News & Views Saturday, April 18, 2015

Category: Music Education

The Stanton’s Difference – 10% Educator Discount 17 April, 2015

At Stanton’s, we know you have many choices when it comes to purchasing sheet music.  That’s why we want to take the opportunity to highlight just a few of the many reasons why Stanton’s is the best place to buy music for your school, church, private studio or personal use!

Did you know that Stanton’s offers a 10% discount on most printed sheet music products to teachers, church musicians and college music majors?  You can use your discount when shopping online, over the phone, or in the store.  Your discount is automatically applied when you use your church or school account ( We’ll tell you more about accounts in a few weeks,) or just mention that you are a teacher when you call to place an order!

10% doesn’t sound like very much?  Think of it this way:  For choral directors, it’s the same as buying 9 copies of an octavo and getting the 10th copy FREE! Or let’s say that you’re an instrumental teacher with 3 groups.  If you buy 3 pieces for each group over the course of the year, that “fun” pop number for the spring concert is like a freebie!  And who doesn’t love FREE?

For more information about the educational discount, visit us online at www.stantons.com, or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC!

Originally posted June 9th, 2014…but information worth repeating!

 


NEW!!!! G. Schirmer Violin Anthology 10 April, 2015

G. Schirmer Violin Anthology – 24 Works from the 20th and 21st Centuries

recommended by Dan Clark, String Specialist

g schirmer violin anthologyDo you have advanced students to whom you would like to introduce some “modern” composers without spending an arm and a leg on a sonata or concerto from a single writer?  This new collection is for you!  Subtitled “A Variety of Approachable Music for the Advanced Player” these are 24 short pieces or movements from larger works that have been gathered together for study and/or performance.  Selections are  from such prominent composers as Samuel Barber, Lili Boulanger, John Corigliano, Paul Creston, Bernard Heiden, Karel Husa, Charles Ives, Aram Khachaturian, Boruslav Martinu, Walter Piston, Andre Previn, Sergei Prokofiev, Bright Sheng, Augusta Read Thomas, Virgil Thomson, and Joan Tower and others.  There are also nine enthralling pages of notes about the pieces and their composers as well as the dates they were written and first performed, some even written by the composers themselves.  Five of the pieces are unaccompanied, but the other 19 have a piano part included.  The music is quite challenging as you might expect, but well worth working on, not only to learn some contemporary literature but also to open your students’ ears to modern melodic and harmonic concepts.

G. Schirmer Violin Anthology – 24 Works from the 20th and 21st Century  (50498777)……………….$24.99

Dan Clark has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions.  A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. His series of musical puzzles (RP3 Rebus Puzzle Picture People) can be found on the Stanton’s Facebook page each Sunday.  He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


Choir Builders for Growing Voices 2 08 April, 2015

Choir Builders for Growing Voices 2

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

choir builders 2 for growing voicesWhile a consistent routine in your rehearsal is great for students, changing up a couple of warm-ups can really liven things up.  Rollo Dilworth, renowned composer, conductor and educator, has come out with a second volume featuring 24 fun and instructional warm-ups for your elementary or middle school choirs.  Each of the 24 selections details which vocal skills are enhanced by that particular warm-up, and includes optional accompaniments for body percussion, classroom instruments and/or Orff instruments.  If you are less than comfortable with your piano skills, an accompaniment CD is also included.  The CD’s demonstration tracks can be used for listening or quick learning, while the accompaniment-only tracks are great for assessing your students’ progress.  Come back after break with a fresh spring in your step that will engage your students for the rest of the year.

Choir Builders for Growing Voices 2 – by Rollo Dilworth (00123577) ……………………………………..$19.99

Choir Builders for Growing Voices – by Rollo Dilworth (09971400)………………………………………..$19.99

Rachel Steele has been at Stanton’s since 2013. She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from The Ohio State University. Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington OH), Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!


