Instrument Choices: Percussion

Drum Kit Besides classroom percussion, the percussion family has a number of options for children. One is the Drum Kit, used in rock, jazz and other forms of popular music, sometimes in concert band. Another is ‘orchestral percussion’ (or ‘band percussion’) which may cross over with Drum Kit tuition but focuses on Snare Drum and Tuned Percussion (Glockenspiel, Xylophone, etc) and may include Timpani and Auxilliary Percussion (tambourine, triangle, cymbals etc) in the school band, orchestra or percussion ensemble. There are too many other options for culturally specific or ensemble specific percussion to mention but these two options are very common in Australian schools and well suited to individual tuition.

Orchestral Percussion is suitable for children from year 3 onwards, at first this tends to focus on snare drum and glockenspiel. While a full set of orchestral percussion is quite expensive and elaborate, these instruments are affordable and quite manageable.

Drum Kit can be taught to students from year 3 onwards but it may be more productive to learn ‘Orchestral Percussion’ or even another instrument initially, then progress to Drum Kit later in primary school.

Stay in the loop

Music Australia updates straight to your inbox

Follow Like
Quick Links


  • National clearing house for policy & development

  • Music Journal

    Features articles about the Music Industry Sector

  • Music Talks

    Series of seminars exploring music