More on the West Texas Day of Percussion at Frenship HS last Saturday

I was live-blogging from the percussion day when I encountered some technical glitches. But today, I have all my thoughts from the event, plus some video I took of Mark Shelton performing and later teaching a percussion clinic:

I just made it to Mark Shelton’s finale, after spending two hours downtown at Ballet Lubbock’s “Cinderella.” Both were wonderful!

Now I am in a drum clinic with Shelton, who said he was once a junior high and high school band director. William Moersch was apparently a big influence on him. Moersch told an audience at a convention that they need to sound like themselves. Those words “changed my path,” Shelton says.

Shelton is telling the students to be more original, to find their own sound. He said he started doing that by trying to play new music.

Some of the students may never go on to be pro drummers, he says, but creative people are needed in all industries to solve problems and invent.

He’s showing students a frame drum, and how to change pitches. And giving them rather dubious tips for picking up girls while playing the Irish frame drum!

Back to creativity, Shelton is noting that much of school work is for the left brain, but he is encouraging them to stretch their right brain creativity some, too. Tambourines can be struck more than one way, if one just experiments, a fact which he showed them by picking one up and performing on it by striking the sides.

“Don’t be bound by what you think are the limitations,” he said in showing them different ways to play different percussion instruments.

“When you’re practicing, work on your creativity.” But, Shelton adds, also work on your band music!

He is encouraging students to study a variety of subjects, saying you can use all of them to solve problems in different areas.

The students are paying very close attention! I see middle school and HS students, but I saw vehicles from Tulia and Farwell outside as well. These are percussionists, though. There is the sound of a bit of tapping and sticking occasionally! (If they were guitarists, perhaps they would be more silently air guitaring?)

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