The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread….REAL-ly! 07 April, 2015

Recommended by Ben Huntoon, Jazz Education Specialist

real easy bookWhat was one of the best books for teaching jazz improvisation is even better! Volume 1 of The Real Easy Book from the Sher Music Company is now published in a 3-horn edition including a 2nd harmony part and 3rd harmony part along with the lead sheet melody. For a mere $3 more (now $28) you get fully fleshed-out arrangements along with great sample bass lines, chord voicings and useful scales for improvisation. All that in ALL FOUR TRANSPOSTIONS… C book (cat #122), Bb book (cat #123), Eb book (cat #124) and bass clef (cat #125).

Additional educational material is also in each volume. Chords with complimentary scales for improvisation, basic drum patterns and a discography so your students can hear how the masters did it.

If you dig this book you also have to check out Real Easy Book, volume 2 which is just a little more advanced. Real Easy Book, volume 3 has all of the tunes organized by style periods…. GREAT for teaching jazz history. Volume 4 is all about Latin jazz from sambas and biaons to merengues and cha-chas.

One of the most versatile jazz combo books on the market! This book is also great for those high school jazzers looking to up their game a notch. Order today for programming on your final concerts of the school year or for your summer jazz camps.

Click here for a table of contents showing the number of REAL jazz tunes included in The Real Easy Book, volume 1.

Ben Huntoon is the Jazz Education Consultant at Stanton’s Sheet Music. He received bachelors and masters degrees in music from Capital University and The Ohio State University respectively. As a professional trumpeter, Ben is accomplished in a wide variety of genres and has performed throughout the Midwest on many stages over the past 30 years. He also teaches trumpet, coaches brass ensembles and serves on the jazz faculty at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.


Are You Planning a Piano Recital? 31 March, 2015

00-16710s4145Piano teachers, are you planning your spring recitals?  Stanton’s Sheet Music has lots to choose from, from teaching pieces by composers writing for several different publishing companies, to standard piano solos from the classical repertoire by Bach, Beethoven, Mendellsohn and more.  Browse on our website, http://www.stantons.com under “piano and electronic keyboard“.  More literature can be found listed under “OMEA”,  “Junior Festival” and “supplementary teaching materials”.   Call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, or email us at keyboard@stantons.com for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Compatible Quartets for Strings 23 March, 2015

Compatible Quartets for Strings

Recommended by Dan Clark, School Orchestra Specialist

compatible quartets for stringsArranged/composed by Doris Gazda and Larry Clark, here are 21 quartets that can be played by any combination of four string instruments.  Do you have 3 viola students and a bass player who are buddies and want to play something together?  How about two violins and two cellos?  Or the standard quartet of two violins, viola and cello?  These flexible books will take care of any of those combinations and many more.

They are also progressive in nature, so the beginning of the book is about a grade 1.5 level and it ends up at about grade 2.5.  All four quartet parts are in each book, so each player picks a line and sticks with it to the end of the piece.  Each piece can be repeated and parts interchanged to lengthen the the selection and provide a different musical color too.

The Compatible Duets and Compatible Trios have become some of Stanton’s best selling ensemble books for young string players, so be sure to check out these wonderful quartets!

Compatible Quartet for Strings
Violin – BF106 – $14.99
Viola – BF107 – $14.99
Cello – BF108 – $14.99
Bass – BF109 – $14.99

And don’t forget –

compatible trios for stringsCompatible Trios for Strings
Violin – BF83 – $14.99
Viola – BF84 – $14.99
Cello – BF85 – $14.99
Bass – BF86 – $14.99

 

compatible duets for stringsCompatible Duets for Strings
Violin – BF77 – $14.99
Viola – BF78 – $14.99
Cello – BF79 – $14.99
Bass – BF80 – $14.99

 

Dan Clark has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions.  A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


2015 Elementary General Music Clinic! 20 March, 2015

gm logoElementary General Music Clinic
Wednesday 7/29/2015, 9:00 am-12:30 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $20.00
Stanton’s Sheet Music is excited to welcome Andy Beck as our clinician for the 32nd edition of our Elementary General Music Clinic. This is one of Stanton’s longest running and most successful clinics, showcasing the best new teacher resources, song collections, games, musicals and more! We are sure that you will find materials that will keep you and your students interested throughout the year. Get your school year started on the right foot!


