survey Percussive Notes, 23: 69 n4 1985.
69 Ibid.

70 William Robert Albin. Yhe Development of Videotaped Instructional Unitsfor Teaching Selected Aspects of Mallet-Played Latin-American and Accessory Percussion Instruments. Ph.D. Dissertation: Music Education. Indiana University. Bloomington, IN, 1979. pages 2-3.


James Salmon (1963) cites the influence of television, movies, Broadway musicals, television commercials, and movie soundtracks as the primary reason for a "rediscovering of mallet percussion instruments by public school band directors" and their subsequent inclusion in band literature and curriculum.7'

In keeping with the duality of how percussionist s are often perceived, Salmon further suggested that if percussion section members are not familiar or have little experience with mallet percussion, a "trained and accomplished instrumentalist" from the wind or brass section might join the section to play those parts, contributing to the perception of percussionists as non-comprehensively trained musicians.

James Lambert (1995) notes a change in the traditional attitude with regards to percussionists as being the result of such landmark works as H. Own Reed's La Fiesta Mexicana, Vaclav Neihybel's Trittico, and Karel Husa's Music for Prague, 1968. He states that this helped bring about "a twentieth century renaissance in percussion performance attitudes and performance demnands."172

Bob Tilles (1967) observes that use of mallet percussion instruments in

contemporary band music has become increasingly popular "in the past five years" (since 1962). He notes that along with the expanded role of percussion in band literature, the need for comprehensively trained percussionists has grown accordingly73

71 James D. Salmon. "Mallet Percussion Can Produce Scintillating Sounds and New Sonorities." The Instrumentalist, 17: 65-7 n9 1963. 72 James Lambert. "The Percussion Ensemble: A Director's Best Friend." The Instrumentalist, 38: 39-42 nlO 1983.

73 Bob Tilles. "Teaching Mallet Percussion." The Instrumentalist, 21: 82-3 n8 1967.


Tiles' statement supports Barnett's prediction, given six years earlier, concerning the impact of mallet percussion instruments on the public school band experience,

Vincent Paxcia (1973) studied the impact of melodic training beginning percussionists musical development when used concurrently with the rudimental approach of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers. His sample population consisted of two elementary schools districts in Illinois and Minnesota, Paxcia stated that percussionists in the United States have traditionally scored lower on musical achievement tests than other instrumentalists 74 He maintains that this poorer showing is directly attributable to insufficient melodic training of beginning percussionists, specifically in the area of mallet/keyboard instruments.75

Joseph Casimino (1984) notes that public school percussionists must possess a wide variety of skills in order to fulfill the demands of percussion performance. He notes includes the ability to play timpani, mallet/keyboard percussion, and accessory percussion, in addition to snare drum.76 Casimino also states that diverse talents are necessary because public school percussionists, in the course of their music careers, are required to perform in diverse and eclectic musical situations including marching band, concert band, jazz band, orchestra, and other small ensembles. Casimino maintains that it

74 Vincent Kerry Paxcia. The Effect of Melodic Training on the Musical Development of Beginning Percussionists in Selected Midwest Communities. Ph.D. Dissertation: Music Education.University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA. 1973. 71 Ibid.

76 Casimino, page 43.


is for this reason that a comprehensive percussion curriculum in public schools is a necessity. 77

Spohn and Tatgenhorst (1971) observe a need to teach to teach beginning percussionist basic music fundamentals such as understanding treble and bass clefs, scales, and intervals through the use of keyboard percussion instruments. They further cite the necessity of implementing a comprehensive percussion curriculum that includes snare drum, timpani, and keyboard instruments in order for students to experience the full range of percussion performance. 78

Robert Breithaupt (199 1) perceives a need for prior musical knowledge such as piano skills to enhance beginning percussionists' progress toward comprehensive musicianship. He also maintains that public school percussionists should "trade parts" with special emphasis on having students take turns playing bells and other mallet percussion instruments as part of comprehensive percussion training. 79

David Peters (1978) discusses the use of computer assisted instruction (CAT) in the implementation of a comprehensive musicianship curriculum for public school percussionists. He mentions the availability of software programs for instruction in the four core areas of percussion instruction: snare drum pedagogy, timpani pedagogy, mallet percussion instruction, and accessory percussion techniques. 80

77 Ibid.

78 Spohn and Tatgenhorst, page 4.

79 Breithaupt, pages 3-6.

81)Dai Peters. "Percussion Instruction Methods by Computer." The Instrumentalist, 32: 41-3 n6 1978.


Fred Grumley (1983) notes that beginning band method books frequently place

percussionists at a disadvantage with regard to developmental music skills compared with brass and woodwind instrumentalist. He attributes this problem to a lack of training on mallet percussion instruments in addition to an overemphasis on snare drum technique and rudiments. Grumley ffirther states that inclusion of melodic instruments in the curriculum of beginning percussionist at the start of instruction provides a stable harmonic and melodic foundation, thus contributing to the development of musical growth and comprehensive musicianship among percussionists. 81

The Percussive Arts Society is a strong advocate of the concept of comprehensive percussion instruction in public schools. They maintain that students need to be trained in all four major areas of percussion performance: snare drum, timpani, mallet/keyboard percussion, and accessory percussion. They further state that this concept should pervade afl areas of percussion instruction, from the initial lesson in elementary school through high school. 82

According to The Percussive Arts Society's Education Committee, it is of

paramount importance to educate and inform students, teachers, as well as other musicians of the musical benefits that result from the implementation of a comprehensive percussion curriculum for all public school percussion students-"

81 Fred Grumley. 'Mallet Instruments Challenge Beginning Percussionists." Music Educators Journal, 70: 5 5 n 1 1983.
82 Percussion Education: A Source Book of Concepts and Information. Education Committee of P.A. S., Lawton, OK, 1990. 83. Ibid,


In summary, the musical demands upon contemporary percussionists are more rigorous constantly increasing and, the practice of "assigning students with bad ears to percussion instruments" is no longer an educationally or musically responsible option.14

84 Colwell and Goolsby, page 472.


Need for Emphasis on Middle School Percussion

A primary reason for examination of middle school percussion curriculum and performance practices is the essential role middle school band represents in the overall music curriculum in public schools. This philosophy can be seen in the following quote from the Music Educators National Conference Task Force (1994) concerning the National Standards in the Arts:

The period represented by grades 5-8 is especially critical
in students' musical development. The music they perform
or study often becomes an integral part of their personal
musical repertoire. I

Research Questions

Answering the three research questions posed in chapter involved choosing a

format appropriate to the scope and sequence of the study. The purpose of the study was to compare two significant but different, elements of public school percussion curriculum:

1. percussion books of contemporary band methods

2. percussion performance requirements levels IR- VI band literature

MENC Task Force. Ae School Music Program: A New Vision. Music Educators National Conference, Reston, VA, 1994.



These elements are dissimilar because they represent two discrete levels of instrumental music curriculum: middle school and high school. Middle school band methods lead to, but are not directly comparable to, the performance of levels In-VI band literature. Therefore, certain types of comparative analysis such as canonical correlation or discriminant analysis were determined to be inappropriate for examination of the information collected in the study.'

Because of the nature of the study, consideration had to be given to the

examination not only the various components of the books, but also the relationship between these methods and performance requirements of typical high school band music. It was for these reasons that descriptive analysis was chosen. Essentially, the study attempted to determine the method books appropriateness in preparing percussionists to play moderately advanced and advanced high school band literature.

Research Design

Donald Casey (1992) discusses descriptive research and their appropriateness for studies in music education. He presents his view of the value of descriptive research in music education with the following quote:

When description is the primary goal of a research project, that project is
then termed descriptive research ... all research studies in which a relationship
between variables, as they naturally exist ... are ... descriptive... a strong
argument can be made that regardless of paradigm and mode, descriptive
research techniques are basic to nearly all inquiry in music education. 3

2 Walter R. Borg and Meredith D. Gall, Educational Research: An Introduction (Fifth Edition). Longman Publishing, New York, New York, 1989, pages 609-612.
3 Donald E. Casey. Descriptive Research: Techniques and Procedures. Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning: A Project of the Music Educators National Conference (Editor Colwell). Schirmer Books, New York, New York, 1992. page 115.


