Best Academic Percussion Programs
March 5, 2013 4:07 PM   Subscribe

What are the best academic percussion programs in the United States and Canada?

"Best" can have many different meanings, of course, but sample criteria could be things like the following (in no particular order): size, diversity of music, funding, activity, concerts, noted alumni, reputation, etc.

I'm interested in universities, colleges, conservatories, or anything academic and credentialed where percussion music is studied and performed at the highest level.

I don't care as much about the health of the music school in general, although it might be helpful background info. The lists I've found online are several years old and tend not to agree much with each other. Any data points are helpful. Thanks in advance!!
posted by sleevener to Education (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It really depends on who you want to study with.

But in general, they are probably (not in a particular order): Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes, U Michigan, U Indiana, Yale.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:15 PM on March 5, 2013

I lived with a percussion major at Oberlin College and one time his percussion buddies were over discussing which programs they had looked at.

They said that, aside from an excellent reputation in the field, that the deciding factor for them was that the students in Oberlin's program seemed to actually be extremely happy while other programs students suffered from a less well-rounded work/life balance. Also, one of the professors is supposed to be totally awesome and amazing (although I now can't recall which one).

Here is a link
posted by forkisbetter at 9:42 AM on March 6, 2013

It really depends on who you want to study with. Find percussionists/percussion ensembles you really admire and see who they studied with. I'll wager that only a few names come up. For example, in addition to Yale, Peabody should be on the list, given the faculty. To throw out a couple more names, you should also look at Bard, UCSD in addition to the places others have mentioned.
posted by ob at 7:33 AM on March 7, 2013

The OP never stated if they're more into modern drumming or classical percussion so I'' try to give a catch-all.

Lutoslawski started it off well (I was going to say Juilliard). Don't forget about Berkelee College of Music (if it wasn't obvious). I heard USC has a very good music program too. Also, I've had drum teachers that went to University of North Texas say that it has a great percussion program.

As far as Canada, I've heard McGill has a good music program. That's about all I know for Canada.

If you're interested in more classical percussion, why not check out all the big symphonies (Boston, NYC, Philly, DC, LA) and see where their percussionists got their BFA or MFA's. That'll give you some more schools that we never thought of.

All the best!
posted by packfan88c at 12:11 PM on March 7, 2013

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