Feeling the Beat

By Bellarmine Percussion Teachers Club, FCSN Youth Volunteers

Hello! We are Jacob, Charles, Anthony, Adam, and Shoaib, and for the past year, we have had the pleasure of teaching your students how to play different percussion instruments. Our goal and hope has been, and is, that through our classes, we could spread our knowledge of music, and in the process, also spread happiness and fun. We really believe that music is something everyone should be able to play and enjoy regardless of what skill level they are at, and that by playing music, it brings people together.

We first began volunteering with FCSN during the summer of 2018, running a small summer camp teaching the basics of drums and percussion. Though we all had previous percussion backgrounds, the summer camp was really the first time we actually taught in a formal setting. And in all honesty, the first few classes were rough. But through this new experience, we discovered the joys of sharing our passion with your students, a relationship we really grew to value. So when we were given the opportunity to teach again at the 2019 Spring Family Gatherings, we wanted to make sure that their learning experience was even better than before. And thus, for the past year, we have combined teaching at the Family Gatherings with research and design outside on how to improve on our part, with everything culminating into our current curriculum.

Our curriculum focuses on the development of skills in percussion, general music, and creativity. Students learn to play various percussive instruments such as tambourines, shakers, toms, and more. We teach general techniques for stick grip, instrument use, and music reading. These skills are then applied and reinforced in group exercises – students get to do call-and-response exercises to train their ear, play along with songs, and improvise. This comprehensive curriculum starts from ground up, and adapts to students of all skill levels. By the end of our class, we hope that all students will have the confidence and ability to pursue music as a creative outlet, and that they will gain valuable social skills in the process.

This semester, however, our curriculum has had to change a little to accommodate for the Coronavirus situation. Instead of teaching in-person, we have switched to teaching via an online setting, filming our lessons on video instead.

In order to produce a video (or in person) lesson every other week, there must be some work put in. Each week we have at least one meeting, and we also have small conversations via various messaging apps in order to plan out the lesson. During the meetings, we discuss your feedback and lay out the syllabus for the coming lesson. For the video lessons, we assign parts to each other, and we all try to submit them by the end of Saturday. With varying degrees of set ups, we try our best with what we have to produce the lessons. For some of us, we can use real microphones, and for some of us, we just use the stock microphones built into our laptops. On the subject of materials, some of us don’t even have a real drum at home (only a bucket and drum pad). After all the videos are completed, we edit it and try to send it out ASAP. Sometimes, we have issues with certain platforms such as Youtube, so our videos may be delayed for those reasons.

We want to deeply thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with your students! We have really enjoyed making these weekly videos and we really hope your students have enjoyed them too! Every week, we continue to brainstorm new things to add and change, so if you have any feedback or suggestions, we would love to hear from you! For more information about us, check us out at http://bellarminepercussionteachers.org!

Percussion Classes Information

We are the Bellarmine Percussion Teachers Club, a group of Bellarmine high school students who share a passion for playing and teaching percussion. For the past few years, we have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with FCSN, leading percussion classes at the South Bay Family Gatherings, and this past spring, making online percussion videos and summer camp. As a club, our mission is to empower youth through playing percussion, and over the years, we’ve developed a curriculum that emphasizes creativity and fun, using percussion as a medium to spread joy and happiness. Here’s a link to our group video to know more about us —

Prerequisite-wise, the only things necessary are a computer, a pair of sticks, and a drum pad (or any surface that is hard enough to play on).
WHO: 6 and above
WHEN: Saturday 2/20, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17 & 5/1 @ 4:05-4:35 pm
CONTACT: Jaqueline Yu | jackiesyu@hotmail.com
COST: $20 for 6 classes
To register, please click here.
*Please note that there’s no refund once registered.

WHO: Those who have basic percussion experience and can sit thru 1 hour of class
WHEN: Saturday 2/20, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17 & 5/1 @ 3:00-4:00 pm
CONTACT: Jaqueline Yu | jackiesyu@hotmail.com
COST: $30 for 6 classes
To register, please click here.
*Please note that there’s no refund once registered.

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