School of Music, Theatre and Dance at the University of Michigan

Percussion Studio

The University of Michigan Percussion Program is one of the longest active and most successful university percussion programs in the country. With over 60 years of history, its faculty have included some of the field’s most outstanding teachers and its alumni continue to achieve success in all areas of the percussion world. The percussion program and its artist faculty work to foster growth in the areas of performance, pedagogy, technology, composition/arranging, and improvisation in an effort to provide a comprehensive percussion education in response to the ever-changing demands of the 21st-century musical landscape.


Doug Perkins

Associate Professor of Music, Director of Percussion

Welcome to the Percussion Suite


The Moore Building hosts a unique suite of 12 acoustically-isolated practice rooms exclusively designed for the needs of the percussion department, as well as ample storage for personal items (drums/cymbals/mallets). The rooms are available to students enrolled in percussion and jazz percussion, and can also double as teaching studios or rehearsal spaces.

  • Room 1426 – Multi A – dedicated multi percussion space (enough space for 2-4 set ups)
  • Room 1422 – Multi B – dedicated multi percussion space (enough space for 2-4 set ups)
  • Room 1412 – LEO – Timpani practice and chamber music (enough space for a small chamber ensemble)
  • Room 1409 – Orchestral Room #1 – Xylophone/Glockenspiel/ Snare Drum Room
  • Room 1407 – Orchestral Room #2- Xylophone/Glockenspiel/ Snare Drum Room Room
  • 1410 – Marimba/Xylophone Room #1 Room 1403 – Marimba/Xylophone Room #2 Room
  • 1408 – Marimba/ Vibraphone Room #1 Room
  • 1405 – Marimba/Vibraphone Room #2 Room
  • 1411 -“Flex” Room – space for small/ med multi percussion set ups (space for one Thirteen Drums-sized set up)
  • Room 1406 – Drumset/Vibraphone/Congas
  • Room 1401 – Timpani/Multi Room (space for one Rebonds-sized set up)

Instrument Inventory

The University of Michigan Percussion Program enjoys the use of one of the largest and finest inventories of percussion instruments in the country. We are fortunate to have an incredible diversity of impeccably maintained professional instruments.

Percussion Inventory at a glance (large instruments):

  • Marimbas (11) – Marimba One, Yamaha, Adams, Kori
  • Xylophones (8) – Musser, Deagan, Leedy, including vintage instruments
  • Vibraphones (7) – Yamaha, Musser, Adams
  • Glockenspiels (7) – Fall Creek (wide bar- extended range), Deagan (vintage) , Malletech, Adams
  • Timpani (8 sets) – Hinger Touch-Tone, Walter Light, Yamaha, Adams, Ludwig, as well as custom-built cable drums in 20″ and 34″ sizes
  • Snare Drums/Field Drums – numerous instruments including drums made by Pearl, Yamaha, Ludwig, Leedy, Hinger, Slingerland, Black Swamp
  • Drumsets (5) – Pearl & Yamaha Kits
  • Concert Bass Drums (10) – Reamer, Ludwig, Yamaha as well as smaller suspended “Abel” chamber bass drums
  • Concert Toms – numerous complete full sets including: Pearl, Yamaha, Slingerland, Ludwig
  • Hardware – a wide assortment of including: Pearl, Yamaha, Ludwig, Slingerland,
  • Gibralter rack system, speed rail, custom gong racks
  • Cymbals – a wide assortment of Sabian, Zildjian

Additional Specialized Inventory (abbreviated listing)

  • Various Taiko/Odaiko Drums, Chinese Toms
  • 4.5 Octave rage of Paiste tuned gongs
  • Collection of various Thai gongs, cloud gongs
  • 4.0 Octave range of chromatic tuned almglocken
  • A complete collection of Brazilian Instruments – various surdos, tambourims, shekeres, repeniques, pandieros, agogo bells
  • Full set of Equilibrium Chromatic Log Drums
  • Mannette Steel Drums (lead, double seconds, cello pans)
  • Dominican Tamboras and Palo drums

Michael Gordon’s Field of Vision

In summer 2022, after years of planning and a year of workshops, the U-M Percussion Ensemble went on tour. As part of their performances, they premiered Michael Gordon’s Field of Vision, a large-scale outdoor work for 36 percussionists that Gordon wrote for the U-M Percussion Studio featuring a choir of 24 brake drums, 24 gongs, 6 bass drums, and hosts of metal plates, pipes, and more.

Performance Opportunities

From large ensembles in celebrated concert halls to chamber groups in intimate recital spaces, performance opportunities across all disciplines abound, with nearly 900 student performances each academic year. Whether your focus is on early, classical, or contemporary music, whether your passion is for jazz, electronic, or world music, there is an ensemble—or in many cases, multiple ensembles—to suit your interests, including specific opportunities for percussion, piano, and organ & carillon. For students in theatre & drama, musical theatre, dance, and opera, opportunities abound in both professionally produced and student-run presentations.



Across all disciplines, students perform and study with their peers in studio classes and perform for the public in solo student recitals and studio recitals.


Collaborative Piano

Collaborative Piano students work with vocalists and instrumentalists throughout SMTD.

Chamber Music

Chamber Music

The thriving chamber music scene at SMTD offers students nearly limitless options to perform, innovate, and collaborate in small, self-driven, and diverse ensembles.

Large Ensembles

Large Ensembles

SMTD ensembles offer numerous concerts each season, performing notable works in the traditional canon as well as abundant newly commissioned works.