Percussion Division – A

A Class ensembles are the younger or less developed participants. The goal is to assist in their training and development and to reward these achievements in a logical learning progression. To teach these groups with the greatest degree of consistency and success requires a thorough understanding of their level of development and training.

SCHOLASTIC A is consistently aged 13 through 18. Like most high school students, the ensembles show a tendency to be similar to one another. Their choice of instrumentation, the formatting of their shows, and the depth of their training and skills are comparable in many cases.

INDEPENDENT A ensembles use the same criteria as the Scholastic A with the exception of the age limit. Here is where the beginning student discovers the joy of performing and realizes the sense of achievement as each skill is learned.

Step 1 (Box 1) EXPERIENCE – Material is introduced to the student. The concept is presented with the principle/theory behind it.

Step 2 (Box 2) DISCOVER – The student attempts to convey the material to physical application and discovers his/her capabilities and what must be done to improve. The student practices the skill.

Step 3 (Box 3) KNOW – The student knows what is expected, grasps the material presented, and is becoming skilled in its application.

Step 4 (Box 4) UNDERSTAND – The student has a solid grasp of the material and can demonstrate the skills with good proficiency.

Step 5 (Box 5) APPLY – The skills are fully absorbed and easily applied. This premise directs the judge to recognize BEGINNING, INTERMEDIATE, AND ADVANCED maturity.

In this way, performers and instructors can plan their programs with a natural development and progression in mind. They can be graded much as they would in school, and the system provides both curriculum and achievement recognition through score.


  • Box 1: The student EXPERIENCES basic skills.
  • Box 2: The student DISCOVERS basic skills. The show may be incomplete at this level.
  • Box 3: The student KNOWS basic skills. The show is a developing work in progress.
  • Box 4: The student UNDERSTANDS basic skills. DISCOVERS & KNOWS some intermediate skills.
  • Box 5: The student APPLIES basic skills and KNOWS some intermediate skills.