The development of the collegiate percussion ensemble: its history and educational value
Arnold, Benjamin Joshua
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The purpose of this study is to determine if participation in percussion ensemble has a distinct value as compared to participation in larger ensembles, and whether it promotes a specific form of percussion education not available to members participating in larger ensembles. People who participated in or who are currently instructional leaders, coaches, or conductors of collegiate percussion ensembles were contacted to better understand how experiences in the percussion ensemble influenced their approach to teaching percussion once they entered the teaching field. Research conducted for this study included interviews with preservice, inservice, and university percussion professors. Findings suggest that participation in a collegiate percussion ensemble is beneficial for percussion education and for teachers in the field. Students who participate in collegiate percussion ensembles have the opportunity to get a more specialized percussion education, from which they gain better quality skills in basic musicianship, score study, repertoire selection, and percussion performance than they would have simply preforming in a larger ensemble. In addition, students who participate in a collegiate percussion ensemble reported that it provided a greater sense of self-worth and a camaraderie with fellow percussionists that was not available in large ensemble performance.