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Music Teacher Education

Music Faculty

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.

 

  • AM 111-412 Applied Percussion
  • MUS 113 Percussion Techniques I
  • MUS 213 Percussion Techniques II
  • MED 413 Percussion Methods
  • 548 Methods of Integrating Winds & Percussion into Orchestra
  • 554 Advanced Percussion Methods
  • CEPE I Percussion Ensemble I
  • CEPE II Percussion Ensemble II

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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.

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