News & Views Thursday, February 11, 2016

Category: Teacher Materials

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.


STANTON’S SPOTLIGHT: A Christmas Line 18 September, 2015

Each year, the knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s chooses select titles to promote to you, our valued customers. We listen to thousands of new issues from scores of publishers and composers to present you with the very best in new music for your ensembles. In our new Stanton’s Spotlight feature, we will put a special focus on one piece or resource that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your students.

A Christmas Line

by Andy Beck and Brian Fisher

Recommended by Rachel Steele and Jen Sper

christmas lineIf you are looking for a new Christmas musical for your middle-to-upper level elementary students this year, look no further than A Christmas Line! We love Andy Beck’s spoof on Marvin Hamlish‘s hit 1970’s musical “A Chorus Line!”

All of your students will play auditionees who want a part in the North Pole’s annual musical. Everyone performs in the opening number, after which your chorus members are “cut” and move to the risers to accompany our finalists. These lucky folks include Seymour, a snowman from a showbiz family; Randy, little known reindeer; Cameron (boy or girl), just a regular kid; and Cocoa, Cinnamon, and Nog, three elves with attitude! A Stage Manager teaches and leads a dance audition, and Mrs. Claus makes a successful last-second plea to audition herself, adding to the fun.

Just like in the original, the part of the director (Santa) is an off-stage character that we only hear and never see, so it’s a perfect opportunity to feature a favorite teacher, principal, local celebrity or even Santa Claus himself!

A Christmas Line might be the production for you if you are looking:

  • to feature 3rd-6th graders in your musical.
  • for a musical with minimal set (just requires a stage), costumes (cute hats would do the trick), and props (the only things you need are audition numbers, resumes, and headshots for the lead performers).
  • to teach a unit about Marvin Hamlisch and/or Broadway Musicals.
  • to feature a small cast of speaking parts but a large chorus.
  • to have a great time with well-written songs and adorable dialogue.

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.


Cool Prizes and Rewards! 28 August, 2015

18-362-Catalog_Image314296
Stanton’s
has all kinds of small gift items for prizes and rewards.  We have music-themed wooden pencils for 40 cents each, non-sharpening pencils for 95 cents each, music suckers of various flavors for 25 cents each,  treble clef pins  for $2.50 each, small plastic note pins for 40 cents, wedge erasers for $1.15, small refrigerator magnets for $1.50, music-theme sticky notes,  small 7844899notepads for $2.50, paperclip for $1.99, guitar pick charms ($4.99), keychains (4.99), and necklaces ($11.99) ,and much more. Check out our gift items on our website.  If you need a large quantity of an item, order from us ahead of time so we can get your items from our suppliers in a timely fashion.  Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!


Read and Sing Folksongs 17 August, 2015

Read & Sing Folksongs

by Emily Crocker

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Music Specialist

read and sing folk songsPlay-party games, folk dances, sea chanties;  this new collection has got it all!  Composer and educator Emily Crocker has put together 12 arrangements for use in the elementary classroom, with options for use in performance or informance.  The book includes multi-day lesson plans for each selection, with objectives based on the new National Standards.  Activities are focused on both melodic and rhythmic literacy as well as performing on classroom instruments and movement activities.   In addition, students are given age-appropriate opportunities for singing in harmony.  Suggestions for extension activities and assessment are also included.

The reproducible collection comes with an Enhanced Performance/Accompaniment CD that includes PDF’s of the singer pages.  These can be projected via a classroom computer or photocopied to hand out to students.  Folksongs include: Alabama Gal, The Boatman, Cape Cod Girls, Charlie Over the Ocean, The Colorado Trail, Icka Backa Soda Cracker, May Day Carol, Rise Up Shepherd and Follow, Sailing On the Ocean, Shake Them ‘Simmons Down, Skin and Bones, and Sourwood Mountain.  This resource is recommended for grades 3-6.

For other recommendations regarding elementary music materials, please give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit our website.

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!


8 Steps to Harmonization 14 August, 2015

8 Steps to Harmonization

by Catherine DeLanoy

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Choral Specialist

8 steps to harmonizationThe glorious sound of a 4 or 8 part high school choir doesn’t happen by accident.  The foundations of good singing (and good music education in general,) start at a very young age.  Early elementary singers, whether in a choir or general music class, usually focus on tone production, pitch matching, and unison singing of songs in a limited range.  As students progress into middle and upper elementary, singing in parts becomes a common goal.  8 Steps to Harmonization is a new resource that helps teachers take a step-by-step approach to this skill.

While less experienced teachers sometimes make the mistake of thinking that singing 2 or more parts with a unison rhythm would be easiest, author Catherine DeLanoy recognizes that homophonic singing is actually the MOST difficult for young students, and works up to the skill with exercises and pieces in each of the following forms: Unison, Ostinato, Echo Songs, Descants, Partner Songs, Rounds, and Polyphonic Songs.

