News & Views Monday, July 28, 2014

Category: Teacher Materials

The Stanton’s Difference: Going the Extra Mile 21 July, 2014

At Stanton’s, we know you have many choices when it comes to purchasing sheet music.  Over the past few weeks, we’ve been highlighting 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!  Today we’d like to spotlight a couple of ways the Stanton’s staff goes above and beyond for you.

So you want to program an old title. You call us to order it, or place your order at stantons.com. While taking/processing your order, our knowledgeable staff realizes the age of the title, either because we remember when it was published (yes, many of us have been here that long), or we’re tipped off by the catalog number – in fact, old Belwin/Columbia Pictures numbers contain the year of publication within them. Rather than just place the title on backorder, and hope it comes in, we often check the availability of old titles in real time! The Alfred and Hal Leonard dealer websites allow us to check the status of a title, and, if it is urgent, we are happy to call our representatives with other publishers on your behalf. This way you know as soon as possible whether you can expect to receive your title, or if you need to consider programming another piece. Sure, we hate to disappoint, but we’d rather you know sooner than later if a piece is unavailable so you can plan accordingly.

You need music in a hurry! Despite your best planning, sometimes music and scores get lost before an impending performance or an administrator/civic leader requests a specific title that’s not in your library for performance at the end of the week. If you find yourself in a “sheet music emergency,” Stanton’s can help! First, if the music you need is in-stock, we will strive to get it out the same day as long as we have your order before 4:30 pm, and we’ll work with you to find the right balance of expedited shipping time and cost. If your item is not in-stock, we can arrange for drop-ship service directly from most publishers so that your music will ship within 24 hours. If your timetable is REALLY urgent, we will personally call your drop-ship order in to the publisher to ensure that it is handled properly and shipped the same day – most publishers can get expedited orders out the same day if they are placed by noon or 12:30 local (publisher) time.  We strongly recommend that if you need to place an expedited or drop-ship order that you call us asap so that we can give your order the detailed attention it requires, and you the service you deserve!

Does your sheet music store do this? If not, give us a call and see why Stanton’s Sheet Music has been the “Sheet Music Specialist”  for over 50 years, and why you should shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Previous posts in this series: 10% Educational Discount, Knowledgeable Staff, 21 Day Trial, For New Teachers, Setting Up Accounts, Make It a Road Trip!


Band Directors Teaching Choir: Solo and Ensemble Pt. 2 15 July, 2014

Here at Stanton’s12VBF_ConspirareHandel, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty.  Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear!  In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!

Just when you’ve gotten comfortable with the daily running of your choral group(s), it’s time to begin preparing for Solo and Ensemble festivals. The general procedures for vocal and instrumental music are often similar, but there are some differences that new choral teachers should be aware of.  This post will focus on small ensembles.

Conducting-Depending on the size of the ensemble, a conductor may or may not be allowed, so consider the difficulty of entrances and phrase endings when choosing music.  Be sure to have at least one student who is able to give small conducting gestures for starting, stopping, and changes of tempo.

Doubling Parts-Unlike a brass quintet or a flute trio, most vocal ensembles allow for parts to be doubled.  Usually there is a limit to the number of singers in an ensemble, but more than one singer may be on a part.

Pianists-Don’t forget to engage an accompanist for your groups.  Unless they are singing a cappella, vocal groups will need an accomplished accompanist.  If you must use a CD or electronic accompaniment, be sure your selection has a CD available.

Literature-Small vocal ensembles use the same music as a large choir of the same voicing.  For example, a 3 part women’s ensemble (SSA) could use the same music as your women’s choir; a mixed group could use the same SATB music as your mixed choir.  Not all pieces work well for small groups though, so use your state’s music list as a guide or check our website for suggestions .

As always, individual states’ rules vary.  Please check your state rule book  for more information.

Still not sure what to choose?  Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world.  As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations, or give advice.    Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Previous posts in this series: Warm-Ups and Rounds; Sight-Singing; SAB or 3 Part Mixed; Help! I’m Not a Pianist!; Solo and Ensemble Pt. 1


The Stanton’s Difference: Make It A Road Trip!! 14 July, 2014

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!

Places where you can browse and buy A LOT of sheet music are hard to come by. It’s amazing how many times we hear, “It’s so nice to be able to look at music before you buy it,” and “I live in                                              , and there is nowhere like this to buy music.”  This last statement includes cities like New York and Los Angeles, and has been made by some of the touring Broadway Across America musicians who come through Columbus.  If you live within driving distance of Columbus, and you’re wondering if a trip to Stanton’s is worth it the answer is “absolutely!”

