The Journey of a Percussionist

Bryan Beckner

The percussion studio at Radford University practicing.

Hi, my name is Bryan Beckner, and I play music in the percussion studio here at Radford University. I am only a freshman in the studio, but after seeing the people in my studio perform their pieces for our departmental a few weeks ago, I know that I have chosen the right place to learn.

I started playing music in sixth grade after my mother told me I should probably start playing the drums in our band at school after I could not stop hitting my fingers against the table. I always thought the program we had was amazing, as I was learning so much in such a short amount of time compared to my work in other classes. I quickly shot through two years of our music program and moved to high school to join our marching band. I was met by a bunch of lovely people who supported me through quite a huge transition in musical styles, all of those people being in higher grades than me. I had never seen the methods of holding sticks that they were using and not even the tempo of music they were playing. Even though I did not place the instrument I had wanted to, it didn’t stop me from striving for it. I wanted to keep learning, so the next five years of my life were spent becoming a better drummer. My dream after joining high school was to be in drum corps after seeing them for the first time upon entering marching band.

Now, I have finally made it to college to not only keep getting better but to get so good that I can teach other people how to do exactly what I wanted to so many years ago. The things I’ve learned not only make me a better percussionist but a better player for the dream of making it into drum corps. The past few months I’ve been at this school have been astonishing for me and I’ve never learned so much. I went from being a marching drummer to learning how to play instruments I’d never even dreamed of having the ability to due to a lack of instruction and time. I have not only my professors to thank but my fellow percussionists in the studio who will always do their best to make sure I come out a better player in the end.