Each chapter of the book is devoted to one of the “steps,” and contains 4 or 5 pieces of music that can be used for warm-ups, class instruction, or even performance.  The author also provides lesson planning ideas and teaching tips for the concept in general as well as each individual song.  Songs are often used more than once.  For example, the first time students study “When the Saints Go Marching In,” it is in the unison chapter.  It returns in Step 4 (descants) allowing students to add to prior knowledge.  Every song in the book is reproducible, and it comes with a CD-ROM that features the piano accompaniments as well as printable MP3 files of all the songs and exercises.  Thought has also been given to making arrangements accessible to unchanged and changing voices for your male singers.

You might find “8 Steps to Harmonization” a useful resource for:

-Upper elementary classroom musicians or elementary choristers that are learning to sing in parts

-Middle School or High School choirs who could use a review or for groups with limited experience

– An “informance” where you show your students’ parents the skills and steps you have worked on to reach a certain point

-Teachers who have little experience with vocal pedagogy or teaching choral classes

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!


Stanton’s Spotlight on Elementary General Resources 10 August, 2015

Each year, the knowledgeable staff at Stanton’s chooses select titles to promote to you, our valued customers.  We listen to thousands of new issues from scores of publishers and composers to present you with the very best in new music for your ensembles.  In our new Stanton’s Spotlight feature, we will put a special focus on one piece or resource that we particularly enjoy, and tell you how it can serve you and your students.

first we sing book 2The First We Sing! Series

by Susan Brumfield

Recommended by Rachel Steele, School Music Specialist

The music education philosophy of Zoltan Kodaly is well known to most elementary music teachers.  His ideas about basing the music education of all children on singing,  music literacy, folk music (their “mother tongue”) and quality composed music are the basis of many music curricula.  In her “First We Sing!” Series, Dr. Susan Brumfield brings a fresh, modern take to the Kodaly approach.

first we sing teaching guideThe First We Sing! Teaching Guide outlines the Kodaly approach, addresses how to teach a song,  and gives a suggested scope and sequence, song lists, yearly plans and recommended reading and listening lists.

first we sing resource pack primaryThe First We Sing Teaching Strategies book (available for Grades K-2 and Grades 3-5,) is a step by step guide for teaching each element or concept.  Rhythmic and melodic concepts are broken down into sequential lessons, and there is a wonderful section on what to teach if your students are not ready for a visual representation of these ideas.  We especially love the sensitivity to how teachers work on a daily basis – the book is conveniently hole punched for placement in a 3-ring binder.

first we sing songbook onefirst we sing book 2Perhaps the most universally applicable element of the First We Sing! Series are the Songbooks, Volumes One and Two.  The 20 songs in each book are meant to be used in different ways at a variety of levels.  For example, you might use the same song for reading or sight-singing with an upper grade level, while using the included listening CD for movement activities with your youngest students.

The First We Sing Series might be for you if:

  • You want to align your elementary program to the Kodaly philosophy.
  • You are looking for a comprehensive curriculum all in one place.
  • You are a teacher who wants to include Kodaly elements in an existing music curriculum.
  • You and your students enjoy singing and moving to folksongs from a variety of cultures.

For more great suggestions, please contact our choral department by phone at 1-800-42-MUSIC or email us at choral@stantons.com.

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!


Piano Teacher Resources 07 August, 2015

00420259It won’t be long before teachers’ studios get busy again!  As the beginning of the school year gets closer, some minds turn to starting back to piano lessons after a long, busy summer.  Stanton’s has a wide selection of piano methods.  We have the older, more familiar methods  such as Thompson, Schaum, and Aaron, or the more recent piano methods like Piano Adventures by the Fabers, Alfred’s Basic Piano Library, Alfred’s Premier piano course, and Bastien Piano Basics.  Check out the piano methods section of our website for even more suggestions.    We also have stickers and small items for prizes in our Gift Items category. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs.


String Orchestra Spoiler Alert 10 June, 2015

recommended by Dan Clark, School Orchestra Specialist

Not off the press yet, but coming soon from Alfred publishing, here are some of the standouts in our perusal of scores and listening to Fall 2015 titles.  It is likely that these titles will be on  Stanton’s Summer Reading Sessions at the Ohio State University String Teacher Workshop, July 5 – July 11.

