PERCUSSION MUSIC EDUCATION IN SRI LANKA: SPECIAL REFERENCE TO TRADITIONAL DRUMMING EDUCATION
Sri Lanka is a country having unique cultural heritage in traditional dance, drumming, folk drama and different intangible knowledge. This study attempts to identify the current status of formal percussion music education in Sri Lanka based on the degree programmes of Fine Arts/ Performing Arts in Universities functioning under the University Grant Commission, Sri Lanka. The study is limited to examine Sri Lankan traditional drumming individual degree programmes and modules conducted by above academic bodies. Six Universities were mainly identified as the academic bodies which conduct Fine Arts/ Performing Arts degree programmes. The study reveals that University of the Visual and Performing Arts is the only one university offering four years honours degree program in traditional drumming in Sri Lanka individually. It mainly covers Kandyan, Low Country and Sabaragamuwa drumming, other local percussion, western and Indian percussion. Among the degree programmes of remaining five Universities there are some modules on traditional drumming in different levels except one university. Lack of appropriate lecture halls , inadequacy of required instruments, issues in repairing drums on time, insufficiency of time allocation and lack of human resources were found as common issues faced by investigated universities. Undergraduates seem to show very less interest in selecting Percussion Music Education degree program in University of the Visual & Performing Arts even though it is the only university which conducts individual degree in respected field. Though a majority of universities seems to provide few modules on traditional drumming it may not be adequate to produce graduates with sound skills and knowledge in the field. It might be affected to school education system negatively since most of the graduates in this field will select teaching as their profession. Formal percussion education in Sri Lanka should be developed more by revision of the curriculum on par with identification of actual requirement of the education system and the culture of the country.