Applied Percussion

“When I started playing in band, I had great directors who got me excited about music. This was something I was always grateful for and have tried to do for my students. As teachers, we get the benefit of improving ourselves through teaching and helping others, definitely a rewarding occupation!”

About Bret Kuhn

Before coming to VanderCook, Bret Kuhn was the percussion coordinator for Prospect High School in Mt. Prospect, Il and a consultant for numerous high schools around the country. He received his bachelor of music degree from Northeast Missouri State University.

Since 1984, Kuhn has taught the six-time World Champion Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, with whom he has served as caption head and percussion arranger. The Cavaliers have won 5 High Percussion Awards under Kuhn's instruction.

Kuhn is an active percussion arranger and clinician for some of the top marching groups in Japan, including Aimachi from Nagoya. He is also active as a clinician for Yamaha, Zildjian, Remo, and Innovative Percussion. In addition, Kuhn serves on the board of directors for the Percussive Arts Society.

Life at VanderCook

VanderCook is a special place that emphasizes educational depth in one’s instrument as well as the psychological and philosophical aspects of teaching and education. At VanderCook, you will become an excellent musician as well as a stellar teacher. In your private percussion lessons we will not only work on performance but on how to teach as well. The two definitely go hand in hand. I have always felt that teaching has made me a better player, due to the fact that we have to internalize and analyze our own performance in order to verbalize the concepts to others. Vandercook is definitely a fun place to study!

Are you thinking about becoming a music teacher? If so, I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about teaching music. I'd also love to chat with you about what VanderCook has to offer and what you can expect if you choose to study percussion here. Feel free to contact me at for more information.


Contact Bret Kuhn:
(312) 225-6288


VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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