All of the following selections are original compositions.  They contain great teaching opportunities, everyone has interesting parts and they will be great crowd-pleasers at concerts.

impactImpact by Bob Phillips  (43851)……………………………….$56.00

A truly powerful concert piece that honors the impact teachers have on the lives of others, this original work is a perfect centerpiece for concert and festival programming. Rhythmically exciting, with great parts for all sections, this is a must-have. (4:30)

pi tunes

Pi Tunes by Richard Meyer (43825)……………………………………………………..$62.00

Try assigning the first 32 digits of Pi to a scale degree to create five melodies that flow together, and you’ll have a start to this awesome composition. With a light jazzy feel, driving accompaniments, and features of all sections, here’s another creative hit from the master. (4:20)

river rhapsodyRiver Rhapsody by Richard Meyer (43843)……………….$49.00

A great way to introduce students to tone painting, this unique and fun-to-play selection traces the path of an imaginary river, which begins as a tiny spring and gradually grows. Themes from three famous “river pieces” are included: “The Beautiful Blue Danube,” “Water Music,” and “The Moldau.” (4:00)

city of steel

 

City of Steel by Doug Spata (43827)………………………………………………………$56.00

Brooding melodies that rise like mist over dark, churning chords, give way to a warm, yearning section, returning for a rousing finish. The lush, romantic sound and the dramatic expressiveness thrill while technical development includes 16th notes, chromatics, and shifting. (4:30)

 mystereMystere by Shirl Jae Atwell (43840)………………………………………………………………………$49.00

“Arousing wonder and inquisitiveness”—that is mystère. And this piece exemplifies, through music, the wonder and incomprehension of a mystery with melodies and counter melodies throughout. (3:15)

 

matadorMatador by Susan H. Day (43829)…………………………………………………………$49.00

Picture the matador as he waves his red cape and the crowd cheers him on!  Distinguished by its Spanish influenced melodies and harmonies, this piece in 4/4 is written in D minor and E minor. Great to develop expressive playing! (3:30)

 

 

Pre-order your copies today on our website or by calling us at 1-800-42-MUSIC, extension 2.  Questions?  Email orchestra@stantons.com!

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


Stanton’s E-Tools: Digital Delivery 08 June, 2015

digital deliveryThe 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!

It’s happened to all of us:  You have a rehearsal or a performance coming up in a few days (or a few hours!) and you’ve lost your music;  it’s they day before a competition, and your judges’ copies are no where to be found; you desperately need something new and fresh for your church choir to start on tonight.   In many cases, Stanton’s Digital Delivery can come to your rescue.

Using the Digital Delivery website, you can purchase thousands of titles and print them at home on your home computer within minutes.  In addition, many popular sheets (including pop, broadway, etc.) can be transposed to the key of your choosing, so you’ll always be able to have piece in a comfortable range for you.  Lead lines can also be transposed for instruments such as trumpet, clarinet, saxophone and French horn.  All you have to do is download the FREE Scorch Viewer software and you are off and running.

You access our Digital Delivery site directly by clicking here, where you can browse options for bands, orchestradigital delivery printers, choirs, and solos for many different instruments.  You can also use the regular Stanton’s website, where titles available for Digital Delivery have a printer icon next to their descriptions.  Clicking on that icon will take you directly to that item’s page on the Digital Delivery website, where you can purchase and print.

For questions about how to use the Stanton’s Digital Delivery Site, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC or visit us online or in person!

Previous posts in this series:  Listening LibraryStanton’s App


Making Sense of the Common Core 05 June, 2015

making sense of the common corerecommended by Rachel Steele, School Music Specialist

There are a few things in life that EVERYONE has an opinion on: Religion, politics, coconut, and the Common Core.  Music teachers can be especially, uh, sensitive about this subject.   Regardless of personal feelings, it seems that the Core is here to stay in most states, and integrating it into music classes is something that nearly everyone has been asked to do.

Sharon Burch, an exemplary elementary music educator, (most famous as the creator of Freddie the Frog) has written a no-nonsense, easy-to-follow guide to navigating the in’s and out’s of the core.  The foundation of the book is this: “You are a music teacher first, incorporating the Common Core second.”   Ms. Burch asserts that music teachers already teach many, many lessons that support the common core, or could support it with a few easy “tweeks.”  What “Making Sense of the Common Core” strives to do is give you the resources, verbage and other needed information to talk to administrators and other educators in their language about what you are teaching and how you are teaching it.

This succinct 70 page resource tells you only what you need to know, in a format that makes the exploration of the Core as painless as possible.  Appendices include lesson plan templates and documentation charts, as well as a list of resources Sharon recommends.  The book also comes with a digital download code that allows you to down find these documents online so you can start using them right away.  While the book is aimed at K-5 music teachers, secondary music educators will also find the ideas useful and applicable.

Making Sense of the Common Core by Sharon Burch…………………………………………….$12.99

For more information about this resource, common core music ideas, or other general music products, please contact us at classroommusic@stantons.com or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC, ext. 1.

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!