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This course is ideal for students and professionals studying the SFM. If you are an educator interested in studying the method visit here.

•Prerequisites: SFM Percussion Level 1

•Length: 56 pages

Sound Formation Method™ Percussion Level 2

This book specifically addresses and disambiguates the traditionally highly confusing term syncopation, which has become a catchall term for a variety of rhythmic information like tonal displacement, accent displacement, backbeat, playing off the pulse, anticipation, hemiolas, and more. In this book the true nature of syncopation is unveiled and many exercises for mastering foundational syncopations which build your rhythmic vocabulary both in performance and in the development of PERFECT RHYTHM are thoroughly covered.



Syncopation is not displacement as displacement comes from a separate principle of rhythm. Syncopation is an entire category of rhythms like subdivisions. Syncopated shapes can be rotated (displaced), reflected, further syncopated, and reverted. Elisions, another newly defined concept, are highly related to syncopations and are also taught.

The Rhythm Compass™ allows you to visualize syncopations in your mind’s eye and practice rhythms mentally only as well as simultaneously mentally and on your instrument. While the rhythmic shapes are intuitive and natural for most, some people still need to see things linearly more at first and these types of depictions are also used.



Linear depictions, whether in notation or alternative forms, are often very helpful for many students and complement the rhythmic shapes. Both types are used throughout the Sound Formation Method™ for a balanced approach to learning. In this book you’ll find linear thought processes around rhythm in: binary numbers, dot patterns, notation, and block patterns.



“Curtis’s method is the first music instruction approach I’ve seen that accounts for the interhemispheric nature of learning. Curtis has revolutionized music instruction, allowing all students, whether dominantly auditory-sequential or visual-spatial, a way in to their innate ability to learn musical instrumentation.”  Catherine Conlin, PhD, CCC-SLP, Owner and Director of Bright Brain Thinking


This book is full of pragmatic exercises and creative ways designed to produce real RESULTS. If you’re tired of going through books filled with ideas without providing true transformation, look no further. If you purchase this book and aren’t satisfied with the results, we will gladly refund you and you can keep the book. We are confident it is the missing piece you’ve been looking for. Recommended use is with a Sound Formation Method™ certified teacher. 


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See the Concepts in Action

Displacements is an original piece co-written by Dr. Peter Stoltzman and Curtis Madigan using the Level 2 concept of displaced elisions (and some rhythmic octaves of the same elision shape as discussed in Level 4). These displaced shapes are vehicles for both the composition itself and Peter’s improvisations.


Check Out the Level I Workbook

This 2nd Edition workbook is an essential tool for all instrumentalists in understanding and mastering not just rhythm but musical feel and groove.

Check Out the Level 3 Workbook

In this book you’ll learn essential principles of rhythm, new ways of conceptualizing rhythm, ear training in 3/8, 6/8, and 12/8, how to master accent displacement, triplet elisions and syncopations, rhythmic perception techniques, and anatomy of a groove.

Check Out the Level 4 Workbook

This book is the fourth in an integrative system for mastering rhythm.

Check Out the Level 5 Workbook

This book is the fifth in an integrative system for mastering rhythm. This book teaches how to understand the relationship of polyrhythms and hemiolas, syncopated hemiolas, displaced hemiolas, neighboring syncopations and more.