David Kovins earned his BA and MA degrees performance from the Manhattan School of Music. He served on the staff of the Lighthouse School of the Blind music department as percussion teacher for seven years, and also taught at various schools in the New York City area. Kovins has performed throughout the U.S. as a percussionist with jazz, rock, cabaret and theatre ensembles, as well as with the Jerome Robbins Dance Company, the American Theatre Lab, the Manhattan Percussion Ensemble, cabaret performers Anita Morris and Wayland Flowers, and keyboardist Jordan Rudess. He has also performed in theatre productions under the direction of Bob Waldman, David Spangler, and Grover Dale. Kovins leads his own vibraphone-based group that records and performs in the NYC area, and has released a CD, Vibe From New York.
Some of his earlier music for solo vibraphone has been published by Hal Leonard and Warner Bros. Music.
David Kovins proven teaching strategies and methods for your success
The vibraphone is a relatively newer instrument compared with the piano, drums, guitar, violin, etc. Only in the past thirty years have musicians begun to realize the boundless possibilities the instrument has to offer. During my studies at The Manhattan School of Music, I turned to various sources of material for the vibes and marimba and found a deficiency in the quality of method books and compositions written exclusively for my instrument,. I turned to other sources such as Bach violin sonatas and partitas, two-part piano inventions, trumpet and french horn music, piano compositions, guitar solos, chorals and anything else I could get my hands on. Not all this music could be adapted to mallet instruments without considerable alterations such as stickings, pedaling, dampening and key changes to avoid going out of range of the instrument. No one has ever taken the time to write a book specifically for the vibraphone, taking into account all the difficulties one encounters with the instrument.
When I began teaching mallet instruments after graduating from The Manhattan School, I realized there was still a limited amount of material for the vibraphone. I began to compose different compositions to explore the vast potential of the instrument as a learning process for myself and as a working tool for musical and technical advancement for my students, In both resects I have achieved great success. Having the opportunity to work with my students, I have witnessed their weaknesses and created compositions and exercises to strengthen them with an inspiring and challenging experience. Only, after seeing markedly and overwhelmingly favorable results did I determine to expand these concepts in written form. I wanted students and teachers throughout the world to finally have a text worthy of such a beautiful instrument. I wanted to include compositions that college students could perform for a jury, audition or recital - works that would enable anyone to achieve a command over such a difficult and complex instrument.
Without the proper application of dampening, dynamics, pedaling, phrasing and stickings, the vibes can sound harsh and jarring. With the proper application it can be transformed into one of the most beautiful instruments we know of. If approached with diligence and practiced correctly and persistently, results and success are the reward. I have dealt with every imaginable problem a vibe player encounters and have written musical compositions based on common weaknesses all vibe players experience at one time or another. Many styles and various accompaniments are wirtten in my works. Technically difficult as well as musically challenging material is presented here so you will experience and conquer all obstacles. This will help prepare you for any performance situation you are presented with.
My books encompass all applications comprehensively and are used to gain control on both the physical and musical levels. Hard work, dedication and discipline transform your dreams into the reality you've always wanted.
General Drum Education
- ·The history of the drums ( evolution of the drum set as we know it today)
- ·Different drum set-ups
- ·Different types of drum
- ·Drum tuning
- ·The physical aspects of drumming
- ·The correct way to hold the sticks
- ·The proper and musical way to strike the drums
- ·Different grips and techniques – wrist, fingers, arm, etc
- ·Drum Rudiments
- ·How to apply the rudiments to the drum set
- ·Paradiddle variations, and Swiss rudiments applied to the drums
- ·Four way coordination
- ·Poly rhythms – 2 against 3 etc
- ·The different type of drum rolls
- ·Open, closed, buzz
- ·Basic Rock Beats
- ·Expanding regular beats by different concepts
- ·Such as: linear application, changing, surfaces
- ·Basic Jazz Beat
- ·Basic Blues Beats
- ·Big Band Swing Figures and Accents
- ·Disco, Latin, Funk, Fusion
- ·Drum breaks incorporating rudiments
- ·Drums solos
- ·Music As Therapy
- ·Expressing feelings and emotions through the drum set
- ·The drummer’s role in relation to a band
- ·Song Forms
- ·Playing a solo following the format of a song
David Kovins’ has a broad range of expertise and specializes in teaching the following:
- Voice Theory
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