What does it mean to study percussion? Those are drums and things, right?
The German word for percussion – Schlagzeug – when translated is a combination of words that literally mean ‘to strike’ and ‘stuff’, thus answering the above question; studying percussion is the study of hitting things. Here at that the Music Vault Academy, we are blazing new trails within the realm of percussion pedagogy, for never before has there been a comprehensive academy approach to studying percussion. A newly coined method – only being taught here at the Music Vault Academy – borrows traits from the Kodaly, Suzuki, and Orff methods and applies them to the technical specificities of what being a percussionist requires.
But why study percussion?
Because percussion is cool!! Percussion can be literally anything!! Our percussion lessons are based on the belief that great musicians are extremely good at their instrument, including sight reading, technique, theory and so on; which covers learning all percussion instruments including drums, xylophones, gongs, cymbals, timpani, pots and pans, flower pots, and many more!
The most unique aspect behind our method of teaching percussion is that we offer percussion lessons for ALL ages. Our three divisions of percussion lessons (ages 1-5, 6-11, and 12+) focus on different musical material and technical/creative development depending on the student’s age. This allows students to stay engaged and help them develop their musical skills with the highest efficiency over time.
Studies show that there are many benefits to music lessons, especially in the long term. Therefore, our goal is to keep the students interested, engaged and excited about learning music and percussion through many additional fun and educational experiences. We want to develop great musicians out of all our students, including the students that pursue percussion lessons as a hobby or a de-stressing activity.
The Music Vault Academy is unique in the fact that our lessons are designed to teach all these aspects of musicianship, and ensure that they have a lot of practical experience, performing on different stages for all kinds of audiences; and finally, that they know how to record and what to do and expect in a recording studio.
We also encourage and help our students to perform with other students. This can be accomplished formally through our Percussion Ensemble program, or informally by finding and performing together with other students at our Student Showcases or other community events.
Percussion Lessons Highlights
Percussion Lessons Prices
The prices for private percussion lessons are:
$35 per 30-min lesson.
$50 per 45-min lesson.
$65 per 60-min lesson.
Below are the monthly costs for a four week month. There is no long term contract; a 30-day notice is all that is required to stop the music lessons.
30 min. Private Music Lessons: $140 per month (4 weeks)
45 min. Private Music Lessons: $200 per month (4 weeks)
60 min. Private Music Lessons: $260 per month (4 weeks)
There is a one time $25 registration fee ($40 per family).
All percussion lessons include:
- Participation in 6 Student Showcases per year, at no extra cost
- Video/audio recording of student’s performances at each Showcase
- Opportunities to sing at events held at the Music Vault Academy
- Opportunities to sing at nearby community events and festivals
- Recording studio classes
- Production deals (by invitation only)
- Free clinics, shows and events
Drum Lessons FAQs
What are the benefits of studying percussion?
Percussion playing requires a lot of attention to technique building at the beginning level. Certain life skills like time management, discipline, and self control are gained from studying drums/percussion.
How old does my child should be to start percussion lessons?
Lessons are available for any age, and are divided into three groups ages: 1-5, 6-11, and 12+.
What do you teach during percussion lessons? What teaching methods?
This depends on the age grouping. Children ages 1-5 benefit from general creative practices, introduction to pitch, listening to and describing music, and creative improvisation. These lessons are very exploratory for the student, who will discover new sounds and improvise with the teacher on various instruments.
Between the ages of 6 and 11, more written music theory may be introduced, as well as some basic technical approaches. Studying pitch (like a pianist or a violinist would) is the bulk of the focus for this age group, but instead of learning piano or violin, the student will focus on pitched percussion i.e. marimba or PVC pipe xylophone.
From about age 12 and up, the student’s coordination is nearly developed. This allows for us to focus on the more ‘traditional’ sense of percussion playing – snare drum, xylophone, timpani – in order to fully develop the student into a true artist.
Are there different methods for learning percussion? What is the difference and which one is better?
Every student is different! The Music Vault Academy prides itself in making music education accessible to all students, so each student’s curriculum is designed based on their individual needs and personality. The method for learning will depend on the student, and what that student is interested in focusing on.
At the Music Vault Academy we teach percussion with a method unlike anywhere else in the country. Borrowing from classical pedagogical approaches such as Kodaly, Suzuki, and Orff, we combine early education principles with well tested percussion pedagogy to allow for creativity and expression in our students.
Do I need to own lots of percussion instruments to take lessons?
No! Depending on your age group we’ll get you started with either a PVC xylophone or a pair of sticks and a practice pad, which can be purchased through the Music Vault Academy. Beginning lessons focus greatly on developing snare drum technique or listening/ear training/pitch training so our practice instruments will suffice. However if the student wants to advance beyond the status of beginner, then purchasing instruments is highly recommended.
Our Percussion Teachers
All of our music teachers have many years of teaching, playing and performing experience; with most being graduates of, and having master degrees from, some of the best music conservatories and universities in the country: Harvard University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Rice University, Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, Boston Conservatory, and University of Southern California. Excellent music instruction and great learning experience are our top priorities and that starts with having the very best music teachers and all the support the school can give them. Our teachers are great with children, adults, beginners or advanced students, and are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.