Date of Graduation
Teaching percussion instruments in elementary school settings presents unique challenges. Development of reading skills, musicality, technique, and listening skills are often cited as concerns. Materials selected by educators can facilitate or encumber the process. This study examined the characteristics of beginning methods materials from the perspective of college level percussion teachers. 269 teachers participated in a researcher-developed survey as a representative cross-section of institutions of higher learning including community colleges, baccalaureate institutions, and institutions with graduate programs. Results were analyzed from frequency distributions and manually generated stem-and-leaf plots. The survey examined respondent background and teaching experience, institutional information, and professional information. Also, respondents rated the importance of certain characteristics of beginning percussion methods materials. Respondents displayed a clear preference for materials that included many instruments from the percussion family. They indicated that method books should promote musicality. Most cited development of student technique as an important factor. A majority expressed support for materials to develop ensemble playing skills. Many favored inclusion of traditional percussion fundamentals, including the rudiments of drumming. Roll concept was contemplated. Layout and appearance were considered, and liberal use of illustrations was recommended. Participants indicated personal preferences with recommendations of specific titles. A discernible preference for percussion method books that have served generations of teachers was evident. Newer materials that have been accepted by many instructors also were recommended. Contributions of selected authors were acknowledged for their importance in percussion education. Survey items probed teacher attitudes toward multicultural components, technology, and assessment devices. While some preferences for these features were expressed, many respondents were ambivalent or openly opposed to their inclusion. It is possible that the traditional percussion training many members of the survey respondent group received influenced their responses. The ideal beginning percussion method book as described by the survey respondent group appears to have much in common with materials traditionally used over the past fifty years. There is an acknowledgement of the need for a new approach, but this study indicates that while college level percussion teachers make such an acknowledgement, they wish to retain the proven methods of the past.
Horner, Ronald George, "A national survey of college level percussion teachers regarding the importance of certain characteristics of percussion materials in beginning instrumental methods." (2005). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9058.