The percussion program at SMC centers around developing fundamental percussion technique on the snare drum, which is then transferred to other percussion instruments. The beginning class is designed for people who have never played an instrument before or those who have some experience on other instruments, but not percussion. The intermediate class continues the development on snare drum, working on rolls and other techniques; the second half of the semester is devoted to percussion ensemble rehearsals, culminating in a short concert the last week of class.

Both classes will be given demonstrations of the typical percussion instruments found in the orchestra (bass drum, cymbals, keyboard percussion, and timpani), with the opportunity to try these instruments. Furthermore, a guest speaker is usually invited to give a demonstration--with class participation--of Latin and world percussion instruments.  Most lectures will be accompanied by listening examples, so students can hear a greater variety of percussion performances.