Stanton’s Super Session 2015! 17 March, 2015

ss logoStanton’s Super Session
Saturday 8/1/2015, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
at Stanton’s Sheet Music, 330 S. Fourth St, 43215
REGISTRATION: $55.00 (includes lunch)

Do you need to put a little “spark” in your choral program? Is there just too much new music out there for you to review? Join us for a fun, enriching day of music education with Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin, and Stanton’s own Jen Sper featuring music from Alfred Publications, Shawnee Press and many other choral publishers. Nowhere else will you find such a variety of new choral selections and teaching resources to inspire and motivate you and your students as you begin the school year.

Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


MORE Top of the Pops for String Orchestra 16 March, 2015

MORE TOP OF THE POPS FOR STRING ORCHESTRA 2015

More TOP Choices of recent popular music for Spring Concerts

Recommended by Dan Clark, School Orchestra Specialist

T=Teaching Elements to make a piece educational as well as fun
O=Orchestrated with active and interesting parts for everyone
P=Programmable for the most audience and player enjoyment

shake it off stringsShake It Off arranged by Larry Moore
#04491541 – Grade 3 – $50.00
Taylor Swift’s monster hit with insanely catchy pop hooks galore.

Uptown Funk arranged by Larry Mooreuptown funk strings
#04491535 – Grade 3 – $55.00
Super funky R&B throwback from Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.

counting stars stringsCounting Stars arranged by Sean O’Loughlin
#04491498 – Grade 3 – $50.00
One Republic’s uplifting radio smash about knowing what’s important in life.

game of thrones stringsGame of Thrones arranged by Larry Moore
#04491474 – Grade 3 – $50.00
Spirited three-quarter-time theme from the HBO TV series Game of Thrones.

hanging tree stringsThe Hanging Tree arranged by Robert Longfield
#04491533 – Grade 2.5 – $45.00
Theme from the super popular film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

 

Dan Clark has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions.  A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


Wohlfahrt Studies 12 March, 2015

wohlfahrt studiesAttention Violin Teachers!  What might make violin students work a little harder on their etudes?  How about providing a violin duet part for the teacher (or another student) to play along with the pupil?  Since duets can be really fun to play, it will make preparing exercises more palatable, plus it will help improve your students’ intonation as they strive to play in tune with the duet part.  This is standard violin pedagogical repertoire – Wohlfahrt’s 60 Studies, Op. 45 Book 1, Studies 1-30, so you certainly can’t argue with the methodology.  The interesting violin duet accompaniments by Rachel Kelly (with 4 by Joshua Parman) are at about the same level of difficulty as the etudes themselves.  A solo etude part and a double violin score for the duet accompaniment are included in the collection.  Something old is new again!

Studies, Op 45 Book 1 – Wohlfahrt/Kelley – 50499882 – $9.99


2015 Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic 11 March, 2015

Stanton’s Sheet Music is excellence logopleased to announce our 22nd annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic on Saturday August 22, 2015! This session was designed to help you select concert and contest literature from some of choral music’s most distinguished composers, featuring the best in new music for mixed, treble, and men’s choirs at all levels of difficulty. Registration fee includes a complimentary packet of over 30 titles. Come join us to discover beautiful music and share ideas with colleagues and friends! For more information, contact us by email, or call us at 1.800.426.8742.


