Percussion FAQ's

  •  In the 5th Grade Band, students have the opportunity to play woodwind, brass or percussion instruments. Their instrument selection includes:

    Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Baritone and Percussion


    Before the Sign-Up Night, students have the opportunity to try any/all the band instruments they are interested in playing with the help of Mrs. Gary.

    We have many students that want to be "drummers" every year. It is important to note that in band, "drummers" have to play a wide variety of percussion instruments and  cannot only play the snare drum. Instruments include: bells, bass drum, marimba, timpani, snare drum, crash cymbals, and more, and students that choose to learn all these instruments are called percussionists. 


    All students interested in playing a band instrument try-out multiple instruments with Mrs. Gary. We call this process the Instrument Trial, but it is also an "audition" for those interested in playing percussion. Some FAQs about percussion are below:  



    FAQ’s about Percussion:


    Question: Why is percussion difficult?

     Playing percussion involves:

     1. Reading many different clefs and styles of music notation

    2. Requires good hand-eye coordination

    3. A strong sense of rhythm

    4. Playing a lot more instruments than just the “drums”


     Question: What skills/qualities can help students interested in percussion be successful?

     1. Piano lessons = note-reading skills are established, which is a huge advantage. Plus, the piano keys are laid out the same way the mallet percussion instruments are (bells, marimba, xylophone), which helps students be more comfortable with those challenging instruments.

    2. Dedicated work ethic and strong study habits. Percussion instruments require a lot of practice, and students will have to work hard!


    Question: My child ONLY wants to play percussion. What if the audition does not go well?

     Odds are your child would do great on another instrument. Before deciding no other instrument would be a good fit for him/her, your child has the option to try playing other instruments. If trying out the percussion instruments does not go well (please note:"not going well" is often a self-assessed conclusion made by the student!), students are usually very excited about trying some of the other instruments. Once they try playing other instruments, they often feel more success and may become excited about learning a different instrument!