Marimba One Artist Galen Lemmon Leads his Students to Success

Marimba One™ Educational Artist Galen Lemmon was delighted when 17 of his students won awards at the CA Chapter of PAS Competitive Festival held at Fresno State University on May 4th. He had students compete in marimba, snare drum, timpani, duo category and chamber at the junior high, high school and college levels.

Over 100 students competed at the festival and this included approximately 35 of Galen's students participating at the junior high, high school and college levels. These were private students, U music students and San Jose State University students.

Galen's teaching has allowed his students to unlock their potential. "I make them accountable at every lesson. I try to teach them concepts that they can use for the rest of their lives. It could be a solid foundation in technique, the right way to practice, as well as being a good all-around percussionist." Galen said.

Galen teaches at the U Music Percussion program which built with the visionary founder and teacher YuLing Wang, and Ling Shi, who is in charge of the logistical side of the program. At U Music, Galen starts students off at an early age, usually in first or second grade. He teaches them a wide variety of percussion instruments, which gives students the background to reach more advanced levels of performance.

At U Music, Galen gets to teach alongside Anne Hsu, who was his student at U Music when she was in elementary school through high school, then she went on to study with Galen at SJSU. Anne has taught at U Music for more than five years now. U Music has three 5 octave Marimba One™ marimbas and one One Vibe™.

Galen began teaching 7-8 students a week as a freshman in high school and has only expanded since. Currently, his students make up 73% of all percussionists selected for the California Band Director's Association State Honor bands and orchestra. He has almost 65 private students who take 30 minute lessons each week and 13 students in his SJSU percussion studio. These numbers reflect how much influence Galen's teaching has had on young percussionists.

About the future of percussion education, Galen thinks that "we need to expect more." He added that students should start playing earlier and learn a more diverse range of percussion skills as opposed to focusing exclusively on one instrument.

Galen is Director of Percussion Studies at San José State University. He received both his Bachelor of Arts degree and his Master's degree in percussion performance from SJSU and has performed and taught in the Bay area for over 40 years. Learn more about Galen here:

Congratulations to competition winners:

The U Music Chamber Group consisting of all Galen's students took first place in the Junior High School category. They are William Wang, Kyle Yuen, Bowen Hu and David Hsieh

In the Junior High mallet category his students were:

1st place - Austin Xiang
2nd place - Bowen Hu
3rd place - Irene Lin
4th place - Jonathan Yuen
5th place - Larry Shi
6th place - Andrew Chang

High School mallet category:

1st place - Darrin Cheng (a freshman)
3rd place - Erin Lin (freshman)

College mallet category

1st place - Shota Otaguro (San Jose State University)
2nd place - Patrick McCaffrey (San Jose State University)

College Duo category

2nd place - Patrick McCaffrey, John Gilchrist (San Jose State University)

More Congratulations:

Four of Galen's private and U Music students won the NLPA Music Competition. They will perform in New York on June 10. Good job Bowen, William, Kyle Yuen and David. Your hard work paid off! This group took first place in the California PAS Competitive Festival on May 4 as well. Congrats to their U Music Chamber Group teacher Nigel Ng.

Congratulations to three more of Galen's U Music students, Jacqueline Guo, Larry Shi, and Caren Wang, who were selected to perform at the Winner's Recital of the Little Mozart Competition! The group performed at Carnegie Hall in New York last month.