Brian J. Harris Method
The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo

The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo, Book and CD:     $29.95
(Quantity discounts automatically applied: 2-5 = 33.3% discount; 6 = 40% discount)

Save 40% by adding the 4 DVD set to your order today for only $30!

The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo, Book, CD, and 4-DVD's:     $59.95

The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo, 4-DVD Set (No Book):     $49.95
DVD's available for separate purchase only in the Owners Only area of my website. See the inside back cover of your book for your username and password. Read more about the DVD...

The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo:
The FUN Way To Learn To Play Snare Drum!

Teacher Interviews | Testimonials | Book Samples | CD Samples
Student Recordings | Owners Only | DVD Info

The Snare Drum Plays the Zoo, by Brian J. Harris
Book Covers, 9" x 12"

A few years ago, after much frustration, I quit teaching out of my "Old Faithful" READ/COUNT/PLAY beginning snare drum method book. It was a good book, the best I could find--the one my own teacher had used for many years! But I was frustrated. Too many of my beginners lost interest too fast while working out of this traditional method book. I felt as though even my best students could be learning more efficiently. There had to be a better way, and I was going to find it.

I studied ideas from the most successful violin and piano teachers in the world. I watched my own son and other young children learn to play piano, violin, and other instruments using fun, non-traditional concepts.

Soon, I started using these ideas with my own beginning percussion students. After experiencing immediate success, I resolved to teach under the assumption that playing a musical instrument is much like learning a new language.

The result is my new book The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo. Since I've started using this method, my students have learned to play more easily than ever, and my beginner dropout rate is nearly zero!

SING First, Then PLAY

If playing a snare drum is like learning to speak, I decided that my students should speak or sing rhythms before playing them. This isn't a new concept at all. Traditional forms of hand drumming, including Indian, Middle Eastern, and African, are taught the same way. But how many of my beginners, ages four to fifty-four, would want to learn to sing "taka tira kita taka" before actually PLAYING their snare drum? I decided that my students speak English just fine, and they deserve to play the snare drum at their first lesson.

I found that the animal kingdom contains an ideal subset of English words. To cover the ten basic duple- and triple-based rhythms and rests, I selected animals whose syllables begin with as many hard consonants as possible: Pig (Pi-ig!), Tiger, Caterpillar, Butterfly, Kingfisher, Chihuahua, Sh (Sh-h!), Sheep Dog, Porcupine, and Cheetah. These animals are easily adapted to teach roll and flam rhythms in The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo. Print a free PDF table of these animals and rhythms.

READ Last!

Imagine it's a few days after a baby is born. His mother hasn't spoken to him yet, but she has decided it's time for him to start learning the English language. She places a book in front of his face, points to a series of words and reads aloud "Please…feed…me." These are the first words the baby has ever heard! "Okay, Johnny, it's your turn. Please read it to me. These are the most important words for you to learn right now, so I can be sure to keep you healthy." Does the baby have any idea what's going on? Does he care about understanding written symbols on a page? Does he care about converting those symbols to sounds?

No, and neither do my beginning percussion students. They want to create a rhythm BEFORE they learn how to read it. Why shouldn't they? That's how they learned their own language!

But Read SOON
Does this mean that percussion students, like babies, shouldn't read until they've "spoken their new language" for two or three years? No. My students, age four and up, have learned to read very quickly using this method. Once the student has a word firmly in mind for a particular rhythm, assigning a musical symbol to it is easy! Most beginners read music at their second or third lesson, and their sightreading skills develop very quickly.
After You Can Read, It's Time To Write!
Writing and composing music is an important part of my students' development. It's so important that at the end of each section of the book, I have included a composition assignment. Some of these are short, four-measure compositions. Others are full-length, one-page compositions with two or more sections, repeats, dynamics, and more. My students love performing their compositions for friends and family. Plus, they have a stronger understanding of new rhythms when they've included them in their own musical creations.
What's In The Book?

