News & Views Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Category: Music Education

Creative Programming: Singing in Unison 19 September, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

As choir directors, it can be easy to focus on programming repertoire with more and more voice parts (4 part divisi! 8 part divisi!! And more!!!), and mentally associating “more parts” with “more difficult,” and a “more accomplished” ensemble.

But choral directors also know how very challenging singing in unison can be! Programming unison music on your concert – at the middle school, high school, or even collegiate level – can provide your audience with a unique insight into the choral art, and how your ensemble builds skills that lead up to your “final product.” Here are a few suggestions for unison music-making with your ensembles:

leon-08743259-fThe King’s Singers Book of Rounds, Canons and Partsongs
This delightful collection of 99 rounds, canons and partsongs makes a delightful introduction to part-singing to kids from 6 to 106! The selections are arranged by categories including English Pre-1700 (Secular), Pre-1700 (Sacred), Post 1700, From Around the World and Wordless Rounds. Start in unison, and build part-singing and listening skills from there!

cfn-bl1017-fFirst Songs for the Emerging Tenor-Bass Choir by Mark Patterson
Written and arranged to meet the challenges of finding quality repertoire for emerging unchanged male singers, Mark Patterson hits the mark with this set of three songs. “First Songs for the Emerging Tenor-Bass Choir” offers directors a wide variety teachable material and is a staple for any middle school choral library.

Laudamus Te (from Mass in C Minor) by W.A. Mozart/arr. Melissa Malvar-Keylock & Jill Friedersdorf
Unison treble choirs can experience the beauty and elegance of this movement from the Mozart Mass in C Minor and gain appreciation for music of the Classical era. The flute obbligato adds to the authenticity.

Consider vocal solo literature as well! Perhaps highlight each voice part’s individual color with a selection for each section: “The Lass with the Delicate Air” for sopranos, “Witness” for altos/mezzos, “Ride On King Jesus” for tenors, and “The Vagabond” for baritones/basses! This is great for developing your singers’ listening skills.

Brainstorm more ideas with Stanton’s by calling us at 1.800.42.MUSIC, or contacting us by email at choral@stantons.com. And remember – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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.

Sight Reading Success 13 September, 2018

leon-504286recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

Sight Reading Success by Stan McGill & Morris Stevens
This choral sight reading resource is designed to help secondary choir students improve their music literacy. There are several sight reading systems that may be used: moveable do solfege, fixed do solfege, numbers and perhaps others. This book covers about five months of teaching, containing 180 SATB exercises in various keys and time signatures:
Month 1: Three 2 measure exercises daily (60 exercises)
Month 2: Three 4 measure exercises daily (60 exercises)
Month 3: One 8 measure exercise daily (20 exercises)
Month 4: One 16 measure exercise daily (20 exercises)
Month 5: One 32 measure exercise daily (20 exercises)

Helpful hints are included throughout, compiled from over sixty years of successful secondary choral teaching by the authors. With daily use, your choir will improve interval recognition by sound and sight; rhythmic and metric skills; choral balance and blend; independent, sectional, and choral literacy skills; dynamic and articulation recognition and implementation; altered pitches; major/minor key modulations; and consonant and dissonant choral chords. Also available for SSA choirs and SA (2-part treble) choirs.

Find more valuable sight reading material on our website, or contact us for more recommendations. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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.

Kaleidoscope by Denese Odegaard 12 September, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialist

alfred-46740-fKaleidoscope by Denese Odegaard
Alfred Music proudly teams up with the National Association for Music Education on this impressive manual of model lessons by master music teachers from around the country. The lesson plans, which are based on and interpreted through the 2014 National Music Standards Artistic Processes of Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting, have been contributed by music educators from around the country and world.

Anchor Standards
Creating
1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
3. Refine and complete artistic work.
Performing
4. Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
5. Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
6. Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Responding
7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.
8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
9. Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

Includes step-by-step procedures, reproducible templates, related manipulatives, assessment tools, an array of traditional songs, and more! Royalties donated to NAfME. Recommended for grades kindergarten through seven.

Find more valuable curriculum resources on our website, or contact us for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

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.