Casey further recommends survey studies as a logical choice when a researcher examines a portion of the area in the belief that the section under scrutiny will provide information that is relatively descriptive of the entire area of study. He states that studies of this nature are properly termed surveys, and he cites two basic types: interview and questionnaire. 4

Walter Borg and Meredith Gall (1999) note that information obtained from

descriptive studies can provide crucial insight as to what actually happens in public school classrooms. They state that descriptive research is an appropriate investigation tool for recording phenomena such as occur in public schools.' They also note that certain types of descriptive research such as surveys are valuable in exploring the relationships "between two or more variables." 6

According to Babbie (1983), a survey is an appropriate research device when the intent of the study is to describe, explain, or explore, He notes that surveys are typically used in studies using individuals as the units of analysis, but also states that surveys can be used for other units of analysis providing that some individuals are used as respondents. Babbie notes that questionnaires are Ccessential to and most directly associated with survey research." 7

4EarI Babbie. Ihe Practice of Social Research (Third Edition). Wadsworth Publishing Company, Belmont, CA, 1983. pages 609-612.

5 Borg and Gall, page 419.

7Babbie, page 209,

Parameters of Study

Since the purpose of the study was to describe the degree of relationship between the selected percussion methods and the performance requirements of level III-VI band literature, certain parameters had to be established for the study. A major consideration was the fact that the method books were examined at beginning to intermediate levels, These books lead to levels III-VI literature, but were certainly not equivalent. In other words, while the sequence of musical concepts and skills presented in percussion method books are similar to the performance requirements of levels III-VI band literature, they are quite separate entities.

Selection of Regional Populations
Use of Internet

The population used in this study consisted of middle school band directors, In order to collect information from a representative sample, school districts were chosen from three different areas of the United States. The southeastern region of the United

States was represented by Florida; the northeast portion of the country was

represented by Massachusetts, and Illinois represented the Midwest region of the country. School districts were chosen from three regions within each state. Florida's sample population was drawn from Alachua, Pinellas, and the Miami metro-area. Districts in Massachusetts were selected from Bristol and New Bedford counties as wen as the Boston metro-area. Illinois districts were chosen from Champaign and Sangamon counties in addition to the Chicago metro-area. One hundred and fifty middle schools were then randomly selected within the targeted population, 50 from each of the three selected states.

The majority of the rniddle schools used in the study were randomly chosen as a.result of an on-line search on the Internet. Schools not selected via the Internet were

randomly chosen from lists provided by the State Boards of Education of Illinois, Massachusetts, and Florida.

The search engine employed was Metacrawler, a multi-search engine combining the resources of several other search engines: Lycos, Alta Vista, and Webcrawler, The Website used to locate the middle schools used in the study was entitled "American School Districts." This Internet location contained a list of every public and private school district in the United States. 8

A survey was determined to be the appropriate method for gathering information from a population that was too large to observe directly, all middle school band directors in the United States. The survey thus provided a pool of respondents from a target population whose characteristics closely approximate the larger overall population

Survey and Questionnaire

A postcard survey was used to collect information for this study. Band directors were given a fist of ten contemporary band methods and asked to check the one used in their instrumental music program. Space was also provided to write in the title of a band method that were using if it was not included on the fist of choices. Directions for completion of the survey were given in the accompanying cover letter, along with an explanation of why the survey was being done, (See Appendix A)

The postcard format was chosen based on the belief that band directors would be more likely to respond to a brief and clear type of survey. Postcards were self-addressed

8 American School Districts.

9 Babbie, page 147.


and stamped in order to simplify completion and encourage subjects to respond to the survey. 11

The study attempted to take advantage of the inherent strengths of the postcard questionnaire:
_ease of contact with respondents

-better control over the effects of any researcher bias

-uniform question presentation

VvUle attempting to avoid the major pitfalls often associated with this format:

-relatively low response rates which can engender criticisms of

selection bias

-limitations associated with written questions and answers

-lack of control over whom actually completes the questionnaire'

Selection of Band Methods The four most widely used contemporary band methods, as indicated by the survey results, were then chosen for examination. This investigation consisted of content analyses and comparison of content analyses.

Representativeness of Sample The study focused on percussion curricula in typical middle school instrumental music programs, with the majority of students receiving all of their instruction in a

Babbie, pages 209-213.


classroom, Though some students may have received private lessons, it was assumed that the percentage of those percussionists receiving private instruction was too small to have much influence on the validity of the study. This assumption is supported by Preston (1975) and Waa (1965), both of whom found that middle school and high school percussionists who received private instruction did not score significantly higher on standardized music tests than those whose instruction was limited to instruction in public schools. 12

One of the areas of concern with regard to survey research is the possibility of a low response rate among the selected population. According to Fuqua et al. (1983), individual follow-up of nonrespondents has been found to be the most effective method of increasing the percentage of response to a survey. 1-1

In the event of a poor response rate, postcard questionnaires would be mailed to 30 middle schools not on the original survey list. The survey and postcard questionnaire format was designed to promote ease of completion and response, Response Rate
Earl Babbie (1983) addressed the issue of response rate of surveys in The Practice of Social Research. He noted that while "the body of inferential statistics used in connection with survey analysis assumes that all members of the initial sample complete and return their questionnaires ... this almost never happens." He goes on to state that a less than perfect response rate may give the appearance of a random sample of the original sample.

12 Preston, pages 19-21.

13 Fuqua. et al., page 73.


This, according to Babbie, could result in a smaller than desired random sample of the population, and increases the likelihood of response bias. 14 He also indicates that if a survey demonstrates a high response rate, there is a lesser possibility of significant response bias than one exhibiting a low response rate. Flis guidelines for acceptable response rates for surveys are as follows:

-50%: Adequate

-60%: Good

-70%: Very Good 15

Questionnaire Bias The postcard survey was designed to reduce the possibilities of response bias

among the targeted population. The parameters were limited to the collection of specific information: which band method is currently being used in the subject's instrumental music program.

The survey incorporated no questions containing biased terms (e.g. 'Don't you think that this particular band method..."), thus satisfying the guidelines stated by Babbie with regard to response bias. 16 Selection of Band Literature Pieces selected for examination were restricted to original compositions for

band/wind ensemble because there is a dearth of percussion parts and limited performance

14 Babbie, page 226.

15 Ibid.

16 Babbie, pages 134-5.


requirements in most orchestral transcriptions for band. Pieces arranged by the original composer for both band and orchestra, such as Gustav Holst's Hammersmith and Percy Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy, were included because they are frequently programmed by high school wind ensembles and represent an important part of wind band repertoire, Content Analysis of Percussion Methods A content analysis was conducted of the percussion books from the six band

methods most frequently used in contemporary public schools, The examination of these books focused on three ftindamental questions:

1. What skills, concepts, and instruments are introduced?

2. When are these skills, concepts, and instruments introduced?

3. How much instruction time, in terms of pages, units, or exercises,

is allocated to each skill, concept, or instrument?

Also explored were implications of performance requirements for percussion methods. These implications were based on an examination of the content of the four selected percussion books. This information was analyzed for patterns of instructional presentation such as notable discrepancies in content, as well as concepts and skills that were given scant attention (e.g. a reference to timpar technique in a book that does not include timpani in its content).

The crucial issue addressed in the content analysis section was whether or not

some percussion instruments prominently featured in high school performance situations were covered adequately in percussion methods book. An example of this would be a piece that contains a difficult xylophone or marimba solo, extensive timpani work, or instruments and techniques not ordinarily encountered in the majority of public middle school and high school band performances.

The question of whether special techniques were covered in the percussion books was also examined. Special performance requirements include such points as the use of brushes for snare drum, use of French-grip for timpani, and a four-mallet technique for keyboard percussion.

Content Analysis of Band Literature
Content analyses were made of the 100 pieces of contemporary band literature most frequently programmed by public high school band directors. In order to collect a representative selection of level III-VI literature, every third title on the appropriate list was selected for examination. Each work was analyzed in four large categories:

1. The number of percussion players required for performance.

2. Which percussion instruments were required for performance.

3. Any special technique requirements such as four-mallet parts on marimba, thumb-roll on tambourine, or special instrument requirements such as celeste, thunder sheet, or wind machine

4. The relative musical importance of percussion part in relation to the band work as a whole. An example of this is whether the snare drum was musically integrated into the musical texture of the piece or was primarily used as an accompanying part.

Use of Matrix
A matrix was employed in order to examine the content of the selected percussion books at the macro-level. The resulting information was used to answer the three fundamental content analysis questions mentioned in Chapter 1. The matrix also provided a method for comparison/contrast of two different sets of data:

1.) The content of the percussion books of band methods series books.

2.) The percussion performance requirements of contemporary band literature,

The format of the matrix was similar to that employed by Larry Reeder (1994) in his comparison of teaching methods used in undergraduate percussion skills classes, Data from each percussion book and band work were arranged on the matrix according to category. "I The information was then positioned on a grid-chart so that the data would be accessible for examination.

For example, percussion books were examined for the specific snare drum

rudiments covered, as well as when they were introduced in the instructional sequence. The point in the method book, at which mallet percussion instruments were introduced, as well as key signatures, scales, etudes, and clefs were categorized in the matrix.

