News & Views Sunday, May 29, 2016

Category: Teacher Materials

Stanton’s E-Tools: Jukebox 25 May, 2016

website Jukebox image for promoThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is. That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier,  faster and more enjoyable. In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

As an extension of our Listening Library, we are proud to offer Stanton’s JukeboxStanton’s Jukebox is a specialized “wish list” where you can add sound samples from our Listening Library, then use it to:

  • Research your music purchases by building a playlist for all the titles you are considering, and then easily compare “apples to apples” as you listen.
  • Arrange your concert program by listening to full-length pieces in order, then rearranging as needed to allow for a variety in tempi and styles.
  • Build specific playlists for each of your different ensembles to assist you with your rehearsal planning and score study.
  • Generate a personalized URL for each playlist that can be emailed to your ensemble to enhance at-home practice – you can even add custom practice/rehearsal notes to appear with each playlist.
  • Forward your playlist to your school administrator or Booster/PTA president when you need to solicit funding for specific music.
  • Design separate playlists for different genres or eras of music for your Music History or Music Appreciation students to use during class or with homework.
  • Create a list of your favorite works for your personal listening pleasure in your home or office, and let it inspire you to continue strengthening your ensembles!

If you have questions about how to use the Stanton’s Jukebox feature, we also have a quick video tutorial that you can watch, as well as a list of “Frequently Asked Questions.” As always, if you need further information, feel free to call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at greatservice@stantons.com.

Click here for more in the Stanton’s E-Tools series!


Music Express Magazine 2016-2017: NOW AVAILABLE! 09 May, 2016

titleMEJohn Jacobson’s MUSIC EXPRESS is the classroom magazine for young musicians in grades K-6. We’re excited to announce that annual subscriptions are now available through Stanton’s Sheet Music!

Says John, “MUSIC EXPRESS is the magazine designed to help you, the everyday hero, as you share music with young people in your classrooms. It will bring you fresh ideas from some of the best music educators in the country in a format that’s easy to use and fun!”

In your yearly subscription, you’ll get 6 issues with:

  • digital interactive lessons to use with your classroom technology
  • 90+ songs for classroom and concert
  • over 180 professional recordings
  • step-by-step lesson plans correlated to the National Core Music Standards
  • 36+ choreography videos by John Jacobson
  • 6 video lessons by John Jacobson
  • 6 NEW episodes of The Music Show
  • 6 interactive listening lessons with recordings
  • 5 artist spotlights or video walkthroughs
  • 3 complete concert programs
  • songs and lessons Orff, recorder, and classroom percussion instruments
  • movement songs, assessment songs, and concept teaching songs
  • creative writing activities, movement activities, extension activities
  • 6 motivational articles by John Jacobson
  • clearly-stated lesson objectives, assessments, worksheets, vocabulary words, tech tips, material lists
  • AND MORE…all delivered to your school 6 times a year!

New for this year, all subscribers will receive improved and expanded digital content, and can also receive printed student editions on request. With both Premium and Premium Plus subscription options, we know you’ll find the right choice for your classroom. Contact Stanton’s now to subscribe!


Stanton’s E-Tools – Listening Library 06 May, 2016

listening libraryThe amazing staff at Stanton’s knows how valuable your time is. That’s why we try to provide you with as many tools as we can to make choosing music easier, faster and more enjoyable.  In this series of blog posts, we will be profiling our E-tools. Whether you are a local customer here in Columbus, OH or one of our many friends around the world, we hope you will find a way to use our E-tools!

What is the Listening Library?

When you are searching for new music that fits your group, sometimes looking at or even playing through a score is not enough. Music is meant to be heard, not just seen. That is why we have recordings of almost 70,000 titles available in the Stanton’s Listening Library. The Library files are in an easy-to-use MP3 format and are created from “promotional recordings” produced by the publishers. Whenever possible, Stanton’s uses the full-length recording, but due to the fact that some tracks were only made available as “publisher promotional copies” some of the tracks may be excerpted. We are constantly adding to our library, so check back often for updates!