Fresh and Spooky Music for Orchestra 10 September, 2018

recommended by Dan C., Orchestra Specialist

Many orchestras seem to have a late October concert, so why not take advantage of the timing and program some great spine-tingling tunes to add some excitement – or better yet, do a whole Halloween theme concert and program them all! Spanning Grade 1.5 to 4, spooky special string effects such as col legno, sul ponticello tremolo and harmonic glissandi will add teaching opportunities, and each of these titles offers parts for everyone to help join in the creepiness. And you know your students and their audience will love them!

cfn-fas111-fIncursion by Sean O’Loughlin, Grade 1.5
Lots of teaching elements and a chilling concert highlight all in one! With a harmonic moment reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, you can teach musical concepts such as col legno, offbeats, Grand Pause and ground bass and end up with a dramatic and hair-raising piece for your middle-schoolers that is destined to become a tradition at your late October concerts around Halloween. Kids that age love things chilling and macabre, so they will glom onto Incursion with relish.

Dark Dreams by Sean O’Loughlin, Grade 2
Leave it to the super creative Sean O’Loughlin to spice up your October concert with great special effects in this mysterious and eerie selection that will keep your players on their toes and your audience on the edge of their seats! Sul ponticello tremolo, trills, pizzicato, staccato sfortzandos, accents, and offbeat melodies make great teaching moments plus you’ll have a top-notch, moody addition to your repertoire.

fjh-st6446-fThe Haunted Ballroom by Chris Thomas, Grade 3.5
It seems as if many school orchestras have concerts toward the end of October, so they are always in the market for new Halloween repertoire. Here is a winner that should be included in your library for such occasions. Marked to be played “Ghostly and refined,” it is a spooky waltz, accentuated by effectively eerie glissandi on harmonics. It is also rife with staccato bowing, tremolos, dynamic extremes, col legno, and just enough chromaticism (with helpful fingerings) to make your teeth turn sideways. It will make a great, colorful addition to your late Autumn/Halloween concert.

leon-04492165-fWitch’s Fiddle by Robert Buckley, Grade 3-4
If you only buy one piece for your high schoolers this year, make it this one, especially if you have a concert around the end of October. Loaded with spine-chilling special effects such as glissandi on harmonics, short, fingered glissandi, snap pizzicato, and sul ponticello tremolo as well as jarring harmonies and off-kilter rhythms to spice up the Munsters-like melody, this will be the piece your audience will be talking about at the end of the concert – and that your students will want to play year after year. Do not miss it!

Contact us for more spooooooky recommendations, or browse our newly redesigned website at stantons.com!

About the Author:
Dan C. 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.

The Excellence Clinic: Anniversary Celebration 29 August, 2018

IMG_5625On Saturday, August 25, Stanton’s Sheet Music hosted our 25th annual Excellence in Choral Literature Clinic. The Excellence Clinic was conceived and established by long-time Stanton’s Choral Music Specialist Judy Henry in 1994. Judy invited Jim Gallagher, then Professor of Music and conductor of the renowned Men’s Glee Club at The Ohio State University, to join her in this effort as clinician and presenter for the session. Mr. Gallagher’s background includes not only collegiate-level conducting, but also a long history of success in the public high school choral classroom – experience that is so valuable to our attendees!

IMG_5630We gathered in the James E. Strouse Workshop Hall with Jim and our wonderful accompanist, Joyce Stonebraker, and had a fantastic morning reading through a wide variety of high-quality music for choirs at all levels of difficulty. In honor of this anniversary year, we made a special effort to present not only newly-published repertoire, but also some classic literature with excellent teaching potential – John Ness Beck’s “Canticle of Praise,” “Choose Something Like a Star” by Randall Thompson, and “Sing Unto God” from Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, to name a few. Jim’s insight on these “old chestnuts” was valuable for all, especially the young teachers in attendance. We spent a little bit of time socializing and catching up with old friends, and A LOT of time discovering beautiful new music!

Did you miss out on this year’s Clinic? Never fear! Here are just a few of our favorite pieces that were featured:

For middle school choirs: Agnus Dei by Victor C. Johnson
For high school choirs: Lunar Lullaby by Jacob Narverud
For college choirs: Illumina by Patrick Hawes
For community choirs: Ecce Novum by Ola Gjeilo
For holiday concerts: Mary’s Child by Bob Chilcott
For women’s choirs: Das Grosse Halleluja by Franz Schubert/arr. Ben May
For men’s choirs: Fare Ye Well arr. Stacey V. Gibbs

You can still receive the full clinic packet for the registration fee of $20 (while supplies last). This year’s packet includes over 30 octavos, and contains an incredible amount of repertoire variety! Contact us if you are interested!

Broadway Junior 24 August, 2018

Broadway Junior shows have all the ingredients you need…just add kids! Developed by renowned educators and designed to suit school assemblies as well as the energies and attention spans of younger performers, Broadway Junior musicals are perfect for teachers or directors who are new to musical theatre and seeking to introduce students to the joys of participating in a show.

