Website Review:


Cymbals are one of my favorite percussion instruments. In my studio, I stress the importance of triangle, tambourine and cymbal technique. A couple of months ago, I found this great resource on cymbal playing, The site features Thomas Stubbs who is currently the cymbal specialist and associate principal timpanist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. You can easily get lost in the audio and videos of Mr. Stubbs instructing and playing the orchestral cymbal repertoire. This site is for beginning percussionists as well as professionals. I highly recommend this website and I hope everyone will visit this site. You won’t be sorry and I am sure you will learn a thing or two about cymbal playing.

Hyperbole by Rob Sanderl

“Originally composed in 2012, I made significant revisions to the piece in 2015, with the inclusion of an entirely new section. The piece combines two of my favorite instruments to perform on: marimba and drum set. The outer portions feature the marimba, with contrasting sections that use a variety of time signatures and harmonic ideas. By design, some phrases place the marimba in the role as accompanist, while most phrases see it scored as the solo voice. The middle section is meant to be a fun jam section based on the groove the underlies the piece from the very beginning. While portions of the middle section are open for improvisation, certain sections are written out to aid with transitions.” (From YouTube Description).

For more information about Rob and his compositions, contract Rob Sanderl.

Yamaha ESSA Resource Guide

percussion_education_2016_14On December 15, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama. This law replaced the No Child Left Behind law.

“With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal—that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will.” – President Barack Obama

As a member of the Yamaha Education Committee, our team has put together an ESSA Resource Guide that will give you tools to help you navigate this new education law, specifically about music program opportunities, and assist you in advocating for a music education program strategy in your local area. If you are a K-12 arts educator, please take the time to read and share this guide.

For more tools and tips, visit the Yamaha SupportED website. You can also sign up on the mailing list to receive music education updates.

A Music Teacher’s Guide to ESSA: Yamaha Sr. Director of Education, Marcia Neel

Congrats to the Bluecoats – DCI 2016 Champions


Last night, in Indianapolis, Indiana the Canton Bluecoats captured 2016 DCI World-class championship with a score of 97.650. This was the first time that the Bluecoats have won the DCI Championship. Their show pushed the boundaries of visual design with the use of large red slides that were moved throughout the field. Over the past couple years, the Bluecoats have continued to innovate in the DCI competition and this year they were rewarded for their handwork and dedication to the art form. Congratulations to all the corps who participated. The top 5 groups are listed below. For a complete recap of the 2016 DCI Championship, visit DCI Scores.

1) Bluecoats – 97.650
2) Blue Devils – 97.250
3) Carolina Crown – 97.088
4) Santa Clara Vanguard – 95.300
5) The Cavaliers – 94.025

Full disclosure: I am the percussion product manager for Yamaha Corporation of America. I attended the DCI competition as a Yamaha employee.

Percussion Education Summer Reads – July 2016


We are in the middle of summer and there are only 166 shopping days until Christmas. How’s your summer going so far? Have you been productive and accomplished your goals? It has been a busy summer for me and I still have a lot of items to check off my to-do list. I have been busy reading and listening to the #AskGaryVee podcast and book. If you are looking for some summer inspiration, take some time and watch, read or listen to something he has produced and let me know what you think. Have a great week and check out the articles below. Leave a comment below and let me know what you are reading. Stay tuned for an announcement about a summer book reading club later this week. (more…)

Corresponding Points of Self-Similar by Steve Kornicki

Corresponding Points of Self-Similar Lines in a Terminal Cadence (2011-2015) by Steve Kornicki

I have been fortunate to work, play and commission works by Steve Kornicki. I have always enjoyed his music and I was happy to see his new piece by Ensemble P4.

Kristie Born, piano
Rose Shlyam Grace, piano
Marja Kerney, vibraphone
Thad Anderson, marimba

Ensemble P4 is an intercollegiate piano and percussion quartet based in Central Florida. (more…)

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