How do I know if Stanton’s has a recording of the piece I’m looking for?

When browsing or searching our website, you will see the “globe with headphones” icon (pictured above) next to any item that has a recording available. Clicking on that icon will take you to a recording of that piece. Having trouble hearing? Check to make sure that your speakers are turned up and not set to mute, or that your headphones are plugged in.

Can I access the Listening Library from my smart phone or tablet?

Absolutely! The Stanton’s mobile website is compatible with all tablets and smart phones. Just touch that “globe with headphones” icon to get started. If you download the Stanton’s Barcode Scanner App, you can even use the tablet or phone’s camera to scan the bar code on a piece of music, and you will be immediately directed to that item’s recording. It makes shopping for music (or browsing your own music library) a breeze!

For questions about how to use our Listening Library, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit us online or in person!

Click here for more in the Stanton’s E-Tools series!


The Stanton’s Difference – 10% Educator Discount 20 April, 2016

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, 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 ensembles. 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!

Click here for more information on the STANTON’S DIFFERENCE!


The Stanton’s Difference: Setting Up Accounts Is Easy! 18 April, 2016

At Stanton’s, we know you have many choices when it comes to purchasing sheet music. Over the next few weeks, 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!

If you’re a school, church or community music director, your purchases are usually made to an account to be paid by your institution. If you are new to any of these positions, or have recently changed gigs, give us a call! We will be happy to provide you with your organization’s account number(s), and walk you through the billing process.

Are you new to shopping with Stanton’s? Rest easy – our staff can check to see if your organization already has an account (many often do), and if not, setting up a new account is easy! In fact, we can help you set up a new account when you place your first order, or make your first purchase, in a matter of minutes!

What we need:
– Name of the organization to be billed
– Billing address
– Billing phone number
– Purchase order number (if required by billing institution)

Let us know where you would like to have your order shipped, and you’re done!

Some notes:
*
Stanton’s can bill your: School Board/District; Church; School Building Activity Fund; Booster organization; Community Band/Choir organization

*We can assign multiple ship-to addresses and institutional credit cards to your account.

*You can bill orders to your account at our store, over the phone, at stantons.com, or at any conference or reading session where we’re exhibiting!

If you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC and speak with our sales staff, or press 4 to speak directly with our accounting department, and shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Click here for more information on the STANTON’S DIFFERENCE!


Found Soundology 06 April, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

Found Soundology by Mark Shelton
Take your students on an unforgettable musical journey with this collection of twelve original compositions using everyday objects in place of traditional instruments – tin cans! tables! plastic buckets! paper and pencils! While each piece includes suggestions for found sounds, Mark Shelton encourages you and your classes to find your own sound sources. Teaching and performance tips, recordings, and reproducible parts round out this convenient, creative outlet. Perfect for middle school general music!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Urban Music Education: A Practical Guide for Teachers 14 March, 2016

9780199778577Too often, urban music education is seen as “less than” its suburban counterpart. In Urban Music Education: A Practical Guide for Teachersauthor Kate Fitzpatrick-Harnish offers an important corrective that encourages music teachers to focus on students’ strengths as their primary resource. Through a combination of research-based strategies and practical suggestions, she highlights such issues as culturally relevant pedagogy, the “opportunity gap,” race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, musical content, curricular change, program development, student motivation, and finding inspiration and support. Written for a wide variety of school and community settings, the book challenges all teachers who work in underresourced settings to tailor their pedagogy to meet students’ needs.

Author Kate Fitzpatrick-Harnish is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Michigan. An avid supporter of public school music programs, she is the former director of instrumental music at Northland High School in Columbus, Ohio.


Haja: The Bird Who Was Afraid to Fly 11 March, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

leon-00146080-fHaja: The Bird Who Was Afraid to Fly by Julia Jordan Kamanda
West Africa’s vibrant colors and sounds come alive in this interactive musical storybook depicting the touching tale of a small bird who must face her biggest fear. 4 to 7 year olds will love adding the sounds of Haja’s heartbeat, wind and the rain on the mango leaves. A companion CD includes a djembe drum jam track, an audiobook of the story, and the instant classic song “Fly Haja Fly,” performed by author Julia Jordan Kamanda and students from J3Music Studios. A singer/songwriter, teaching artist, and ‘mom on a music mission,’ Julia helps your students explore Haja’s world and learn more about the musical element of rhythm.