Who doesn’t love a road trip? We’re not as far away as you might think. Columbus is only a 2 hour drive from Cleveland and Cincinnati, and 3 hours from Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Lexington and some of the farther reaches of Ohio. Besides, Stanton’s Sheet Music is in a former A&P grocery store (complete with cupola) that has hundreds of thousands of sheet music titles in stock!

While you’re here, you are welcome to look through and compare all of the music that’s on hand. You can pull up a chair at our listening station or use the Stanton’s app on your smart phone to scan titles and listen to them throughout the store. If it’s your first time at Stanton’s, let us know – we’ll give you a tour! Did we mention that you can also take advantage of our knowledgeable staff, too?

Need to grab lunch, or staying in town for dinner? In addition to sheet music suggestions, our staff can recommend plenty of great, non-chain places to grab a bite. Within walking distance are Dirty Frank’s, Little Palace, The Jury Room, Katzinger’s Delicatessen, and Indian Oven, as well as Mikey’s Late Night Slice and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at the Columbus Commons (and you’ve got to try Jeni’s!)  Also nearby are plenty of restaurants in German Village, on Gay Street, and in the Short North and Arena Districts.

“My spouse will be bored/we have the kids with us.” Guess what? Your spouse/kids can take advantage of the many attractions Columbus has to offer while you shop, or plan a whole day or overnight trip for some quality family time. Downtown destinations include programs at the Columbus Metropolitan Library, PB & Jazz kids’ concerts, COSI, the Santa Maria, Ohio Statehouse tours, and the Columbus Museum of Art, as well as events at the downtown theaters like the CAPA Summer Movie Series and Broadway Across America. The Columbus Commons hosts many events including food trucks on Thursdays, Commons for Kids on Fridays (with free carousel rides!), and the Columbus Symphony Pops concerts. Also nearby are the North Market, Franklin Park Conservatory, Crew Stadium, and the Columbus Clippers at Huntington Park – a fantastic venue to take in a ballgame, the Columbus skyline, and eat City Barbeque!  Other annual events include the Columbus Arts Festival, Actors’ Theatre performances, the Ohio State Fair (July 23-Aug. 3), and the upcoming Jazz & Ribs Festival (July 18-20). Within driving distance are shopping at Easton Town Center and Polaris Fashion Place, as well as the renowned Columbus Zoo and Aquarium featuring the newly added Heart of Africa region, and Zoombezi Bay water park.

Have we given you enough reasons to come to Columbus and visit us? We look forward to seeing you soon!

Previous posts in this series: 10% Educational Discount, Knowledgeable Staff, 21 Day Trial, For New Teachers, Setting Up Accounts


The Stanton’s Difference: Setting Up Accounts Is Easy! 07 July, 2014

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!

 

Previous posts in this series: 10% Educational Discount, Knowledgeable Staff, 21 Day Trial, For New Teachers

Band Directors Teaching Choir-Solo and Ensemble Pt. 1 01 July, 2014

Here at Stanton’s12VBF_ConspirareHandel, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty.  Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear!  In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!

Just when you’ve gotten comfortable with the daily running of your choral group(s), it’s time to begin preparing for Solo and Ensemble festivals. The general procedures for vocal and instrumental music are often similar, but there are some differences that new choral teachers should be aware of.  This post will focus on solo literature.

Memorization-Unlike instrumental events, vocal events must be memorized.  Though a piece might seem easy on the surface, the memorization of text and/or musical elements can be an issue for some.  Consider the number of verses, language,  and the difficulty of entrances or phrase endings when thinking about a student’s ability to memorize.

Pianists-An accomplished accompanist is extremely important, especially when young singers are involved.  While a live accompanist is always best, many standard vocal collections now come with a CD.  This can be an invaluable tool for a student who may not get much rehearsal time with an accompanist or instructor.  Click here to see a selection of collections available with accompaniment CD’s.

Literature-While most instrumental solos are available as singles, most vocal literature can be found in collections.   These budget-stretching books can have many solos that appear on your state list, often at different difficulty levels and/or in different ranges.  Don’t forget to order an original copy for the accompanist as well.  Click here to see our best-selling vocal collections.  For students in junior high/middle school, check out our previous blog post on this topic.

As always, individual states’ rules vary.  Please check your state rule book  for more information.

Still not sure which collections to invest in?  Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world.  As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations, or give advice.    Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Previous posts in this series: Warm-Ups and Rounds; Sight-Singing; SAB or 3 Part Mixed; Help! I’m Not a Pianist!

The Stanton’s Difference: For New Teachers 30 June, 2014

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!

The staff at Stanton’s understands the stresses and pressures of the first year of teaching.  Getting to know your building or district, discipline, lesson plans, common core, evaluations, booster groups, budgets/purchasing, scheduling….oh, yeah, and actually teaching!  We’d like to make your life just a little bit easier, and here’s what we can do to help:

Money Matters-Requisitions, purchase orders, board accounts, booster accounts; it can all seem “Greek to you” if you’re not familiar with school purchasing.  Visit or call us as soon as you are hired to determine what kind of account(s) your school has and what you have to do to get music.  Don’t be shy, ask lots of questions now!

