Spring 2009 (1/2 semester) Time: T & R 9:30‑10:45   Room: CA 1080

Instructor: John Rack, Ph.D. 

Office: CA 1053   Hours: TBA   Phone: 962‑3729



Course packet – available from the campus bookstore or Seahawk Books



            Drumsticks – Vic Firth SD1 or approved equivalent model




            Provides basic training on the percussion instruments of the band and orchestra and an

            introduction to the drum set and ethnic percussion.  Performance technique and

pedagogy are covered.  Intended for music education majors or students with

knowledge of musical notation seeking beginning training on all percussion instruments. 




  1. Rudimentary performance skills on all instruments covered
  2. Knowledge of the mechanics of percussion instruments and basic maintenance
  3. Knowledge of unique notation in percussion music
  4. Pedagogical knowledge required for beginning instruction on the percussion instruments covered
  5. Demonstrate basic rhythmic competence




  • Regular attendance and successful participation in class activities (Remember that anything covered in class is a potential test item.)
  • Passing grade on a snare drum performance test (This may be retaken up to the last day of classes.)
  • Passing average grade on written tests for each unit of study, based on lectures and course packet
  • Successfully teach a mini-lesson to a beginner on snare drum (approximately 10 minutes). Your student must have no prior experience with percussion.  To be scheduled with the instructor during the two weeks after Unit I (before spring break).


EVALUATION: (for this half of your MUS 246 grade)


Written tests (2)                                                           50% (25% each)

Snare drum performance test                                    25%

Teaching lesson                                                          25%


A 10-point grading scale will be used for written tests. (criterion-referenced)


   A          A      B+       B        B       C+       C        C-      D+       D

            100‑93  92‑90  89‑87  86‑83  82‑80  79-77  76-73  72-70  69-67  66-63 etc. 


            Snare drum performance tests and lesson teaching will be graded based on the average

score in the class (norm-referenced).


            Your snare drum performance will be judged in 5 categories:

            (1) tempo (2) technique (3) sticking (4) rhythm (5) rudiments


            A 5-point scale will be used for evaluation in each snare drum performance category:


5 = 0-2 minor flaws

4 = 1 major flaw with 1-2 minor flaws, or 3-4 minor flaws

3 = 2 major flaws with 1-2 minor flaws, or 5-6 minor flaws

2 = 3 major flaws with up to 3 minor flaws, or 7 minor flaws

1 = 4 or more major flaws or 8 or more minor flaws


Major flaw examples = uncorrected fulcrum position; uncorrected wrong rhythm; failure to alternate consecutive rolls; failure to alternate flams; several tempo inconsistencies; not pulsing rolls


Minor flaw examples = one missed sticking; tempo slightly under what is recommended; rushing a rhythm; flams too open


Your teaching effectiveness will be judged in 5 categories:


Appropriate objectives/expectations


5 = shows clear knowledge of what is appropriate for a beginner

4 = a minor shortcoming in appropriateness, such as one missed step in pedagogy

3 = a major shortcoming in appropriateness, such as missing a series of pedagogy steps

2 = more than one major shortcoming in knowledge of what is appropriate for a beginner

1 = no evidence of knowledge of what is appropriate for a beginner


Demonstration of technique


5 = Exemplary technique for a beginning teacher, with only an occasional minor flaw

4 = Provides a good model but with several minor flaws, such as uneven rebound

      height, inappropriate speed in motion of cymbal crashes, inconsistent execution of

      thumb rolls

3 = Modeling shows at least one major flaw, such as using arm movement instead of

      wrist, consistently striking bars in wrong area, no angle on cymbal crashes; and

      several minor flaws.

2 = Modeling shows two major flaws and several minor flaws

1 = Little evidence of any appropriate aspects of technique


Clarity of explanations


5 = Highly effective, as evident in student performance results

4 = Not always clear or helpful at first, but with continued effort the desired learning

      outcome results most of the time

3 = Sometimes ineffective, resulting in less than desired performance results

2 = Generally ineffective, showing little knowledge of how to correct the problem

1 = Knowledge of subject matter is clearly not evident and explanations are ineffective


Accurate analysis of problems


5 = Shows clear insight into analyzing problems, with no more than 1-2 minor delays in analyzing a problem

4 = Analysis is accurate in all major areas, with only missed analysis in 1-2 minor areas

3 = Sometimes ineffective, resulting in 1-2 undiagnosed major problems, or 3-4 minor


2 = Generally ineffective, showing a lack of skills in observation and diagnosis of

      problems, student performance suffers from lack of insight into most problems

1 = Shows no knowledge of performance problems or ability to observe


Effective solution/procedure for solving any problems


5 = Prescribed solutions are consistently effective

4 = Attempted solutions are generally effective, only needing an adjustment before

      success 1-2 times

3 = Solutions are ineffective 1-2 times, or needing adjustments before success 3-4 times

2 = Solutions are ineffective 3-4 times

1 = Shows no knowledge of effective procedures for diagnosed problems





1/8‑2/5             Unit I: Snare Drum & Rhythmics (9 classes)


2/10                             Test #1 ‑ Unit I (written)

                                    Performance Test - Snare Drum


2/12‑2/24                     Unit II: Bass Drum, Cymbals, and Accessories (4 classes)

                                    (Also, schedule snare drum teaching during this time)


2/26                             Test #2 – Unit II




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