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Music Games by D. Brian Weese 22 February, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

Music teacher D. Brian Weese teaches elementary music in Walton County GA, and also enjoys working in church music with children’s choirs, adult choirs, and instrumental groups. Brian completed his undergraduate degree in music education at Grand Canyon University, and holds a master’s degree in church music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Brian’s series of music games from Heritage Music Press are perfect for the elementary classroom music teacher (or sub tub!). They cover a wide range of music concepts, including rhythms, music symbols, note spelling, recorder fingerings, and solfege. And, they’re not easy! – great for assessment of skill development at different grade levels.

lorenz-75_1005h-fColor by Music
This colorful collection of reproducible worksheets will keep students engaged as the images come alive on the page. Covering a wide range of music concepts, including rhythms, music symbols, note spelling, recorder fingerings, and solfege, and featuring easier and more difficult versions of each puzzle, teachers and substitutes will value this versatile resource.

Mysterious Mazes
Feeling lost when it comes to reinforcing music concepts? Let your students navigate these entertaining and challenging reproducible puzzles to strengthen their knowledge! Students will be on task as they wind their way through composer timelines, twist and turn along the route to rhythm skills, blaze a trail through instrument families, and much more! It’s simply a-maze-ing!

lorenz-30-2557h-fMusic FUNdamentals
You and your students will enjoy working your way through these forty-four fabulous, fundamentally sound, leveled, REPRODUCIBLE worksheets that reinforce melodic and rhythmic concepts. This jam-packed resource includes at least three different-leveled versions for every game, making it perfect for the music teacher or music substitute. Also available in a second volume – MORE Music FUNdamentals.

Perplexing Puzzles
Sssh, can you hear their musical minds turning? “Perplexing Puzzles” will keep your students quietly engaged while reinforcing musical concepts and terms. This book of twenty-six REPRODUCIBLE puzzles is leveled and includes worksheets for students in the second through sixth grades. With easy-to-follow directions, you can use these puzzles as part of your own instruction or leave them for a substitute with little musical background.

lorenz-25_1030h-fMix and Match Music
Who says that sight reading has to be dull? This innovative resource encourages students to mix and match phrases from familiar tunes to create wacky new songs. Engaging graphics and animation with three levels of play will keep your beginning and intermediate players tuned in to reading music.

Nothing But Notespellers
These seventeen reproducible games are definitely notespellers, but there’s nothing ordinary about them. Your younger students will enjoy the mazes and color-by-pitch worksheets, and you can challenge your upper elementary students to name ledger-line and bass-clef notes and match pitches displaced across an octave. And with content ranging from profiles of famous composers to aural-skills development, the learning opportunities extend far beyond the staff. Thanks to Brian and his inventive take on the traditional notespeller, you’ll have nothing but super spellers and (should you choose) satisfied subs.

For more quality resources for your music classroom, visit our website or contact us!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


NEW Adventures with Freddie the Frog! 10 February, 2016

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

sharon and freddieHave your students met Freddie the Frog? Freddie (and his musical friends!) was developed by master educator Sharon Burch to introduce fundamental music concepts to preschool and elementary children. Starting with his travels on Treble Clef Island (Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night), you can continue exploring and learning with Freddie as he meets the Bass Clef Monster and the Mysterious Wahooooo, and learns the blues on Crater Island and plays jazz with the Flying Jazz Kitten!

Don’t miss Freddie’s newest adventure…

Freddie the Frog and The Invisible Coqui
Freddie the Frog and Eli the Elephant are led by an unseen guide to the secret world of the invisible coqui. The coqui speak Spanish and love to play salsa music and dance through the night. Help Freddie and Eli learn the Latin rhythms to discover the identity of their mysterious hosts! Audio CD includes a read-along dramatization, a sing-along song, and play-along Latin rhythm tracks. Kid-friendly salsa dance steps are located at the end of the story. Suggested for Grades K-3.