2015 “John Jacobson Workshop” and “Joy of Singing” 09 March, 2015

Stanton’s is pleased to invite you to our 2015 “John Jacobson Workshop” on July 30th and “Joy of Singing” on July 31st – two full days of the best new music from Hal Leonard!

logo JJWJohn Jacobson Workshop
Thursday 7/30/2015, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $60.00 teacher/$40.00 student, Both fees include lunch
Wear your comfy clothes and tennis shoes because you’re gonna get a workout! Recharge your battery, renew your enthusiasm and review the best new titles for show choir with the master of choreography, John Jacobson and special guest, Mac Huff. You will receive all the music and choreography notes for at least 20 complete routines. (Students attending this session will not receive a music packet)

logo JOSJoy of Singing
Friday 7/31/2015, 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Columbia Heights UMC
REGISTRATION: $50.00 (includes lunch)
Stanton’s has hosted this session for almost 30 years! Music for all levels of choral ensembles – elementary through adult – will be presented by clinicians Mark Brymer, Mac Huff, John Jacobson and Jonathan Palant. Each director will receive a packet of complimentary booklets containing complete editions of arrangements suitable for both school and community choirs. You’ll have ample time to browse Stanton’s on-site store and chat with the clinicians throughout the day.

Registration will open on April 1st – contact us at 1-800-426-8742 or choral@stantons.com for more information.

Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Recruitment for Orchestra 02 March, 2015

Recommended by Dan Clark, Orchestra Specialist

School orchestra directors,  it’s time to think about programming your recruitment concerts for your elementary school students!  Here are some new and standard pieces you should consider for recruiting that are easy to work up for your high school string orchestra and will be exciting and enthralling to your elementary prospects.

STRING SECTION FEATURES

who's who41271 – Who’s Who? - by Richard Meyer
An introduction to the String Orchestra

SO235C – Wire Choir Workoutby Richard Stephan
Every section gets the spotlight

5625 – Serendipity Suiteby Richard Meyer
Shows the unique quality of each instrument

MOVIE MUSIC

happy for strings43769 – Everything is Awesome -arr. Ralph Ford

NEW from the Lego Movie

04491408 – Happyarr. Larry Moore
04491446 – Happyarr. Robert Longfield
NEW from Despicable Me 2

04491404 – Let It Goarr. Larry Moore
04491410 – Let It Goarr. Robert Longfield
04491412 – Music from Frozen - arr. Robert Longfield
from Disney’s Frozen

SOM01010 – Themes from Harry Potter - arr. Paul Cook

NOVELTIES

prelude to the afternoon on a farm20795 – One-Bow Concertoby Richard Meyer
Pass the bow among your principal players

31583 – Prelude to the Afternoon on a Farmarr. Bob Phillips
Famous classical and folk melodies with an animal twist

BAS38 – Aunt Rhodie’s Appetite - by Joseph Compello
BAS44 – Aunt Rhodie’s Dietby Joseph Compello
Nice ‘n’ easy folk tunes with narrator and “actors”

FIDDLE FROLICS

duelin' fiddlesST6365 – Perpetual Fiddle Motion - by Brian Balmages
Non-stop fiddling for an impressive display

04626198 – Duelin’ Fiddlesby Arthur Smith
Fiddling takeoff on Duelin’ Banjos

04490086 – Orange Blossom Special - by Ervin Rouse
Perennial bluegrass favorite

RECOGNIZABLE CLASSICS

spring from the four seasonsST6276 – Allegro con Brioarr. John O’Neill
Famous first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth

SO328C – London SymphonyJ. Woolstenhulme
Very playable rendition of the Haydn masterpiece

18837 – Spring from The Four Seasonsarr. Richard Meyer
Faithful, easy arrangement – youngsters love Vivaldi!

12774 – Eine Kleine Nachtmusicarr. Merle J. Isaac
Why not pick up a fresh copy of this standard?

Dan Clark has worked at Stanton’s since 1979, primarily with orchestra music and print promotions.  A “working” musician, he’s a classical cellist, a rock & jazz bassist and a folk & country guitarist/singer. His free time is spent with family or reading, gardening, cycling and working puzzles. He also has a reputation as a pretty good joke teller. Seriously.


Announcing 2015 “School Choral Week!” 11 February, 2015

Featuring talented clinicians from major publishers, Stanton’s summer choral clinics are a fantastic way to jump-start your school year! We always look forward to visiting with our regular customers, matching up faces with names of new attendees, and meeting teachers new to Stanton’s from across the country.

