The New Hue Of Percussion

By Andrew Lentz Published July 11, 2009

A visual-based approach to understanding rhythm is a great way to introduce youngsters to hand drums. It's also a simple but revolutionary way of thinking about music in general.

“The biggest thing for us is getting kids excited about music curricula,” says Music With Colors president John Sagastegui. “We’ve found that one of the best ways to do that is through percussion.”

The San Clemente, California–based company does this with its easy-to-follow instruction books that assign separate colors to different pitches and right or left hands. By synthesizing both ideas with color values, students can focus on reading a single line (the Key of C). This process actually helps drummers to read the traditional three-line notation at a greater speed.

Music With Colors offers a Beginner’s Lesson Book with 24 lessons, a foam rubber pad with color-coded hand targets, and 24 lessons to get you started. The Pro-Series Lesson Book contains several pages of exercises, 16 lessons, and a conga and hand percussion DVD featuring professional player Mark Cervantes. Includes color-coded decals to stick on the desired playing surface.

With the thumbs-up from hand-drumming heavyweights like Ponch Sanchez and Taku Hirano, it’s safe to say Music With Colors is onto something good.