We’re Happy To Meet You-Come on down and visit us in person.  Introduce yourself to the staff, let us know what and where you’re teaching.  We can give you a short tour of the store and let you know what kinds of products we have that fit your needs.  We’ll also be happy to send you home with any current promotional materials or a 21 Day Trial so you can choose literature at your leisure.

So Much Music, So Little Time-The tens of thousands titles that we have in stock can be a bit overwhelming for anyone.  The music educators on our staff can steer you in the right direction, offering suggestions for all types of classes and ensembles at all levels. We spend hundreds of hours each year reviewing new publications, so we show you only the best of what’s out there.

E-Tools-Stanton’s website has several different e-tools to assist you in choosing, purchasing and teaching your music.  There’s our Virtual Workshops, Jukebox, Listening Library, Digital Delivery and, of course, there’s an app for us too-we’re on The App Store and Google Plus.

For more details, questions or to introduce yourself, visit us online at www.stantons.com, or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC!

Previous posts in this series:  10% Educational Discount; Knowledgeable Staff; 21 Day Trial

The Stanton’s Difference: 21 Day Trial 23 June, 2014

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!

Stanton’s is one of the largest sheet music retailers in the country, with tens of thousands of titles in stock.  We understand that many of our customers can’t make it to our Columbus, Ohio location to peruse music, so we offer a 21 Day Trial service.

How It Works-Music can be secured with either a Stanton’s account or a credit card.  We send you the in-stock materials you request,  and you pay nothing but the shipping and handling costs.  As long as the music is returned to us in NEW condition within 21 days, you are never charged.  If you have specific titles you’d like to see, we will happily send those to you, or you can ask one of our knowledgeable staff members to select pieces for you based on concert theme, performance venue, type of group, etc.

What You Can Take On Trial (by department):

Choral, Handbell, Classroom General Music & Solo Vocal-You may take up to 20 single copies of octavos and/or up to 5 musicals, collections, or director’s scores.

Band, Orchestra and Instrumental-You may take up to six items on trial, including full arrangements, solos and chamber ensembles.  (Only scores will be sent for titles appearing on the OMEA High School Large Group Contest List.)

Piano/Keyboard-Up to five collections and/or 10 teaching pieces, one copy each.  Popular sheet music is not available for 21 Day Trial.  75% (by dollar amount) of the piano music on trial must be purchased.

For more details about our 21 Day Trial, visit us online at www.stantons.com, or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC!

Previous posts in this series:  10% Educational Discount; Knowledgeable Staff

Why Should YOU Attend a Stanton’s Reading Session? 19 June, 2014

Summer is here (finally!)… You’ve wrapped up your end-of-the-year concerts and lessons and you’re enjoying some well-earned time off. Here at Stanton’s Sheet Music, we’re gearing up for our summer workshop series! Yes, it can be hard to think about starting up a new school year, and we hear lots of excuses…ahem, I mean reasons…as to why people want to skip out on attending a summer workshop this year:

“It’s summertime! I don’t want to think about work.”
We hear ya. Summer sunshine…sandy beaches…grilling out on the patio…spending time with family and friends… These are all worthwhile summertime pursuits. But think about it – spending just one day at a Stanton’s workshop this summer can give you repertoire and teaching ideas for your entire school year! By devoting a few hours to work with us in the summer, you could free up evenings and weekends during the year so that you can: A) spend more time with your family and friends, B) work on that novel or symphony you’ve been meaning to write, or C) regain your sanity from spending all day with those rowdy kids!

“I can find everything I need to know on the internet/in a catalog.”
The internet is a wonderful tool in finding new music for your ensembles and classrooms – it helped you find this blog, right? Stanton’s Listening Library contains thousands of recordings to help you find the perfect piece of repertoire, many items on our user-friendly main website have sample pages you can view, and our Digital Delivery website allows you to find and print music immediately. But…none of those benefits outweighs the value of holding a new piece of music in your hands and experiencing it for the first time as your students do. At Stanton’s summer clinics and reading sessions, you can identify music your students will love to sing and find resources and repertoire to teach important musical concepts. NOTHING compares to looking at the entire piece and singing it with a group – THAT’S how you know if it will work for you! No 30-second sample recording or three-sentence catalog write-up can do that.

