Great Resources for Middle School Band Directors

by Ken Tilger, Band Education Specialist –

Besides recommending the best new arrangements for band, we also keep our eyes out for helpful resources for band directors.  Lately we have seen an increased (and much needed) focus on materials for beginning and middle school band directors.  I am excited to recommend the following titles to improve your program, make your job easier, and further your students’ musicianship.

Specifically for the band director is Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director designed as a complete guide to music teaching and administrative elements of the middle school band program, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Band that addresses various aspects of the middle school band program, but more importantly provides guidance and analysis of essential repertoire at the middle school level.

For your students’ growth and development are two recent warm-up seriesHabits of a Successful Middle School Musician is a comprehensive warm-up focusing on fundamentals and sight-reading, while Alfred’s Sound Innovations Ensemble Development series has been so popular that beginning and middle school band directors were clamoring for a young edition to be released.  As with its Intermediate and Advanced counterparts, Ensemble Development for Young Concert Band focuses on ensemble playing and development at an appropriate playing level.

I hope you find these titles and series helpful and beneficial to you and your band program.

Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director
Scott Rush, Jeff Scott, and Emily Wilkinson
Building on the successful Habits series, Scott Rush and his team have created a practical guide to all aspects of the middle school band program including recruiting, rehearsing, teaching strategies and more!  A great resource for ideas and inspiration, this is a comprehensive book that will grow as teaching skills grow, and will serve as a constant and essential companion throughout the career of any middle school band director.

Teaching Music Through Performance in Middle School Band
Compiled and Edited by Richard Miles
This much-needed volume provides critical information on creating an effective wind band program in Grades 6 through 8.  Chapters focus on organization, administration, developing proper instrumentation, recruitment, retention, literature selection, and more!  Included are 100 core works at grades 1 to 3.5 organized by difficulty with a separate section devoted to marches.  Together, these works make up core repertoire for middle school bands.

Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician
Scott Rush, Jeff Scott, Emily Wilkinson, Rich Moon, and Kevin Boyle
Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician is a field-tested, musical collection of more than 300 sequenced exercises for building fundamentals.  Perfect for use by an entire band or solo player for years two, three, and beyond, this series contains carefully sequenced warm-ups, chorales, sight-reading etudes, rhythm vocabulary exercises, and much more.  This series presents everything an aspiring player needs to build fundamental musicianship skills and transfer them directly to the performance of great literature.

*NEW*
Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Young Concert Band
Peter Boonshaft and Chris Bernotas
Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Young Concert Band contains chorales and warm-up exercises for tone, technique, and rhythm designed for beginning band students.  A complete curriculum to help them grow as ensemble musicians, this series complements any band method and supplements any performance music.  It contains 167 exercises at grade 0.5-1.5 grouped by key, including more than 100 chorales by some of today’s most renowned young band composers.

Stanton’s Also Recommends:
Teaching Music Through Performance in Beginning Band, Volume 1
Teaching Music Through Performance in Beginning Band, Volume 2
Warm-ups and Beyond

About the Author:
Ken is a former band director, and has been with Stanton’s since 2004.  Besides music, he geeks out on comic books, amusement parks, and all things Pittsburgh.  He also plays saxophone with Swing’s the Thing Big Band, loves fall weather, and is excited that it is hockey season!

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Categories: Concert Band, Music Education, Staff Picks, Teacher Materials

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