The Percussion program at the PSU School of Music & Theater gives you the opportunity for immersive study and personalized attention as you learn percussion from a group of talented and experienced faculty. Join a friendly and passionate group of peers while you perfect your percussion technique and develop your craft. We pride ourselves in making you as employable as possible as a professional musician, and your coursework and performances are designed to help you achieve your career goals.

Sharpen Your Skills

When registering for your first year, keep in mind that you will need to adjust to a more challenging and rigorous practice schedule than you may have followed in the past. Make sure that your credit load allows you plenty of time to prepare for your individual lessons, studio classes, and ensemble practices. Extensive practice will help you develop your percussion technique and style.

Performance Opportunities

Portland is rich with opportunities for students to perform. On-campus, you can find many chances to play with the orchestra, opera, and school events. Off-campus, enhance your education by performing with local symphonies, chamber ensembles, and drumlines at local high schools. Percussion students also participate each year in the Northwest Percussion Festival.

Learn From The Pros

For Percussion students, one of the best parts about PSU is its proximity to the Oregon Symphony. Not only do we encourage students to learn by attending concerts, but also by providing you with professors and master classes from the Oregon Symphony. You’ll learn percussion from the perspective of career musicians, gaining not only technical insight but also valuable advice.

Prepare For Your Career

PSU Percussion students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees and careers as freelance musicians, professional members of various symphonies and Broadway productions, K-12 teachers, and university professors.

Joel Bluestone headshot

Joel Bluestone - Percussion Area Coordinator

Joel Bluestone has been the head of the Percussion Department at Portland State University since 1989. He is the Co-Founder and principal percussionist with the northwest's premiere contemporary new music ensemble, "Fear No Music".