“The book is excellent, first class, and will become the go-to method book for young vibe players.”
Mike Balter, President, Mike Balter Mallets

“Congratulations on a very well-written and presented tutor for the concert percussionist to approach understanding and playing vibes.”
Gary Cook, Professor of Percussion Emeritus, University of Arizona

“I like the pieces, exercises, and concepts they are talking about, which is the real strength of the book.”
Dan Moore, Professor of Percussion, University of Iowa

“This book will help students to better understand, practice, and play the vibraphone through a comprehensive collection of well-written texts, exercises, and pieces.”
Ney Rosauro, percussion educator and composer

“Percussion students will greatly benefit from the comprehensive content which brings together fundamental technical skills and pedagogically sound musical studies and short solo works, all through the lens of a non-jazz vibraphonist.”
Steve Hemphill, Professor of Percussion, Northern Arizona University

“…an exceptional new method book for the student vibraphonist that bridges the gap between existing materials for jazz vibes and classical instruction books for marimba and xylophone that will elevate the musical and technical skills of all aspiring vibraphonists.”
Christopher Deane, Associate Professor of Percussion, University of North Texas




“Paul—I’m very impressed with your book. It’s far above the norm from what I typically see…Working Toward Excellence has captured my attention in a big way. It is filled with valuable and practical information. It will make a major difference in your life.”
Pat Williams, Orlando Magic senior vice president, author of Extreme Winning

“Dr. Buyer’s excellent book weaves together thoughts, stories, and quotes from top performers in music, business, and sports to help you achieve excellence. This is an inspiring read for any performer who wants to take their game to the next level.”
Jeff Janssen, author of How to Build and Sustain a Championship Culture and The Athlete’s Responsibility Manual

“Paul, Thank you so much for your kind note and the copy of your book. I wish you the very best with the book. Obviously, it is important for people to seek excellence and your guidance in this matter will be appreciated by many. I hope you have great success with the book. Please take care and thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.”
Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K), Duke University


“Dr. Paul Buyer has succinctly and eloquently identified workable principles that can help shape, direct, and inspire any leadership team. His book has become a staple within the leadership and professional development program of the the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps. Working Toward Excellence can help readers recognize their leadership potential as well as their individual path to significance”. Mark Reilly, Drum Group Leader, The United States Army “Old Guard” Fife & Drum Corps, Official Ceremonial Unit and Escort to the President of the United States

“Paul’s book is a treasure trove of great advice and counsel about working toward excellence. He has done a masterful job in researching great leaders and their approach to excellence. I believe it is definitely a “must book” and have provided a copy to all of our Head Coaches for their study and evaluation of how to work toward excellence, not only personally, but certainly for their teams and student-athletes.”
Terry Don Phillips, former Director of Athletics, Clemson University

“In Working Toward Excellence, Paul Buyer takes a fresh look at an age old challenge: how to be the very best you can be. I was particularly engaged by Paul’s use of unusual examples of excellence from The Cleveland Orchestra to Augusta National Golf Club. This is a book that grabs your attention, holds it, and motivates you to take action.”
Joe Calloway, author of Magnetic and Be The Best At What Matters Most

“Paul Buyer, in his inimitable style, has created a really excellent book on “working toward excellence”…what a perfect title! This book is a valuable read for anyone at any stage in their journey toward success, quality and excellence in their lives.”
Gary Cook, Professor Emeritus of Music, University of Arizona; Past-President, Percussive Arts Society

“Dr. Buyer has provided us with a handbook for the pursuit of excellence—not just in music, but in life. His eight “uncommon values” are valuable touchstones in a remarkable book that should provide an inspiration for anyone who reads it.”
Dr. Richard E. Goodstein, Dean, College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, Clemson University

“Dr. Paul Buyer articulates and defines what is inherently indefinable. The author provides logical and concrete insights into the process of becoming excellent. Working Toward Excellence is a must read for anyone interested in achieving excellence in their field.”
Dr. Michael Sammons, Director of Percussion, University of Utah

Working Toward Excellence is an exceptional new book about what it takes to stand out and achieve uncommon success in your industry. By breaking down values critical to achieving at a high level such as hunger, effort, leadership, time, and others, this book literally shows you how to work toward excellence and achieve it.”
Craig Duswalt, speaker, author and creator of the RockStar System For Success,


“You have a wonderfully conversational and smooth writing style, and the topic of your book is particularly relevant to me right now. In particular, the point about excellence simply taking hard work has really hit home. Our generation really needs this message – we have certainly grown up with an entitlement, instant gratification mentality, and many of us know we don’t want to be like this, but are clueless how to be otherwise. You’ve really provided a valuable resource to combat all the cultural assumptions surrounding success and quality performance by providing simple, practical steps.”
Amanda Rooker, Amanda Rooker Editing,

“Paul…your book is fantastic! I read it last night and loved every bit of it. It is hard to beat good, common sense thinking! Thanks for writing it…I will share it with my team soon! Don’t forget….I need 100 for camp!!! Thanks again.”
Larry Penley, Men’s Golf Coach, Clemson University

