Percussion Room Makeover!

Are you wanting to keep percussion equipment from getting lost or damaged?
Do you want your percussionists to take more pride in their instruments?
Are you limited on space and need to make the most of it?
Do you get tired of non-percussionists thinking it’s ok for them to mess around with equipment as they walk through the band hall?

You may find some solutions here!

These pictures are from a practice room that was transformed into a percussion room:

percussion room organization    IMG_0007  IMG_0012IMG_0014

IMG_0005    IMG_0009

These pictures are from a practice room that was transformed into a percussion room:

How this room is used:
Storage
Practice – during band
Practice – before/after school
Usually 1 student with a teacher or 2 students at a time
Drum pad/mallet stations
Only percussionists are allowed in the room

Benefits of having this room:

  • Everything has its own place. Students can quickly and easily find any accessory or drum.
  • Instruments are stored in the safest way possible. They are not lying free in drawers or bags where they can get knocked, damaged, bent or broken easily.
  • Percussionists have a dedicated practice space that is reserved for them and contains all the equipment they need
  • It is visually easy to see when something is missing or doesn’t get put away in the correct place.
  • Loading up for concerts is streamlined. By seeing in the instruments on the pegboard it is easy to “grab and pack” so that nothing is forgotten.
  • Instruments are kept away from band “general population.” Students don’t walk by and tap on accessories or hit cymbals because they are not stored in the main walkway.
  • Percussionists take more pride in their instruments because they see the directors prioritizing the care and expectations of the equipment. They will treat it better at this level, and as they progress to high school and college this culture will carry on.

Variations for your situation:
While you might not be able to replicate this room exactly, it can certainly be adapted for almost any situation. The peg board is a flexible and reasonably priced component you could start with. This large pegboard and all the metal hooks/racks were under $200 and everything was purchased at a local hardware store. The pegboards can also be cut and sized to fit multiple smaller wall spaces if needed.

The cost of the entire project (including the shelving) was under $600,  utilizing the district carpenter to save on labor costs. Be sure to check with your district to see if you have access to a carpenter or other specialist, as they can get you great deals on parts and labor, and will be able to securely install all of the components.

The bulk of the total cost was the cabinets because they were custom built with help from the district. However, cheaper options could certainly be found. If you’re wondering about dimensions, look at the diagrams here, here, and here that were used for this percussion room and another one that is currently being designed. Be sure to measure and adapt for your own equipment and space.

This percussion room was designed and executed by Jason Dye during his tenure as an assistant band director at Wallace Middle school in Kyle, TX. He stresses that it was a collaborative effort of many directors and percussion specialists in Hays CISD, and would like to specially thank Chris Lunsford, James Malik, Chris Gordon, and Jesse Pontes for their help and inspiration. Mr. Dye is currently a band director in Dripping Springs, TX.

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Related Reading
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Things They Don’t Tell You About Being a Band Director
Making your Administrator your Ally

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