Vander Cook Sign 1 1

Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Late Spring 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Percussion Care & Repair


April 13-April 14, 2024

Course Code



1 Graduate Credit


$375 is due in full with registration. A $15 Early Bird Discount will be applied until January 14.


Get yourself some new skin this spring by learning care and repair basics for all standard percussion instruments, including snares, bass drums, concert toms, timpani and more. Tricks of the trade for changing heads, replacing keyboard strings and repairing timpani pedals are thoroughly covered, as well as proper assembly, cartage and storage of instruments. Bringing as many instruments for repair as possible is highly recommended. New drumheads to be provided by REMO at a discounted price.

Date and Times:

Saturday, April 13 – 8am-5pm

Sunday, April 14 – 8am-12pm
At minimum, please bring two items off the following list to be repaired or receive a head change.
Snare Drum
Concert Tom(s)
Drum set
Please bring as much equipment as you can transport. This is a great opportunity to have a team of workers to help, and we all learn from each other in the process!
We will organize a class equipment list as we get closer to the weekend of the course.


This course is located at Quinlan and Fabish in Burr Ridge, IL.

6827 High Grove Blvd, Burr Ridge, IL 60527


Guest Instructors:


Kevin Lepper

Lepper Headshot 06.12.16

Kevin Lepper – Professor Emeritus VanderCook College of Music, Chicago, Illinois. 

Mr. Lepper is  an active free-lance percussionist/educator in the Chicago area. A wide range of experiences, including El Paso Symphony, Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, The Chautauqua Ensemble (world music), That Memorial Ragtime Marimba Band, and many commercial recording sessions, allow Mr. Lepper to be classified as a “total percussionist”. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha fraternity and has numerous published works in the marching band medium. Through his company (Advantage Network) he has published a series of educationally-based percussion ensembles and three volumes of Boomwhackers ensembles written specifically for the junior high school and beginning high school performer. Kevin Lepper is a Yamaha Performing Artist.


Bruce Jacoby

Bruce Jacoby photo (1)

Bruce Jacoby is the Manager of Education for Remo, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of drumheads and percussion products.
Mr. Jacoby graduated from the University of Miami Frost School of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Business and Entertainment Industries. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he began his career as an independent drum technician for recording and concert touring artists including Tool, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Gloria Estefan, Chicago, Stevie Nicks, Lenny Kravitz, Queens of the Stone Age, Megadeth, Madonna, Linkin Park, Michael Jackson, Oingo Boingo, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Temple Pilots, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, King Crimson, Lionel Richie, and The Tonight Show. Recordings on which he has tuned drums have sold more than 100 million physical units, been streamed billions of times, and won numerous Grammy Awards.
His work has taken him to more than thirty countries on six continents, as well as backstage at The Grammy Awards, The Academy Awards, The Billboard Music Awards, The MTV Music Awards, VH-1 MusicCares, The Brit Awards, The Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and The White House.
He never met a drum he didn’t want to help sound better.


Chat Session

None. This course meets in-person on April 13 & 14.


See overview.

Required Text(s)


Learning Platform Information (Online Courses Only)

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

The evening  before your class begins, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. 

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

More information about Schoology can be found at

Please see specific software/hardware requirements in the course description.

Online course grades are available within two weeks of the course(s) completion.  If you need a transcript, please CLICK HERE to access the online transcript request form. For a faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).


james yakas

James Yakas

Associate Professor,
Director of Percussion Studies

James Yakas is currently the Director of Percussion Studies at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, IL. He holds a B.M. in Music Education from the University of North Texas, a M.M. in Percussion Performance and Pedagogy from Northern Illinois University as well as a Doctoral of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance degree from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Yakas’ diversity in percussion education and performance has led him to many unique opportunities. He spent a total of twelve summers in the drum corps activity spanning from performing as a snare drummer with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps to eventually becoming their Percussion Coordinator and Arranger in 2003. Dr. Yakas has also studied and performed the music of many world cultures including performances with Northern Illinois University’s Steel Band at the World Steelband Festival in Trinidad/Tobago and the Seoul Drum Festival in Seoul, South Korea; Studying Afro-Cuban Drumming with Orlando Cotto and Studying abroad in Ghana with Ethnomusicologist Dr. Steven Friedson, specifically the Ewe Culture of the Volta region.

Dr. Yakas is an endorser of Yamaha Percussion, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Remo Drumheads and World Percussion Instruments and Sabian Cymbals.


Logo 2022 Dark 1
3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2024 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
Scroll to Top