Prominent features with regard to percussion performance requirements and

instrumentation needs contained in the band literature were also included in the matrix. Such features might be the number and type of non-traditional percussion instruments such as Tibetan prayer rocks, Brazilian rainstick, or instruments requiring musical instrument digital interface (NMI) technology.

Analysis and Description of Data

The data categorized in the matrix were then examined for both similarities and differences in the areas of content, sequence, amount of time spent on each area, and clarity of presentation. This was done in order to determine which percussion method books provided the best preparation for percussion performance requirements of medium difficult and difficult high school band wind ensemble literature.

17 Reeder, page 13.


Content Analysis of Band Literature

Band literature was subjected to a similar analysis. Works were examined for the prominence of the percussion parts and their relative musical importance within the piece. Special or unorthodox techniques not covered in the method books and non-typical instruments were also noted, as well as their frequency of use within the work and their practical accessibility to public school percussionists. The selected band works were also examined for the extent to which the percussion section is essential to the overall musical fabric of a particular work.

Comparison and Contrast of Content Analyses A major factor in the comparison of the information collected in the study was the selection of an appropriate method for comparison of disparate data. The selection of the raw-data matrix used in the study was to provide an acceptable foundation for describing and analyzing possible relationships between data. Babbie (1983) supports this, who observed that contrasting data collected as the result of descriptive research as conducive to the use of this format. 18

A feature that the study shares with Preston's (1975) investigation is a section

devoted to suggestions for improvement of percussion instruction in the areas of content and educational effectiveness. This study also explores the possible relationship between two different sets of data.

18 Babbie, pages 409-10.


Format of Survey

The postcard/questionnaire survey was addressed to a particular school, and

not to an individual because the lists from which the middle schools were selected for the study did not contain the names of individual band directors. A letter of introduction explained the purpose of the survey and its relation to the study. The letter followed the format suggested by Borg and Gall (1992) for introductory letters of surveys. I Enclosed with each letter was a postcard/survey listing ten contemporary band methods. These methods were selected from the Publishers Showcase portion of the JW Pepper company's music education web-site.2

Subjects were instructed to place a check in the box corresponding with the

band method currently used in their middle school instrumental music program. A blank space was provided on the postcards for subjects to write in the name of a band method currently used in their instrumental music program that was not included on the list of ten. The enclosed postcards were self-addressed and postage paid in order to expedite completion and return mailing of the survey, as well as to provide a viable and representative sample for analysis.

I Borg and Gafl, page 149.

2 j.W, Pepper company @



Regional Results of Survey
The method employed for categorizing results of the survey was a variation of Babbie's return rate graph. This type of graph begins with the day on which the survey was mailed, with the number of returned surveys plotted and recorded each day until no more surveys are received. 3 However, due to the fact that the postcard survey was sent to three different geographic areas, the results of the survey were categorized by region.

Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts formed the three main geographic areas

for examination of the returns, In order to provide a representative sample of n-fiddle schools in the United States, each state was then subdivided into three areas, forming nine geographic cells. Overall return rate was 57%.

Metro-Area Response Rates to Survey Chicago demonstrated the highest return rate among the three metropolitan areas with 55% (11 of 20) responding to the questionnaire, with Miami posting the lowest return rate 29% (4 of 14). Boston's return rate of 34% may have been skewed because there were only five instrumental music programs extant in Boston proper at the time of the survey,

The possibility of skewed data for the Boston metropolitan area was confirmed by Dr, Richard Colwell, who oversaw these band and music programs during his tenure as chairman of the music education department of Boston University.4 Tables 4-1 and 4-2 summarize the return rates of the postcard survey.

3 Babbie, page 224.

interview with Dr. Richard Colwell, Chairman, Department of Music Education at New England Conservatory of Music: Boston, MA (March 5, 1998).


Table 4-1
Return Rates of Postcard Survey Overall (N= 15 0)

Illinois 64% 3 2/50

Florida 56% 28/50

Massachusetts 50% 25/50

Totals 57% 85/150

Table 4-2
Return Rates by Region
N= 150

Illinois Champaign/Macon Sangamon/Tazewell Chicago Metro

50% 7/14 87% 14/16 55% 11/20

Massachusetts Bristol/Norfolk Barnstable/Plymouth Boston Metro 71% 10/14 53% 7/13 34% 8/23

Florida Alachua County Pinellas County Miami Metro

77% 10/13 61% 14/23 29% 4/14

Totals 57% 85/150

Current Band Methods
Used in Public Middle Schools Ten contemporary band methods were listed on the postcard survey. Four band methods comprised 90.6% of responses for the 85 returned questionnaires: Yamaha Band Student, Standard of Excellence, Essential Elements, and Accent on Achievement, Results were predominantly regional, with Standard of Excellence and

Yamaha Band Student used extensively in Massachusetts and Florida. Illinois results indicated the use of Essential Elements and Accent on Achievement as the primary band methods used for instruction of beginning to intermediate percussion students.

The ten band methods listed in the questionnaire were as follows:

1, Yamaha Band Student: A (Tomb med Percussion Method

2. Standard of Excellence

3. Band Today
4. Belwin 21Ist Century Band Method 5. Beginning.Developing Band Book

6. Essential Elements

7. Band Encounters

8. Basic Band Method

9. Accent on Achievement

10, Now Go Home and Practice

Bruce Pearson's Standard of Excellence was the most used method book,

with 56% of those responding to the survey indicating the use of this text. Yamaha Band Student: A Combined Method was cited in 16% of those surveyed, Essential Elements 14%, and Accent on Achievement used by 13% of those responding to the questionnaire, Table 4-3 gives a summary of the percentages of each method cited in the survey.

Table 4-3
Percentage of Band Usage: Totals From Returned Questionnaires (N--85)
Listed 10 Methods: Perentage
Standard of Excellence 56%
Yamaha Band Student (Combined) 16%
Essential Elements 14%


Table 4-3 (cont)
Percentage of Band Usage Listed 10 Methods Perccutage
Accent on Achievement 13%
Band Today 03%
Belwin 21 st Century Band Method 01%
Band Encounters 0%
Basic Band Method 0%
Beginning/Developing Band Book 0%
Now Go Home and Practice 0%

Breeze Easy 02%
Best in Class 01%
I Recommend 01%

Analysis of
Percussion Books from Band Methods This portion of the study is an analysis of the content of the four method book series most frequently cited in the survey for use in the instruction of elementary to intermediate public school percussionists. Method books were examined for skills, concept, and instruments introduced in each book. These books were also examined for scope and sequence of content.

Standard of Excellence: Combined Percussion-Drums and MaRet Percussion (Bruce Pearson)

This method series contains three levels of instruction for percussionists:

-Book 1: Drums and Mallet Percussion -Book 2: Drums and Mallet Percussion -Book 3: Drums and Mallet Percussion


The content of this series of method book consists of 120-155 exercises and musical example for both percussion and mallet percussion instruments. Each book utilizes a double-page format, with snare drum/percussion on the left-hand side and mallet instruments on the right.

Skills, concepts and instruments are introduced in color boxes at the top of the page, and are also demonstrated in special boxes at the bottom of the page, entitled "For Drums Only" of "For Mallets Only." Rudiments are typically included in musical examples one to three pages after their introduction. Instruments are generally included in musical examples on the same page as their introduction.

A prominent feature of these books is the manner in which rolls are presented. The multiple bounce is introduced before double bounce, and all rolls are presented in multiple bounce form when they are initially discussed. Starting with the special pages in book 1 and the beginning of book 2, rolls are presented in both multiple bounce and double bounce form. 5

Each method book in this series contains special pages entitled "Excellerators," which include exercises for specific instruments. Examples of this include "Excellerators for Snare Drums Only," which includes exercises containing the previously covered five, nine, and seventeen stroke rolls, and "Excellerators for Mallets Only," which incorporate scale studies, rolls, and sticking exercises.6

5 Bruce Pearson. Standard of Excellence: Comprehensive Band Method: Drums and Mallet Percusson-Book 1. Neil A. Kjos Music Company Publisher, San Diego, CA, 1995, pages 39-41.

6 Pearson-Book 1, page 4 1.


Standard of Excellence-Book I
Preliminary Pages
In the introductory pages, Pearson refers to picking up drum sticks and mallets. He also includes color illustrations of snare drum and (matched) grip, bass drum and grip, and mallet percussion grip. 7 Although not explicitly stated as the method's teaching philosophy, the orr ssion of traditional grip for snare drum, the inclusion of mallet percussion in the introduction, and the dual page format, suggests that mallet percussion instruments are to be taught simultaneously with snare drum and bass drum.