Mark your calendar for these dates:

Elementary General Music Clinic
Wednesday July 29, 2015
Clinician: Andy Beck
The John Jacobson Workshop
Thursday July 30, 2015
Clinicians: John Jacobson & Mac Huff
The Joy of Singing
Friday July 31, 2015
Clinicians: Mark Brymer, Mac Huff, John Jacobson & Jonathan Palant
Stanton’s Super Session
Saturday August 1, 2015
Clinicians: Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin & Jen Sper

Also in August 2015:

Sacred Choral Reading Session
Saturday August 8, 2015
Clinician: Joel Raney
(no pre-registration for this session)
Excellence in Choral Literature
Saturday August 22, 2015
Clinician: James Gallagher

Registration will open on April 1st. For more detailed information regarding any of these clinics, contact the choral department at 1-800-426-8742, extension 1. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


NEW!!! Lion King Jr. and Lion King Kids 06 February, 2015

lion kingDisney’s The Lion King has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world and now for the first time ever you have the opportunity to produce this one-of-a-kind musical in your your school. The African savannah comes to life on your stage with Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again in this inspiring coming-of-age tale.

If you’ve never done a Broadway Junior or Broadway Kids production before, we recommend that you check out our previous post about the ordering and production processes.  Before you order the full show kit, consider previewing an audio sampler pack, available for just $10.00.

The all-inclusive performance packs provide you with the following:

Disney’s The Lion King Jr (60 minute musical)  #00137481……………………………………………$795.00

30 Actor’s Scripts

1 Director’s Guide

(Includes: Director’s Script, 2-Performance CD/2-Accompaniment CD, 1-Choreography DVD, 1-Demonstration DVD, 1-Resource CD)

1 Piano/Vocal Score

3 pack of Djembe Drums

1 Experience Binder (includes activities and sessions for the kids/1- Experience DVD and CD)

30 Family Matter’s Brochures

 

Disney’s The Lion King KIDS (30 minute musical) #00137549……………………………………..$645.00

30 Actor’s Scripts

1 Director’s Guide

(Includes: Director’s Script, 2-Performance CD/2-Accompaniment CD, 1-Choreography DVD, 1-Demonstration DVD, 1-Resource CD)

1 Piano/Vocal Score

3 pack of Djembe Drums

1 Experience Binder (includes activities and sessions for the kids/1- Experience DVD and CD)

30 Family Matter’s Brochures

Broadway Jr. and Disney’s Kids are available for purchase only by elementary, middle and junior high schools (grades K-9). Other groups—high schools, camps, community and children’s theatres, religious organizations—must contact MTI or R & H Theatricals to inquire about traditional licensing. (Read our musical licensing blog to find out more.) To determine whether your organization qualifies, please contact us for more information.

Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Why FJH Masters Style 27 January, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

In my previous post I featured a number of new titles perfect for teaching style to middle school band. One of those titles, Klezmer Clarinets by Timothy Loest, is published by FJH Music Company. You may have noticed that FJH is always well-represented in our band promotions, and with good reason. Each year their new band promotion is one that we look forward to most. It always features a reasonable number of titles, and the quality is consistent from top to bottom regardless of difficulty. When it comes to style, the arrangements that FJH chooses to publish are as authentic as they come.

We hear (and occasionally program – I won’t tell!) them all the time.   Arrangements that are “Latin” or “swing” when they are really just dressed up with a couple of “shakers” and other percussion “toys” or a ride cymbal “swing” pattern, but wind up sounding “jazzy” or just plain cheesy. If you take advantage of our band promotions, you know these tunes just don’t make the cut. It’s encouraging to note that there are more authentic sounding, quality arrangements from more publishers now (see that previous post!), but none knocks it out of the park as consistently as FJH.

