What are you listening to?

What are you listening to?

I have been wanting to compile a listening assignment for my percussion students and I decided to use Spotify so everyone would have access to it. (If you would like to check it out, click here. You have to be a registered user of Spotify, but you can sign up for free. If you are not familiar with Spotify, I would highly suggest you check it out). When choosing tracks for this playlist, I wanted to include a large variety of material. The idea for this assignment came to me when sitting in a recent master class. The guest artists were asking the audience members if they had heard XYZ composer and 9 out of 10 students hadn’t heard of the composer. I also didn’t want to compile a list exclusively of percussion music. I wanted to give my students a little insight into what I enjoy listening to while also including some pieces/composers that I think they should know. The entire list is about 75 minutes of music and includes music by B. Michael Williams, Michael Spiro, Steve Reich, Darren Dyke, CJ Menge, and John Adams and more. As I was putting the list together, I kept thinking that I wanted to know more about what my students were listening to, so I decided to have them give me a listening assignment. So here’s what I came up with:

For the students:

1) Listen to CSULB Percussion Listening S13 on Spotify

2) Write a paragraph about each track

Discuss what you liked/didn’t like and what worked/didn’t work
CSULB Listening Assignment for Dr. Gerhart:

1) Pick one album

2) The album must be on Spotify

3) Send Dr. Gerhart the Album/Artist Information

Write an introduction to the album you are sharing
Why do you like it?
What is interesting about this album?
Why should I listen to it?
I am going to try and listen to one album a week. So far, I have only received a couple of submissions, but I am looking forward to writing up reviews and posting it on my blog.

If you have any feedback on input on this topic, please leave a comment below. I would love to know what other schools do in their percussion program. I am especially interested in hearing about schools who do not have a specific percussion repertoire class.

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Originally posted on DrumChattr.com on March 1, 2013.

The photo in this post is used under the Creative Commons License: Attribution – NonCommercial – No Derivs 2.0 by eldeeem on Flickr.com.