Broadway Junior musicals are condensed, author-approved versions of classic musicals, Disney favorites and modern works, custom-tailored to the needs of young people and schools. The music is written in keys that are appropriate for developing voices, and all shows can be expanded to accommodate as many performers as can fit on your stage. Each ShowKit includes everything you need to produce the show: actor’s scripts, piano/vocal scores, director guides, accompaniment CDs, choreography DVDs, and more!

New this year from Broadway Junior:

leon-00239815-fMary Poppins Junior
Based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time and the Broadway musical that played for over 2,500 performances, Mary Poppins is capturing hearts in a whole new way: as a practically perfect Broadway Junior musical!

The jack-of-all trades, Bert, introduces us to England in 1910 and the troubled Banks family. Young Jane and Michael have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family members how to value each other again. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but Jane and Michael aren’t the only ones upon whom she has a profound effect. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “Anything can happen if you let it.”

“Mary Poppins Junior” is an enchanting mixture of irresistible story, unforgettable songs and breathtaking dance numbers. This show is a perfect opportunity to showcase a strong, iconic female performer, as well as unique special effects and illusions.

leon-00239847-fJunie B. Jones Junior
From Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, the creators who brought you “Dear Edwina Junior,” comes “Junie B. Jones Junior” – a delightful adaptation of four of Barbara Park’s best-selling books, brought to life in a delightful adaptation created specifically for Broadway Junior performers.

Join Junie B. on her first day of first grade, where many changes are in store: Junie’s best friend Lucille has found new best friends – and Junie B. makes friends with Herb, the new kid at school. While in Mr. Scary’s class Junie has trouble reading the blackboard – and she may need glasses. Add in a friendly cafeteria lady, an intense kickball tournament and a “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal,” and first grade has never been more exciting.

Featuring many lovable characters and fun-filled songs, “Junie B. Jones Junior” will capture your audiences’ and performers’ hearts – just as the books captivated an entire generation of students.

leon-00219924-fChitty Chitty Bang Bang Junior
Take a fantastic musical adventure with an out-of-this-world car that flies through the air and sails the seas. Based on the record-breaking West End production and the beloved film, and featuring an unforgettable score by the Sherman Brothers (“Mary Poppins”), “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Junior” is one blockbuster that audiences will find “Truly Scrumptious.”

Eccentric inventor, Caractacus Potts, sets about restoring an old race car with the help of his children Jeremy and Jemima. They soon discover the car is magic, and has the ability to float and take flight. When the evil Baron Bomburst desires the magic car for himself, the family joins forces with Truly Scrumptious and Grandpa Potts to outwit the dastardly Baron and Baroness and their villainous henchman, the Child Catcher.

Filled with amazing stage spectacle and unforgettable songs, including the Academy Award nominated title song, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Junior” is a high-flying fun-filled adventure that will dazzle audiences and performers alike.

Find more exciting Broadway Junior productions on our website, or contact us for more information!

Front-Loading Your Choral Rehearsal 17 August, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

leon-519271Front-Loading Your Choral Rehearsal by Christine Bass
“Front-Loading Your Choral Rehearsal: Constructing for Success” is a creative rehearsal approach designed to aid conductors of all experience levels. Using the building blocks of musical concepts, style, and delivery, “Front-Loading” offers invaluable tools to help conductors scaffold their singers’ learning toward a collective goal of transformative performances. Concepts come alive in real time through the video clips of working rehearsals embedded in the narrative. Practical in application yet sophisticated in approach, Christine Bass condenses decades of experience into “Front-Loading,” a comprehensive rehearsal technique guide for conductors striving to reach the next level of excellence in their work.

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.

Six Resources to Protect Your Hearing in Rehearsal 18 July, 2018

Wearing ear plugs is something few performing musicians do. We worry about communication and our effectiveness in playing, so we tend to forgo the plugs – but AFTER experiencing hearing loss is not the time to start worrying about protection. Here are some educational resources to help you protect one of your most valuable musical assets – your hearing!

Warm Ups for Changing Voices 12 July, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialist

leon-00215525-fWarm-Ups for Changing Voices by Dan Andersen
As any middle school choir director knows, change is the name of the game! A changing voice is just one of countless physiological and emotional changes that middle school students experience. Knowing the general limits of male and female changing voices, as well as the specific capabilities of your students, are two keys to building healthy-and happy!-middle school singers. This book is an accessible, must-read resource for any middle-school choir director looking to foster stronger, more capable musicians, and offers 25 warm-up exercises along with customized grade-specific tips for using them along with free access to accompanying audio recordings.