“I have such a small budget. Why learn about new music that I can’t afford?”
You’re not alone. Music budgets are shrinking across the country, and our clinicians know that you need to make every penny count. We’ve got ideas for affordable costuming and set design for your elementary musicals. We’ve got budget-stretching, reproducible choral collections with lots of repertoire options. And best of all, we’ve got many other teachers at our clinics so you can meet and share ideas that really, truly work in the classroom with each other! You could meet someone with great ideas for nurturing a successful booster group, or someone with tips for garnering community support and sponsorship, or someone with suggestions for marketing your program to your school board. Colleagues and peers in the education field are one of your greatest resources – join us and take advantage of that!

We also know that many schools won’t reimburse teachers for your registration fees, and it’s always painful to shell out your hard-earned money. To help with this issue, Stanton’s is offering a $25 gift certificate to new attendees who qualify; contact us for more details. And talk to your tax guy – workshop fees for teacher enrichment and continuing education may be tax deductible.

“I live in Pennsylvania/Kentucky/Illinois/Anytown, U.S.A. It’s too far for me to drive to Columbus.”
We often have a pair of wonderful music teachers from CANADA who come to our clinics here in Ohio! Make it really worth your while by attending multiple workshops during “School Choral Week 2014.” Bring the family! Workshops each day are completed by 4 p.m., so you have the evening to explore all that Central Ohio has to offer. The Stanton’s staff can recommend our favorite local restaurants, movie theaters, and cultural hot-spots for you to visit – the cooler summer evenings are perfect for a trip to the Ohio State Fair (open July 23-August 3 2014); maybe your spouse can take the kids to COSI or the Columbus Zoo while you’re enjoying your workshop during the day; the Columbus Metroparks are great for hiking or sunset picnics; or check out the CAPA Summer Movie Series at the historic Ohio Theatre.

teacher strictI’ve been teaching for 10/20/30 years. I know what I’m doing and I don’t need help.”
It’s true – experience can breed wisdom. But we find that the wisest teachers know that in order to keep students engaged they need to refresh, renew and revamp their teaching every single year! Keep your teaching style fresh and innovative by getting new ideas from our nationally-known, experienced, expert clinicians. Yes, there are probably great resources already in your library that work as well today as they did 30 years ago – but we’d venture a guess that there are just as many things that now seem dated and over-used. Mixing in new titles with the old standards keeps your lessons and concerts interesting for your students and – just as importantly – for YOU!

“I’m a first-year teacher. I have no idea WHAT I need yet!”
Stanton’s workshops are perfect for you! The first thing a beginning teacher needs is a strong support system around them – start building that support system by joining the dedicated community of teachers who know the benefits of attending our workshops. You may not have heard your choirs or met your classes yet, but by arming yourself with information and repertoire ideas you’re ready to face whatever challenges await you. PLANNING is your best defense against the dreaded feeling of being overwhelmed by all the “newness” of starting your teaching career. Also, by developing a relationship with Stanton’s, you’ll have US on your side! We’re staffed with veteran teachers and college-trained musicians, so we’ve got your back!

So stop making excuses! Check out our previous posts on Stanton’s Elementary General Music Clinic, the Joy of Singing, the John Jacobson Workshop, and Stanton’s Super Session, and register today for Stanton’s summer workshops! We also have sessions available for instrumental teachers, church musicians, pianists and college and community choir directors; contact us for more info.

Band Directors Teaching Choir-Help! I’m not a pianist! 17 June, 2014

Here at Stanton’s12VBF_ConspirareHandel, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty.  Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear!  In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!

Wishing you had paid more attention during class piano in college?  Or cursing your mom for letting you quit going to lessons so you could play Little League?  You’re not alone!  True, some choral directors are accomplished pianists, but many are not.  Here are some tips if you find your skills aren’t up to par:

Accompaniment CD’s-While a live accompanist is always best, there are accompaniment CD’s for much of the school choral literature.  The CD will generally include 2 tracks, one with a full performance and one with just the accompaniment.  How can you tell if a piece has an accompaniment track available?  It’s usually printed on the first page of the octavo, or you can always check our website.

Sing Along Tracks-Some publishers (most prominently Carl Fisher and BriLee,) offer free, online resources for learning their music, including recordings of the piano accompaniments and even individual parts.  If you can only play one part at a time, hook your computer up to the classroom stereo and have it play another part so you can rehearse two at a time.

A Cappella Literature-Maybe you are up to learning one or two accompaniments but not a whole concert’s worth, so consider an a cappella selection.  It’s not as scary as you think!  A cappella pieces are available at all difficulty levels and voicings, and force your students to work on intonation, tone, balance and blend.  If you doubt your students abilities in this area, start out with one voicing below what they usually sing:  If you usually sing SATB, try a 3 part selection; if you usually sing 3 parts, use a round or partner song to practice this skill.

Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world.  As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations or give advice.    Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Previous posts in this series: Warm-Ups and Rounds; Sight-Singing; SAB or 3 Part Mixed

The Stanton’s Difference: Knowledgeable Staff 16 June, 2014

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!

