Cook, Gary

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Gary Cook


Born: Jackson, MI

Country: USA



Gary Cook is well known as the author of Teaching Percussion, currently in its third edition with DVDs and used world-wide. He founded the percussion department in 1975 at the University of Arizona where he taught for 33 years until retiring in 2008. Prior to that he taught at Louisiana Tech University. Cook was Timpanist and Principal Percussionist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra for over two decades and held similar posts with the Arizona Opera and other orchestras. In the summer, Cook is Principal Percussionist with the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado and has performed with other summer music festivals in Colorado and Nevada. He enjoys commissioning new music for percussion and chamber music and voice combinations and has premiered and recorded many commissions. His most recent CD on Albany Records features the Philip Glass Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Wind Ensemble. He is honored to be a SABIAN Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and endorse SABIAN products and philosophy. Cook was President of PAS from 2007-2008 and received the PAS Lifetime Achievement in Education Award in 2011. He is most proud of his many former students who hold distinguished professorships in colleges and universities around the country and in Trinidad, perform professionally around the world, and are successful teachers and performers in all areas of music and the arts.[1]

Books on Percussion

Cook, Gary. Teaching Percussion 3rd edition. New York, Schirmer Books, 2005.

This book is organized with the different sections of percussion instruments. First, it goes through the general classifications of instruments as well as how to produce a quality tone. Then it goes through the snare drum, keyboard percussion instruments, timpani, bass drum/ cymbals/ accessories, world percussion, drum set, and marching percussion.

I think this is a great percussion method book because it breaks down every single aspect, even the ones you never thought of, and explains it in great detail. It doesn’t just list what one should and shouldn’t do, but it explain the philosophy of why and how percussionists should produce sound. A weakness is that there is so much information, so if someone isn’t quite sure they want to play percussion they might think this book is full of too much for them to handle.

Works for Percussion