• Sounds Effects with Percussion and Marimba

    Kevin Lucas | July 10, 2021Most of my previous articles have been about intense musical topics. So, I decided to write something fun for your students for this month. We are going to explore special effects with percussion and marimba. Over the years, in an effort to be innovative in my music videos and recordings, I have used existing ideas […] Read More...
  • Five Ways to Teach Your Students to Play, Positive and Relaxed

    Kevin Lucas | June 12, 2021I had an interesting experience this week. Aside from my music career, I run a construction, remodeling, and tile business. This past week I was on a job in the Chicago area. My customer told me his son, who studies percussion at a major university, has a great teacher. The issue this student is having […] Read More...
  • Teach Your Students to Thrive and Survive as a Marimba Player

    Kevin Lucas | May 4, 2021Kevin Lucas details the realities of musical career paths for your mallet percussionists and offers some hard-earned personal advice for marimba players. Read More...
  • Taiko Drumming: A Cultural Japanese Art Form

    Kevin Lucas | April 6, 2021For the April 2021 issue of SBO, Kevin Lucas interviewed the leader of Madison Japanese Taiko Drumming Group BENI Daiko, Junko Yamauchi. She describes Taiko as "musical expression that combines mental discipline and physical demand...Our goal is to teach and give experience of traditional Japanese culture for everyone, plus having fun!" Read More...
  • Top Ten Tips Composing for Marimba

    Kevin Lucas | March 6, 2021Composing a song on any instrument can be a challenge.  It can be very frustrating getting the creative juices flowing.  I will go through some steps to help your students move forward in this process.  Creativity is one of the most lacking topics taught in percussion pedagogy.  I feel that this is a neglected topic […] Read More...
  • Marimba and Muscle Memory

    Kevin Lucas | February 5, 2021Applying the concept of muscle memory to marimba pedagogy is extremely important for the development of your students. This is even more crucial since there is no direct contact between the performer and the marimba. A pianist can feel and touch the keys, creating a more intimate connection to the instrument. A marimba player must have a built-in knowledge as to where the keys are, as well as understand spaced intervals and distancing. Read More...
  • An Interview with UCF Fine Arts Dean/Professor of Percussion Jeff Moore

    Mike Lawson | January 8, 2021

    Please tell the readers a brief history of you as an artist and educator.

    For my undergraduate degree in Music Education, I went to the University of North Texas where I studied with Bob Schietroma, Ron Fink, and Ed Soph. I went to the University of Wisconsin for my Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance and studied with James H. Latimer.

  • The Ancient History of the Marimba to the Modern Day

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    The marimba could possibly be the oldest instrument on Earth. The exact year of its origin isn’t known, but it goes back thousands of years into ancient Africa. The diatonic scale that would eventually be invented in Western music was centuries into the future. As a result, the marimba tones were made up of notes that would not be recognizable to our ear.

  • Preparing a Multi-Percussion Work

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    There is nothing conventional about preparing a multi-percussion work. It requires a lot of planning and organization, as well as a degree of understanding regarding the work itself. As most band programs focus on individual percussion instruments, combining many instruments at one time is a challenge for your students, yet it offers amazing musical development.

  • Promark SPYR: A New Mallet Line for a New Time

    Mike Lawson | October 1, 2020

    The SPYR series from Promark by D’Addario is a collaboration with world-renowned percussionists, designers, and educators Kevin Shah and Tony Nunez. The series covers the complete spectrum of sounds.

  • African Drums in Percussion

    Mike Lawson | September 2, 2020

    In Western culture, we have been mostly accustomed to the European style of music, which has a major focus on deep harmonies and melodies that has influenced orchestral and band music.

  • Marching Snare Drum Fundamentals

    Mike Lawson | July 31, 2020

    As marching season approaches, it is very important to have a good grasp on the basics of marching snare drum technique. I am going to go over some of the fundamentals that will help your snare line this marching season.

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