GenresThe reason for this is quite simple: they go all in! Brian Balmages, Timothy Loest, Chris Sharp, and Co. incorporate all of the characteristic elements of a specific style into their arrangements. Percussion instrument choices are appropriate and the parts layered. Rhythmic figures are true to the original style; this includes notation, articulation, and syncopation. Chord changes are structured and voiced appropriately; harmonies are as lush (or open) as necessary; and scale patterns capture the flavor of the style (major, modal, etc). As I mentioned above, this is all regardless of difficulty! Characteristic flavor is not sacrificed just because some rhythms need to be simplified or ranges kept in check for beginning level players. The quality of pieces like Klezmer Clarinets and Rocky Mountain Romp are just as strong as At a Turkish Market and Arabian Dances, so you can feel good about programming stylized arrangements from FJH at any level. Check out our recommendations below – there’s a little something for everyone – and pick up an arrangement or two for your band. You (and your students) will be glad you did!

Stanton’s Recommends:
Beginning Band:
Court of the Noble Trumpeteers; Jingle Bells Samba Bells; Klezmer Clarinets; The Nutcracker (Overture & Trepak); Rocky Mountain Romp; Samba la Bamba
Middle School: At a Turkish Market; Blue Ridge Reel; Christmas at the Circus; Egyptique; Feliz Navidad; Give My Regards to Broadway; Images of Ireland; Irish Jig for Young Feet
High School: Arabian Dances; Fusion; Good King Wence-salsa; It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year; A Showstoppin’ Christmas; We Wish You a Mambo Christmas

*Author’s note: It was difficult separating the abundance of fantastic programmatic pieces from FJH from the stylistic charts, but that’s another post for another time! KT

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is excited to have finally seen Jeff Coffin and the Mu’tet live! He also enjoys comic books, all things Pittsburgh (Let’s Go Pens!), and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band.


Be Brave: Teach Style to Your Middle School Band 23 January, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

GenresTeaching solid fundamentals of playing and basic musicianship are at the core of beginning and middle school band. Obviously there is already plenty to cover within your curriculum, and if your school district’s program is well-organized, there is a certain skill set and level of musicianship your students should reach before moving on to high school band. Throw in programming for a Christmas/winter concert and adjudicated performance/band trip, and your year is already really full. While all of these things are worthwhile, why not step outside the box a little bit and throw in a piece to teach style.

While I know there are reasons both musical and practical not to do this, there are a number of great reasons to do it, as well. First, it will provide some interesting variety to your concert programming. In addition to the usual concert overture/concert piece, lyrical selection, march, and programmatic piece, an authentic Latin or other “world” style, tango, waltz, or show-style piece will add some fun, flair, and may well be the highlight of your performance. Secondly, it will greatly enhance your group’s musicianship. Different styles place different reading and interpretation demands on players, and the more styles a musician encounters, the more versatile they become. As a big band saxophonist that came up through braveschool music programs, I feel like we all learn to play legato really well. This is great for developing tone and for classical playing and study, but limits our scope for interpreting notation. On most gigs, styles change from one tune to the next and most students really only encounter a variety of styles through jazz ensemble. Of course this is limited to those who participate, and if the programming is really solid. It’s never too early to plant seeds of versatility, and your overall program will greatly benefit from the variety of skills and depth of understanding your students gain. Lastly, exposure to a variety of styles will broaden your students’ view of music overall and its place in history.

Below I have featured two of my favorite new pieces to teach style. Keep in mind that if they are cheesy, not authentic, or merely dressed up with percussion toys, they don’t make the cut. As when choosing pieces for jazz band, I recommend selecting a piece that’s about 1 grade level easier than your ensemble typically plays. This will allow your students to easily nail down notes and rhythms so you can focus on interpretation, articulation, and nuance. I have also listed a few more new titles for middle school band that capture their respective styles perfectly. We even think enough of them that they’re all in our middle school band promotion!  If you’re considering teaching style this year, these are all great starting places. Go ahead. Be brave. Your students and audience will thank you.

Camino del Sol by Steve Hodges        Grade 2.5
Camino del Sol is a solid, fun to play Latin selection that will greatly develop your ensemble’s technique, rhythmic interpretation, and cut-time reading. Underpinned by a characteristic, syncopated bass ostinato and Latin percussion, a light melody passes throughout the band complete with full-bar, 8th note pick-ups and hits in all the right places. As always, articulation, note length (space!), and interpreting figures sets the style. The biggest challenges will be learning to hear & feel the figures in 2 (don’t over-count), and keeping the slurred melody from being too legato.

