Choosing a show for your indoor percussion group isn't as simple as finding a song that you like. If you want your ensemble to be successful, you need to pick a show that fits your musicians. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when deciding the season's music and choreography:
1. Determine skill level
When looking over music options, think about the skills of each musician in your group. You need to select a piece that everyone can handle. If you pick a score that's too difficult for your students to master, then you'll only be creating frustration. Avoid discouraging your musicians by finding a piece that matches the skill level of your ensemble.
2. Keep it engaging
While it's important not to use a musical piece that your group can't handle, you also need to ensure it's not too easy. Challenging your students with a difficult score you know they can handle is an excellent way to keep everyone engaged in practice. In addition, once they master the piece, your musicians will gain a sense of accomplishment, giving them confidence in their abilities and a further dedication to the ensemble.
Another way to select a piece that will captivate your students is to get their input. This doesn't mean you have to use all of their ideas, but gaining a general sense of what your musicians are interested in will help you find music they'll be just as excited about as you are. The students will also appreciate being involved in the decision-making process, so when it comes time to learn the score and choreography, they'll be more likely to begin with enthusiasm.
3. Find inspiration
Compiling a list of performances or styles that inspire you and your ensemble will help narrow your show options. Getting an idea of what your group prefers in a concert is a good starting point. However, don't limit your sources of inspiration solely to show examples. Consider paintings that you enjoy or well-crafted movie scenes as reference ideas. Branching out to other creative fields will allow you to compose a show that is unique to your group, so start studying your creative muses to determine what motivates you in each piece. Try to work some of those elements into your own production.
4. Check the budget
Before you start putting together your show, you need to determine what your group can afford. Hiring staff can be costly depending on the various positions you need to fill. Creativity is key for any indoor percussion show, but if you want to recruit a specific percussion instructor, you may have to forgo the elaborate costumes to pay the person a reasonable stipend.
When going over the budget, consider areas you can cut back to afford the essentials. For example, look into used costumes or consider ways you can make small additions to your current outfits to make them new. Instead of hiring a color-guard instructor, determine whether someone on your staff already has the skills needed. Reviewing the budget and making these cost-saving decisions will allow you to create a successful indoor percussion ensemble.