Skills, Concepts, and Instruments

Instruction begins with the introduction of the accent, half note and half rest for the snare drum, and the initial appearance of the whole note and whole rest for both snare drum and mallet percussion instruments. This section also features the introduction of the first rudiment for snare drum, the single paradiddle, It is also at this juncture that the bass drum becomes paired with snare drum on a consistent basis.8

The concept /skill of multiple bounce for snare drum is introduced 17% into this method book, The author give a written explanation of this skill as well as illustrations of its performance and how it is notated, One page is devoted to instruction of this skill. 9

The flam and flarn accent are covered 22% through the text. The flarn is

introduced with color illustrations of starting hand position for both left and right flams, as

7 Pearson-Book 1, page 3.

8 Pearson-Book 1, pages 6-8.

Pearson-Book 1, page 9.

written text describing the proper stroke. Also included is an illustration of how flams are notated, Two pages are allocated for instruction of these rudiments, 10

Flam accent is the next rudiment covered, occurring 40% into the text. It is included in the musical example "Third Time Around" on the page of its introduction. One page is devoted to this rudiment.11

Following this set of pages is a piece for percussion solo/percussion ensemble

entitled "Sawmill Creek," written by the author. This selection requires the snare drum to be played with snares off as well as on the rim, and incorporates accents. The mallet part performs the melodic line which moves predominantly in conjunct fashion.'12

The full band arrangements of "Montego Bay" is featured 50% into this method book. The snare drum part of this work includes passages of multiple bounce (buzz) rolls, and also includes flams.

The fiam paradiddle, another rudiment, is also covered in this portion of the

method book, as is the concept of right hand lead. The flamnacue is featured in the musical example "This Old Man" one page after its introduction. One-half page is allocated to instruction of the fiamacue. 13

The nine stroke roll, five stroke roll for snare drum, as well as the sustained roll (single stroke) for mallet instruments are introduced 65% into this method book. This

10 Pearson-Book 1, pages 11-12.

11 Pearson-Book 1, page 18.

12 Pearson-Book 1, page 20.

13 Pearson-Book 1, page 21-23.


portion of the book also contains the introduction of the seventeen stroke roll for snare drum, and double stops for mallet instruments. 14

"Sticking With It," a multiple percussion solo written for snare drum, occurs

75% into the method book. This pieces utilize rolls, accents, and sixteenth-eighth note combination, as well as playing on the rim of the snare drum. The rim shot is also introduced at this juncture. 15

Double stops for mallet instruments and the seventeen stroke roll, a rudiment are introduced simultaneously 80% through the text. Both skills are incorporated in musical examples one page after their introduction, with seventeen stroke rolls featured in the "Just Fine," and double stops utilized in Lowell Mason's "Chorale."16 Specialized Pages

Following the conclusion of dual instruction, this method book features a

section consisting of advanced studies for both snare drum and mallet instruments entitled "Excellerators For Snare Drum Only" and "Excellerators For Mallets Only." This section includes rhythmic studies and rudimental exercises for snare drum and scale studies, along with sticking exercises for mallet instruments, 17

The final pages of this method book include the International Drum Rudiments of the Percussive Arts Society, These pages also contain color illustrations of bells,

14 Pearson-Book 1, pages 27-33.

15 Pearson-Book 1, pages 36-37.

16 Pearson-Book 1, pages 32-33.

17 Pearson-Book 1, pages 39-45.


marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, and chimes, which contain a description of the performance capabilities of each instrument, and a mallet percussion note chart. 18 Standard of Excellence-Book 2

This method begins with a review of material from the previous book. Five, seven, and nine stroke rolls are reviewed in the snare drum pages. Students are instructed to play these rolls in using both multiple bounce (buzz) and double strokes (rudimental style). These rolls are all incorporated in the musical example "Knucklebuster," which also includes fiam paradiddles and flam. taps. 19 Content

The content of this method book consists of 118 exercises and etudes, and musical examples, as well as seven one to three page band arrangements, a multiple percussion solo utilizing five different instrument, and a mallet percussion solo. Eight pages of advanced exercises complete the content of this method book. These studies consist of four pages of studies for both snare drum- "Excellerators For Drums Only" and for keyboard percussion instruments-"Excellerators For Mallets Only" Skills, Concepts, and Instruments

Syncopation in the context of a nine stroke roll is the first significant topic covered in this method book, and is introduced 5% into the text. It is incorporated in the musical

18 Pearson-Book 1, pages 46-9.

19 Bruce Pearson. Standard of Excellence: Comprehensive Band Method Drums and Mallet Percussion-Book 2. Neil A. Kjos Music Company, Publisher, San Diego, CA, 1995, pages 2-4.


example "Laredo" (Mexican Folk Song) on the page of its introduction, The double paradiddle is also introduced at this point. This rudiment in not featured in the remainder of this method book. A total of one and on-half pages are allocated to the instruction of these topics, 20

The rudiments drag and single drag tap are introduced 20% into this method book on the snare drum pages, along with the first appearance of a three-voice mallet part, in an excerpt from Brahm's "Academic Festival March-Trio." The flamacue, another snare 21
drum rudiment, is presented 29% into the text of this method book.

Also included in this portion of the method book is a musical excerpt from Sibelius' "Finlandia" which features snare drum/bass drum and mallet performing double stops, and an exercise 'Tor Snare Drum Only" which implements snare drum, bass drum, and a suspended cymbal part consisting of repeated eighth notes. 22

For the first time in this series, the method book includes a two page percussion solo/ensemble for both snare drum and mallet instruments. "Turkish March- from 'The Ruins of Athens... (Beethoven arr. Pearson), contains a bass drum/snare drum part incorporating several of the skills and concepts from the preceding portions of book 2.23

The snare drum pages include the rudiments five stroke roll, drag, flamacue, and flarn, as well as playing on the rim, The mallet part utilizes double stops, accents, and a

20 Pearson-Book 2, pages 5-7.

21 Pearson-Book 2, pages 8-10, 14.

22 Pearson-Book 2, pages 17-19.

23 Pearson-Book 2, pages 20-3.


modulation from tonic to the relative minor (Bb major to G minor), along with phrasing considerations. 24

The seven stroke roll is introduced 54% into this method book. It is illustrated with double strokes and multiple bounce strokes, and is incorporated into an excerpt from Suppe's "Light Cavalry Overture," along with the drag, and the long roll. 25 Musical Examples

Starting at the 58% point, the remainder of the method book consists entirely of musical examples. These pieces are predominantly one or two pages in length, and represent a synthesis of the skills and concepts introduced throughout this method book. Musical examples include "Jamaican Sunrise," a one-page percussion ensemble work with a snare drum, bass drum, and suspended cymbal percussion part, and a melodic line written for marimba that includes the long roll and double stop passages.26 This is the first mention of marimba in this series of method books.

Also included in this last portion of the method book is the multiple percussion solo 'Txpress Lane" (Pearson), which requires snare drum, high tom-tom, low tom-tom, suspended cymbal, and tambourine. The piece incorporates flams, double stops, long rolls, and moving between instruments.

Instructions given at the top and bottom of the first page explain the -physical set-up of the instruments, and the techniques required for performance. This piece is

24 Ibid.

25 Pearson-Book 2, pages 24-7.

2.6 Pearson-Book 2, page 36.

written for one player and contains different shaped note heads (e.g. a diamond shaped note head signifies a half note for suspended cymbal).27

Specialized Pages

Consistent with the format established in the first book of this series,
"Excellerator" pages are included in this method book. In this book, the "Excel]lerators" sections consist of two pages of exercises "For Drums Only," followed by two pages of studies 'For Mallets Only." The drum pages contain examples of sticking exercises, and rudiments, to be practiced starting with either hand. Bass drum is combined with snare drum in the majority of these exercises; there is also a page of studies written for snare drum, bass drum, and suspended cymbal that closely resemble beginning drum set patterns.

