If you are auditioning as a major, then you may choose among the Education (BME), Performance (BM), or general (BA / BS) degrees with emphasis in percussion. You may also audition as a music minor, or in certain circumstances, for scholarship / ensemble placement only. Admission into the Bachelor of Music (performance) degree program is selective, and requires a higher level of existing performance ability. It is possible to be selected into an alternate degree program, and to re-audition in a future semester.
The ideal percussion audition is demonstrated through performance of varied styles and instruments. A successful audition will demonstrate the performer’s abilities on as many of these instruments as possible.
Two relatively short, contrasting solos are ideal. One should be in the concert style, the other in the rudimental style. You may be asked to sight read as well.
A solo that demonstrates your keyboard percussion abilities, either two or four mallet. Acceptable instruments include marimba, vibraphone, or xylophone (two mallet only)
In addition, major scales (two octaves ascending and descending) may be asked of you.
Again, a solo that demonstrates your abilities on this instrument is requested.
You may be asked to tune timpani to a given pitch.
If you have any experience with the drum kit, then a demonstration of drumset styles is appropriate. Consider the rock / funk styles, jazz, and latin (such as a bossa nova) or carribean (such as a calypso) as representative of the instrument.
FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE CATEGORIES, you may choose to consider a solo work from the Idaho State (or any other state) Solo and Ensemble list.
PLEASE ALSO NOTE: to be admitted as a music major in any capacity, you must take the theory placement test as well as the piano proficiency test. These exams are used to determine the initial level of study in theory and piano
Dr. Thom Hasenpflug , Director of Percussion Studies at ISU
208-282-3705 • email@example.com
Solos / etudes from:
Portraits in Rhythm
Whaley Intermediate Snare Drum Studies, Audition Solos
Goldenberg Modern School for Snare Drum
Schinstine Futuristic Snare Drum Solos
Pratt 14 Modern Contest Solos
Freytag Rudimental Cookbook or Just Desserts
Wilcoxin virtually anything
A 2 mallet xylophone rag of G.H. Green
Some of the easier 4 mallet solos by Mitch Peters or Alice Gomez
Gar Whaley’s Musical Studies for Intermediate Mallet Player
An etude from M. Goldenberg’s Modern School for Xylophone
Vibes solos of Bill Molenhof
Dale Anderson’s Well Tempered Mallet Studies
An etude or solo from:
or a set of orchestral-style excerpts; i.e., Beethoven, Brahms, etc.
You may bring a prepared solo, a
collection of drumset beat patterns, or just be prepared to demonstrate
styles and/or chart reading.
There are certainly other audition-worthy concepts; i.e., multi-percussion, steel drums, marching quads, etc. Please let us know if you have a specific interest in something special.
Unlike high schools, universities do not generally provide items of a personal nature such as sticks and mallets. Here is a list of equipment that you will find necessary:
First of all, use major or boutique brand name manufacturers.
Do not use “no-frills” sticks or mallets that tend
to warp, break, be mismatched or poorly weighted and balanced. Brands
such as these below are generally your best bet:
Pro-Mark (Dr. Hasenpflug’s preferred choice),
Vic Firth, Vater, Cooperman, Zildjian, Malletech,
Balter, Innovative Percussion, Encore, etc.
Here is what you need:
Sticks, such as ProMark or Firth SD1, SD2, SD4,
SD10, Vater, etc.
• You need a pair for general purpose playing, (SD1 style), a small tip for
concert style playing (SD2 style), and some 5A style for drumset playing
• Brushes and/or Pro Mark Hot rods. (or Vic Firth Rutes, etc.)
• General purpose mallets, one set medium, one set harder, such as ProMark Jonathon Haas or Bamboo, Firth T3/T1, Vater, Goodman, Payson, Hinger, Amy Putman, etc.
• Set of 4 long handle - birch. Example,
Pro-Mark soloist or signature series,
Innovative Percussion 300, Balter 82 or 83 BB, Malletech Burritt or Concerto series, Vic Firth Firth Van Sice or Giff Howarth, etc.
