Monday, February 5, 2018

We All Need a Quick Fix From the Classroom This Week's Featured Special

We All Need a Quick Fix
by Dr. Michael Sekelsky
Many directors know when the sound coming from their percussion section is not what they want to hear at the front of the room, but they lack a set of options to try....

ListeningJPGI recently found myself engaged in a couple of discussions regarding content for a BME percussion methods course. The main topics discussed were "How do we teach everything with a limited number of course meetings?" and "What should I actually be teaching?" I suggested that we flip the discussion and ask "What do most of our instrumental educators really need?" My answer is: A quick fix.

There is a great deal of merit in teaching future educators how to be great percussionists, assembling notebooks with exercises and resources, practicing as many instruments as possible, and teaching lessons to beginning students. Unless you are in a program that has faculty/staff to assist with the percussion specialty area or you have percussion students that study privately and can assist other percussionists, you will do most of your teaching from the podium. Teaching from the podium requires skill in error detection, or in the case of percussion, sound detection. Many directors know when the sound coming from their percussion section is not what they want to hear at the front of the room, but they lack a set of options to try, or "a quick fix."

I had the pleasure of working on a project with the Vic Firth stick and mallet company several years ago to address this concern. The Vic Firth company developed a series of very brief, informative videos covering the most used (or abused) percussion playing techniques. The project is available under the title of Percussion 101. You can locate the site easily through a Google search or this direct link:

A few advantages of this series:

  • It is very comprehensive.
  • The videos are short and easy to understand.
  • Students/directors can hear how percussion instruments are suppose to sound.
  • Students/directors can watch how the instruments are played to achieve the desired sound.

The complete title of the series is Percussion 101: A Video Guide to Percussion Techniques Enjoy!

Dr. Michael Sekelsky is the Interim Dean of the University of Central Missouri College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. He previously served as Percussion Instructor and Assistant Director of Bands, and cooridator of the Wind/Percussion division.
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From the Bandroom - Seneca, MO
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Featured Special of the Week
Each week we feature special deals on lightly-used instruments.
Holton H-179 French Horn
Holton H-179 Holton H-179 Holton H-179 Holton H-179 Holton H-179
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