Ready to gain the confidence to step behind that drum kit? This edition of Percussion for the Non-Percussionist will focus on the performance and pedagogy of drumset, hand drums and pop/Latin accessories. The three main styles of jazz, Latin and rock will be discussed, broken down, demonstrated and performed by the students. Efficient drum set up and purchasing concerns will also be addressed. To accompany the drums, common instruments such as congas, bongos, timbales and relevant accessories will also be covered. Join us to help you create a valuable, well-rounded percussion experience for your students.



Instructor: Dr. James Yakas

Yakas,_Jim_headshot_2015_CROPDirector of Percussion Studies Dr. James Yakas joined VanderCook in 2015, and recently received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in percussion performance from the University of North Texas, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree in music education. After earning his master’s degree in percussion performance and pedagogy from Northern Illinois University, he spent 12 summers in the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps, eventually becoming their percussion coordinator and arranger in 2003. Dr. Yakas has performed at festivals in Trinidad/Tobago and Seoul, South Korea. He studied Afro-Cuban drumming with Orlando Cotto, and accompanied ethnomusicologist Dr. Steven Friedson for tribal drumming studies in Ghana. Yakas endorses Yamaha Percussion, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, Remo Drumheads and World Percussion Instruments, and Sabian Cymbals. Currently he is vice president of the Illinois PAS chapter.


VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288