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.

Creative Programming: For Treble Choirs 20 June, 2018

recommended by Alissa Ruth and Jen Sper, School Choral Music Specialists

Light of a Clear Blue Morning - WomenLight of a Clear Blue Morning – Dolly Parton, arr. Craig Hella Johnson
Now adapted for SSAA by Richard Gabrillo, Craig Hella Johnson’s setting of Dolly Parton’s Light of a Clear Blue Morning is infused with light and hopefulness as it opens with a solo soprano and gradually builds to a joyful overflowing of sound and vocal texture, then gently relaxing into a reflective conclusion. With soprano recorder.

O Antiqui SanctiO Antiqui Sancti – Hildegard Von Bingen, arr. Michael Engelhardt
This thrilling work for women’s chorus from Michael Engelhardt will offer something totally unique for your program. A mix of sustained vocal lines and articulated passages along with both counterpuntal and homophonic writing make this a truly remarkable composition. This will be a favorite of your singers.

Harriet TubmanHarriet Tubman – arr. Kathleen McGuire
In a new SSAA voicing, this is an outstanding arrangement of the song originally penned by Walter Robinson and a timely honor as the anti-slavery activist’s image will be on the new twenty dollar bill. A cappella vocals build with a “come on up” followed by rhythmic vocals under the hypnotic melody. Optional cabaca part helps to imitate a train along with vocal nuances resembling the sound of chains and a train whistle. Powerful and moving

Ave GenerosaAve Generosa – Ola Gjeilo
This setting of Hildegard von Bingen’s Ave Generosa text uses a hauntingly joyful tonality, paying homage to the mysteious story of Mary. A beautiful middle section is surrounded by contrasting, modal beginning and ending sections. The juxtaposition of sustained and moving moments holds true to the composer’s style, while the harmonic structure and vocal construction offer something very fresh.

For more information about these and other recommendations, visit our website at stantons.com, email us at choral@stantons.com, or call us at 1.800.42.MUSIC.

About the Authors:
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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer across the country, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

New Year, New Look! 18 June, 2018

new-year-new-lookNotice anything different about us?

We’ve launched our newly redesigned website for musicians and educators to compare all music options, organize titles for personal and professional use, and share their passion for musical expression. The new website is designed to improve your search results and reduce research stress.

“We’ve been working on this website for three years now. The features we are most excited for are the advanced search bar and music-specific filters that offer you more opportunities to find sheet music that fits your educational or performance goals,” said David Ginter, technical manager.

Our search bar is optimized for music specific searches. You can search by instrument, voicing, keyword, full title, composer, artist, arranger, series, or catalog number. However, remember – less is more. If you want to be even more specific, click on our advanced search and type in as much information as you have.

CaptureIf you still have too many results after hitting enter, click on the photo to the left to reveal the filter! All you’ll have to do is chose the tab you want and it will grow to show you how every item is grouped. Say you searched the word “Star,” but you only want to see SAB music – the voicing tab will tell you how many SAB selections are in this search.

We are also introducing new Social Media and Reprise pages. These pages archive our social and email announcements to allow our non-social media users access to our news and product recommendation. You can check in with the Social Media page for a weekly snapshot of what’s happening at Stanton’s and easily follow us without ever logging in.

You can stop scrolling back months at time to find that email with that title you can’t remember the name of, but you know would be perfect! Visit our Reprise page and only look through our emails without any distractions.

“The website is a resource where music directors can easily see, listen, and learn new products that best fit their ensemble needs. What we’ve created is a large music library database. With that database we can help directors and musicians compare ideas, organize their selections, and share with their ensemble and the audiences they reach,” says President, Eric Strouse.

Middle School General Music: Composition 08 June, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialists

The middle school general music classroom can be an exciting (and/or terrifying) place! Throughout this school year, we’ve been sharing with you some valuable resources to help you develop enthusiasm and skills in your middle school musicians! Today, here are some great new options for teaching composition in the classroom:

Composing Under Construction by D. Brian Weese
Teaching composition is easy and engaging with this step-by-step workbook that guides your students through writing notes, analyzing music, and composing their own. It begins with simple notation practice, and by the last page, students will be composing six-measure melodies using a variety of notes and pitches. This book is especially effective in classrooms using the recorder, but flexible enough that students’ compositions can be played on any pitched instrument you choose.

