Topic: Percussion Ensemble Music For Middle School(Help)  (Read 2950 times)

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kimmyg09

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Percussion Ensemble Music For Middle School(Help)
« on: August 17, 2002, 01:34 PM »
I was wondering if anyone knew of any percussion ensemble pieces that would be suitable for Middle school students. I was thinking of incorporating some percussion ensemble music in my next band concert. So..if anyone could please offer some suggestions or lead me in the right direction I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you  :)

Bart Elliott

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Re:Percussion Ensemble Music For Middle School(Help)
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2002, 02:00 PM »
A lot of this will depend on what level your students are at. How are they on mallets? Are they advanced for Middle School students or average?

Here are some ensembles that I have actually conducted. The first list is for an average percussion class. If you're kids are more advanced for their age or if you want something more difficult for them that might take more rehearsals, etc., check out the second list. I've placed and asterisk by the ones I really enjoy!

  • Latin Resume - Davis
  • Roll-Off Rhumba - Firth
  • Ancient Voices, Distant Storms - Varner *
  • Interplay for Percussion Sextet - Whaley
  • Flat Baroque - Davis
  • Sabre Dance - Khachaturian/Moore *
  • Oriental Mambo - Davis
  • Mau Mau Suite - Davis *
I didn't take the time to list all of the instrumentation needed or the number of players. I would contact your music dealer and have them give you that information. If you are really stuck, let me know and I'll be happy to fill you in with what I know.

Enjoy!

James Walker

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Re:Percussion Ensemble Music For Middle School(Help)
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2002, 07:26 PM »
A lot of this will depend on what level your students are at. How are they on mallets? Are they advanced for Middle School students or average?

To this, I'd add:  what instruments do you have available?

  • Mallet instruments:  marimba/vibraphone/bells/xylophone/chimes?
  • timpani - two?  four?
  • hand drums and "toys," like congas, shakers, guiros, triangles, etc.?

This is a tough challenge, finding percussion ensemble music for middle-school-aged students that 1) isn't too difficult, 2) doesn't call for instruments you don't have, and 3) doesn't sound completely patronizing.  (Note:  that's not a comment on any of Bart's suggestions; I'm not familiar with any of the compositions/arrangements he has mentioned, mainly because I haven't had much reason to check into percussion ensemble music for this age group.  It's just that there's a lot of crap out there geared towards this age group...)

kimmyg09

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Re:Percussion Ensemble Music For Middle School(Help)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2002, 07:35 PM »
As far as Mallet instruments I have a xylophone, bells, chimes and glockenspiel.  Four timpani's, congas, tom toms, bongos..and many of the percussion toys you spoke of :)  I have some pretty decent mallet players and my percussion section as a whole is a good section. So..any suggestions that you could give would be helpful! Thank you! :)

Bart Elliott

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Re:Percussion Ensemble Music For Middle School(Help)
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2002, 08:45 PM »
With the pieces I described above ... you have all the right instruments.

James is right; it's hard to find good that isn't too hard for Middle School students.

The first category of pieces I listed should work fine for you. In Texas we have three class rankings for the pieces. The first list I gave is Class 3, the second list is Class 2. Class 1 is the hardest. There are some pieces that are clearly in the wrong class ranking; I don't know who categorizes them.

I feel like the pieces I've described are nice pieces of music (if my memory serves me correctly); in fact, I own some of them. They're not that expensive, so if you don't like them ... just look at it as a nice day of sight-reading for your students.

 

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