By Jewlina Matthews, Contributing Writer
October is currently International Drum Month, which is is a marketing technique used by the Percussion Marketing Council. The marketing council primarily appeals to garage band drummers and drum set drummers and also holds contests for drummers to be concert roadies. International Drum Month is also being moved to May to appeal to more drummers during summer concert months.
Professor Brian Baldauff, athletic bands director and percussion instructor at West Liberty, says of the marketing technique, “The drum and percussion industry is ultimately out to make profit to keep their business alive and growing. This example is not uncommon among all for-profit businesses. Fortunately, most percussion suppliers will offer discounts for schools, regardless of the month.”
The companies that tend to promote International Drum Month are the ones usually focused more on the drum set and popular music genres. While drum set is usually studied in a comprehensive college percussion curriculum, the weight of commercial marketing from these companies is rarely noticed within our walls,” Baldauff said.
Baldauff, is a firm believer in promoting music education every month. Baldauff believes there are values in learning music, whether on an instrument or voice.
“The values of playing any musical instrument are huge. Studies have consistently proven that students who study music have increased focus, organizational skills, and work ethic. The skills students learn while studying any instrument or voice will aid them throughout their lives, even if they choose not to study music as a career option,” Baldauff said.
“Playing percussion instruments just fit in that category,” Baldauff said. “World drumming can help students learn a variety of musical concepts, depending on the level of study and experience of the child. Small children can learn to keep steady pulse and count rhythms. They also learn to work together as a community while playing with other students in the group. The benefits are vast.”
Ultimately, International Drum Month is simply a marketing technique used by the Percussion Marketing Council; whereas music education is valuable and celebrated all year long.