School of Music


Doctor of Music Education (DME)


Mindy Damon


curriculum, marching percussion, performing, teaching, composing/arranging, percussion




Despite the traditional American percussion curriculum being valuable to the college percussionist, there is an unclear path toward preparing students for a career in the field of marching percussion. Every year, students graduate with a desire to pursue the marching arts as a vocation without sufficient guidance. This study examined the perspectives of marching band professionals (N=107) who have carved their path in the industry. Guided by Creswell’s research design model, this qualitative inquiry identifies viewpoints from marching percussionists that can create a comprehensive percussion curriculum. Outlooks on performing, teaching, composing/arranging, and the industry have emerged as themes integral to the success of one’s marching percussion employment. Therefore, these motifs are essential learning elements throughout college. Illustrating the experiences of people who have made marching percussion an occupation, surveys will be conducted with many successful marching percussionists to create a list of surfacing motifs represented in their stories. Having a professional’s knowledge and experience is needed to develop a more efficient percussion curriculum that will improve the discipline of marching percussion. Pioneering the field of inquiry in marching percussion has only recently become explored as a valid research model. This project will serve as an example of the intersection of this young genre of percussion mixing with the traditional percussion curriculum. Additionally, this study and the ideas of new percussion curricula could encourage further investigation by other percussionists to apply this growing research method to all styles within the genre of percussion.

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