Mission: Composition by Matthew C. Cremisio
Your mission, should you choose to accept it: develop music literacy that won’t self-destruct! Beginning with steady-beat development and progressing through improvisation to reading and writing standard notation, this comprehensive music literacy program culminates in student composition. To assist your mission, manipulatives, play-along tracks, reproducible worksheets, and assessment rubrics appear on the included CD.

Find more classroom music resources on our website, and contact us for more information. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

Ukulele For All 20 April, 2018

recommended by Barb M., Keyboard and Folk Music Specialist

kg1t.jpgUkulele For All is an exciting new ukulele method from Kjos Music Company. The Teacher Edition is filled with effective solutions for establishing the ultimate ukulele learning environment. This richly informative volume gives educators everything they need to teach ukulele successfully. The Teachers Edition also offers comprehensive guidance on achieving curricular alignment with the National Core Arts Standards.

Student books employ unique classroom-tested pedagogy to progress from one chord to five. Engaging interactive Practice Studio video and audio make it easy for students to experience hands-on instrumental performance. Informative text, photos and graphics accelerate learning, and notation of all melody lines in both tablature and standard notation means students can sing or play the tunes right from the start. Historic and multicultural repertoire and correlated facts enhance a standards-based curriculum. This is a great course to learn to play a fun instrument, and a fun course to teach!

For more information, call us at 800-42-MUSIC, email us at keyboard@stantons.com, or visit us online at stantons.com. Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Author:
Barb M. has worked in the Keyboard Department at Stanton’s since 1981. An active folk musician in the Columbus area, Barb also works with ensembles at her church and plays in the Columbus State Concert Band. In her spare time, Barb loves working with animals and computer games.

Adventures with the Orchestra 28 March, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialists

lorenz-5096241For many years, teachers across the country and around the world have been inspired by the innovative and creative lessons cultivated in Artie Almeida‘s Florida classroom. In one of her earliest published resources, Dr. Almeida packaged several ideas for learning about the orchestra into a complete unit designed to thoroughly explore the instruments, vocabulary, and enjoyment of the symphony orchestra.

Now this unit is available in Adventures with the Orchestra, along with many additional tools to make implementing every activity as simple as possible. Everything you need for a complete instructional unit is here: flashcards, printable game pieces, guided listening activities, musical examples, website lessons, and more!

For more information, visit us online at stantons.com, or contact us! Shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

First, We Sing! 07 March, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialists

leon-480698The First, We Sing! series by Susan Brumfield offers guidance and direction for teachers who are new to the Kodály approach. Experienced teachers will find fresh ideas to supplement their materials, along with another perspective on Kodály’s philosophy and its implications for teaching today.

If you are just starting out in the Kodály approach and the First, We Sing! series, start with the TEACHING GUIDE, which begins with an overview of the Kodály approach and a brief introduction to the philosophy, its tools and materials. It includes a detailed explanation of the “three-step process” (Prepare, Present, Practice) toward musical literacy, as well as a comprehensive look at musical skills and the ways they develop over time.

leon-513813The FIRST WE SING SONGBOOKS, available in Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3, are designed to bring delightfully singable songs and practical pedagogy together in one anthology. Teachers will find extension activities for the classroom, historical references, pedagogical indices and suggestions for including the songs in a literacy-based music curriculum. Also included are suggestions for Orff instruments and recorder, along with seasonal and holiday songs, singing games and songs just for fun. Ideally suited for teaching musical skills, this collection provides a “vocabulary” of music and play from which children can draw today.

The TEACHING STRATEGIES are available for both Primary Grades (K-2) and Intermediate Grades (3-5). These strategies for rhythm and melodic elements are printed on 3-hole punched loose-leaf paper so teachers can easily customize the teaching sequence in order to make the most of each lesson. Each teaching strategy contains a list of requisite readiness elements and skills (what the students need to know and be able to do) before learning the new element. It includes a list of activities to prepare for the new element, a scripted, step-by-step procedure for presenting it, and ways to practice using the new element in each skill area.

leon-481077The ACTIVITY CARDS provide fast, fun and creative ways to give your students a workout in each of the six skill areas: reading, writing, partwork, memory, listening and creating. Each 5-7 minute rhythm or melody activity is designed to assess either readiness or mastery at each step in the process, and students love the fun game-like context in which they used in each lesson. Four activities are printed on each separate sheet in the pak – cut them apart and sort by color heading for quick and easy access!