For more quality resources for your elementary music classroom, please contact us!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, she holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz for Beginning Ensembles 08 February, 2016

recommended by Ben H., Jazz Music Specialist

The Stanton’s crew has just finished an exhausting season of music conventions from New York to Chicago and points in between. Although we’ve sold loads of great new jazz music and books, a jazz education standout has been the latest entry in the popular Teaching Music Through Performance Series. Released in time for the December 2015 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic on Chicago, Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz for Beginning Ensembles, is bound to become a staple on the shelves of music educators and college jazz methods classes. It serves as a veritable “how-to” for newbie teachers and seasoned professionals. The book is chock-full of tips and information from prominent jazz educators as well as analyzation of over sixty charts at the grade 1 – grade 3.5 level that are currently in print!

Read on for a description of this fantastic new jazz publication from GIA Publications.

“Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz for Beginning Ensembles”
Editor : Richard Miles
© 2016 GIA

Contributors: Ronald Carter, Roosevelt Griffin, Ben Huntoon, Brian Logan, Rob Parton, Willis Rapp, and Dean Sorenson

With this volume, the celebrated Teaching Music through Performance series is available for the first time for leaders of beginning jazz ensembles. This edition pairs practical perspectives from world-class jazz educators and performers— who specialize in working with beginning ensembles—together with Teacher Resource Guides for more than 60 of the best jazz charts published for beginning ensembles.

Part II: Conductor as Teacher focuses on the best jazz repertoire published today for beginning ensembles and provides a Teacher Resource Guide for each work. Each Teacher Resource Guide includes background information on both the composer and the history of each chart, technical and stylistic considerations, a discussion of musical elements of the work, and measure-by- measure rehearsal tips for the best jazz repertoire tailored for beginning ensembles. The repertoire covers Grade 1 through Grade 3.5.

This book is a truly significant resource for both beginning jazz educators and their students, and an invaluable contribution to the field.

For a complete listing of works covered in this volume, visit http://www.TeachingMusic.org.

Chapter 1: Recruitment and Rehearsal Strategies for the Beginning Jazz Ensemble; Chapter 2: Scheduling Options for the Beginning Jazz Ensemble; Chapter 3: Beginning Jazz Ensemble Instrumentation; Chapter 4: Basiz Jazz Articulations for Beginning Jazz Band; Chapter 5: Beginning Jazz Improvisation; Chapter 6: Selected Resources”

Stanton’s Sheet Music is proud that our own “Jazz Guy,” Ben Huntoon was a writer for this volume and chaired the committee selecting the charts to be included.

Buy your copy today!!!

About the Author:
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.


Edgar Allan Poe in the Choral Classroom 20 January, 2016

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

When we think of Edgar Allan Poe, poems like “The Raven” and stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart” come to mind. Sometimes we forget that this American master wrote not only of the supernatural, but more traditional subjects as well. Here are two new chorals that we love with completely different moods by this master of the macabre!

evening starEvening Star by Victor C. Johnson

Poe’s ode to the beauty of the moon is the complete opposite of what we expect from a Poe text. “O evening star, gently glowing star, fill our souls with peace tonight. Play for us the gentle strains of your symphony of light.” This beautiful piece is precisely what we love to see from Victor Johnson: a beautiful masterwork text, a soaring melody, interesting (but not difficult) harmonies and a well-crafted piano part make this a perfect piece for your fall/holiday program or concert/festival performances later in the year. Available in SATBThree-Part Mixed, and SSA.

 

lakeThe Lake by Jay Althouse

This piece, on the other hand, will make sure you never enjoy a vacation by the water again! “My infant spirit would awake; To the terror of the lone lake.” Dissonant harmonies and staccato singing make this a fun challenge for your group. The slower middle section is packed with fermate and caesurae, making it a wonderful opportunity for less experienced groups to work on expression and interpretation of conducting gestures. Available in SATB.

