Educational Handbook

Percussion Studio

Students will engage in every aspect of the percussive arts while exhibiting more in-depth study on their instrument of choice. Total musicianship will be allocated according to a curriculum designated and inspired by the NASM competencies of professional musicians. This includes performance based studies, aural skills, composition and improvisation, history and repertory, technology, and a total synthesis of the aforementioned.

As a student of formal training and degree work, I advocate the schooling of conventional, western-based studies because I have personally grown tremendously as a musician and as a person under these guidelines. I believe the benefits of studying music helps formulate good character, honorable integrity, and a disciplined attitude. On the other hand, sometimes too orthodox of a practice regimen could inhibit creativity and originality. My synthesis is to balance the two disciplines of conventional and holistic studies according to the student’s developmental needs and personal motivations.

Using my own performance programming and clinic based community outreach, I intend on building the percussion studio through inspirational means. Motivating the students at an early age is a particular skill set I have acquired, whether its elementary, middle school, or high school, I am comfortable in all scenarios. Community involvement with local music groups and advocating student’s participation within these groups is a significant factor in propagating the percussive arts and integral to stimulating the student’s desire for private lessons. Focus based studies will cover all basic areas of percussion. Students will also perform multiple times within each semester of study on a variety of instruments.

NASM Competencies of Professional Musicians

A. Performance-

  1. Technical skills for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area at a level appropriate for the particular music concentration.Exams, both proficiency and end of semester juries judge technical skills.
  2. An overview of understanding of the repertory in their major performance area and the ability to perform from a cross-section of that repertory.
  3. The ability to sight-read with fluency.Reading will be done in each lesson. Students will also experience reading in percussion ensemble and during seminars that focus on the performance of student compositions.
  4. Knowledge and skills sufficient to work as a leader and in collaboration on matters of musical interpretation. Rehearsal and conducting skills required as appropriate to the particular music concentration.The student will perform in a variety of group settings, such as duets and larger ensembles. Students will be expected to conduct and rehearse their own compositions. In return, the student will be placed in the situations to develop leadership, interpretive, and collaborative skills. This will be required numerous times, which is due to the fact that the student needs constant revaluation and reinforcement.
  5. Keyboard competency. Experiences in secondary performance areas are recommended.Music education students, according to most university systems, will be required to take applied piano lessons. Teacher will also relate to this matter through jazz vibraphone studies (voicings).
  6. Growth in artistry, technical skills, collaborative competence and knowledge of repertory through regular ensemble experiences. Ensembles should be varied both in size and nature.As stated before, students will perform in the percussion ensemble and in smaller groups, such as duets or as an orchestral section playing to pre- recorded music on a master class. Teacher will also select materials for percussion ensemble that are varied in personnel requirements, difficulty, and cultures.

B. Aural Skills and Analysis-

  1. An understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music and their interaction, and the ability to employ this understanding in aural, verbal, and verbal analyses.This aspect will be covered through several venues: transcribing for various instruments, listening to all styles and instruments, and score analysis of each piece performed. The student will present and discuss their findings with teacher and other students.
  2. Sufficient understanding of musical forms, processes, and structures to use this knowledge in compositional, performance, scholarly, pedagogical, and historical contexts, according to the requisites of their specializations.This area will be explored through all styles and instruments. Students will learn the form of tunes, improvise, and compose in various styles. The student is also expected to maintain recordings and brief historical annotations of each jazz standard, orchestral excerpt, and piece performed.
  3. The ability to place music in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.The student will achieve this by analyzing and collecting information about each piece assigned in the lesson. The student will also be expected to write two book reports, on percussion related topics, during their time of study. The teacher will also relate materials in an historical and theoretical manner in the lesson.

C. Composition and Improvisation-

  1. Rudimentary capacity to create derivative or original music both extemporaneously and in written form.
  2. The ability to compose, improvise, or both at a basic level in one or more, musical languages, for example, the imitation of various musical styles, improvisation on pre-existing materials, the creation of original compositions, experimentation with various sound sources, and manipulating the common elements in non-traditional ways.The student will be subject to semester composition requirements, each progressing in level of competency and demand. Each composition will require the student to compose for different sets of instrumentation. Students will be introduced to jazz vibes, hand drumming, and drum set. On these instruments the students will develop basic improvisation and accompaniment skills. The manipulation of common elements will be achieved through pieces performed in percussion or new music ensembles. Most “new” pieces require the performer to manipulate instruments, such as bowing a vibraphone, a lion’s roar, a waterphone, and many other possibilities.

D. History and Repertory-

  1. A basic knowledge of music history through the present time. Stated previously
  2. An acquaintance with repertories beyond the area of specialization. All students must be exposed to a large and varied body of music through study and attendance at recitals, concerts, opera and musical theater productions and other performances.Students are required by most university standards to perform in a variety of ensembles. Students will be encouraged to attend outside events, such as the local symphony orchestra, concerts of an ethnomusicological nature, and others.

E. Technology-

  1. A basic overview on understanding how technology serves the field of music as a whole.Teacher will devote master class and lesson time to certain aspects of this area. Topics to be discussed would be: Finale, web research, electronic percussion, pieces with tape, and multimedia. For example, all compositions will be printed out with Finale, word-processing of all written assignments, and all research must incorporate the use of on-line sources.
  2. Working knowledge of the technological developments applicable to their area of specification.

F. Synthesis-

  1. Working independently on a variety of musical problems by combining their capabilities in performance; aural, verbal, and visual analyses; composition and improvisation; history and repertory.The master class setting is one of numerous ways to achieve the statement above. During this time the students will be expected to perform on a variety of instruments and situations, group and solo. Students will also be expected to present all research (book reports and introduction of a piece before a performance) in a literate manner.
  2. Forming and defending value judgments about music.Students will defend positions stated in written assignments or interpretation of a performed piece. In return, they must be able to answer questions in reference to their performance (paper presentation and/or instrumental).
  3. Acquiring the tools to work with a comprehensive repertory, including music from various cultures of the world and music of their own time.Students will experiment with both Western and Non-Western idioms that encompass a diverse timeline. Orchestral, vocal, jazz, and 20th century popular culture are some Western musical areas that will be discussed. African, Indonesian, and composite musical genres (Caribbean) are Non- Western areas that will be discussed.
  4. Understanding basic interrelationships and interdependencies among the various professions and activities that constitute the musical enterprise.1Discuss basic aspects of the music business in both the master class and lesson forums.

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