Tip #1 Having trouble with your percussionists' sticks flying out of control when they play snare drum? Using a permanent marker, outline a small circle (1-3 inches) in the center of the drum head. From there trace lines to the rim to guide their hand position. This will help them focus on where to place their hands and find the optimal beating spot.
Tip #2 Our group rehearses in a carpeted room, however we perform in a "gymnatorium" with hardwood floors. As a result the percussionists have a huge adjustment to make, particularly on snare drum. What sounds good in the band room is WAY too loud in our performance space.
The solution? A drum rug (or a small piece of carpet) under the snare drums makes a dramatic difference. The percussionists are able to achieve a better balance and don't have to work so hard to play softer. No one notices the rug is there since it is on the floor in the back of the ensemble, but it soaks up enough of the sound that the drums are not overpowering.
Bonus Tip Whenever you change a snare head use a permanent marker to write the date near the edge. That way you will know how long the head has been on the drum and will have a better idea of when to change it again.
Tips for Band Teachers
Practical ideas for your elementary and middle school band class.