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Drumming Courses and Training Program Information

Courses in drumming are available through certificate, associate, bachelor's and master's degree in music programs, many of which include an option to focus on percussion instruments. Percussion training programs usually include instruction in individual and ensemble performance and cover various music styles, such as Latin, African, jazz, rock and classical.

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Essential Information

Aspiring drummers may choose to enroll in postsecondary music programs with a concentration in percussion, which are offered at a number of colleges and universities. Some schools may offer percussion or drumming training courses on their own for self-enrichment purposes. Many local community groups and private organizations offer drumming training programs as well, from beginner to advanced levels. In addition to in-person options, drumming courses are widely available online via well-known institutions and private teaching sites.

Here are a few common concepts taught in drumming courses:

  • Timing
  • History of rhythm
  • Reading music
  • Genres of music
  • Techniques and styles
  • Rudiments

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List of Common Courses

Introduction to Percussion Skills and Literature Course

This course provides students with an introduction to basic drum set techniques and skills like timing, balance, speed and coordination. It may also provide lectures on the historical development of the drum set and other common percussion instruments as well as biographical lessons on famous percussion performers and innovators. Often, both studio and lecture sessions are required.

Individual Percussion Performance Course

Individual performance courses offer students the opportunity to study one-on-one with a percussion instructor. These private lessons focus on technique and skills, such as reading time signatures and rhythm charts, as well as various drumming styles, including rock, jazz and blues. Some courses require recital performances or participation in public workshops so students can demonstrate the drumming skills they have learned.

Percussion Ensemble Course

Ensemble instruction focuses on adapting drumming performance to a group dynamic. Skills include learning to follow cues, adapting to arrangement variations and improvising during performances. Some programs offer individual courses in a variety of music genres that prominently feature rhythm sections, such as jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and steel drums.

Percussion Education Course

A course in percussion pedagogy is typically offered as a graduate course. It provides students with an opportunity to study pedagogy techniques and topics in percussion literature. The student and instructor usually agree upon specific coursework content and requirements.

Music Research Course

Many graduate degree programs in music require a course that focuses on research. Graduate students may take this course to learn more about percussion topics that related directly to their thesis.

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