The DIGITAL RESOURCE SUPPLEMENTS are easy-to-use digital tools to help you implement this practical, creative and flexible resource into your elementary music class! Resources include planning tools, assessment templates, student activity slides for use with your tablet, computer, or interactive whiteboard, and digital activity cards. Teacher-friendly, step-by-step instructions make it easy to customize the content, and no special software is needed.

Find more valuable Kodaly resources on our website, or contact us for more recommendations. And remember – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

Creative Programming: For Men’s Choir 26 February, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral Music Specialists

Mairi's WeddingMairi’s Wedding arr. Drew Collins
This delightful reel, traditionally sung and played at Scottish weddings, is toe-tappin’ fun! From the opening unison statement until the final chord, men’s ensembles can explore drama and healthy singing.

rain musicRain Music by Victor C. Johnson
“On the dusty earthdrum beats the falling rain. Now a whispered murmer, now a louder strain.” This forward-moving, rhythmically-driven music enhances the dramatic, image-laden text of Kentucky-born poet and playwright Joseph S. Cotter, Jr. Effective unison, two-, three-, and four-part writing throughout and optional parts for rain stick and djembes heighten the musical effect.

Three Polish War Songs.jpgThree Polish War Songs arr. Derek Myler
A set of Polish military songs collected by the composer while he lived in Poland for two years among families affected still by the tragedies of war. Expertly arranged for men’s chorus, these songs offer a look into a less-familiar world and bring a sentiment of hope.
Glory (from Selma)
Glory (from Selma
arr. Eugene Rogers
Winner of a 2015 Oscar Award, this inspirational song speaks of hope and looks to the future for healing in the midst of great division. Eugene’s “gospel-like” setting offers comfort to the community and motivates individuals to keep working for a better tomorrow. Through the voice of a powerful soloist, male chorus and spoken word artists, the message of unity and hope is left ringing in our ears.

About the Authors:
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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

Creative Programming: For Festival Choirs 01 February, 2018

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral Music Specialists

FOR HIGH SCHOOL
Kuimba Nafsi Yangu by Jacob Narverud
Kuimba Nafsi Yangu“Kuimba Nafsi Yangu” is a celebratory song derived from the following common Swahili phrases of joy, “Sing my soul, sing my heart. Sing for peace, sing for joy. There is so much love here, yes!” Intended as a concert opener or closer, this spirited piece is pure energy from start to finish as the piano and djembes drive the momentum forward while the choir sings in call and response.


Let All the World in Every Corner Sing
 by Ryan Murphy
Let All the World in Every Corner SingA dynamic and bombastic setting of this well-loved text. The piano accompaniment is exciting and supportive, and the vocal writing is straightforward, making this a great selection for honor choirs and festivals. Orchestral accompaniment and a version for brass, organ, and percussion also available.

Nine Hundred Miles arr. René Clausen
Nine Hundred MilesThis lovely folk melody is beautifully set by René Clausen. Utilizing the haunting quality of the clarinet to embellish the melancholy text, this simple folk song becomes the centerpiece of any choral concert. The clarinet part is included in the back of the octavo.

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
Never Give Up! by Rollo Dilworth
Never Give UpNever Give Up!” is a positive anthem written for SATB and Piano. “This piece is a perfect example of the impact and power of music in the lives of our youth today. Their words in tandem with Dr. Dilworth’s music make this a perfect piece (a positive anthem of sorts) for today’s middle and high school students.”

FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Just One Heart by Jim Papoulis
Just One HeartDrawing from a simple idea, that reaching even just one heart can be a very powerful gesture, here is the positive message in music that we have come to expect in the music of Jim Papoulis. World rhythms, optional percussion and positive lyrics make this a great selection for young people.

About the Authors:
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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.

Ken’s 10: New Marches for Band 17 January, 2018

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

With adjudication season just around the corner, January is the perfect time to preview and select marches.  With that in mind I’m excited to share my favorites for this school year, but first a confession – I don’t have 10 new marches for this list.  My choices for the very best new arrangements consist of the new titles that I scored a 9 or 10 out of 10.  The problem – I only have 7 new marches that scored a 9 or 10 combined.  I thought about filling the last 3 spots by dipping in to my 8’s (after all, you can’t have a list of 10 comprised of only 7 – how ‘bout those math skills!), but I have 14 of those.  With no good way to narrow that group to 3, I decided to round out the list with 3 of my very favorite marches from last year.    There are a lot of composers, styles, and difficulties, including some originals, so there is something for everyone and they’re all good!  I hope you find something you and your kids enjoy, and hopefully the adjudicators will too!