• Set of 4 rattan or fiberglass handle. Cord wound. Pro-Mark Natural Hemp series, Malletech Friedman DF 16, Balter 23, Innovative Percussion, etc.
• misc. rubber and plastic phenolic 1"
balls. Pro-Mark, Malletech
Becker blues, Vic Firth 133/134, Steve Weiss makes his own brand, etc.
•Stick bag to hold this stuff
•Drum key, tuning fork, metronome
•a practice pad; i.e., real feel or similar
As finances allow:
•Auxilliary instruments, such as Grover or Black Swamp Tambourine, Abel or
Grover Triangle, LP or Rhythmtech Latin equipment (cowbells, cabasa, etc.) and so forth.
•Triangle Beaters and clips
• a snare drum and / or drumset
sheet MUSIC and METHOD BOOKS:
You need to get several of these - see instructor for books related to your course of study.
Applied percussion lessons: Levels 184 / 185 / 285 / 385 / 485
Idaho State University, Department of Music
Dr. Thom Hasenpflug, Director of Percussion Studies
FA 108, x3705 firstname.lastname@example.org
• The private lesson is designed to develop the "well-rounded" percussionist. All areas of percussion will be approached, and demonstrated ability in all major areas of the field is expected. Proficiency levels will be established over the course of study. Students must learn to deal with their weaknesses as well as strengths to gain adequate proficiency in percussion. The student will outline a plan of study together with the major professor, which will highlight goals and areas of concentration for the coming months.
Objectives and Outcomes:
As a result of private study, students will:
1. Develop technically as a percussionist. The rate of development within any given area differs with each individual.
2. Develop good practice habits.
3. Consider snare drum, timpani, keyboard, band / orchestral percussion, and drumset as fundamental areas for study, and supplement these areas with more specific areas as interest, time, and technical ability allows; i.e., hand drums, steel drums, composition, etc.
4. Become familiar with the standard repertory.
5. Become more comfortable in solo and chamber ensemble performance situations.
6. Become better musicians on the whole.
• All students enrolled in private study will take a jury exam
at the end of each semester of enrollment. The jury
performance should reflect the progress made over the
semester. Take it seriously, as your best effort is required.
• Students must perform on at least one general recital per year.
• You need to practice to get better.
• Percussion majors, and music majors studying percussion are required to attend all percussion recitals, masterclasses, and special scheduled events that are determined to relate directly to the field.
• Percussion majors are required to participate in percussion ensemble, (schedule allowing) and are also required to attend scheduled studio classes, which are currently offered during certain convocation hours. Students are encouraged to be in the Steel Drum ensemble.
• Proper care of school equipment is not only common sense and the right thing to do, it's mandatory! Anyone found to be abusing, damaging, willfully neglecting, or "permanently borrowing" school equipment will have sanctions imposed upon them by myself and the Department Chair. This will affect not only your grade, but your future involvement in percussion at this institution.
GRADING, while somewhat subjective, is based on the following criteria:
- weekly lesson preparation; attitude towards learning
- progress in technique, ability, and musicality
- attendance / punctuality at lessons, ensembles, and required events
- performance on lab recitals and concerts; willingness to perform
- jury performance
The standard ISU letter grading system will be applied.
Juries will consist of technical proficiency materials, such as scales and rudiments, and performance literature highlighting the cumulative progress over the course of the semester. A special 30 minute jury is required for entrance to "upper level" (junior standing) study. See instructor for more details on this (separate sheet).
Guideline for the average student - Proficiency Requirements:
Keyboard: All Major/natural minor scales and arpeggios
Goldenberg, Whaley etudes. Two and four mallet solos
Snare Drum: Rudiments, etudes and solos
Timpani: tuning, etudes and solos
All forms of minor scales, 12 keys; 4 mallet technique
Pieces in different instrumental areas
Snare drum proficiency test
Medium to advanced keyboard percussion literature
Snare Drum: advanced concert style etudes and solos
Advanced Timpani literature
Recital prep, concerto and orchestral literature
areas of specialization
Demonstration of confidence and fluidity in all areas of percussion