Educational Performances

A direct connection with audiences of all ages is at the core of Third Coast Percussion’s work.

Education is a key pillar of the organization’s mission. All four ensemble members have a background as educators, and share a passion for teaching. As a leading professional percussion ensemble, Third Coast is uniquely positioned to offer interactive hands-on learning experiences for a wide range of students and community members. From grade school to grad school, Third Coast Percussion has your music education needs covered.

Think Outside the Drum

Think Outside the Drum

A fun, interactive, and educational presentation for all ages. Available for digital residencies!

Introducing the Building Blocks of Music

  • Performances by Third Coast Percussion are interspersed with teaching moments that introduce the building blocks of music (rhythm, melody, and timbre) through participation in a series of interactive activities including clapping, singing, and a listening game.
  • Students learn about the extraordinary range of percussion instruments that can be found in cultures around the world, as well as in their own kitchen cabinets.
  • Think Outside the Drum is ideal for audiences ranging in age from pre-school to 6th grade. Alternative versions of the program are suited for 7th grade to 12th grade students. The program is also well suited for all-ages family audiences.
  • Any size audience can be accommodated.

To book Think Outside the Drum or learn more, click here to contact us.

Music Composition Project

Music Composition Project

A multi-day residency that teaches creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration through music composition. Available for digital residencies!

Over 4 days, TCP leads band and orchestra students through a process of creating musical content out of whatever musical vocabulary they’ve built on their own instruments, then assembling these musical “building blocks” into a new piece, exercising teamwork, active listening, and reflection along the way.

Each cycle of this program will culminate in the premiere of a new work composed by the student ensemble, performed by the students and Third Coast Percussion

The Music Composition Project is ideal for students with some musical background, but students do not have to read standard Western musical notation. This program was designed to give young students a creative outlet at a time when their instruction is primarily focused on learning their instrument and learning to perform music written by other people.

The project can be presented by TCP as a special project which adds a layer of inspiration and creativity to the solid fundamental music instruction that students are already receiving.

To book the Music Composition Project or learn more, click here to contact us.



**NEW digital-only program!**

An Interactive Digital Presentation Exploring the Science Behind Sound.

Performances by Third Coast Percussion will be interspersed with teaching moments that connect scientific and musical concepts, including: 

  • Amplitude and dynamics (how loud a sound is, and how tall or short a sound wave appears on an oscilloscope)
  • Frequency and pitch (how low or high a sound is, and how many peaks and troughs of a wave appear on an oscilloscope)
  • Noise vs. pitch (visualized on an oscilloscope)
  • Musical timbre and sonic spectrum (a spectrum analyzer is used to show the frequencies and overtones that make the same note sound different on different musical instruments)

Ideal for students in 3rd-8th grades.

Making Waves

Making Waves

An informal learning curriculum that teaches students how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics play an integral role in sound and music.

Over the course of 8 lessons, students build their own musical instruments, learn and reinforce STEM concepts, create their own original piece of music to perform on the instruments they create, and build a growing awareness of both the creative aspects of STEM and the analytical aspects of the performing arts.

Making Waves has developed from an ever-growing partnership led by Jay Brockman of the College of Engineering and Center for Civic Innovation at the University of Notre Dame and the Grammy-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion, as well as the instrument maker South Bend Woodworks and educators from across the United States. TCP’s goal through integrating Arts and STEM education is to inspire students to think both analytically and creatively about the world around them.

To learn more about bringing “Making Waves” to your students, click here to contact us, or visit

“If this would have happened when I was in this age group, it would have opened up a door for music that I never got to experience.”
—Warren Alwine, parent, Elkhart, IN

Next Show

Monday, August


Chautauqua Institution

1 Ames Ave
Chautauqua, NY United States

Chautauqua Institution

Learn More

Tuesday, August


Chautauqua Institution

Chautauqua, NY

Tuesday, August


Ravinia Festival

Highland Park, IL