Every teacher has experienced the frustration of trying to explain something musical to a non-musician.  Rest assured, that will never happen when you call Stanton’s!  All of our sales staff are college graduates with music degrees, many of whom have years of teaching experience in the classroom and/or private studio.

Want to know what key a piece is in?  The range of a trumpet part?  How difficult a piano solo is?  We will be happy to pull in-stock products for you or research to find an answer.

Our staff also spends hundreds of hours each year listening to all the new releases from countless different publishers.  We select the best of each catalog to become Stanton’s “Top Choices.”  Different from publishers interested in promoting certain products or composers, we make our selections with YOU in mind.  Our staff chooses quality literature to help you make the most of your teaching time and your budget dollars.

Like you, we enjoy flexing our “musical muscles.”  If you have a tricky question, call or email us with your specific needs.  Because we see so many products each year, we are able to suggest resources for almost any teacher, no matter how unusual the request.

To talk with one of the friendly members of our staff, visit us online at www.stantons.com, or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC!

Previous posts in this series:  10% Educational Discount

Band Directors Teaching Choir: SAB or 3 Part Mixed? 02 June, 2014

Here at Stanton’s12VBF_ConspirareHandel, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty.  Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear!  In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!

Most musicians, no matter their focus, are familiar with the traditional SATB voicing for groups of mixed gender.  If you are new to choir, however, you may not be familiar with the designations SAB and 3-Part Mixed.  While many publishers group these voicings together, they are not the same.  It is important to know the difference so that you can pick music best suited to your students’ needs.

3 Part Mixed music is usually intended for choirs with boys who are just beginning a voice change.  The boys part is notated in the bass clef, but the range is generally from about F below middle C to E above middle C.  The tessitura of the music is generally higher.  This can sometimes make it uncomfortable for students who have a developed lower range or are experiencing a voice change that has eliminated their mid-range.

SAB arrangements are intended for groups with men whose voices have settled into a lower, more mature register.  The range of SAB music is lower, usually spanning from the C below middle C to middle C, and the tessitura is lower.  This music is intended for adult/upper grade male singers or male singers who have temporarily lost their mid-range due to their voice change.  This music can be difficult for students whose voices have not yet changed or are just beginning to change.

Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world.  As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations or give advice.    Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Previous posts in this series: Warm-Ups and Rounds; Sight-Singing

Band Directors Teaching Choir: Sight-Singing 19 May, 2014

Here at Stanton’s12VBF_ConspirareHandel, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty.  Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear!  In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!

Many teachers new to choral education are surprised to discover the lack of a method book for choir like those in the band and orchestra world.  While some of these texts do exist, most choral directors prefer to use a sight-singing method as a basis for teaching music literacy and basic skills.  Whether your students have previous training in Orff, Kodaly, another method, or no training at all, these sight-singing texts are adaptable to a variety of situations:

Sing On Sight-By Audrey Snyder-Available in 3 part mixed (for girls and changing-voice boys,) or 2 part treble (for unchanged voices,) Volume One, Volume Two and accompaniment CD’sGreat for the educator teaching sight-singing for the first time!

Essential Sight-Singing-By Emily Crocker and John Leavitt-Available for Treble Voices, Bass Voices or Mixed Voices; Volume One, Volume Two and Accompaniment CD’s.

 

Kinesthetic (as well as visual and aural) learners will benefit from the Kodaly-Curwen hand signs  while sight-singing.  Having students show these hand signs while they or others are singing is a great way to instantly assess student progress or have one part practice while another part sings.  Try these posters for learning these simple but effective signs:

Kodaly Hand Signs-(Set of 8 Posters)-Hal Leonard#09970613-$7.99

Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world.  As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations or give advice.    Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Previous posts in this series: Warm-Ups and Rounds

Band Directors Teaching Choir: Warm-Ups and Rounds 08 May, 2014

Here at Stanton’s12VBF_ConspirareHandel, we’re aware of the rising number of music teachers working outside of their specialty.  Cutbacks have forced many instrumental specialists to begin teaching choir-but never fear!  In this series, we will try to give some advice on where to start, as well as recommending some “tried and true” products that will help you become a great choral educator!