American Legion
Charles Parker/arr. Andrew Glover – Grade 2
Here’s a classic American march that is perfect for any type of performance! Limited ranges and technical demands make it ideal for middle school and smaller, less experienced high school bands, while cut-time and standard march style and rhythms make it perfect for the classroom. The first half features solid interplay between melody and countermelody instruments, the trio features a solid melody in the middle voices ornamented by upper woodwinds, and a powerful, “shout” finish gives the whole band a chance to shine.  A surefire audience pleaser!

The American Red Cross March
Louis Panella/arr. David Butler – Grade 3
A stellar example of the American march tradition, this work by Louis Panella was composed to honor the fine humanitarian work of the Red Cross during World War I.  It has that classic fight song type sound, and the 8th note and dotted rhythms in cut-time make it perfect for advancing bands.

The Boom-Boom Galop
Randall D. Standridge – Grade 2.5
A humorous circus-style galop with a Germanic sound, this invigorating march takes adrenaline to a whole new level! Contrasting sections punctuated by the humorous “boom-boom” exclamations of the bass drum make for a fun-to-play, seat-of-your-pants experience that is a blast!  Careful with that tempo!

Generosity
Matthew N. Putnam – Grade 2
Very accessible.  In 2/4 with easy note values, basic 8th note rhythms, and keys of Bb & Eb, Generosity is an original march in standard form written with developing players in mind. It is reminiscent of the marches of Bennett and King with tuneful melodies, interesting harmonies, and a classic sound.  A few chromatic twists are thrown in to make it more exciting, and mixed articulations add maturity. Mathew Putnam has written a perfect vehicle to teach march style and form to developing players.

Honor Guard March
Claude T. Smith – Grade 3.5
Traditional in all the best ways!  Previously unpublished, Honor Guard March was composed by Claude T. Smith in 1959 while he was teaching in Cozad, NE. Premiered in 1961and written in traditional form, this march contains a contemporary flair and sound that is unique to Smith’s distinctive style, and features an unusual meter shift from 6/8 to cut-time at the trio.  A wonderful addition to your school band library!

Marzo Zingaro
Randall D. Standridge – Grade 1.5
Another work of unique style, Marzo Zingaro seeks to portray the image of a lone wanderer, happily marching across the Italian countryside.  It succeeds. The first strain portrays a more daring mood, while the trio and finale portray a happier style while dynamic contrasts and articulation set the style.  Translated as March of the Gypsy, what more needs to be said?

Power
Harold Bennett/arr. Larry Clark – Grade 2
One of Harold Bennett’s lesser-known marches, Power is in 6/8 and standard march form.  Great for teaching basic 6/8 rhythms, this classic from the original Bennett Band Book is one of his few marches that contains a “break strain.”  Bennett marches are always a sure bet, and Power allows you to add a solid 6/8 march to your library.

Rounding Out the 10 – 3 Favorites from 2016-17
Frederick’s Black Devils
Paul Murtha – Grade 4
During World War II, Winston Churchill initiated the formation of Special Force Commando Units that would prove so effective as to change the course of the war. The First Special Service Force, led by their intrepid Colonel, Robert T. Frederick, was perhaps the most famous of these units. Due to their ferocious nature and blackened faces for night raids, the Germans gave them the nickname The Black Devils. In 2015 they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the U.S. government can bestow. Frederick’s Black Devils is a stirring concert march with hints of British flair that pays tribute to this legendary unit.

Mad Dash (Galop)
Timothy Loest – Grade 2
Mad Dash is an exciting, original galop or circus march for young bands.  Traditionally circus marches incorporated as many musical acrobatics as the acts themselves, and true to form this is a great vehicle for developing technique, articulation, and style while following standard form.  Accidentals and dynamic contrasts abound, it includes a key change on the trio (Bb to Eb) and a full-blown shout to the end.  The tempo marking throws down the (cautionary) challenge:  “As fast as possible, but not any faster!” (144+ bpm)

Normal
Harold Bennett/arr. Larry Clark – Grade 2
Every developing band should have at least a couple of Bennett marches in their library.  Perfectly written and designed for developing bands, they feature all the hallmarks of standard march form and style.  Normal is unique in that it is one of only a few Bennett marches to include a break strain – great for preparing students for Sousa and other march masters.  It also addresses cut-time, basic 16th note patterns, features lovely melodies and countermelodies, some chromatic accidentals, and the break strain provides bold contrast to the soft, lyrical trio section.

