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What Are Percussion Workshops?

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  • Written By: Solomon Branch
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
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Percussion workshops are classes or seminars that are typically geared toward teaching or improving player’s skills as percussionists, which includes drumming or playing any instrument that makes a sound when struck. There are a variety of types of workshops geared to many different types of percussion instruments and styles of playing. The percussion workshops can range from a formal type of setting, such as when teaching school-age children to play percussion instruments, or a more casual environment, such as when people gather to play in a drum circle without formal instruction.

In more formal percussion workshops, such as those that cater to percussionists in a large symphony or school band, techniques for playing will be taught along with care of instruments and lessons on how to play percussion with different instruments. There may be lectures by prominent percussionists from large symphonies or well-known professionals in the field. In a more thorough workshop, participants may be videotaped and have their style and technique critiqued by various teachers and professional percussionists.

Some percussion workshops are more for fun and entertainment and cater to the casual percussionist who likes to play only as hobby. These types of workshops are often not as in-depth, but may offer specialized teachings on basic playing styles or instruction on how to make your own percussion instrument. More casual workshops often emphasize playing over teaching, and include large group sessions in which participants play together in a free-form environment.

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Workshops that teach percussion are often included as part of muscle festivals, and teach specialized styles or techniques in a short period of time. In some cases, the workshops are free or are included in the fee for entering the festival. Many of these workshops have themes particular to the type of music being offered in the festival.

The duration of a percussion workshop can vary in length. Some more casual workshops only last a day or two. More professional or serious workshops can be more lengthy; similar to a summer camp type of environment. In fact, many summer camps for percussionists are referred to as percussion workshops. The variety of styles for percussion workshops is as varied as the styles of muscle available. Common styles can include jazz, symphony and marching band percussion.

Many high schools, universities and professional drumming schools offer workshops, particularly during the summer months. Music festivals will often have a list of workshops available in their advertisements. Many workshops are also advertised online and in various trade magazines that specialize in percussion instruments.

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