Warm-Ups-Much like instrumental warm-ups, choral warm-ups are essential for both mental and physical preparedness.  You don’t have to be an accomplished pianist to warm-up your choirs!  After teaching the warm-up in a comfortable key, you can give the only the first pitch in each successive key.  At a loss for what warm-ups to do?  Every choral director should have at least one of these standard collections on their piano:

The Complete Choral Warm-Up Book-Russell Robinson & Jay Althouse; Alfred Publishing #11653 $23.99

The Choral Warm-Up Collection-Edited by Sally K. Albrecht; Alfred Publishing #21676  $24.99

Rounds-They’re not just for elementary school!  Choirs of all levels can benefit from working on rounds.  In addition to being one of the simplest forms of part singing, rounds are great for working on balance, blend, facial expression, diction and much more.   Students will  be thrilled with the full, lush sound that is produced when a round really comes together.  Make one or more rounds from these collections part of your daily classroom routine:

150 Rounds for Singing & Teaching by E. Bolkovac and J. Johnson; Boosey & Hawkes #48007805 $18.99

Round the World by Cheryl Lavender; Hal Leonard #09971739 $19.99

Don’t be shy about asking for help, especially if you are new to the choral world.  As always, the experienced choral directors at Stanton’s are thrilled to help you select materials, make recommendations or give advice.    Contact us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 1 or visit our store.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

 

Sleep 12 March, 2014

The beautifully illustrated children’s book Sleep is the latest result of a collaboration between poet Charles Anthony Silvestri and composer Eric Whitacre. In Whitacre’s own words: “The book you are holding is the latest chapter in a story that began in 2000 when I wrote a choral work using as its text Robert Frost‘s beloved poem, ‘Stopping By Woods.’  The piece was a success, but I could not secure the legal rights to use the Frost text for publication.

“Rather than abandon the piece, I asked my friend, poet Charles Anthony Silvestri, to create a new alternative text to replace the Frost poem, one which mimicked the structure and rhyme scheme of the Frost, matched its tonal qualities, and which would seem, in all ways, to be the original text for the music I had created.  His poem was a beautiful meditation on the idea of sleep, and it fit my music perfectly.  ‘Sleep’ has become one of my most successful choral works, and was the basis for the enormously popular Virtual Choir 2.0 Internet phenomenon, uniting choristers from all over the world.

“I am so proud to introduce to you an entirely new way to enjoy and share this wonderful poem, now part of a new collaboration with illustrator Anne Horjus.  Enjoy this book, explore the music which inspired it, and see the connections between words and art and music which are everywhere.”

For more information on this exciting book and Eric Whitacre’s work, please contact Stanton’s choral department.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

Announcing 2014 “School Choral Week!” 11 February, 2014

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 30, 2014
Clinician: Sharon Burch
The John Jacobson Workshop
Thursday July 31, 2014
Clinicians: John Jacobson & Audrey Snyder
The Joy of Singing
Friday August 1, 2014
Clinicians: Roger Emerson, Mac Huff, John Jacobson & Audrey Snyder
Stanton’s Super Session
Saturday August 2, 2014
Clinicians: Andy Beck, Greg Gilpin & Jen Sper

Also in August 2014:

Sacred Choral Reading Session
Saturday August 10, 2013
Clinician: Larry Shackley
(no pre-registration for this session)
Excellence in Choral Literature
Saturday August 23, 2014
Clinician: James Gallagher

Registration will open in March. 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!

Junior High Vocal Solo Collections 30 January, 2014

Choosing music for solo singers at the middle school level can be challenging. Students often have limited vocal range, difficulty with long phrases, or light voices that are easily overpowered by a thick piano accompaniment. Many appropriate selections for beginning soloists can be found in the following collections, great for solo and ensemble competitions, recitals or even church performance.

    “Let Nature Sing” is the newest volume in a series for young singers from BriLee Music.   It contains a wide variety of songs, from spirituals and folk songs to originally composed works, all by female composers. Selected with the treble voice in mind, songs with narrow ranges of six and seven notes progress to songs that expand the range as the voice develops. The nature of the selections is to challenge the voice, not to tax it, to develop its expressive capabilities, not to over-extend it.

The fourth in a series of solo song volumes for young singers, “Tales of Land and Sea” contains spirituals, folk songs and originally composed works by Mark Patterson.  The selections are especially compiled, arranged, and composed for the male changing voice. Songs progress from the “just changing” voice, to selections for young tenors, and finally, to songs for the young baritone. The included CD contains both vocal demo and instrumental tracks for all 10 pieces in the book.

Other selections in this series from BriLee include “My Heart Sings” (treble voices,) “Heroes and Vagabonds” (changing male voice,)  and “Traveling On” (changing male voice.)

folksong     “15 Easy Folksong Arrangements” (available in both Low and High voice,) is designed for those students in the early stages of voice study.  The ranges are modest, and songs have been chosen for both genders. The new arrangements are lovely, fresh and interesting, but keep the simple vocal line in the forefront. The piano accompaniments were deliberately designed for an intermediate level player. The CD is included as a learning tool, and a piano accompaniment track for practice.  Also available in this series are “15 Easy Spiritual Arrangements” (Low and High) and “15  Easy Christmas Carol Arrangements” (Low and High.)