Zombie Tango by James Meredith      Grade 2
Teach beyond notes and rhythms with this fantastic tango. Sure it’s spooky per the title, but more important is its authenticity – bringing any cultural or dance style to life requires appropriate accents, note lengths, and interpretation of figures. More than just dressing it up with percussion instruments, Zombie Tango features characteristic elements in spades (including a bridge)! Aside from being a fun programming change-up, learning to interpret this style from the page will work wonders for reading articulation and rhythmic figures. We couldn’t recommend this piece more!

Stanton’s also recommends: African Alleluia, Klezmer Clarinets, and Three Brazilian Folksongs

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He is excited to have finally seen Jeff Coffin and the Mu’tet live! He also enjoys comic books, all things Pittsburgh (Let’s Go Pens!), and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band.


Give Me a Bucket 16 January, 2015

give me a bucket.jpg Stanton’s is proud to feature author and composer Mark Shelton as our first guest author for the Stanton’s blog.  Check out what Mark has to say about his latest resource, “Give Me A Bucket.”

Whether you are a middle school band director looking for a clever way to feature your percussionists or a general music teacher searching for a crowd-pleasing instrumental, a bit of bucket drumming can provide a fun-filled solution.  Bucket drumming has come to the elementary music classroom and the band hall with instructors and students getting in on the joy of pounding a pail.  Forming this type of ensemble is easy on the budget and provides a great vehicle for learning rhythms and exploring tone colors.

Clear directions are laid out for bucket drumming success in Give Me A Bucket (click here for a short tutorial.)  In addition to guiding you through the process of setting up your bucket ensemble, Give Me A Bucket provides a dozen short, easy-to-learn pieces, rehearsal tips, simple choreography, and a recording for study and inspiration.  Give Me A Bucket is suggested for grades 4-8 and the pieces are grouped by level of difficulty. All the pieces can be played with basic single stroke percussion skills. There are no rolls, flams, or complicated sticking patterns in the entire collection.

While most of the ensembles are written for different sizes of buckets playing polyphony,  a few works are scored for unison playing. One such ensemble is “Strange Asparagus” which makes clever use of Boomwhackers™ as the striking implement. The pitched tubes provide a bit of harmony and a colorful visual component.

Give Me A Bucket was featured at Stanton’s General Music Clinic facilitated by nationally recognized elementary music specialist, Sharon Burch http://youtu.be/TN067m4iddQ

Check out a performance of “Bucket Rock 101” with fourth and fifth grade students from Lannoye Elementary in Pulaski, WI.   http://youtu.be/ruB0VqgkHYo

My short bucket drumming tutorial can be found at http://youtu.be/-eGFsWHGong

Go ahead…set up a few pails, hand your students some sticks, pass out the parts, and let the bucket jam begin!

mark sheltonMark Shelton has presented hundreds of arts-in-education performances as a percussion soloist and as leader of the world music ensemble Tin Roof Tango. From the early days of his career as Visiting Artist at Coastal Carolina Community College to his current work as a soloist, clinician, sideman, and entrepreneur, Mark has created programs, products, and educational services for a variety of ages. Educational articles by Mark have appeared in Percussive Notes, Activate!, Dulcimer Players News, and Worship Musician.  (If you love “Give Me A Bucket“, also check out Mark’s previous publication “Give Me A Groove“.)


Combo Concerts: Band-O-Rama 14 January, 2015

band o ramarecommended by Ken Tilger and Rachel Steele

The concert schedule for lots of schools is the same year-in and year-out.  Consider shaking things up this year with a “combo” concert!  Combine your groups across levels (imagine how big your band will be with students grades 5-12!) or across genres (your 6th grade choir would love to sing a piece or a medley with your high school jazz band!).