Extension activities abound when you program both of these pieces on the same concert. Consider slide shows or artwork with each piece, or partner with your language arts department for an entire Poe week right around Halloween. The possibilities are endless!

For more recommendations give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1 or check out the “Favorite Texts/Poets” section of our Listening Lab.

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Pajama Party! 18 January, 2016


pajama partyPajama Party!

A Musical Revue About How Bedtime Can Be a Blast!

by Cristi Cary Miller and Jay Michael Ferguson
recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Music Specialists

When we review the scores of new products we receive each year for elementary general music teachers, one of the key things we look for are products that have clearly been “teacher tested, teacher approved.” It is obvious from the very first page that Pajama Party! falls into that category.

This musical for K-2 students is so adorable that you’ll want to start doing a musical with your early elementary students even if you’ve never attempted one before. Each of the songs is in a different musical style, and is about a different part of the bedtime routine. “Marching Orders” tells kids to pick up their toys and head for the bathtub in a fun march style. “Under My Bed” faces that scary monster that lurks in the shadows. Our personal favorite is the soft shoe-style partner dance “Cozy Special Friend,” where each student dances with their favorite teddy, blankie or doll. The cuteness knows no bounds!

Staging this musical is a breeze. Students play themselves and come in their favorite PJ’s, while a simple patchwork quilt-like backdrop can be made by hanging students’ old baby blankets. The rhyming script can be performed by as many or as few students as you like. There are no formal parts to cast!

This musical is an all-in-one package with a teacher book and a CD-ROM that includes performance and accompaniment tracks for each song as well as reproducible student songsheets, lyric pages and the script for just $49.99. Suggestions for choreography and staging are also included.

Have a great time with your younger students and throw a Pajama Party this spring!

For more recommendations for early elementary musicals, give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1 or visit our Pinterest board, where we post our favorites for this age group.

About the authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT – Middle School Show Choir 30 December, 2015

middle school show choir

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of choir directors quite like the words “middle school show choir.” It’s a great recruiting ensemble that builds your program, but it can be very difficult to find appropriate literature. You want the kids to enjoy their music, but you don’t want it to be all current pop or “bubblegum” with no substance. You want to do some partner dancing, but you don’t want it to be too “touchy-feely” at this age. You don’t want the boys to constantly have to sing about lovey-dovey stuff, but the girls just eat that up. What’s a choral director to do?!?

singin in the rainMay we recommend Singin’ In the Rain? This classic tune from the Gene Kelly movie musical of the same name is arranged here for choir by Mac Huff. It’s perfect for middle school show choir! Here are some reasons why:

  • It’s got a happy, positive theme (“I’m singin’ in the rain, just singin’ in the rain. What a glorious feelin’, I’m happy again. I’m laughin’ at clouds so dark up above, the sun’s in my heart and I’m ready for love.”) that isn’t overly focused on couples and relationships. Plus, you never have to worry if the lyrics are school-appropriate!
  • Speaking of not being overly focused on couples, it IS the perfect opportunity for your first partner dance. Don’t have enough guys?  That’s ok, pairing up girls with each other can be lots of fun on this song too. And if you break out the umbrellas, you can skip the hand holding!
  • When it comes to giving your boys a strong dancing role model, you can’t do better than Gene Kelly! There’s lots of great moves that you can easily lift from the original.
  • The phrases in this arrangement are VERY short, giving students lots of opportunities to breathe without destroying the melodic line.
  • This particular arrangement comes in both a 2-part and SAB voicing. If you’re group has the balance, numbers, range and skill to do the SAB, that’s wonderful! If you’re just starting out or have a small and inexperienced group, the 2-Part can be easily adjusted for boys with changing voice. It has many unison passages as well, which can be opportunities for solos, small groups or more complex choreography.

For other great pieces for your middle school students give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext 1 or come on in and visit us!

