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Percussion Pedagogy

Michael Udow

Publication Date - August 2019

ISBN: 9780190902957

492 pages
8-1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock


In Percussion Pedagogy, author Michael Udow offers a practical guide for students interested in teaching percussion as well as improving their technique. Udow first introduces the bouncing ball system, a technical analogy that teaches students to resist the effects of inertia. Throughout the book, the bouncing ball analogy develops into a core performance principle based on integrated motions resulting in refined tone quality and meaningful musicianship. The book applies this principle to several instruments including snare drum, timpani, marimba, vibraphone, multiple-percussion, tambourine and triangle, bass drum, cymbals, tam-tams, and a variety of Western concert and world percussion repertoire. In particular, Udow addresses the importance of coupling stroke types with stickings to set the foundation for precise rhythmic playing and expressive musicality. Chapters also focus on integrated rhythms, breath, and pulsed rhythms, anatomy and physiological health, psychological health, purposeful listening, and the importance of singing when practicing. Offering solutions to common performance problems, the book's many examples serve as a paradigm for future problem solving. A comprehensive companion website complements Udow's teachings with a wealth of video tutorials and listening examples.


  • Offers an accessible guide to teaching percussion
  • Comprehensive companion website videos provide practice materials for students
  • Provides guidance on adapting lessons to accomodate learning styles

About the Author(s)

Michael Udow has served as Principal Percussionist (1968-2009) in The Santa Fe Opera and as Professor of Music at the University of Michigan (1982-2011). He was the 2014-15 Composer-in-Residence with the Colorado Chamber Orchestra.


"The concepts presented in Percussion Pedagogy should help prepare the next generation of percussionists for teaching roles, and it can provide experienced instructors with some fresh ideas to solve old problems." -- Josh Aldorisio, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Music Reference Services Quarterly

"Percussion Pedagogy is an unprecedented game-changer in the world of pedagogy literature for percussion." -- Percussive Notes

"Michael Udow has created the definitive percussion pedagogy text. Its material is timeless, providing a unique and invaluable resource for teachers as well as performers." -- Thomas Siwe , Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

"Profound, intellectual, insightful, and appropriate for a giant step into the pathways of superior teaching. Udow compares the knowledge of several expert teachers and composers, then confirms it with videos to provide an indepth look at the subject." -- John H. Beck, Professor Emeritus of Percussion, Eastman School of Music

"Udow has created a magnum opus with this book that is destined to become one of the most significant contributions to percussion pedagogy. Drawing from his twenty-nine years as Professor of Percussion at the University of Michigan and his extensive teaching in master classes, residencies, and lessons around the world, Udow's Percussion Pedagogy models one of my favorite remarks made by Leonard Bernstein: 'When I teach I learn, when I learn I teach.' Students of Percussion Pedagogy are in for a remarkable journey as Udow takes them through twentyone chapters with hundreds of video teaching and performing examples." -- Gary Cook, Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona, and Artist-in-Residence, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Table of Contents


    Gary Cook


    Chapter 1 Flowing Strokes, Follow the Bouncing Ball

    Chapter 2 The Grip, To Grip or to Gripe, that is the Question

    Chapter 3 Stickings and Stroke-Types, Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water

    Chapter 4 The Art of Phrasing, "Sing, Sing, Sing!"

    Chapter 5 Purposeful Listening, Listen, Listen, Listen!

    Chapter 6 Integrated Rhythms, The Prequel

    Chapter 7 Embellishments, Back to Basics

    Chapter 8 Teaching Duple Subdivisions, What's Up?

    Chapter 9 Rhythm, Who Could Ask for Anything More?

    Chapter 10 Integrated Rhythms , I'm All a Quiver!

    Chapter 11 Breath Rhythms, A Breath of Fresh Air

    Chapter 12 Timpani, The I's, Y's and Beyond

    Chapter 13 Mallet-Keyboard, Move over Elephant, there's an Octapus in the Room

    Chapter 14 Triangle and Tambourine, Turkish Cooking in the Kitchen

    Chapter 15 Bass Drum, Cymbals, Tam tams, and Gongs, Asian and Turkish Delights

    Chapter 16 Multiple Percussion, An Integrated System of Form and Function

    Chapter 17 Drumset, Oh Say, Can you See...Hear...Play!
    Robert Breithaupt

    Chapter 18 Marching Percussion, Not Just on Saturdays
    Dennis DeLucia

    Chapter 19 Language, Speech, and Notation, The Gryphan and The Mock Turtle

    Chapter 20 Anatomy and Physiological Health, Constant Comment

    Chapter 21 Psychological Health, Ohm, by Georg e < without resistance

    Concluding Remarks
    Historical Timeline

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