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  His iPod ranges from jazz and funk to classic and alternative rock, and symphonies.  Besides music, he geeks out on amusement parks, hockey (Are 4 hockey podcasts too many?), and all things Pittsburgh.  He spends his free time being Dad to 2 young children and playing saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band.

Middle School General Music: Music History 22 December, 2017

recommended by Jen Sper and Alissa Ruth, School Choral and Classroom Music Specialists

The middle school general music classroom can be an exciting (and/or terrifying) place! Throughout this school year, we’ve been sharing with you some valuable resources to help you develop enthusiasm and skills in your middle school musicians! Today, here are some great new options for teaching music history:

alfred-8304358452-fFrom Ragtime to Rock by Daniel Glass
“From Ragtime to Rock” is an educational DVD from award-winning author, historian, and educator Daniel Glass. This 2-disc package walks you and your students through 100 years of music evolution, covering the end of the Civil War (1865) to the dawn of the British Invasion (1965). The 90-minute “Ragtime to Rock” film can be shown in a single setting, or divided into 14 stand-alone units, offering educators a flexible way to customize and strengthen any existing curriculum. “From Ragtime to Rock” includes a 69-page Educator Guide that incorporates reproducible student activity sheets, perfect for planning classes or preparing meaningful substitute teacher lessons. Offer your students a deeper connection to the music they listen to today. As author Daniel Glass quotes, “You don’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.” This resource is a FANTASTIC value for the price of $24.95!

alfred-483440Accent On Composers by Jay Althouse, Judith O’Reilly, and Sally K. Albrecht
Available in two volumes, “Accent On Composers” is a 100% reproducible music appreciation and music history resource! Each volume features 22 composers with a biography, a portrait, a listing of the composer’s musical genres, interesting factoids, a timeline, as well as a CD with listening examples for each composer. Reviews/tests for each plus more than two dozen pages of supplementary material make both valuables great for a composer unit or for your sub tub. Volume One includes: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Copland, Debussy, Handel, Joplin, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Mozart, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and more. Volume Two includes: Berlioz, Bernstein, Chopin, Ellington, Gershwin, Prokofiev, Puccini, Purcell, Mahler, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, and more!

alfred-46048-fThe Women of Western Music: Hildegard to Ella by Anna Wentlent
Balance your music history curriculum with this indispensable classroom resource! This long-awaited manual focuses exclusively on the female artists who haven’t made it into most textbooks. Biographies, student assessments, and recordings are included for 18 important women who enriched the world with their incredible talents, such as Clara Schumann, Amy Beach, Marian Anderson, Ethel Merman, and Billie Holiday. Recommended for grades five and up. Book is 100% reproducible.

Find more resources for middle school general music on our website, or contact us for more ideas! And remember – shop Stanton’s for all your sheet music needs!

About the Authors:
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.

Alissa Ruth began working at Stanton’s in the summer of 2016. She is a former middle and high school choir director and holds a Bachelor of Music in Education degree from Capital University. She is an active choral singer in the Columbus area, and spends her free time running, doing yoga, cooking, and watching Netflix.


Solo and Ensemble Time Is Near! 20 December, 2017

OMEAIt’s almost January, which means Solo & Ensemble season for the Ohio Music Education Association is soon upon us! For our local, Central Ohio customers in OMEA District 15, the event date is Saturday, January 27. Here are some reminders to make sure that this busy day goes smoothly for you and your students:

1) Make sure that your student is playing from an original copy, not a photocopy, of music (even if you have purchased the music, copying it and playing from a photocopy is an infringement of copyright law).

2) Similarly, make sure the judge has an original score (with measures numbered!) from which to read.

3) Make sure that your student is playing from the correct edition of their music. To check the list of approved editions, follow these steps:
– Visit the OMEA Solo and Ensemble page
– Under High School, select “Search HS Required list,” or Junior High, select “Search JH Suggested list”
– Click “search,” choose your area, then select your instrument
– Select the event and class, then click “search”
– Click on the title of the piece (they will be listed alphabetically by title), then “View Approved Editions”

4) Contact us with any questions you may have about OMEA music! We are happy to help you, and can be reached at 1.800.42.MUSIC using any of the following extensions, or via email:
– ext 1: Choral and Classical Vocal (choral@stantons.com)
– ext 2: Instrumental (instrumental@stantons.com)
– ext 3: Piano and Guitar (keyboard@stantons.com)