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Here you can watch videos made by students from Chetham’s School of Music as they play and discuss their chosen instrument from the Percussion family.


The timpani, or kettledrums, are large pitched drums and are members of the percussion family.  To make a noise you hit the skin (top) of the drum with a stick.  You can change the pitch with a pedal at the bottom of the drum.

Below is further information on the timpani.  These links are just a starting point, although every effort has been made to ensure their quality Chetham’s does not accept responsibility or liability for the individual or company linked.

Timpani facts for kids

Timpani Time: A one-stop resource for the educator looking to further their knowledge of the timpani. 

History of the timpani
History of the timpani 2   

Free Percussion Lessons – Timpani
Timpani lessons
Remember that nothing aids progress more than an experienced and knowledgeable teacher and there is no substitute for practice.  When choosing a teacher always check qualifications, references, DBS checks and consider a trial lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their approach and ensure you have fun learning your chosen instrument.

BBC Guide to the Orchestra

Get Playing, the BBC’s home for amateur music-making in the UK

Don’t forget to check out your local music shop and music hub as well! 

We have taken every effort to ensure that these links are genuine and useful. However, we do not accept any liability for their content. Following these links will take you out of the Chetham’s Outreach website, at your own risk. This excludes the resources created by us which are identified.