Music 350

MUSC 350

Catalog Entry

MUSC350. Percussion Techniques

Three hours laboratory (1) 

Introduction to basic percussion instrument performance techniques.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The content of the course provides students a basic understanding and development of basic performance abilities with percussion instruments. The instruments covered in this class are snare drum, bass drum/cymbals, keyboard mallet instruments, timpani, small accessory percussion instruments, marching band equipment, and drum set. Each instrument will be discussed with an emphasis on correct performance techniques, teaching methods and materials, field experiences, and proper care and/or tuning of the instrument(s).


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students will be required to purchase a text to be used as a source for performance and reading exercises. One pair of snare drum sticks will also be needed with a practice pad. All other mallets for the other instruments will be provided to the students. Students will begin by learning a proper grip and set-up. Detailed attention to the snare drum rudiments will then comprise approximately one-quarter to one-third of the semester depending on the ability levels of the students. Performance techniques on the other instruments will be similar to snare technique, therefore the greater portion of the semester focuses on snare drum technique. A pedagogical approach will be used so that the students will be able to teach others what they learn.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of the course, the student will have developed basic pedagogical and performance skills on all of the percussion instruments used in class. The students will be able to demonstrate that ability. Students will assemble a database of percussion music literature in a wide range of genres, styles, historical periods, and cultures (Western and non-Western) appropriate for use in school instrumental programs at beginning and intermediate levels. Students will address state and national standards through percussion instruction.


Assessment Measures

Grades are based upon two written exams during the semester, one of which is a cumulative or non‑cumulative final exam. A grade will be given for each of five different playing skills tests. Students will be given a minimum metronomic marking for each of the skills required and will need to demonstrate those skills to the teacher.

At least 2 hours of observation/participation in public school settings is required for Music Education majors.


Other Course Information

The use of alcohol or drugs prior to concerts or rehearsals is prohibited. By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated. This class will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code. Refer to your Student Handbook for details.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

Revised April, 2009