Mallet instrument "Excellerator" pages include exercises in major and minor keys, utilizing thirds, fifths, scalar passages, and a chorale-like section. Musical skills covered in these pages include rolls, sticking considerations, and chromatic passages.28

Standard of Excellence-Book 3
This method commences with seven pages of review material from the preceding book. These pages are devoted to technical exercises and musical examples. Snare drum skills reviewed include 5, 7, and 9-stroke rolls. New concepts appearing within the review

27 PasonBok 2, page 38.

28 Pearson-Book 2, pages 40-1.

section are rolls in 3/8 and 6/8 meter, and triple paradiddle for snare drum, which is utilized in "Technique Break," an exercise also featuring flams and seventeen stroke rolls.29 Content also includes 134 exercises, studies, and musical examples for both snare drum/percussion and mallet percussion instruments. Skills, Concepts, and Instruments
The thirteen stroke roll is the first new skill introduced in this method book. It appears at 27% into the text, and is illustrated in a technical study on the page of its introduction. One page is devoted to this rudiment.
A basic four-mallet cross grip is featured in the mallet pages of this portion of the method book. The author devotes one page to this grip, and illustrates holding the mallets as well as how to play using four mallets. Included is a description of the basic four-mallet stroke, as well as exercises for developing this technique. Two pages are allotted for instruction of this skill,30
Music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance is featured in the next section of the method book, 35% and 37% into the text, respectively. The rudiment single ratamcue, double ratamacue, and seven stroke roll with triplet primary strokes are introduced in the snare drum pages. Thoinot Arbeau's "The Official Branle" features the single ratamacue as well as the triplet/seven stroke roll. Teilman Susato's "Bergerette Sans Roche" utilizes the double ratamacue. Four pages are devoted to instruction of these topics. 31

29 Bruce Pearson. Standard of Excellence: Comprehensive Band Method: Drums andMallet Percussion-Book 3. Neil A. Kjos Music Company, Publisher, San Diego, CA: 1995. Author's Forward and Review Section, pages 1-8. 30 Pearson-Book 3, pages 9-10.

31 Pearson-Book 3, pages 11-14.

Music of the Baroque period is featured starting 45% through this method book. Snare drum pages add the rudiments triple ratamacue and paradiddle-diddle.32 Both snare drum and mallet instrument pages introduce the trill, which is defined as a single-stroke roll for non-pitched percussion and timpani, and as a rapid alteration from a written note to the note above it in the key in the mallet percussion pages. The trill is featured in the mallet percussion musical example, "Allemande." Four pages are allocated to the instruction of these topics. 33

The rudiments fiamn paradiddle-diddle and four stroke ruff are introduced in the section covering music from the Classical period, which begins 59% into this method book. In addition, the grace note is introduced for mallet percussion instruments at this point. Musical examples from the Classical period containing these skills and concepts include an excerpt from a Beethoven work entitled "Sonatina," which utilizes the fourstroke ruff for snare drum and grace notes in the mallet percussion part, and "Theme from Symphony No. 40" (W. A. Mozart), which utilizes the flamn paradiddle-diddle.34

Music from the Romantic period, which occurs 67% into this method book, features the introduction of the rudiments drag paradiddle and double drag tap for snare drum and glissando for mallet instruments. The double drag tap and glissando appear only in the "For Snare Drum Only" and "For Mallets Only" exercises at the bottom of their page of introduction. Three pages are devoted to instruction of these skills.35

32 Oearsin-Book 3, pages 16, 18.

33 Pearson-Book 3, pages 16-20.

34 Pearson-Book 3, page 21-24.

The concluding portion of book 3, which begins 8 1 % through the text of book 3, features music from the 20th century. This section includes the introduction of the fifteen and eleven stroke rolls (rudiments), the use of brushes for snare drum, and the concept of the ride cymbal, The author includes an explanation of brush technique that includes and illustration. 36

Also included in the snare drum pages is the bass drum roll, which requires the use of two mallets. The mallet instrument pages include the musical example "Ode to Igor Stravinsky" (Salerno), which is written in two treble clef staves, and may be performed by either two players, or one player using four mallets. Two and one-half pages are allocated to instruction of these topics. 37

"Tin Roof Blues/Blues for a Fat Cat" (Pearson) incorporates the use of brushes on snare drum. This piece is written for snare drum, bass drum, and ride cymbal, and incorporates rolls, as well as jazz-style (uneven) eighth notes. It also requires the percussionist to play a written out one-bar drum fill. This piece may be played by either three players, one to a part, or one player on drum set. 38

The final concept introduced in this method book is ad labium, which is defined by the author as taking "liberties, improvising within the boundaries of the music." Musical examples utilizing this concept include "55 T-Bird" and "Right On," written by Kevin

35 Pearson-Book 3, pages 25-29.

36 Pearson-Book 3, pages 30-33,

37 Ibid.

38 Pearson-Book 3, pages 34-35.

Daley. These works require the player to sustain a suspended cymbal pattern appropriate to the style of the piece and include one-measure passages for playing a "drum fill." Either of these pieces may be played on the drum set.39

Specialized Pages

Beginning 900/o into the method book is an "Excellerator" section "For Drums Only," which includes exercises incorporating rolls in 3/8 and 9/8 meters, as well as the rudiments Swiss Army triplet, single flamed mill, pataflata, and inverted flamn tap.

Also included in this portion of the book is a section of basic drum set patterns. Instructions are given for playing bass drum with a pedal (right foot), and playing the high-hat with the left foot. Students are also given instructions to play the high-hat ride patterns with the left hand as well as crossing over with the right hand. The concept of the ride cymbal and its function is introduced at this juncture.40

Following the snare drum "Excellerator" pages is a section containing advanced mallet techniques. These pages include exercises featuring rolls, grace notes, double stroke repeated notes, and four mallet studies. Musical examples containing these skils include and excerpt from "Sonatina in G Major" (Clementi), which utilizes grace notes, and rolls, as well as 'Thunder and Lightning Polka" (Johann Strauss, Jr.), which contains glissandi, and double stops.41

39 Pearson-Book 3, page 36.

40 Pearson-Book 3, "For Drums Only," pages 44-7. 41 Ibid.

The final portion of this method book features a reappearance of the Percussive Art Societ's International Drum Rudiments. The illustrated mallet instrument page and mallet keyboard layout/note chart, both features of books 1 and 2, are also included.42

Yamaha Band Student: Combined Percussion Feldstein and O'Reilly

This method series contains three levels of instruction for percussionists:

Book 1 : Combined Percussion- Snare Drum, Bass Drum,
Accessory Percussion/Keyboard Percussion

Book 2: Combined Percussion-Snare Drum, Bass Drum,
Accessory Percussion/Keyboard Percussion

Book 3: Combined Percussion- Snare Drum, Bass Drum,
Accessory Percussion/Keyboard Percussion
Each level is set up as a one year curriculum for percussion students, with

suggested goals and objectives for students and instructors. The introductory pages in this series mention which snare drum rudiments are covered in each book, as well as performance techniques for accessories (e.g. triangle, suspended cymbal, wood block). Each method book also includes a chart illustrating the ranges for orchestra bells, xylophone, vibraphone, and marimba.43

42 Pearson-Book 3, page 48

43 Sandy Feldstein and John O'Reilly. Yamaha Band Student: Combined Percussion (Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Accessory/Keyboard Percussion)Books 1-3.
Alfred Publishing Co, Inc., Van Nuys, CA, 1988.

The text for each method book employs a double-page format, with snare drum, bass drum, and accessory parts on the left and keyboard percussion parts on the right, While there are no introductory pages explaining the philosophy of combined percussion, it appears from the content that the intent is to develop well-rounded percussionists as opposed to percussionists who specialize on one instrument such as snare drum, bass drum, or keyboard instruments,

This method series does not mention a preference for either matched or traditional grip as the basis for beginning snare drum instruction. However, the structure and overall content of the method suggest a combined percussion curriculum employing matched grip on all instruments as fundamental part of the instructional format.

The format for presenting the rudiments consists of an illustration at the top of the page on which it is introduced. Rudiments are utilized in a one-line exercise at the bottom of the same page entitled "Just for Drums." Rudiments appear in the musical examples contained on its page of introduction. For example, double strokes are introduced on page 5, but appear for the first time in a musical example on page 7.

Keyboard percussion instrument pages follow the instructional format for all other melodic instruments, with the exception of a section entitled "Just For Keyboard." This portion of the method book contains exercises and studies which incorporate a particular skill or concept for keyboard instruments, such as double stops. These exercises also constitute a review of the key signatures introduced in the method book. This format is followed throughout all three books in the series.44

44 Feldstein/O'Reifly-Book 1, pages 5, 7.


Yamaha Band Student-Book I
Skills, Concepts, and Instruments
Instruction begins with the introduction of double strokes, the first snare drum rudiment, paradiddle, and triangle in the percussion pages, along with written accidentals in the keyboard instrument pages. A total of two pages is allocated for instruction of these skills and concepts.45
The first full band arrangements appear 30% into this method book. "Jingle Bells" (arr. Feldstein/O'Reily), is written on two staves and requires snare drum, bass drum, and triangle for percussion.46

The next rudiments introduced are the flam and flame tap, appearing 35% into
the method book. Also included in this portion of the method book is the introduction of the suspended cymbal. One page is devoted to each of these topics. A musical example featuring these two rudiments is "Let's Row Again," which incorporates flams and flam taps.47
The woodblock and the snare drum rudiment flame accent are introduced 45% and 52% into this method book, respectively. The concept of playing on the rim of a drum is introduced on the same page as the flare accent, which also includes the introduction of divisi for keyboard instruments. A total of one and a half pages are allocated for woodblock, playing on the rim, and flare accent48

45 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 1, pages 5-10. 46 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 1, page 9.