Ending the school year with a “mass” concert of bands in all grade levels is a common enough practice.  It’s great for your beginner students to hear the more advanced groups, and good for your high school bands to remember how exciting that first year of band was.  Of course, once you have all of those kids in the same room, everyone wants to hear them play together.  It’s the same challenge every year:  Pieces that are easy enough for your beginners make your older students roll their eyes; but who wants to spend the time re-writing and editing a grade 4 piece so that your 5th graders can play too?

THERE IS A SOLUTION that doesn’t involve you earning more grey hairs!  Several pieces are available that are specifically designed for this purpose, with all of the work done for you.  Each of the pieces below comes in two or three different versions that are intended to be played together.

bandoramaBand-O-Rama by Sandy Feldstein and Larry Clark

High School Set (PT-YCB06A-00)………………………………………………….$40.00

Elem./Intermediate Set (PT-YCB06B-00)…………………………………….$40.00

Band-O-Rama is a wonderful march designed for combined performance of beginning, intermediate and high school bands. The composition is available in two versions, one for high school band and one with parts for both elementary and intermediate bands.   Your high school students will play their parts (an easy grade 3) without much effort, while elementary students will need to be able to play in the keys of Bb and Eb Concert (limited range) and have mastered the dotted quarter/eighth note rhythm.  This piece is in the standard form of an American march, so it’s a great piece to being teaching about that form and tradition.

shorewood overtureShorewood Overture by Michael Sweeney

All-In-One Set, serves all three levels (04003858)………………………………..$95.00

Rather than the typical massed band number where everyone plays at once, this ingenious overture is written for 3 separate levels of player and allows the players of each level to be featured briefly by themselves, along with sections where everyone plays together. The easiest level includes nothing more difficult than 8th notes (no dotted rhythms) and all clarinet notes under the break, while the intermediate part is perfect for your older middle school students, involving more complex rhythms and an expanded range.  In addition, the “Level 3” parts include cues (also in the Level 3 score) allowing the older students to “jump in” for security if needed.  Includes scores and parts for all levels!

winged victoryWinged Victory by Brian Balmages

Grade 4 Version (B1340)………………………………………………………………..$75.00

Grade 2.5 Version (B1342)……………………………………………………………..$50.00

Grade 1 Version (B1341)…………………………………………………………………$40.00

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more powerful and inspiring work with such variety of styles and musical material. The eternal fight for freedom and the spirit of community form the groundwork for this impressive mix of proud fanfares, undaunting rhythms, and heartfelt lyrical passages.  The most difficult version is a true grade four, providing a challenge for your older musicians, while even the earliest beginners can handle the easiest version.  The intermediate version has simplified variants of the more difficult material in the fanfare sections, allowing them to be a big part of the action.  Beginner band directors should be aware the the elementary students do rest for a large portion of the piece, so working on musicianship and listening skills is a must!

About the authors:

Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He enjoys comic books, playing with his young son, and plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band. You should check out their album “Walk On Out the Door” available on iTunes and Amazon.

Rachel has been working in the choral department at Stanton’s since 2013.  She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University.  Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington, OH,) Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!

 


Simple Tools, Infinite Use 13 January, 2015

Here are three simple tools that can make a private music teacher’s life easier.  First, there is a useful tool called a “Wright-Way Notefinder”.  It is a music board that comes with a booklet of suggestions for how to use it.  This 6″ x 8″ board has a grand staff on it, and a note on a string that you can move up and down the staff.  The note finder is a fun tool to use, especially if the student gets to quiz the teacher!  Second, there is a little booklet called a “Wright-Way Practice Record”.  One page of this 4 1/2″ x 6″ booklet records the date of the assignment, the assignment, the time practiced every day, and two lines of blank staff for a special exercise, if needed.  The practice record can show the student how far he/she has progressed over time.   Third, there is the “Williams Bookkeeping Book“.  This 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ spiral book is a complete record of students’ lesson times and contact information, as well as the teacher’s  income and expenses.  The bookkeeping book is as practical as anything we have seen, and so easy to use!  For more information  about these products, or other, similar products, call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit our website.  Use Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!