The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the benefit of offering a percussion ensemble class in secondary public schools. I looked at two elements of music education: playing time and relevant instruction. The research questions focused on the difference in playing time and relevant instruction between percussionists in the concert band and percussionists in the percussion ensemble, as well as differences between the concert band subgroups (brass, woodwind, percussion). 6 separate instrumental groups were observed: 4 concert bands and 2 percussion ensembles (N=6). Students were randomly selected from each instrument subgroup (brass, woodwind, percussion, percussion ensemble) for observation. A mixed model ANOVA was used to compare the playing time per hour of each instrument subgroup. A second mixed model ANOVA was used to compare the relevant instruction received per hour of each instrument subgroup. As anticipated, the concert band percussionists experienced significantly less playing time and relevant instruction than both the brass and woodwind subgroups. The percussion ensemble subgroup did not experience a significant difference in either playing time or relevant instruction from the concert band percussionstudents. However, informal observations of the rehearsals indicated a difference in the scope and depth of the playing time and instruction experienced by these two subgroups. Implications from these observations are also discussed.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Music



Date Submitted


Document Type





Secondary percussion education, traditional concert band, percussion ensemble, playing time, relevant instruction, pilot study

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Music Commons