47 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 1, pages 10-15. 48 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 1, pages 14-17.

Five stroke and nine stroke rolls (rudiments) are introduced 67% into this method book, along with sustained rolls for keyboard instruments. One page is devoted to both five and nine stroke rolls. Musical examples containing these skills include "Smooth As Glass," which requires rolls in the keyboard instrument part, and an excerpt from Beethoven's "Ode To Joy from Symphony No. 9," which contains five stroke rolls.49

The rim shot, suspended cymbal roll, triangle roll, and playing snare drum with

snares off are introduced beginning 80% through this method book. A total of one page is allocated to these subjects. Musical examples utilizing these skills and concepts include an excerpt from Dvorak's "Largo from the New World Symphony."50
Book 1 concludes with separate full-page solos for percussion and keyboard instruments. "Suspension" is a multiple percussion solo written for snare drum and suspended cymbal, utilizing flams, paradiddles, nine stroke rolls, and snares on/off 51 Yamaha Band Student-Book 2
Skills, Concepts, and Instruments
Instruction begins with a section devoted to the proper method of tuning of drum heads. The authors explain the function of the tension rods in the process of adjusting the pitch of the drum. The rudiment flam paradiddle for snare drum occurs at the 20% point of this method book, and is included in the duet "Dueling Sixteenths."52

49 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 1, pages 20-23. 50 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 1, pages 25-27. 51 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 1, pages 31.

52 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 2, pages 4-7.

The multiple bounce (buzz) roll and the tambourine are introduced 33% and 40%, respectively, into this method book. Two pages are devoted to instruction these topics. An illustration is included concerning how to play the tambourine. The authors also explain three ways of striking this instrument:

1.) finger tips

2.) knuckles or heel of the hand

3.) flat of the hand
The tambourine is utilized in the duet "Dueling Sixteenths," a piece occurring on the same page as its introduction. One page is devoted to this subject.53

Tambourine roll, as well as the rudiments drag and flamacue are the next topics

covered, beginning at 44% into this method book. Musical examples containing these skill include "Theme from Marche Slav," which employs the drag as well as the multiple bounce roll, and the duet "A Little Pop," which incorporates tambourine rolls. Both the drag and tambourine roll are allocated a full page. Flamacues are not included in musical examples in this method book, except for their introduction.54

Tonal properties of the snare drum and independence of hands are the next topics of instruction, starting at 67% into the this method book. The authors explain that different areas of the batter head produce different tones. Students are instructed to experiment to find areas of the head that are most appropriate to the music. One-half page is devoted to this subject.55

53 Feldstein/O'Rei~ly-Book 2, pages 10-13. 54 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 2, pages 14-17. 55 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 2, pages 20, 28.

Independence is explained as the ability to play two lines of music. The authors give a two-line example in which the right hand plays the higher notes, and the left hand plays the lower notes. Independence is required in the musical example "Our Boys Will Shine Tonight." Two pages are devoted to this topic.56

Double paradiddle and triple paradiddle (rudiments), and the concept of damping of muffling bass drum and metallic accessory instruments are introduced 75% into this method book. The technique of dampening rests in the bass drum part is required in "Soldier's March" (Schumann).
The triple paradiddle is included in "Rudimentally Yours"(Feldstein/O'Reilly), a full page snare drum solo incorporating many of the rudiments covered in this method book. One page is allocated to these topics. 57

The single ratamacue is introduced 90% through the text. It is featured in "March from the Nutcracker Ballet" (Tchaikovsky), a piece also incorporating long rolls and flams,58

Yamaha Band Student-Book 3
Review Pages
The final book in this method series begins with a review of material from the previous book; in this portion of the method, students are required to perform etudes containing previously learned rhythms and key signatures. An example of this is "Ab

56 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 2, pages 21-22. 57 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 2, pages 24-25, 31. 58 Feldstein/O'Reilly-Book 2, pages 27, 31.

Major Etude and Chords," which utilizes flams and drags in the percussion part, and divisi in the keyboard percussion part. 59

Following the review section, this method book consists almost entirely of musical examples, with the exception of introductory exercises following the first appearance of a skill or concept. An example of this is the seven stroke roll, which is included in two one-line exercises immediately after its introduction. There is also a separate mallet percussion part on the corresponding keyboard percussion page.60

Introduction of Skills, Concepts, and Instruments

Seven stroke rolls on the beat for snare drum are introduced 29% into the method book. This rudiment is incorporated in the musical example "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." The "Just for Drums" section also includes an exercise featuring the seven stroke roll starting on the upbeat in rudimental (double bounce) style.61

Bells and percussion are combined in the same part in the musical example "Barnacle Bill the Sailor," a piece featuring flam accents in the snare drum part and extended rolls in the orchestra bell part. This is the only time in the method series that this combination of instruments occurs on the same page.62 59 John O'Reilly and John Kinyon. Yamaha Band Student: Combined Percussion-Book 3. Alfred Publishing Co., Inc., Van Nuys, CA, 1995, pages 4-5. 60 O'Reilly/Kinyon-Book 3, pages 6-9. 61 O'Reilly/Kinyon-Book 3, page 9.

62 O'Reilly/Kinyon-Book 3, page 13.

The drag paradiddle #1 occurs 52% into this method book. "Rudimental Thunder," a snare drum solo occurring later in the method book, utilizes the drag paradiddle # 2, a rudiment that is not introduced in book 3.63 The snare drum rudiment, paradiddle-diddle is covered 67% into this method book, and is incorporated in the musical example "Greensleeves" on the page of its introduction. One-half page is devoted to this rudiment.64

Musical Examples

From the 77% point of this method book, the content consists entirely of musical examples; there are no new skills, concepts or instruments introduced throughout the remainder of this book. Music in this portion of the method book contain previously learned skills and concepts from the preceding pages.

"Rudimental Thunder" is written for snare drum and incorporates flams, long rolls, five stroke rolls on the upbeat as well as on the downbeat, seven stroke rolls, nine stroke rolls, and drag paradiddle #2. All rolls in this solo are to be played in rudimental style.65

An arrangement of Handel's "Air and Bouree" is written for keyboard percussion solo and employs long rolls. This solo features a distinct melodic line and requires the percussionist to chose the most efficient sticking patterns which do not interfere with the musical flow of the work's long phrases, a characteristic of Baroque era music.66

63 O'Reily/Kinyon-Book 3, pages 16, 21, 27. 64 O'Reilly/Kinyon-Book 3, page 20.

65 O'Reilly/Kinyon-Book 3, "Percussion," page 27. 66 O'Reilly/Kinyon-Book 3, "Keyboard," page 27.

The final musical example in this method series is a two page piece for full band entitled "Suite for Winds and Percussion." This work is written for snare drum, bass drum, crash cymbals, and tambourine in the percussion part; it also includes a separate part for keyboard percussion instruments. The percussion part features nine stroke rolls for snare drum, and a long roll for tambourine. The keyboard percussion part contains extended rolls.67

Specialized Pages

This method book concludes with two pages of exercises for both snare drum and keyboard percussion instruments. The snare drum pages contain three line exercises utilizing the following rudiments:

1.) single, double, and triple paradiddles
2.) flame, flam tap and flame accents

3.) five, seven, nine and seventeen stroke rolls, long rolls

4.) flam paradiddle, flamacue

5.) single, double, and triple ratamacues 6.) drag paradiddle, paradiddle-diddle68 Essential Elements
Rhodes, Bierschenk, and Lautzenheiser
This method book series contains two books; content of method books

consists of 140 and 130 exercises and musical examples for books 1 and 2, respectively,

67 O'Reilly/Kinyon-Book 3, pages 27-28. 68 O'Reilly/Kinyon-Book 3, "Snare Drum," pages 30-31.


and is devoted exclusively to non-keyboard percussion instruments. This series also includes four supplementary pages under the heading "Special Percussion Exercises," which incorporate roll review exercises, as well as studies in advanced meters accents, independence, and stick control. The final pages of these method books contain the Percussive Arts Society's International Drum Rudiments.