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


News from the Music Publishing World – Choristers Guild Sing! 21 December, 2015

Sing2015-2016

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper

If you’re a teacher, you probably don’t pay much attention to publishers. You sometimes look for composers and arrangers that you like, but you barely give the publisher a second glance. However, we’ve got a new publisher on the scene this year for school choral music and we promise, it’s worth your time!

Mary Lynn Lightfoot has long been a name associated with quality school choral music. Longtime editor for Heritage Music Press (the educational arm of Lorenz publishing), this year Mary Lynn moved to Choristers Guild. Choristers Guild has always been a sacred publisher, but this year Ms. Lightfoot edited their first catalog aimed at the school market, entitled Sing!

This promotion (pictured at left) should have arrived in your school mailbox sometime in August. If you didn’t receive one, you can contact Choristers Guild through their website and request one here.

If you haven’t looked at this promotion, here are some reasons we think it’s worth your time:

  • First and foremost, the music is GREAT! When we do our initial listening for our choral promotions, we consider a publisher’s release “strong” if 30% or so of their titles make it through our first round. Out of this promotion, EIGHTY PERCENT of the titles make it through Round One (for more information about how we pick titles for promotion, check out our previous post on the subject).
  • When it comes right down to picking the 75 or so titles that we promote for the year, the competition gets even tougher. This year, SING! had the highest percentage of their new issues promoted. We picked FORTY PERCENT of their new releases for promotion. The next best major publisher had just 25%.
  • Many of the octavos come with a Learning Resource Page. Printed on the front inside cover, these offer coding from the new National Standards for Music Education (for use in lesson planning), as well as classroom activities, extension activities (for groupwork, homework, accelerated students, etc.), vocabulary and more.
  • We especially loved that the activities are age-appropriate. For example, two part octavo activities are clearly aimed at upper elementary/early middle school students, while SATB octavos have more sophisticated material for late middle school or early high school kids.

For more information about titles we especially liked, check out our middle school and high school promotions on our website, or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1.

About the Authors:

Rachel Steele 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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Happy Birthday Alice Parker! 16 December, 2015

Alice Parker

by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

It’s hard to believe,  but Alice Parker turns 90 years young today! This elder stateswoman of choral music was born in 1925. She studied music at Smith College and received her master’s degree from the Juilliard School where she studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw. Her collaboration with Shaw continued for the duration of his career, and her catalog of folk songs, spirituals and holiday music (both alone and with Shaw) are staples of the choral literature. She is the recipient of 6 honorary doctorates and the Smith College Medal.

At the age of 90, Ms. Parker is still an active teacher, clinician, conductor and composer! Her non-profit organization Melodious Accord is sponsoring a project called Alice Is 90. They are asking for choral conductors to video record their groups singing her works anytime between December 2015 and December 2016 and upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook with #Aliceis90. Looking for a way to participate? Give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC ext. 1; and we’d be happy to send you a 21 Day Trial or suggest something appropriate for your group.

Speaking of being an active composer, Stanton’s is happy to recommend these two new men’s chorals from Alice Parker, both in TTBB voicings:

hard times come againHard Times Come Again No More by S. Foster/arr. Parker (00144509)….$2.25

One of the sweetest of Stephen Foster’s songs, balancing nostalgia with heartfelt lament. Seems made for male chorus, with the kind of piano or guitar accompaniment that would’ve been found in 19th century homes. Very accessible vocal writing with a simple accompaniment, making this a fantastic option for every men’s chorus.

cindy.jpgCindy arr. Alice Parker (SBMP1215)………………………..$1.95

“I wish I was an apple a hangin’ from a tree, and ev’ry time that Cindy passed she’d take a bite of me.” Guys will delight in singing this clever arrangement of the American folksong. The versatility that the elegant writing affords makes this piece appropriate for choirs of all sizes.

 

 

About the Authors:

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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


BEHIND THE SCENES: True Stories from Stanton’s 13 November, 2015

compiled by Dan C., Stanton’s resident staff jokester

qcBjqgxc5In the fall when school cranks back up, Stanton’s gets a huge increase in the number of phone calls and emails requesting all kinds of things. And with so many communications there is naturally an increase in requests, questions and comments that make you go, “Really?!?” Such as:

“I’ve got a high school brass trio that wants to go to Solo and Ensemble competition.
We’re in a state with no required list we have to follow.
The students want to play Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. Do you have that for brass trio?” [Really?!?]

