The CPSM percussion department features three different percussion ensembles, for beginning, intermediate and advanced students, ages 7 through 17. Our engaging percussion program provides both private instruction and ensemble participation for students at all levels. Students are taught skills on all instruments in the percussion family, including mallet instruments. Below is a sample outline of the current beginner ensemble course that is offered at CPSM. No prior experience is necessary for this course.
What is a drum?
The explanation of what constitutes a drum, i.e. sound, size, shape and timbre. How do we play a drum? Explanation will include stick and mallet technique - handouts and materials will be distributed.
How do we read drum music?
We will begin learning how to read and play drum music in an ensemble setting using some small pieces written for beginner groups. A thorough explanation will be provided on how to read percussion music using various rhythmic examples starting with whole, half and quarter notes, and rests.
Our class will learn to build homemade shakers using corn kernels, cardboard tubes, and tape. Our class participants will be asked to decorate their instruments at home and bring them in for show and tell.
Learning to read music on marimba and other mallet instruments
Our class will take a close look at how to read and play mallet music starting with the C major scale and progressing thereafter.
Follow-up to playing mallets
The class will participate in a group mallet exercise where we will play etudes and pieces that have been written for beginners.
Beginners Ensemble pieces
We will begin to select pieces to perform in concert with our senior percussion class.
Master Class Demonstrations
Master class demonstrations will include performances by myself and my senior percussion group. We will perform pieces and selections from our concert repertoire as well as answer questions from our beginner class.