Auditions are just around the corner and I thought it would be a good idea to crowd source an audition advice post so that we can give some advice to incoming freshman and transfer students who will be auditioning soon. To start off the discussion, I thought I would present my observations and suggestions from past auditions and ask other teachers and percussionists to add their comments below. In a couple of weeks, I will compile all of the comments and create a master list of audition advice. (more…)
The last two episodes have featured my reviews about different drum pads that are available. Check them out here:
In the videos, I talk about the two types of drum pads: rubber and drumhead. Both types of pads have their advantages and disadvantages. For most of my warmups, I use the bdl Percussion Pad, because I really like the feel and sound. If I am relaxed, I can hear the vibration of the stick. I have never had that experience with any other pad and that is one of the reasons that I endorse their drum pads. (Full Disclosure, I endorse bdl Percussion and Remo). In my studio, I use the Remo pad if a student is playing through a piece for the first time.
But remember, a drum pad will never replace a drum. It does have the same feel and if you always practice on a pad, your sound on a snare drum will suffer. In general, I use a drum pad for warmups and when I am learning or working on a new piece. If I am playing snare drum on a concert, I will make sure that I use a snare drum leading up to the performance.
Below are the links of the different pads that I used in the videos. Please support these companies. They are making great products.
Remo 8″ Practice Pad with Stand
Remo 6″ Practice Pad
For the past four years, I have written posts on DrumChattr.com. I co-founded the site with Tom Burritt and Shane Griffin. We have worked hard at building a community for percussionists and it is a lot of fun connecting with so many musicians from all over the world.
Over the summer, we host BookChattr, a book club for percussionists. We have read Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live by Jeff Jarvis, The Percussionist’s Art by Steven Schick, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey. Currently, we are reading Learning to Listen by Gary Burton.
Along with reading this book, I have created some listening guides to accompany the book. I hope you will consider reading the book. I just finished it and I would definitely recommend it. Check out these links below for the resource guides and a Spotify playlist.
There are so many practice pads available for the percussion student! Why? No one knows… I guess you could ask that about any musical accessory. Think how many reeds, mouthpieces, drumsticks, drumheads (etc…) that are available. There is something for everyone. But, how does a student percussionist or percussion methods student know which pad to purchase? Not to worry, I can help. I have split this topic into two videos. Today’s video covers rubber practice pads.
In this episode, I talk about the bdl Percussion Pad, The Real Feel Pad and the Destiny Pro Pad. Please support these companies and check out their pads. (Full Disclosure: I endorse bdl Percussion Pads and Remo Practice Pads).
The New York Philharmonic Archives has just made over 520,000 pages of parts marked by Philharmonic Musicians available on the internet for everyone to see. (Check out the video below for more information about the project). This archive is an invaluable resource for students, scholars, and anyone interested in classical music. The archive includes programs, scores, parts, images and in the future will also feature audio and/or video.
Looking for the part to Le Sacre Du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) that were used by Leonard Bernstein? Click Here
Looking for score to Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 marked by Gustav Mahler, Bruno Walter and Leonard Bernstein? Click Here
Looking for the timpani and percussion parts to Beethoven Symphony No. 9 that were arked by Leonard Bernstein? Click Here
And the list goes on! This is a massive undertaking by the NY Phil. It would be amazing if other orchestras had the resources to do the same. We can only hope. While none of the parts are able to be printed, you can always head over to IMSLP.org to download the majority of the parts that are on the NY Phil archive.
This is an amazing resource and I hope you get lost in the archives this weekend when you have some time. Please spread the word and share this post with all of your students and music colleagues.
Originally posted on DrumChattr.com on February 22, 2013.
There are a lot of great websites for musicians, but one I keep coming back to every week is The Bulletproof Musician. The site, by Dr. Noa Kageyama (performance psychologist and Juilliard graduate), features a weekly blog post, coaching and an online training course. According to his site:
“The purpose of this website is to teach musicians how to overcome stage fright, performance anxiety, and other blocks to peak performance. The specific mental skills you develop will allow you to experience the satisfaction of performing up to your abilities – even when the lights are brightest. Wait, let me rephrase that. Especially when the lights are brightest.”
I wait anxiously every Sunday morning to read the latest blog post. Unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to take part in his coachings or online course, but I have a couple of friends who have and they are incredible.
Recent posts have included:
Why I Should Have Paid More Attention in Music Theory Class
How to Keep Performances of the Same Piece from Getting Stale
The Learning-Performance Distinction and Why Gains in the Practice Room Don’t Always Stick
Is This the Key to Being Less Distracted on Stage and in the Practice Room?
3 Entertaining Videos on Life and Career Success
The blog posts are well written, researched and presented. I would highly recommend adding this to your Sunday morning routine. The posts are not just about performance anxiety. Some of my favorite ones talk about creativity and practice habits.
As I continue to build my site, I will write about sites, apps, books and other resources about music that I have found valuable in my development. If there is something that I should check out, please leave a comment below and let me know.