Percussion Studies at Omaha Conservatory of Music

Thank you for your interest in studying percussion at Omaha Conservatory of Music. Below is an overview of what students and families can expect from percussion lessons at the Conservatory. Please email with any additional questions.

Program Overview

MISSION

Omaha Conservatory of Music's Percussion Studio promotes excellence in performance and personal character through comprehensive percussion education.

TRACKS

The Percussion Studio at OCM offers two tracks of study:

  1. Classical Percussion: 30, 45, or 60-minute weekly lessons on snare drum, 4-mallet and 2-mallet keyboard percussion, timpani, and drum set; all students perform on Fall and Spring recitals.

  2. Drum Set Only: 30-minute weekly lessons on snare drum and drum set only; no recital performances. Strong emphasis on music fundamentals.

PREREQUISITES*

Students must be at least 9 years old and meet the following requirements:

For Classical Percussion:

For Drum Set Only:

  • must have a drum set at home

*Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis.


Curricula and Required Materials


CLASSICAL PERCUSSION

CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

The percussion program at Omaha Conservatory of Music strives to be as comprehensive as possible.  To achieve that goal students follow a “total percussion” curriculum that emphasizes proficiency in four core areas of the percussion family: snare drum, keyboard percussion, timpani, and drum set.  

  • General Musicianship: music theory fundamentals, time, rhythm, dynamics, major and minor scales, ear training and intonation (including solfege syllables)

  • Snare Drum: posture, grip, mechanics, hand evenness, rolls, orchestral and rudimental styles

  • Keyboard Percussion: 2-mallet and 4-mallet technique, posture, spacial awareness, note reading, major and minor scales and arpeggios, solo repertoire

  • Timpani: ear training and intonation, solfege, intervals, posture, grip, mechanics, consistency of sound, solo repertoire, orchestral excerpts

  • Drum Set: coordination, timekeeping, developing a sense of groove, variety of styles, solo repertoire, popular music and jazz transcriptions


REQUIRED MATERIALS

The following list of items must be acquired BEFORE the first lesson:

  • Books: Mark Wessels, A Fresh Approach to Snare Drum and Ted Reed, Syncopation

  • Concert Snare Drum Sticks: Vic Firth SD1 or Vic Firth SD1 Junior (TBD by instructor)

  • Snare Drum Practice Pad: Evans Real Feel 12” Practice Pad

  • Snare Drum Stand: Weiss Extended Height Concert Snare Drum Stand

  • Stick Bag: Liberty I Stick and Mallet Bag (01S)

  • Metronome: Boss DB-30 Dr. Beat Metronome

  • Folder: with pockets and brads

  • Hearing Protection: ear plugs or headphones (Vic Firth SIH2 recommended)

Additional materials must be purchased when studies require:

KEYBOARD PERCUSSION

  • Method Book: Mark Wessels, A Fresh Approach to Mallet Percussion

  • Method Book: David Skidmore, A Fresh Approach To Technique & Musicianship With Four Mallets

  • Marimba Mallets: 2 pairs Vic Firth M114

TIMPANI

  • Method Book: Raynor Carroll, Exercises, Etudes, and Solos for Timpani

  • Etude Book: Keith Larson, Style Studies for Timpani

  • Tuning Fork: A=440

  • Timpani Mallets: Clevelander Bamboo Timpani Mallets (CDB4) - Med Classic Ball

  • Additional timpani mallets as needed

DRUM SET

  • Method Book: Mark Wessels, A Fresh Approach to Drum Set

  • Drum Set Sticks: Vic Firth 5A or 7A (TBD by instructor)

Additional books, repertoire, sticks, and mallets may be required based on an individual student’s course of study.

*all of the above items may be purchased from SteveWeissMusic.com.


DRUM SET

CURRICULUM OVERVIEW

All students, regardless of age, will begin with snare drum only. Stick control and music reading will be the primary focus of study. After satisfactory progress has been made, students will move to the Mark Wessels/Stanton Moore book “A Fresh Approach to Drum Set,” covering:

  • Basic Rock Beats and Fills

  • Hand & Foot Technique

  • Coordination and Independence

  • Reading Music

  • Understanding Song Construction

  • Introductions to R&B, Shuffle, Jazz, and Latin styles

After successful completion of the Wessels/Moore book, students should expect to explore the following method books:

  • Jim Chapin, “Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer”

  • Doug Auwarter, “Essential Rock Styles for Drum Set”

  • Doug Auwarter, “Essential Latin Styles for Drum Set”

  • Rick Latham, “Advanced Funk Studies”

  • David Garibaldi, “Future Sounds”

  • John Riley, “The Art of Bop Drumming”

REQUIRED MATERIALS

The following materials must be acquired before the first lesson:

  • Drum Set: students should own at least a 4-piece drum set (snare drum, bass drum and pedal, rack tom, and floor tom), a hi-hat, cymbals, and a throne.

  • Books: Mark Wessels and Stanton Moore, A Fresh Approach to Drum Set and

    Ted Reed, Syncopation

  • Drum Sticks: Vic Firth 5A or Vic Firth 7A (TBD by instructor)

  • Snare Drum Practice Pad: Evans Real Feel 12” Practice Pad

  • Stick Bag: Liberty I Stick and Mallet Bag (01S)

  • Metronome: Boss DB-30 Dr. Beat Metronome

  • Folder: with pockets and brads

  • Hearing Protection: ear plugs or headphones (Vic Firth SIH2 recommended)

Additional sticks and books may be required based on an individual student’s course of study.

*all of the above items may be purchased from SteveWeissMusic.com.