How to Perform Sustained Tones on Percussion Instruments - by Michael Faris - Nottelmann Music Company
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How to Perform Sustained Tones on Percussion Instruments – by Michael Faris

How to Perform Sustained Tones on Percussion Instruments – by Michael Faris

About this Webinar –

Many of the typical performance shortcomings of student percussionists center around sustained tones.  This webinar clearly and simply identifies what those are and how to avoid these shortcomings with proper teaching.  You’ll learn step by step through Michael Faris’ discussion and demonstration on eight key percussion instruments –  snare drum, tambourine, triangle, suspended cymbals, bass drum, crash cymbals, xylophone, and timpani.

About the Clinician –

Michael D. Faris is currently the director of the Strike Institute–an educational forum–based in the St. Louis region.  Originally from Washington state, Faris was the principal substitute timpanist with the Seattle Symphony and Pacific Northwest Ballet before relocating to St. Louis for graduate studies at the St. Louis Conservatory of Music.  After receiving his Masters in Percussion Performance in 1989, Faris performed extensively with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Opera, St. Louis Ballet, Bach Society and Fox Theatre Orchestra. He presented his Carnegie Hall debut as principal percussionist with the Illinois Symphony and Illinois Chamber Orchestra in 1991. During this same time, Faris accepted a full-time position as percussion specialist with the Ladue district–a position he held until his retirement from Ladue in 2019. During his tenure with Ladue, Faris’ ensembles were invited to perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association and recognized as a Grammy Select Ensemble in 2005.  Currently, Michael Faris is the percussion instructor for the Community Music School of Webster University and St. Louis University High.  He has authored several percussion methods, been past president for the Missouri Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and is currently a member of the American Federation of Musicians.

To gain the most benefit, please follow these suggested steps:

Step One – Download the Note Page

Prepare to either type your notes into the Word.doc or Google Doc and save the changes, or write in your notes by hand into a printed copy.

Step Two –

As you view the webinar, we encourage you to take notes as you go along.  Feel free to stop the recording and rewind as needed.

Step Three – Download the Action Plan Template

Choose either format; Word Doc or Google Doc.  After considering the key points that you wish to implement, describe the point in the ACTION BOX select a date for the initial implementation.  Then, select a date that you plan to review and assess the success of the implementation.

Step Four –

An 80% score or better will result in a Certificate of Completion emailed to the address you provide.  Those scoring less than 80% will be allowed to retake the quiz.  In order to do so, you’ll need to register in the quiz with an alternate email.

Step Five – Review the Follow-up Links Below

You are encouraged to review these links for further study related to this topic.

The Percussionists’ Etiquette

Keeping Percussion Students Involved

For more information Harlan Percussion products mentioned in this webinar – LINK

Webinar – Organizing Your Concert Percussion by Michael Faris (coming soon)

Copies of this extensive instruction book on snare drum and mallets are available for $25.95 from Michael Faris.  Please inquire at

To inquire about private study with Michael Faris at the Community Music School of Webster University, please contact:  Kenneth Lederle,  Assistant Director, Registration – 470 E. Lockwood Ave. – St. Louis, MO 63119 – 314.246.4452 –

Michael Faris is the director of the educational forum Strike Institute.  Here is their informational video.