Happy Thursday! PAS has a lot of exciting projects lined up for the next few months. Some of these have not been officially announced but I can tell you there are a lot of great new things coming up in Rhythm! and PAS so stay tuned for announcements in Percussive News!
Though I haven’t taught percussion regularly, I have taken enough lessons to recognize some of the challenges teaching presents and what kind of resources are good tools for students. I have spent a lot of time exploring the PAS website for my internship and blog posts and one of the most valuable resources I’ve found for teaching is the FUNdamentals page. A lot of people aren’t aware that this is there and it’s a wonderful teaching tool! It features dozens of handouts from PASIC FUNdamentals clinics over the past decade. For those who haven’t attended one, these are clinics geared for beginning percussionists, percussion teachers and band/orchestra directors. These sessions provide essential information covering a variety of topics including drumset, marching percussion, mallet-keyboard playing, concert percussion and accessories and much of this information is available on the PAS website! Here’s how:
First, login to the PAS website. Then, from the homepage, click the “Teach” tab:
Once there, click the "FUNdamentals" tab on the left side of the page:
Once you're there, you'll see a list of pdf files organized by instrument. These are all pdfs of the handouts from the FUNdamentals clinics given by some of the greatest percussion teachers from all over the country: Kevin Bobo, Nick Petrella, Ed Shaughnessy, Ruth Cahn, Garwood Whaley, Steve Houghton, David Black and so many more. They range in topic from Drumset Soloing Concepts and How to Practice Snare Drum to Beginning Vibraphone Technique and Timpani Performance Principles. The pdfs have loads of information on technique and basics, exercises, practice methods, and many have lists of other useful resources.
In my mind, teaching a beginner can be harder than teaching a more intermediate to advanced student since much of the percussion fundamentals have become second nature and are hard to describe and explain. The FUNdamentals page is incredibly helpful because you can study how different teachers describe and teach these basic concepts in order to better understand how to approach it in a way beginners can understand. Rather than having a student buy half a dozen method books, you can have them print off a few of these FUNdamentals pamphlets by different percussionists, see which ones he/she responds best to and create your own exercises and lesson plans based off of that.
So go check out the FUNdamentals page and let me know in the comments what you think! Also, we will post the 2013 FUNdamentals after PASIC so be on the lookout for those in late November!
I hope you found this helpful, please leave a comment if there are any other PAS resources or instruments in the collection that you would like me to write about! Also, the March Percussive Notes issue is out so go check it out!