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How Do I Choose the Best Percussion Schools?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Percussion schools will teach students how to play a variety of percussion instruments, which are musical instruments that make sound when struck with a hand, mallet, or other device. Before choosing the program that is right for you, it helps to clarify your goals for attending any one of the percussion schools you are considering. The best schools will teach not only the skills and techniques involved with playing the instruments, but also the history of the instruments and their roles in various societies around the world. Some schools may even teach students how to compose music. Deciding your goals ahead of time will help you determine which program is best for you.

You may be limited to the percussion schools in your area if you are not willing to move away to attend the school. Research different offerings from colleges, community colleges, and universities in your area if you intend to earn a music degree that will prepare you for performance jobs or teaching jobs. Be sure the educational institution you choose is accredited, which ensures the school offers a quality education that is respected by employers. Research who the instructors are, and be sure they are experienced percussionists with plenty of relevant experience.

Man playing a guitar
Man playing a guitar

Other percussion schools may not be degree-granting; they may, instead, simply offer lessons in a structured environment meant to help you learn how to play a specific instrument. If you want to attend percussion schools simply to learn how to play, then look for an affordable program taught by experienced instructors who can get you started. Later on, after you have studied the instrument for an extended period of time, you may choose to enroll in a more serious program that will grant you a degree or prepare you for a job as a percussionist in an orchestra or other musical group.

Try to find out which percussion schools are well respected and well known within the industry. The best way to do this is to talk to other percussionists who may have undergone an education at one or more institutions. Local symphonies are great places to start your research; if you cannot speak directly to the percussionists in the group, you may be able to research that person online and find out where he or she attended school. Otherwise, a phone call to the symphony office or coordinator will often help you get the information you need.

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