OT -- Private Lesson Curricula

Sorry for the off topic post, but it's been acknowledged that there's a wealth of knowledge here and a most appreciated lack of typical internet forum immaturity.  Feel free to delete if necessary.

This fall I will begin a position as adjunct faculty teaching private percussion and possibly percussion ensemble (if there are enough students interested) at a local university.  It's small music department, last year only having I think two percussion majors, and really only one that was serious.

What I'm looking for is suggestions on literature to get things rolling.  Or if nothing else, places to look and research for standard literature.  Method books, solo material, publishers, composers, anything I can use to get pointed in the right direction.  I know that seems broad, but I really am looking for anything.  Of course I've got some ideas and material, and much will depend on the individual students, but any information/encouragement anyone here has would be most appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
Check some university percussion pages (or the faculty pages).  Some that come to mind that I know have the level/barrier system online: UNT, Texas A&M-Commerce, University of Arizona, et al.

This is a fun project for the high school level, too.

Cirone, Goldenberg, and Firth are kind of the holy trinity of standard literature for snare, mallet percussion, and timpani respectively.

There have been many modern efforts at percussion pedagogy that would certainly benefit the college level student, so that's an avenue of research to pursue.  That would include things by Howarth, Bachman, etc.

As far as standard repertoire there's plenty out there, and in addition to books like Goldenberg that include a great deal of the standards (Porgy and Bess, etc.) I would suggest getting in touch with a principle at a local orchestra and talk to them about their repertoire expectations.  A lot of times they have some pretty rigid opinions on what a professional percussionist should have under their belt.
Don't forget ";Method of Movement for Marimba"; by Leigh Howard Stevens.

Another book I have had good success with is ";A Sequential Approach to Fundamental Snare Drum"; by Tom Morgan.  I think it is published by C Alan Publications.

If you are looking for specific titles of percussion solos, just let us know what instrument(s) and we will oblige.  I second m2mathew though - some searching through university percussion pages will definitely bear some good information.  And I'm sure most college professors would be willing to give you some advice if you contacted them as well.

Best of luck!

As always, great feedback.  Thanks everyone.  Keep it comin'!
I think this book is absolutely key-


That book has enough material in it to occupy beginners to more advanced students for a long time.

Here's PAS' blurb on it and the author-

[quote author=TylerDurden link=topic=1920.msg9605#msg9605 date=1186418568]
I think this book is absolutely key-


Great suggestion, that book is quintessential.
I have an monster list of Lit and Books I did reviews on during my percussion lit class for my masters. I see if I can locate it and send it your way.
Thanks RGreen!

You don't have enough to do.  Do you have a hobby?

[quote author=csloan link=topic=1920.msg9631#msg9631 date=1186536660]

You don't have enough to do.  Do you have a hobby?


Hehe...what are these ";hobbies"; you speak of?  :)

Hello!  Hope you and the band members at Bob Jones
are getting ready to have a great fall season.  Regarding
private lesson materials:

1.  Stick Control: no student or instructor should be without this book.
2.  Syncopation: Ted Reed
3.  Modern Reading Text: Louis Bellson and Gil Breines
4.  Meredith Music Publications:  has skill-set level books for snare,
keyboards, and timpani.
5.  Thom Hannum will have a book out in November that
expands and engages more fully his ";Check Patterns
and Duple and Triplet Variations.";  It is written for
non-pitched, pitched, and drum set.  It's a great
asset for anyone wanting to build or improve his/her
reading vocabulary.

Modern Drummer magazine some years ago did an article on the
top 25 (50? 100?) method books.  I'll try and track that down for you.
Anyone have that article?  Hope the above-offered info helps.

Take care!
Great stuff, Neal.  Thanks!

Being a computer junkie, I'll help with a Google search string that looks for PDFs with the keywords ";percussion studio";, check out the results:


And more refined details using the terms ";percussion studio handbook";:


Some of the Universities listed above, like A&M Commerce are in the results. The bottom of page 2 has the North Texas Percussion Manual. Hope this helps you with some ideas!


Man I love this place.  :)
Login or Signup to post a comment