Essential Elements-Book 1
Introductory Pages
This method book begins with a brief history of percussion. Mentioned in these three paragraphs are pre-historic cultures, Turkish military bands, orchestral percussion, and famous percussionists (e.g. Buddy Rich).69

Matched grip, which the authors refer to matched grip as "a natural grip," and traditional grip are explained in the next portion of the introductory pages. Illustrations show the hand position and drum set-up for both grips:

2.) matched grip-right and left hands mirror each other, drum is flat

3.) traditional-right and left hands use different grips, drum is tilted70

The next page is entitled "Basic Percussion Instruments," and consists of a list of percussion instruments commonly used in instrumental music programs. This section also includes suggestions concerning mallet and stick selection, as well as a list of general accessory percussion instruments (e.g. tambourine, cowbell).71

69 Tom C. Rhodes, Donald Bierschenk, and Tim Lautzenheiser. Essential Elements.- A Comprehensive Band Method-Percussion Book 1. Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, Milwaukee, WI, 1997, pages 1-2.

70 Rhodes. et, al. Book 1, pages 2-3.

Percussion clef is also demonstrated in the introductory pages, along with the letter names of lines and spaces for both treble and bass clefs. The authors state that students should practice all exercises in this method book in conjunction with Essential Elements Keyboard Percussion Book, and should switch parts frequently. A double page format is used in this method (e.g. 5-A, 5-B) with content pertaining almost exclusively with non-pitched percussion instruments. Overall content of this method book consists of 140 exercises and musical examples. 72

Rudiments and Sticking

The concept of multiple bounce is introduced 11% through this method book, and is taught in conjunction with eighth notes. The authors instruct students to "let the stick bounce freely on the drum head."

Also included in this portion of the method book is an explanation of the concept of right hand lead. This refers to the use of right hand on all downbeats and left hand on all upbeats. Right hand lead is incorporated in the musical example "Old MacDonald Had A Band" one page after its introduction. 73

The flam and the paradiddle are introduced 38% and 43% into the method book, respectively. The authors include illustrated definitions of these rudiments, Two pages are spent on instruction of flams; they are included in the musical example" Alouette." One page is devoted to these rudiment.74

71 Rhodes, et. al. Book 1, page 4 A-B.

72 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, page 5 A-B.

73 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, pages 6-B to 7-B, 74 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, pages I11-A to 12-B.


Flarn taps are introduced in conjunction with sixteenth notes 48% into this method book. This rudiment is utilized in the musical example "Jolly Old St. Nick," in order to demonstrate the relationship between eighth and sixteenth notes. One page is devoted to instruction of this rudiment, 75

The closed (buzz) roll is first presented at the 61% point of this method book, and is introduced in conjunction with a grouping of four sixteenth notes and occurs later (75%) through the method book as an extended roll. Extended rolls are illustrated as half notes, dotted half notes, and whole notes. One page is devoted to instruction of this rudiment. 76

The final rudiment introduced is the flamacue, which is presented 95% into the text. It is featured in F.W. Meacham's "American Patrol." One-half page is devoted to this rudiment. 77


Bass drum appears immediately after the introduction of the snare drum. The authors describe how to hold the bass drum mallet and where to strike on the surface of the drum head for best tone quality. The bass drum is played in conjunction with snare drum in all musical examples and exercises except for those pertaining exclusively to another instrument. One-half page is devoted to the introduction of this instrument. 78

75 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, page 13-13,

76 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, pages 17-A, 23-A. 77 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, page 26-A.

Crash cymbals are the next instrument covered, and are introduced 25% into the text. An explanation of how to hold the cymbals is included, as well as a description of how to choke or muffle the cymbals. One half page is allocated for the introduction of this instrument. 79

Woodblock and triangle are the next instruments introduced in this method book. They initially appear 33% and 35% into the text, respectively. The written definitions also include basic performance techniques (e.g. use a metal beater ... hit the triangle opposite the open end), for both instruments. Woodblock appears in "Old Joe Clark," which also features double bounce sticking for snare drum. Triangle appears in Stephen Foster's "Camptown Races," Students are instructed to write in the sticking for snare drum. Three pages are allocated for instruction of these instruments.80

Claves and maracas are introduced at the 43% point of the method book. These instruments are given a written definition and performance suggestion. An example of this is the instructions for playing maracas: "Hold maracas by the handles. Use short, precise wrist motion to shake maracas."81 Claves and maracas are included in the musical example "Mexican Clapping Song." One page is devoted to these instruments. 82

78 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, page 5-B.

79 Rhodes. et. al.Book 1, page 8-B,

80 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, pages 10O-A, I10-B, 11I-B. 81 Rhodes. et, al. Book 1, page 12-B.

82 Ibid.

Tambourine is also introduced in this portion of the text. The authors list three ways to play this instrument in order to achieve different sounds:

1.) Soft sounds-fingertips on the head

2.) Medium loud sounds-palm side of fist or straight fingers

3.) Loud sounds-knuckles on head83

Sleigh bells and suspended cymbal are the final instruments introduced in this method book at the 48% and 5 1% through the text, respectively. These instruments are given a written descriptions, and the authors also include performance suggestions. One and one-half pages to these instruments.84

Book I concludes with four multi-page arrangements featuring combinations of

percussion instruments. An example of this is "Can-Can" (Offenbach arr. Lepper), a work for percussion ensemble written for five or more players. Instrumentation is as follows:

1.) Keyboard percussion- I or more players

2.) Snare Drum/Bass Drum-2 or more players

3.) Crash CymnballWoodblock- 1 or 2 players

4.) Triangle/Tambourine- I or 2 players

This piece features right hand lead and playing on the rim for snare drum, as well as triangle and tambourine rolls. The keyboard percussion part includes double stops. Performance requirements for this piece also include switching back and forth between different instruments by one player. This is the fourth musical example containing a mallet part is this method book. 8

83 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, page 13-A. 84 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, pages 13-B, 14-B.

Essential Elements-Book 2: Rudiments and Sticking

This book begins with a description of four methods of sticking commonly used in playing snare drum:

1.) Alternate sticking: R L R L

2.) Single hand sticking: R R R R or L L L L
3.) Right hand lead: R on strong divisions of the beat

4.) Rudimental sticking: Basic rudiments

Right hand lead occurs in the musical example "Salsa Siesta." Alternate sticking is utilized in "Chromatic Cruise," and is the predominant method of sticking used in this method book Single hand sticking is featured in "A-Roving." Rudimental sticking is incorporated in all musical examples containing drum rudiments (e.g. flare taps in "Glow Worm").86 A total of four pages are devoted to instruction of these skills.

The concept of double bounce is introduced at the beginning the text. The authors include a written and illustrated definition, which also includes practice suggestions. The double bounce is incorporated in the musical example "Tallis Canon" (Thomas Tallis) two pages after its introduction. One page is devoted to this concept.87

85 Rhodes. et. al. Book 1, pages 27 A-C. 86 Tom C. Rhodes, Donald Bierschenk, and Tim Lautzenheiser. Essential Elements: A Comprensive BandMethod-Percussion Book 2. Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, Milwaukee, WI, 1991. pages 2-A, 3-A, 5-A, 7-A. 87 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, pages 2-B, 4-A.


The snare drum rudiments fiamadiddle and double paradiddle are introduced 10% and 13% into this method book, respectively. The authors include illustrations of both rudiments, along with written definitions. The bass drum roll is also introduced in this portion of the text.

Flamadiddles occur along with fiam taps in the musical example "Glow Worm." Double paradiddles are incorporated in "A Change of Key." Two pages are allocated for instruction of these topics. 88

The drag, appears at the 22% point of book 2. Included in its definition is an illustration of the proper method of sticking. The drag appears in the musical example "A-Roving." One page is devoted instruction of this rudiment. 89

Flamn accents and fiamn tap in 6/8 meter are introduced 57% into the text. Both rudiments are utilized in the musical example "Lazy Day." They are the final rudiments introduced in this method book series. One-half page is allocated to these rudiments.90


Guiro is the first instrument introduced in this method book, occurring 10% through the text, The authors provide a brief description and history of this LatinAmerican instrument, along with performance suggestions that instruct the student on the accepted method of producing a tone on this instrument. The guiro is incorporated in the musical example "Salsa. Siesta." One page is devoted to this instrument.91

88 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, pages 4-A, 5 A. 89 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, page 7-A.

90 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, page 15-A.


Timpani are introduced 36% through this method book. A brief written

description, as well as their function as tonal percussion instruments is provided, and the explanation that timpani parts are written in bass clef The authors include suggestions for tuning pedal timpani e.g. "Use an electronic tuner ... lightly tap your fingers on the head of one drum and compare ... pitch(es) The authors include suggestions as to what type of mallets are appropriate for timpani.92

Timpani appear in the musical example "She'll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain." This piece is written for two timpani tuned to an interval of a perfect fifth. Students are instructed to ask their teacher for assistance with pitch changes and tuning. One-half page is devoted to instruction of this instrument. 93 Special Techniques

Bass drum roll is introduced 12% into the text. The authors include suggestions

for performing this skill. Bass drum roll is included in the musical example "Glow Worm." One-half page is allocated to this skill. 94

The triangle roll is introduced 46% into this method book. An explanation of how to perform this skill is provided ( .... using rapid ... motion between the bottom and the side). The triangle roll is incorporated in the musical example 'English Dance." One-half page is allocated for this skill.95

92 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, page 9-B.