For more advanced singers in this age group, consider “Daffodils, Violets and Snowflakes” (available in Low and High voice.) Joan Frey Boytim has compiled this collection especially for young women singers. The 24 songs – excellent literature for the young classical singer – have been chosen not only for the vocal ability of pre-teens and young teens, but also for the tastes and sensibilities of this age group.

For more information on these collections or other vocal solo literature, please call us at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit www.stantons.com!

Stanton’s Comes To You! 13 January, 2014

       Music educators all over the country are gearing up for convention season!  As you attend amazing sessions that leave you inspired and invigorated,  don’t forget to stop by the exhibit hall and order some of those wonderful pieces at the Stanton’s Sheet Music booth.  We are excited to announce that we will be at the Indiana Music Education Association Convention for the first time this year!   We will also be making our regular appearances at educators’ conferences in New York, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio, as well as conventions for the American Choral Directors Association,  and the American String Teacher’s Association.  Look up for our signature blue balloon and come by to ask questions, shop, or just say hello and introduce yourself to our knowledgeable staff.  We look forward to seeing you at:

     The Michigan Music Conference-January 16th-18th at Devos Place and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, MichiganStanton’s booth numbers are 118-120 and 133-135; exhibit hours are Friday 8-6 and Saturday 8-1.

     The IMEA Professional Development Conference-January 23-25, 2014 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Ft. Wayne, IndianaStanton’s booth numbers are 419, 421, 423, 322, 320 and 318; exhibit hours are Thursday 5-7, Friday 10:30-5:30 and  Saturday 8-2.

      KMEA Professional Development Conference-February 5-8, 2014 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, KYStanton’s booth numbers are 600, 602, 604, 606, 501, 503, 505 and 507; exhibit hours are Thursday 10-5, Friday 9-5, and Saturday 9-12.

OMEA Professional Development Conference- Feb. 6–8, 2014 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OHStanton’s booth numbers are 521, 523, 525, 527, 620, 622, 624, 626 and 628; exhibit hours are Thurday 1-6,  Friday 9-6 and Saturday 9-12:30.

American Coral Director’s Association Central Division Conference-Feb. 26-Mar. 1, 2014 in Cincinnati, Oh. Stanton’s booth numbers and exhibit hours TBA.

American String Teachers Association National Conference-Mar. 5-8 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, KY.   Exhibit hours are Thursday 5-7:30, Friday 10-6:30, and Saturday 10-2:30.  Stanton’s booth numbers TBA.

Also look for us this summer at the International Trumpet Guild Conference.  More details TBA!

For more information about our conference booths or products, please contact us at www.stantons.com!

Elements of Music 10 January, 2014

Looking for some new ways to teach fundamental concepts in music like pitch, rhythm, harmony, and more?  Searching for activities for your students to work on with a substitute while you are away at your winter conference?  Consider these new resources with reproducible student worksheets to use over and over again!

Elemental Fun by Jeanette Morgan

         Simple, basic, fun–teaching the elements of music can be all of these things!  Each of these six chapters is dedicated to one element of music and includes an introductory page, a listening activity, and four additional worksheets to build and reinforce your students’ knowledge.  Perfect for center work, portfolios, assessments, and the sub tub, all worksheets are included on the CD, in full color, for your convenience.  For grades 4-6.

More Music FUNdamentals by D. Brian Weese

          This collection of reproducible worksheets will challenge your students while providing you with valuable assessment pieces.  Music concepts include writing rhythms based on syllables; matching melodic contours; identifying basic rhythmic notation, pitch notation, and music symbols; working with repeat signs, first and second endings, and da capo and dal segno symbols; and identifying time signatures.  For grades 2-6.

Music Quilt Squares by Beth Wheeler

     This delightful publication includes a compilation of music activities on subjects ranging from music theory to identifying notes and fingerings on the piano and recorder, instrument families, and more! Clever, educational, 100% reproducible and fantastic fun for students in kindergarten and up, use Music Quilt Squares to supplement a unit, as extra credit or homework.

Teaching Music Across History by Valeaira Luppens and Greg Foreman

An outstanding resource for educators, Teaching Music Across History will help your students understand the ways that music and the arts reflect our culture and how historical events have shaped our civilization and customs. Reproducible student pages are included, making lessons a snap to prepare, keeping students actively engaged, and allowing for easy assessment. The accompanying CD contains listening examples of works by great Classical composers to support and reinforce the lessons. By increasing critical and higher level thinking skills with winning, creative, ready-to-teach methods, Teaching Music Across History will help your students meet item 9 of the National Standards for Music Education (Understanding music in relation to history and culture). This excellent curriculum will encourage your students to incorporate a deeper understanding of history and heritage, and allow you to effortlessly integrate historical information within music instruction. Teaching Music Across History is not only necessary, but FUN!

