Patricia Islas

Patricia Islas (she/her)

titleKinetic Energy
instrumentation: solo, 4.0 marimba or standard vibraphone
duration: 3 minutes
(listen)


titleThe World As I See It
instrumentation: solo, 4.0 marimba
duration: 3 minutes
(listen)


titlePoint of Reference
instrumentation: solo, 4.0 marimba or standard vibraphone
duration: 2 minutes
(listen)

Teaching percussion at the middle school and high school levels makes me very aware of the difficulty students face when learning how to play with four mallets. Not only is it physically challenging but it is often introduced before many students have developed a real understanding and appreciation of the marimba. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing with Burton grip! The drumline show I am currently writing for Coppell High School in Texas is almost exclusively with four mallets. However, in my young students, I saw their musical progress stagnate and their interest in marimba dying because of the frustrations that come with the complicated technique. Momentum is an intermediate-level keyboard percussion book designed to develop the physical and musical skills for two-mallet playing. The exercises, etudes, and solos in it are aimed at helping players discover the awesomeness of the marimba and vibraphone while using a familiar technique. I composed the solos to be physically achievable but challenging, musically mature, and to sound cool enough to be worth the effort. I’ve been posting segments of the solos on Instagram and I’ve already had a lot of positive feedback. I find such fulfillment in playing keyboard percussion and I hope Momentum can help others develop a love for it as well!