“Do you know of any pieces for Alp Horn and Band?” [Really?!?]

“I need a copy of the piano piece Fur Elise by Beethoven – but I need it for harmonica!” [Really?!?]

sax_xmas_decWe’ve mentioned the escalating request in previous blogs. Here’s a recent one:
“I need music for a saxophone quartet” (Okay…)
“To be featured with a concert band” (Ummm…)
“On a Christmas piece!” (Yow!)

Then there are the ones that just make you scratch your head…

“I’m waiting as fast as I can for a Purchase Order number to come from our treasurer.” [How fast can you wait?!?]

“Do you folks carry trumpet muzzles?” [actually, what a great idea!]

Trying to read a teacher’s writing, a customer asked for the Hal Leonard “Interception” book. We knew he meant “Intermediate” and also figured he’s a football fan!

Recent email:
Customer Question – “I have an extensive collection of sheet music. Do you purchase at all?”
Stanton’s Reply – “WE have an extensive collection of sheet music. Do YOU purchase at all?”
After that tongue-in-cheek wisecrack, the employee then went on to explain a bit about how the retail sheet music business works.

Here are a few phone conversations:
Customer: “I found an item I need on your website. The catalog number is HB01”
Stanton’s employee, upon typing the number into the computer and finding that it is a very popular method book for horn by Fred Teuber: “Oh yes – the Teuber book.”
Customer: “No, I think it’s for French Horn!”

Customer with a pronounced southern accent: “I’m looking for Bob and Maria.” (at least that’s what it sounded like!)
Stanton’s employee: “I may not have heard you correctly – Bob and Maria?”
Customer: “No, A-V-E, Ave Maria.”
Stanton’s employee: “Oh, of course! I’m so sorry! Do you want the Bach/Gounod or the Schubert?” JeopardyCustomer: “Heck, I don’t know who writes ’em, I just play ’em!”

Let’s play Jeopardy…
The answer is:
“No sir, I don’t know which arrangement of Amazing Grace you just heard on the bus this morning.”
We’ll let you come up with the question! :)


The Stanton’s Difference: Bring Your Students! 28 October, 2015

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

It’s been a while since we’ve added to this series of posts, but we were recently reminded of one more way that Stanton’s is special. Besides making it a road trip to work with our knowledgeable staff, you can also bring your students!

studentsRecently the band director from Versailles High School made the trip to Stanton’s via school bus (comfy!) and brought about 20 of her band students along. While she was previewing OMEA required concert band titles, her students were busy choosing their own solo and ensemble selections from our vast selection. What a great use of time, and a unique experience for the students! Besides finding their solo or ensemble piece with some guidance from their teacher, they were also free to check out a whole host of method and etude books, pop play-alongs, and holiday collections that were on-hand, as well. Honestly, one of the most satisfying feelings I get from state professional (MEA) conferences is seeing the high school all-state musicians excitedly finding repertoire that they want, books they have been recommended, and music just to play with their friends. It’s the ultimate treasure hunt!

Truly budding musicians...

Coffee = Truly budding musicians

While a number of directors visit us on Saturdays or professional days throughout the school year, and some make a summer pilgrimage from nearby states, it is not unusual for us to see a school bus full of students pull into our parking lot about once or twice a year (don’t worry, we only cower briefly). After a quick “lay-of-the-land” tour, we are happy to turn them loose to shop, and they are welcome to take advantage of our first-hand instrumental knowledge, as well. We often hear from educators who have moved on to other states that they do not have a music supplier like Stanton’s even within driving distance, and many do not let customers freely browse all of their titles. Besides having directors take advantage of stopping by the store, what can be better than bringing aspiring musicians (and tomorrow’s teachers!) to musical Candy Land!?

