i'm rob.

10 years ago, i was trying to figure out what to do after high school, but now i play percussion with the greatest orchestra on earth: the metropolitan opera orchestra. before that, i studied at juilliard and i was a fellow in the new world symphony. i consider myself to be unbelievably lucky.

my story.

ever since i can remember, i've been obsessive. whether it was about collecting elvis stamps (what?), creating giant domino rally constructions and then knocking them over (omg), or playing diablo ii for more than a year (legit), i've always approached something all-or-nothing.

when i found music, i knew that i had found something to obsess over forever without getting bored. so, in high school, i threw myself in percussion, music, and auditions, and i never looked back.

why did i start a blog?

as i traveled along my percussion journey, from naïve high schooler to rookie met orchestra member (where i'm currently a 4-year percussionist), i always found myself hungry for information. if i was playing a tambourine excerpt, i wanted to know a thousand different ways to play it, who plays it each way, and a thousand more ways i could practice it.

before i got my job at the met, i failed my way through years of unsuccessful auditions and rejected applications.

my goal with this blog is to reach keen and motivated musicians like yourselves and help you get to where you're going quicker and smarter than i did.

so, how should you start?

the first thing you can do is tell me if you're here to learn about percussion or auditions. i have two separate communities: auditionhacker and percusionhacker. there's a super useful giveaway for either one, or you can get both! you'll also be connected with me through my newsletter.

show me some other stuff!

ok! you asked for it. here are some of the most popular things i've written. they range from audition-related things to my crazy and obscure album project, delécluse: douze études for snare drum.

delécluse: douze études for snare drum and interview with jacques delécluse

released on october 26, 2014, delécluse: douze études for snare drum celebrates the 50th anniversary and the first-ever recording of snare drum's most influential and elaborate composition. i also traveled to hyéres, france to conduct an in-depth interview with mr. delécluse, and i asked him just about every question i could think of about his amazing works.

i'm collin.


hey there! my name is collin and i do a bunch of the fun techie stuff with rob, like this website! together we collaborate, research, brainstorm, implement, and ensure that we are providing the best possible content for you, the user! without you, none of this cool stuff that we offer you would even be possible, so thank you very much for your comments, your views, your opinions, your struggles, and your successes. keep 'em coming! feel free to visit my website at collinfindlay.com, and if i can ever help you make a rad website for yourself, let me know.

my story.

so i'm a horn player and a music educator. i grew up in texas, i attended the university of oklahoma where i studied instrumental music education, and then entered the workforce as a special education teacher. that experience changed my whole perspective. i was incredibly fortunate to work with some amazing students each and every day and basically make sure their lives at school were remarkable as i could make them, both musically and nonmusically. i then attended indiana university where i completed a master's in french horn performance.

my dream is to combine my passions of music and education in a way that is both meaningful and selfless, and that's why i joined the rob knopper team! i love being part of an organization whose mission is purely to help others achieve what they want out of their lives. for fun, i love to write and arrange music, run, and take pictures. let me know if you ever want to work together! collinfindlay.com

i'm nicole.

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hello!! my name is nicole and i’m here to help rob choose which black v-neck to wear for the videos!

aside from that, i do a little bit of organizing on the daily so rob can put all his energy in getting back to you with his thoughts, or recording new videos (with stellar fashion) and releasing blog posts - both of which are heavily influenced by all of your content wishes. so dream big…and then please share them with us!

my story.

i grew up in miami until my senior year of high school, which I spent at interlochen arts academy. after that super special year, which i will always be very grateful for, i went to university of michigan for my undergrad where i studied in both
the percussion and jazz departments. 

I’m a member of mobius percussion, and play in various folk, electronic, improvised and indie bands. i co-founded and co-direct a local all arts festival called threads, and i love making any sort of pieces with friends. 

what I love most are magical sentences like “it’s hard to be ahead of people if you’re not already better than them, but it’s not hard to work harder than them.” (-rob) combine that with the drive that’s inside each of us, those who found
themselves inquiring in the first place, and badaboom-badabing, that’s why i believe in
the work this team does, and that’s why i’m so thankful to be a part of it. 

questions/comments/concerns? send us a message!

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