Built upon over half a century of excellence, the NIU Percussion Studio offers students a rich collection of opportunities in music performance, composition, pedagogy, scholarship, travel, arts advocacy and entrepreneurship. Percussion studies at NIU celebrates percussion as a passport to the world, its cultures and to the inner self. Our students work in equal measure on becoming both responsible, courageous citizens and finely attuned and sensitive musicians. We are a close-knit community and we look forward to welcoming you to our family.
In addition to the music core curriculum, you’ll work with our faculty in weekly lessons. Specifically, students study with percussion area director, Gregory Beyer, and Ben Wahlund. Additional opportunities to study directly with NIU’s acclaimed faculty include jazz studies with Rodrigo Villaneuva, steelpan studies with Liam Teague and Yuko Asada, and world music studies with Jui-Ching Wang. We look forward to sharing more about our program with you.
The NIU School of Music proudly offers one of the most generous percussion-dedicated facilities in the country. The NIU Percussion Studio has its own ensemble rehearsal and classroom space and twenty rooms assigned to percussion students and faculty.
- A dedicated large percussion ensemble rehearsal space and classroom
- A dedicated steelpan ensemble rehearsal space and classroom
- A dedicated world music ensemble rehearsal space and classroom
- A suite of three percussion practice rooms
- Five student-shared percussion practice rooms
- An electronic percussion practice room
- A graduate student suite of three shared offices and two percussion practice rooms
- Four faculty office/teaching studios
Professional Development Opportunities
- Undergraduate research and artistry grants
- Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra
- NIU Community School of the Arts private teaching
- High school drumline instruction at Chicago area high schools
- Local pit orchestras
- Chicago Bears Drumline
- Chicago Bulls Drumline
- Teaching availability at NIU's Summer Percussion Camp
- Local jazz and rock groups
- Local church music performances
The NIU School of Music provides an impressive variety of ensembles, including several with opportunity for percussionists.
- Middle Eastern Ensemble
- NIU Steelband
- Chinese Music Ensemble
- NIU Philharmonic Orchestra
- Wind Ensemble
- New Music Ensemble
Northern Illinois University’s College of Music has eclectic and experienced teachers who truly care about the individual and the musician. Those teachers prepared me by guiding me through a well-rounded education that I can use in multiple idioms of music. Through NIU’s music program, I’ve also made some of my closest friends, on and off the stage.
- Tom Benko, B.M., 2012