2016 CMEA All-State Audition Tutorials

Over the past couple of years, there have been many college percussion instructors who have recorded performances of the all-state repertoire for various states. Some of them include Thomas Burritt, Mark Ford, Matthew Holm and many more. (Search YouTube for “All-State Percussion” to find more). All of these are great resources for the young percussionist and I am happy to see so many great performances of these audition pieces.

Recently, Matt Cook, GRAMMY® Award winning percussionist and member of the LAPQ, has released the 2016 CMEA All-State Audition Tutorials. These tutorials include a performance video, a tutorial video, click tracks and PDF study guides for each piece. Check out the page on Innovative Percussion for all of the resources. Bravo Matt!

Episode 027: The Secret Behind Great 4 Stroke Ruffs

As a young percussionist, we all learn the rudiments. For us, the rudiments are our scales and it is how we learn about technique on a single surface (aka a snare drum). In the concert snare drum repertoire, the 4 stroke ruff doesn’t usually occur until somewhere in the Advanced Snare Drum Studies book by Mitchell Peters, Delécluse’s 12 Etudes or later in Anthony Cirone’s Portrait in Rhythm. It also shows up in the orchestral excerpts (Lieutenant Kijé). Because it is not officially part of the 40 Standard American Rudiments, it is not something we practice at a young age. (more…)

Episode 026: Composing using the Rudiments

I am a strong believer that we can and should all try to compose music. Composing is a skill that can be learned. Over time you continue to develop this skill with regular practice. (Sound familiar?) There are a lot of great resources on the internet, including The Art of Composing which includes articles, blog posts and a podcast about composing.

So how can you get started? The first place I recommend is to start with the snare drum rudiments. I have used this process with my middle school students as well as my college students in my percussion methods course. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you compose a new piece for snare drum. (more…)

Michael Spiro

With PASIC being right around the corner, I wanted to share some videos from past conventions to show you some examples of the clinics that are presented. Today’s video features Michael Spiro, one the foremost educators of Afro-Cuban/Afo-Brazilian music in the United States. He currently is on the faculty at Indiana University, has recorded and performed on over 100 albums and has produced educational materials for Warner Bros. Publications. (more…)