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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, November 5, 2007


The PMC Quick Note is a weekly service provided to all area directors.  It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest.  The weekly Quick Note contains helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues.

Let Us Know: How do you use stereo / recording equipment?
We will be doing an upcoming Quick Note article on the use of recording equipment and stereo equipment in your band room. We need your input! Please drop us a note and tell us how you are using this equipment in your teaching. Here are some questions to get you started.

Do you use it daily? How is it used? How often do you record your students and have them listen back? What type of equipment are you using? How long have you had your equipment? Do you ever teach your students about sound equipment (terminology, types of microphones, how to set up and run the system, where to place microphones/speakers, etc.)? Do you have a library of jazz band and/or concert band recordings that you play for your students?

We can either publish your responses with your name or keep them anonymous...just let us know. Please respond by Friday, November 9th. You can email responses to Thanks!!!

Off-Season Maintenance of Marching Drums by John Paul Chapman
As marching season comes to a close, some programs prepare for indoor drumline, others may put the drums on the shelf. A drum consists of hundreds of pounds of tension onto maple shells that withstand heat, cold, rain, and daily abuse from its players. Here are some basic things you can do to insure the longevity of your equipment.

1. Remove all heads and wipe down the plastic coating of the shells with Windex. There may be some dirt on the inside of the shells so dust them as needed. Also use this time to inspect the condition of the shells and make sure the maple is good condition.

2. Clean every rim, especially the underside. For metal rims, you can use Brasso or some other metal polish. For wooden bass rims, you can use Pledge or some other dusting product.

3. Grease every lug. You can use specialized products such as “Lug Lube” (made by LP) or Vaseline. The threading of the lugs is where the drum gets its tension from, and greasing those threads periodically will lengthen their usability. Whichever grease you use, just put a dab on each lug and thread it back into the casing. The grease will work its way down the lug.

4. Inspect the heads and replace them if there are any tears. If any lug casings, snares, or lugs need to be replaced, this is the time to do it as well.

5. Keep the heads tuned lower. This will lessen the wear & tear on the drum heads and the rims. DO NOT keep the heads completely loose. The layers of maple may start to split after a few months if there is no tension at all.

If these things are done at least once a year, your equipment should remain in good condition for years to come!

John Paul Chapman is in his sixth year at Willard Schools. His duties include assistance with the Cutting Edge Marching Band, direction of the marching and concert percussion sections, direction of Willard Winter Percussion, direction of the Willard Concert Band (third band), and direction of percussion classes in grades 6-8. He arranges all percussion music for the marching and winter drum line groups, and has arranged the music for the marching band shows for the past 2 years.

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center

Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


(417) 882-7000
Bob Hopkins, Mike Brown, and Zach Houser
Springfield North (417) 862-2700 Burl Williams
Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts
Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades
Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp and Dick Murdock
Broken Arrow (918) 770-6827 Mackey Amos and Mark VanVranken


If you would like to submit material, make changes or corrections, give comments, or wish to be removed from this mailing list, please contact Eric Matzat.