Getting Over the Winter Blues 03 January, 2014

It’s cold outside, the holidays are over, and nobody wants to be in school!  Here are some great jump starters that will make your students look forward to coming to music class even on the most dismal winter days!

Jammin’ in the Jungle by Denise Hollingworth and Carole Searle

       Come on a musical safari into a magical jungle where you can drum with the monkeys, sing with the lions, and shake like a rattlesnake! Educationally based, this fun-filled collection of songs is jam-packed with practical ideas for enhancing children’s musical development through singing, movement, playing percussion instruments, and other hands-on activities!  Jammin’ in the Jungle is a fantastic resource for both classroom and home use and is suited to children aged 4-8 years. Come along and join in the fun of making music!

Jazz Mosaic by Louise Rogers and Susan Milligan

Jazz Mosaic brings the joy of jazz music into your classroom every day through a variety of age-appropriate, play-centered lessons that can be easily integrated into your existing curriculum. Students will learn about jazz greats, styles, and history through activities and cross-curricular connections that are creative and engaging.  Easy to teach, the music lessons are appropriate for children in pre-school through third grade. The accompanying CD contains example s and vocals for echoing, learning and fun!  Jazz Mosaic provides a broad range of enjoyable and educational activities from which to choose for both classroom and music teachers.  Your students will discover the exciting world of jazz music and will be beboppin’ and scatting with the cool cats in no time with Jazz Mosaic!

Play Along With the Band by Janet Day and Tom Anderson

          Build your own classroom band with ten play-along jammin’ music styles! From country, bluegrass, jazz and blues to reggae, rock, surf and more, there is something for everyone! A variety of reproducible instrument parts are included for recorder, mallet instruments, unpitched percussion and body percussion, so everyone can join in. This flexible series, with suggestions for lower and upper grades, teaches rhythm reading, music notation reading, steady beat, teamwork and ensemble playing. The enclosed CD offers audio-style tracks, with and without the classroom instrument parts for instruction and performance options. This enhanced CD also offers PDFs of the classroom instrument parts to project or print, and a full teacher score to keep the band together!

Recorder Time! 30 December, 2013

The holidays are almost over, and the second half of the school year is upon us.  For many excited 3rd and 4th grade music students, that means it’s recorder time!  Whether this is your first or thirty-first year teaching recorder, take time to investigate some new resources.  Use these to supplement your current method, or try something entirely new!

 Essential Elements for Recorder by Clements, Lavender and Menghini

         Does your district’s band and/or orchestra staff use the popular “Essential Elements” series?  If so, they will thank you for using this great method for your recorder instruction.  The Essential Elements Classroom Method for Recorder is designed for today’s classroom, including easy-to-use technology features that enhance the learning experience for any teaching situation. Essential Elements for Recorder can be an effective tool for introducing or reinforcing general music concepts, as an introduction to ensemble performance (band, orchestra, and choir), or individual or small group instruction.  Also available is the Essential Elements For Recorder Kit, with 10 books, 10 recorders and 1 classroom accompaniment CD for just $69.99!

In the B-A-G by Janet Day

Keep recorder interest high with this crafty collection of eight reproducible songs that will reinforce the first three notes taught in most recorder methods. Your young performers will also be exposed to a variety of musical styles from swing,salsa and reggae to rock and roll, Latin and rap. Put together your own ensemble with the reproducible accompanying parts included for Orff and percussion instruments and piano.  An enhanced CD is included with hip recordings, with and without the recorder part, to accompany the simpler, age-appropriate recorder parts, plus PDFs of the printed recorder parts for overhead projection.

Ready, Set, Play: Recorder Rock by Timothy Adams

          Rev up your recorder lessons and repertoire with this collection of fifteen pieces for beginning and intermediate recorder students. Building on the “Ready, Set, Play” formula, Tim Adams will guide you and your students through his classroom-tested teaching process, beginning with engaging pre-teaching activities, progressing to score study, and finally moving to performance. Each piece features reproducible scores, performance and accompaniment tracks, and teaching suggestions.

Recorder Rumble by Jeanette Morgan

         Have you ever thought that there should be a more interesting way to assess your recorder players? Want to take away all of the stress and anxiety of playing solo? “Recorder Rumble” is the answer! This interactive resource includes six levels–complete with 24 four-beat examples in each–with two playing options: choose the collaborative game of chance that encourages students to work together to prepare the examples; or have them sight-read melodic patterns in the Lightning Round. Levels range from beginning pitches and rhythms to more advanced combinations, and printable practice guides are available. Simply let the software take the lead, and your students will have so much fun that they won’t even know that they’re being assessed! Multi-use and site licenses are available.