Percussion Ensembles
For Upper Primary and Middle School

By
Jim Solomon

CONTENTS 56 pages

D.R.U.M. MEMBERSHIP CERTIFICATE

3

INTRODUCTION

4

Forming a Group

5

D.R.U.M. CODE

5

Using Drums in the Classroom

6

Fostering the Creative

6

The Power of a Strong Music Program

6

JAM RHYTHMS AND JAM RHYTHM ENSEMBLE

7

Jam Rhythms

8

Jam Rhythm Ensembles

8

Customizing the Ensemble for Your Players

9

Notation/Rote

9

Difficulty Ratings

10

Jam Rhythms in 4/4

11

Jam Rhythm Ensembles in 4/4

14

Jam Rhythms in 6/8

22

Jam Rhythm Ensembles in 6/8

24

Jam Rhythms in 3/4

27

Jam Rhythm Ensembles in 3/4

29

ENSEMBLES BASED ON SPEECH

31

Monkey Monkey Moo

32

Pigs Like Mud

33

Tiny Surfer

34

Order In The Gallery!

35

Peter, Peter If You're Able

36

If You See Amonkey

37

Soda Pop

38

Old John Tucker

39

Dr. Fell

40

Rique, Rique, Rique, Ran

41

Jack Be Nimble

42

Awake, Arise

43

APPENDIX

44

Form

45

Improvisation

46

Teaching Suggestions

47

Building an Ensemble with Student-Created Rhythms

49

Instrument Technique

50

 

Introduction

Kids love drums! The sight, the sound, the power, and the feel are tremendous motivators for many students. When played in ensemble, drums require the discipline of the participants to work together. The payoff is immediate: a dynamic, forceful, expressive sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. Whether it be with general music classes or with a special group, drum ensemble gives music teachers a powerful tool to build teamwork, discipline and excitement in their students.

D.R.U.M. was formed at my elementary school in 1995 to provide an ensemble experience for some fifth grade students who were not involved in any of the regular music groups. For a variety of reasons they were not in the chorus, recorder club, or the Orff instrumental group.

D.R.U.M. is an acronym for Discipline, Respect, and Unity through Music. The importance of teamwork and self-discipline is stressed as the members learn intensive percussion ensembles. They are expected to keep up with their school work and show good behavior to stay in the group. The group blends students with different behavioral, academic, and social backgrounds. They play music from the United States, Brazil, Africa, and China.

Congas are used as the lead drums. The conga drum is an ideal instrument for creating and performing parts in percussion ensembles with upper elementary and middle school students. By using only Bass and Tone (open tone), students and teachers can achieve instant success and play rhythms with powerful tonal contrast.

Drums provide unlimited potential for experience in rhythm, ensemble, movement, improvisation, meter, and timbre - the musical learning can be extensive. Drum ensemble provides teachers with the flexibility to assign part. of varying difficulty to players of different abilities. Moreover, the ensembles provide an invaluable social experience because the players depend on each other for the group to succeed.

Jim Solomon

Author and clinician, Jim Solomon currently teaches music K-5 at Osceola Elementary School in St. Augustine, Florida, where he also works with a chorus, a recorder group, and a special percussion group for fifth grade students called D.R.U.M.

He teaches the Level 1 Orff Schulwerk Teacher Training Course at The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He is a MENC Nationally Certified Music Educator and was recognized as the St. John's County Teacher of the Year in 1991. He is a past region IV Representative for the American Orff Schulwerk Association.

Jim received his Master Class Orff training from Memphis State University, Curriculum Course training from Hamline, Level II Kodaly training from Converse College, and an M.A.T in Music Education from Jacksonville University. He has presented at nine previous AOSA National Music Conferences.

He has authored five books, the most recent of which are CONGA TOWN: Percussion Ensembles for Upper Elementary and Middle School (BMRO8OO2), ©1 995 Warner Bros. Publications; and THE TROPICAL RECORDER © 1997 Memphis Musicraft. Jim has also produced the video, CONGAS, BONGOS & OTHER PERCUSSION:A Guide to Technique.


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