“As an Attorney for forty three years and as a neutral Labor Arbitrator and Mediator for the last ten years, I found Paul’s book to be an excellent and inspiring tool that easily can be used by anybody seeking excellence and success in the legal, arbitration and mediation forums. His concepts are comprehensive, proven and logical and for this I give him my heartiest congratulations.”
Dennis Buyer, Esq. Arbitrator and Mediator

“Paul Buyer’s work complied in Working Toward Excellence is amazingly useful. The book is extremely concise, pertinent, and user-friendly. I recommend it to my graduate students who are pursuing teaching careers and plan to make it required reading for undergraduate students beginning their internship experiences. The self-evaluation and website video are fabulous additions that add a kinesthetic dimension which students welcome. Thank you Paul Buyer for making my work easier by identifying essential keys to success and packaging the information in a contemporary way for students to access.”
Dr. Ellen Vincent, Environmental Horticulture, Clemson University

“Well-written, well-edited, great take aways. In “how to” literature, I value quotes from successful people and Buyer didn’t let me down. For each of his eight values, he draws wisdom from a host of diverse successes – golfers, a weightlifter, business owners, coaches. But I was especially glad to find his unique wisdom from his own professional world of music. Leaders of musical groups that perform at a consistently high level, whether they be rock bands or ensembles or college performing bands, require remarkable organizational, motivational, and wisdom-seeking skills. These are the same skills that translate into success in many other fields.  Buyer draws on the wisdom accumulated from his own life experiences and a personal leadership library of over 150 books, making Working Toward Excellence a valuable addition to my own library. The writing is clear and lively, free of the pretentious literary and technical language that can get in the way of crystal clear communication. Highly recommended.”
J. Steve Miller, Author of Sell More Books! and Enjoy Your Money!




“The research and insights of Marching Bands and Drumlines might just be the next great resource for marching music educators.”
James Voss Grumish, Founder,

“…takes you inside the director’s office, on to the practice field, and right to the heart of the matter behind the great traditions of many of the country’s great college marching bands.”
John Madden, Director, Spartan Marching Band, Michigan State University

“…a delightfully organized and brilliantly written discourse on excellence…an engaging read on goal setting, establishing expectations, motivation, practice habits, musicianship, and much, much more.”
Gary Cook, Professor Emeritus of Music, University of Arizona; Past-President, Percussive Arts Society

“…So much of the success of the programs he visited had to do with common denominators: leadership, goal setting, tradition, musicianship, and creating a life time of appreciation and memories for the participants. Bravo!”
Bob Buckner, former Director, Pride of the Mountains, Western Carolina University

“What does it take to be a great leader?…Paul Buyer’s book will provide you with the groundwork and template to make you an outstanding leader and motivator.”
Michael Balter, President, Mike Balter Mallets

“What we find in Paul’s travels is a connective tissue amongst all successful programs that recognizes that wherever it takes place—effective leadership is effective leadership.”
Neal Flum, Associate Director of Athletic Bands/Drumline Instructor, University of Alabama; former Chair, PAS Marching Percussion Committee

“This is a wonderful book that shows us what makes a great band into a GREAT BAND! We can all learn so much from each other in our field and this is a fantastic place to start!!”
Jay C. Rees, Professor of Music, Director of Athletic Bands, University of Miami (FL)

“By examining methods from a variety of successful programs, this is a great resource for all marching percussion instructors at any level…This should be required reading…”
Paul Rennick, Percussion Faculty, University of North Texas, Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps.

“Thanks for everything you have done with your book project, Paul. I and so many others appreciate your efforts. I feel lucky that I could be a part of something like this. I have certainly reevaluated my teaching because of your questions and your book. The panel discussion was also great; I enjoy getting to see and hear about how others achieve what they do. You have done a terrific thing for college drumlines.”
Jon Weber, Percussion Faculty and Drumline Instructor, Michigan State University

“[Your book] contains something for everyone. I especially like Chapter 5 “Instilling Motivation.” It is long overdue, and I’m sure there will be many more printings in the future. I just wish we had it when I marched in high school thirty years ago!”
Bruce Jacoby, Manager of Education, Remo, Inc.

“I’ve read your book three times. It is very well written and your coverage of the OSU band was excellent. I wish you success with this valuable publication.”
Tom Cook, Band Secretary, Ohio State University

“I really enjoyed your presentation and I just finished reading your new book. Fantastic! Really fantastic!!! This is a great view into some intriguing programs. Well done and congrats!”
Torrey Lawrence, Marching Band Director, University of Idaho

“Love the book – nice work! I’ve been pushing it at all of the MUED students that I speak with, and if I’m allowed to add a Marching Tech course next year will have it on the required list.”
Timothy Diem, Marching Band Director, University of Minnesota

“It has been an phenomenal resource for last season. I’ve been encouraging both my Drumline Section leaders and Music Ed majors to utilize the information. Your book could not have been released at a better time. The WIU Marching Leatherneck Drumline went through a major overhaul due to graduates and some students taking the season off. The book was perfect in reconfiguring how we function and develop. 2009 was the best season that I have had in my 12 seasons with the Marching Leathernecks. THANK YOU!”
Kevin Nichols, Drumline Instructor/Assistant Professor of Percussion, Western Illinois University