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004. He always feels the urge to read Edgar Allan Poe, the original novels featuring traditional Hollywood monsters, and other macabre tales this time of year, yet never does.


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT: Truly Brave 07 October, 2015

truly brave

recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper, School Choral Specialists

If you haven’t read our post about how we pick choral promotions, you might not know that Jen and I spend hours and hours listening to new choral music each year. The publisher with the largest number of new issues is Hal Leonard, with 230 new pieces this year. As you can imagine, it’s quite daunting to start on this bin full of music, which is often still in manuscript form. The pieces are sent in alphabetical order, so by the time we got to “Truly Brave,” we were feeling more than a little jaded.

Even so, about 2 pages into this song, both of us were crying. Yes, it really is that good. Inspired by patients fighting childhood cancer, Hoda Kotb of “The Today Show” brought together Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper to create this mashup of “Brave” and “True Colors.” I’m not generally a fan of mash-ups, but these two songs fit together so effortlessly that it never feels forced or jerky. It doesn’t hurt that both songs are also great in their own right. If you only find room for one pop selection in your program this year, it should be “Truly Brave“!

Looking for an even more meaningful experience for your students?  You could try…

  • Doing this with combined choirs. It’s available in SATB, 3-Part Mixed and 2 Part, so you could teach it to your groups of all levels and put them together. No room for all those kids on the stage? No problem – spread them out around the auditorium for a surround sound experience!
  • Dedicating this piece to a particular student (or students) in your program or school that is/are fighting their own battle, be it with cancer or anything else. Allow your students to make the personal connection and you’ll create a moment they won’t forget.
  • Asking your students for input about what they think it means to be “Truly Brave.” They could give you letters, essays, pictures or anything that you can use to create a slide show. Project this during the concert, and you won’t have a dry eye in the house!

About the Authors:

Rachel Steele 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!

A former middle school and high school choral director, Jen Sper holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. An active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys good food, running (to counteract the good food…) and the Muppets.


Happy 70th Birthday John Rutter 24 September, 2015

by Jen Sper, Choral Music Specialist

E53There’s always a little buzz of excitement in the Choral Department when a new piece by John Rutter comes across our desks. His works feel like old friends, even the first time you hear them – warm and comforting. With his 70th birthday in 2015, both Oxford University Press and Hinshaw Music are re-releasing a number of his most seminal compositions in new Anniversary Editions, with accompanying notes on both the music and performance written by Rutter himself.

Rutter’s work has strong footing in both the school and church choral markets, and an especially strong presence in the Christmas repertoire – his recordings with the Cambridge Singers are as Christmassy as the little drummer boy eating fruitcake!

Much of his secular music is less familiar, but equally well-crafted and memorable. Seeds Grow to Plants sets a lovely and thoughtful text about the cycle of life, and larger works such as When Icicles Hang and The Reluctant Dragon (which includes the charmingly funny Banquet Fugue) are refreshingly creative.

John Rutter was born in London in 1945 and received his first musical education as a chorister at Highgate School. He went on to study music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he wrote his first published compositions and conducted his first recording while still a student. His compositional career has embraced both large and small-scale choral works, orchestral and instrumental pieces, a piano concerto, two children’s operas, music for television, and specialist writing for such groups as the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the King’s Singers. From 1975 to 1979 he was Director of Music at Clare College, whose choir he directed in a number of broadcasts and recordings. After giving up the Clare post to allow more time for composition, he formed the Cambridge Singers as a professional chamber choir primarily dedicated to recording, and he now divides his time between composition and conducting.

For more information about John Rutter and his music, please visit his website.

Stanton’s Recommends: For the Beauty of the Earth, Candlelight Carol, Christ Is the Morning Star, Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind, Banquet Fugue, Seeds Grow to Plants

This article was originally posted Jan. 12th, 2015, and has been re-posted today in honor of the composer’s 70th birthday!

About the Author:
Jen Sper has been with Stanton’s since 2006. A former middle school and high school choral director, and an active choral singer and accompanist throughout the Central Ohio area, she also enjoys eating good food, running (to counteract the good food!) and the Muppets.