The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo contains 104 pages with over a dozen instructional photos, 20 solos, 119 reading exercises, dozens of technique exercises, 21 composition assignments, and a CD with 50 audio tracks. These features combine to help the beginner learn to play, read, and write 20 different rhythmic symbols, 11 dynamic symbols, and a variety of repeat symbols.

Zoological Illustrations

To add to the fun, I hired illustrators to create 50 playful scenes with animals interacting, playing snare drums, and composing within the zoo. You'll enjoy looking at these wonderful illustrations even when you're not practicing!
Roll 'Em

What About Counting?
Counting is an important part of learning and playing complex rhythms. Unfortunately, when beginners are forced to count, their eyes often glaze over from brain-overload.
I have found that after students learn to play using animal rhythms, counting comes more easily. To help with this process, I have included a section on counting at the end of the book. Counting concepts can be applied to all solos and reading material throughout the book at any stage.
ADULTS Love This Method Too!

My adult students appreciate how easily they can learn to play and read rhythms using The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo. Many complain at their first lesson that they've "never been very good at reading." Within just a few weeks, they find themselves well into the book reading rhythms with very little effort.

Free Owners-Only Website Access

Every owner of the book gets free, unlimited access to the Owners-Only portion of my website. Here, you can register for email updates on new practice tips and teaching ideas. From the Owners-Only site, your emailed questions come directly to me. My answers to everyone's questions will remain archived in an easy-to-access portion of the site.

Quantity Discounts

Purchase The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo book and CD from my website today for only $29.95. Buy 2-5 copies for only $19.95 each, 6 or more for an incredible $17.95 each!

Order The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo Risk-Free!

I've worked incredibly hard on this book, and I am convinced that it provides the most enjoyable way to learn to play snare drum! If you disagree, just send it back to me within thirty days, and you'll receive an immediate, 100% refund of your purchase price--no hassle, no questions asked.

$500 Of Video Instruction For Only $30

After I finished writing The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo, I realized that I can't personally teach everyone who wants to use it. Luckily, a lot of great teachers use it. However, some students just can't afford lessons, or they don't live near any of those teachers. Students with private teachers want to review material between lessons to be sure they're staying on track.

I had to create a complete instructional video to help these students. I hired a videographer and spent the next two years taping and editing dozens of hours of footage in my studio and at Tucson's Reid Park Zoo.

In the end, we created the perfect companion set of four DVD's to take you page-by-page through your book. These DVD's include 5.5 hours of performances of all solos with multiple camera angles, plus exhaustive explanations and demonstrations of techniques, notation reading and writing, tips, and tricks. You'll even get to see what macaques and baboons do when they find snare drums and drum sticks in their cages.

It takes a student six to eighteen months of weekly lessons to get all of the information contained in this 5.5 hours of instruction. That's a minimum of $1000 worth of private lessons with me. Even if I were able to show you everything in the video from start to finish in eleven half-hour lessons, it would cost $500. I've made the list price of these DVD's only $49.95.

If you add the DVD's to your order today, you can get them for only $30!

Order The DVD's Today And Save 40%

After you get your book and CD, you can order the DVD's anytime in the Owners Only area of my website for $49.95. However, today you can add the DVD's to your book/CD order for only $30 more. That saves you 40%! Just click "Add To Cart" under "The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo, Book, CD, and 4 DVD's" to get the added benefits that only video instruction can offer. Whether you have no private teacher, or you'd like to increase your understanding between private lessons, this is a fantastic opportunity that won't be repeated.

The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo, Book and CD:     $29.95
(Quantity discounts automatically applied: 2-5 = 33.3% discount; 6 = 40% discount)

Save 40% by adding the 4 DVD set to your order today for only $30!

The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo, Book, CD, and 4-DVD's:     $59.95

The Snare Drum Plays The Zoo, 4-DVD Set (No Book):     $49.95
DVD's available for separate purchase only in the Owners Only area of my website. See the inside back cover of your book for your username and password. Read more about the DVD...

Brian J. Harris Method
Brian J. Harris Method | 4210 North Saranac Drive, Tucson, AZ  85718
Phone: (520) 878-0363 | Fax: (520) 844-8166 | Email:

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