93 Ibid.

94 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, page 5-A.

95 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, page 12-A.


The timpani roll is discussed 22% through this method book. An explanation of how to perform this skills is provided, as well as performance suggestions. In addition, there is an illustration of how this skill is notated. The timpani roll appears in "Marching Along." One-half page is devoted to instruction of this skill. 96 Special Pages

Following the 130 exercises and musical examples contained in this method book are four pages devoted to advanced study and review of previously learned material. This section is entitled "Special Percussion Exercises" and includes etudes incorporating rolls, additional studies in 6/8 meter, accent exercises, and studies for improving independence of hands. Each topic is allocated one page. 97

Also included in this portion of the method book is a page of stick control and rolls without release notes. Both skills are allocated one-half page of instruction. The method series concludes with the inclusion of the Percussive Art Society's 40 International Drum Rudiments.98

Accent on Achievement: Overview

This method book is the first in a series, and is described by the authors as "a comprehensive band method that develops creativity and musicianship. "99 The second

96 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, page 13-A.

97 Rhodes. et, al. Book 2, pages 28-A to 29-B. 98 Rhodes. et. al. Book 2, pages 3 O-A to 3 1 -B. 99 John O'Reilly and Mark Willarns. Accent on Achievement: Combined Percussion-Book 1. Alfted Publishing Co., Inc., Van Nuys, CA, 1997.


book of the series was unpublished at the time of this study. Book I begins with 8 pages of introductory material, consisting of four pages for percussion and mallet instruments, These pages contain descriptions of the following instruments:

1) Snare Drum

2.) Triangle

3.) Woodblock 4.) Tambourine

5.) Suspended Cymbal

6.) Bass Drum

7.) Crash Cymbals

Each instrument description includes a color photograph of a middle school band student demonstrating grip and playing position. Also included is an accompanying text for each illustration, with performance suggestion and practice tips. Both matched and traditional grip are illustrated for playing snare drum. 100

Following the introductory pages, content of this method book consists of 30 pages of double-page instruction, containing 134 exercises and musical examples, with percussion on the left-hand side, and mallet percussion on the right. The prevailing format for the introduction of rudiments is a brief description along with an illustration, at the top of the page of introduction, in conjunction with a special exercise at the bottom of the same page. Rudiments are subsequently utilized in a musical example one to three pages later in the method book.

100 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 4-6.

Another feature of this method book is "Accent on Performance," a series of full page arrangements appearing at regular intervals throughout the book (e.g. pages 11, 17, 23, 29, 36). The musical examples on these pages utilize skills, concepts, and instruments covered in previous pages.

The final portion of this method book consists of a series of advanced exercises for snare drum and mallet percussion instruments. Exercises include rhythm studies for both snare drum and mallet percussion, as well as accent, and rudiment studies for snare drum. Also included are scale studies for mallet percussion instruments. 101 Rudiments and Sticking

The first rudiment introduced in this method book is the single paradiddle, and occurs 16% into the text. The authors include an illustration as well as a written definition. Single paradiddles are featured in the musical example "Mary Ann." One-half page is devoted to this rudiment. 102

Flams and flarn taps are the next rudiments covered in this method book. They are introduced at 30% and 40% through the text, respectively. Flars are incorporated in an excerpt from "Southern Roses" (Johann Strauss, Jr.). Flam taps are featured in "Minka, Minka." A total of one page is allocated to instruction of these rudiments. 103

The flam accent, occurs at 52% into the text. It is incorporated into the musical example "Bella Bimba" one page after its introduction. One-half page is devoted to this

101 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 11, 17, 23, 29, 36. 102 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 9, 10. 103 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 13, 14, 16, 18.


rudiment, which does not appear in subsequent pages of book 1. 104 Long rolls for mallet percussion instruments and nine stroke rolls for snare drum are introduced 70% into this method book, Long rolls are featured in an excerpt from Dvorak's "New World Symphony." Nine stroke rolls are incorporated in "Folk Festival." A total of one and one-half pages are allocated for teaching these rolls. 105

The final rudiment introduced in this method book is the five stroke roll, initially occurring 88% through the text, in conjunction with double stops for mallet percussion instruments. The five stroke roll is illustrated in two ways:

1.) beginning on the downbeat

2.) beginning on the upbeat

Downbeat five stroke rolls are featured in "Tom Dooley." Upbeat five stroke rolls are incorporated in an excerpt from Elgars's "Pomp and Circumstance." Two pages are devoted to this rudiment. 10

Instruments and Special Techniques

Bass drum is the first instrument introduced following snare drum, and initially appears 09% into this method book. The authors give a brief synopsis of proper playing techniques and indicate that the bass drum is written in the bottom space of percussion clef From this point on in the method book, snare drum and bass drum are paired together on the same stave. One page is devoted to instruction of this instrument. 107

104 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 20, 21. 105 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 27-28. 106 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 31-33.


Triangle is introduced 20% through the text, in conjunction with tied notes, Music notation for triangle consists of triangle shaped note heads, This instrument appears in "The Score is Tied." One page is allocated to the instruction of this instrument. 108

Suspended cymbal is introduced 33% into this method book, in conjunction with the suspended cymbal roll. Notation for this instrument consists of diamond shaped note heads and x's. Suspended cymbal appears initially in "Three-Four Duet." Students are instructed that all suspended cymbal rolls are to be played with alternating single strokes, and that mallets are the most common choice for performing this technique.

Suspended cymbal rolls first occur in the duet "Aura Lee," which also feature snare drum played with snares off. Double stops for mallet instruments are also introduced in this portion of the method book. A total of three pages are devoted to these topics. 109

Tambourine is introduced 45% through the text. The authors give a brief review of the playing techniques initially described in the introductory pages:

1.) strike with fingertips 2.) strike with knuckles

3.) strike with heel of hand

Tambourine appears in the musical example "Mnka, Minka," a piece that also includes flamn taps on snare drum. One page is devoted to instruction of this

107 O'Reilly/Williamns-Book 1, page 8.

108 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, page 10. 109 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 14-15.


instrument.'110 The concept of dampening notes on metallic mallet percussion instruments is discussed 52% into the text of this method book. The authors instruct students to stop the sound of the bar on orchestra bells with their hand, tempo permitting. One page is allocated for instruction of this technique 111

Woodblock is introduced at the 54% point of this method book. It is notated with regular note heads. This instrument is included in the musical example "Chopsticks," a duet including tambourine. One-half page is devoted to instruction of this instrument. 112

Crash cymbals are the final instruments introduced in this method book, appearing at the 80% point of the text. Students are advised to refer back to the photograph in the introductory pages pertaining to this instrument. Notation of crash cymbals consists of diamond shaped note heads and x's, and is placed in the first space below bass drum. This instrument is included in the musical example "Clarinet Climb." One-half page is allocated for instruction of this instrument. 113

Special Pages

Following the 134 exercises and musical examples of this method book, there are six pages of exercises devoted to individual instruments. For example, "Yankee Doodle Drummer" is a two page snare drum solo with piano accompaniment that utilizes five

110 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, page 18.

111 O'Reilly/Williamns-Book 1, page 20.

112 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, page 21.

113 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 26, 28.

stroke rolls on the downbeat and on the upbeat, nine stroke rolls, and flams "Hunter's Chorus from Der Freishutz" (Weber) is a mallet percussion solo featuring accents and arpeggios; this piece also contains apiano accompaniment 114 The final musical example of this method book is "Sousa Spectacular," a one page work for snare drum, bass drum, crash cymbals, tambourine, and mallet percussion, which features five and nine stroke rolls. 115

The concluding portion of this method book contains seven double pages of

exercises which feature skills, concepts, and instruments covered in the course of book 1. "Accent on Scales" features rudiments on the snare drum page and scales, chords, double stops, and movement by thirds on the mallet percussion page. 116

"Accent on Rhythms" consists of twenty single line rhythm studies for mallet instruments. 117 "Accent on Rests" contains ten exercises for both percussion (snare drum/bass drum) and mallet percussion instruments. These studies are rhythmically in unison, with mallet percussion parts containing scale-wise movement, arpeggios, and dampening of notes, "Accent on Snare Drum," which is a review of accents and flams, and "Accent on Mallets," which utilizes double stops and arpeggios, conclude this method book. 118

114 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 34-5. 115 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, page 36.

116 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, page 37.

117 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 38-9. 118 O'Reilly/Williams-Book 1, pages 40-41.