Music directors are using a variety of alternative resources to keep the music going this fall. Thank you for your creative work that enables students to have music, in whatever form that may be right now. Maybe we aren’t where we want to be but we will pull through. If you are playing and singing, absolutely great! If not, below are resources that can help until we are back, or can be great supplements at any time. You may also view alternative resources from our session by watching the “movie” via the link provided below;
Here are suggestions for; Music Theory, History, Games, Ear Training and more that work for music classes at a variety of grade levels…
Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory – a suite of related theory resources that works for a surprisingly wide variety of grade levels. Book 1 and the games are great for younger musicians, book 3 will challenge high school students. Here is a partial list of what is available;
Book 1 (shown below)
Combined book (all three books together – popular for high schools)
Teachers Activity Kit
Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory is available within 3-5 business days of confirmation. Confirm by Thursday, it’s here the following Tuesday, super quick. The same speed applies to anything from Alfred and Hal Leonard. This prompt service is what we call our weekly Rush Speed/Regular Price service with these two larger publishers (about 75% comes from these two sources collectively).
Excellence in Theory Book 1,2,3
Practical Theory Book 1,2,3
Master Theory Book 1,2,3,4,5,6
Standard of Excellence Music Theory and History – Student Book 1,2,3, and Teacher Book 1,2,3
Games and Flashcards
The below are part of the suite of resources in Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory mentioned above.
Game – Rhythm
Game – Note Naming
Game – Key Signature (shown below)
Flashcards – Rhythm
Flashcards – Note Naming (shown below)
Flashcards – Key Signature
Alfreds Essentials of Music Theory Ear Training Disc 1 and 2 (CD) This is part of the suite of resources in Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory mentioned above.
Essentials of Jazz Theory – Shelly Berg
Learn the essentials of jazz music through concise lessons, practice your jazz music reading and writing skills in the exercises, improve your listening and ear training skills with the CDs, and test your knowledge with the review that completes each unit. Prerequisite should be book 1 and 2 of Alfreds Essentials of Music Theory. Available as;
Book and CD Pack – Book 1
Book and CD Pack – Book 2
Book and CD Pack – Book 3
Book and CD Pack – Complete (all 3 volumes together)
Answer Key and 3 CD
Book and CD Pack Complete Self-Study Course
If any of the above interests you just let us know and we will continue for you.
And a bit of humour, because we all can use it…
In 2015 not a single person got the answer correct to “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
I need more exercise, the buttons on my shirt are starting to socially distance each other.
Homeschool first week: How can I get this kid transferred out of class?
Homeschool second week: I’m not talking to myself, I’m having a parent-teacher conference.
I washed my hands so much that my exam notes from last year showed up.
In an unsettling reversal of our teenage years we are now yelling at our parents for going out.
Drum sticks are the new toilet paper.
As always but especially now, know that you and your music classes are the “light” for many. Thank you for your valour and virtue displayed daily to your students and the school community in these unusual times. Hoping start-up is as smooth as possible.
I wanted to check in with you to see how you are doing. “Hi” and “I care” is the base of this message along with two notes on what’s happening in the future.
This has been a very strange year with teachers having much thrust upon them. I get how difficult that is. It’s like pulling a rabbit out of a hat when you’re not a magician, and without a hat, or building a plane while flying it. Not easy! I hope the “Covid series” emails were somewhat helpful. Three of them with tips and links on distance learning were provided, with some humour. Our staff took to working on our page while at home, and fixed recordings that needed tweaking. That work is now complete and we are pleased to have you browse through our page.
Bottom line, I hope you are doing as good as possible during this challenging time. Remember summer is around the corner and we are all hoping and working towards the best Fall.
Typically we announce two things at this time of year;
1 – June Sale! Whats unique about the June Sale? Delayed billing til Fall. With some current budgets frozen due to Covid-19, delayed billing to next year’s budget is one way of helping. An extra discount is another way of helping. The June Sale applies to everything from supplies to ensembles to full music. Visit it here https://musicdirect.ca
2 – Our Unique New Music Reading Sessions! Our sessions (Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton – August 24-26) which have been booked for months will transition to a virtual session as there are just too many variables beyond our control. Doing so is in everyone’s best interest. I wish we could see each other face to face. However, we are working hard to make the virtual rendition an outstanding event. In the background, I am doing tons of listening to find great music for it. Come join your colleagues in our annual fun, unique event, with great PD that will make your principal proud.
Please see the date below for the session time:
Music Direct New Music Band Session (Gone Virtual!)
When: Tuesday August 25 – 3:00 pm
Venue: Your screen (pants not optional)
Menu: Your fave bevy and what’s in your fridge
RSVP to email@example.com so we have enough watermelon bandwidth. A passcode will be provided.
Here are a couple short videos that may be useful;
Please see below for ideas and tips on distance learning in these unusual circumstances. Also some lighter moments to get us through these trying times.
We continue to work away at our web page fixing an update that did not go perfectly. We are working backwards and have currently reached year 1998 (volume 6) and are proceeding to 1992 (volume 1 where we began). Just for fun, titles from 1998 include; A Longford Legend – Sheldon, Juno Beach – Edmondson, March of the Kangaroos – Huckeby. Remember those? I know many have performed them with your students, and they continue to be played today. To see these titles and many more visit our homepage.
As said previously, I’m here, available, and can help anytime. Contrary to what my dog wants I’m not walking him all the time so I’m at my computer, answering emails, the phone and staying busy (mostly by writing these emails). My cat continues to be annoyed with me but honestly Fluffy I need to be in your house all the time right now, sorry to invade your space so much, get used to it! If you wish to place an order, that can be done. Most publishers are open and working (either from home) or with a skeletal staff, but are operating and shipping, albeit sometimes with slight delays. And we have a tremendous amount of music in stock. All the titles on our page we try to keep in stock, and those can be provided promptly without ordering from the publisher, not that there is a big rush right now. Regardless, much is available for concert band, jazz band and choir. And when everyone does get together again to make music, whenever that glorious time will come (sooner I hope), it will be unbelievable!
Once again, sharing and helping is what’s important. Working together, irrespective of limiting borders. Music itself is the essence of togetherness. Recognizing we all have much in common, sharing in a greater community, and not feeling alone. My notion is to make this precarious landscape smoother. I hope the below helps…
A Special Message to Students from Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser (co-writer of Essential Elements, dynamic author and speaker, VP of Ed with Conn-Selmer) a video to students of bands, orchestras and choirs (and their directors) that shares Tim’s inspiring thoughts during COVID-19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MwWVkBBREw
Excellence in Chamber Music – Learn new music and play as solo, duet or small ensemble. Looking for a way to encourage music making among your students in the same household? Flexibly scored Excellence in Chamber Music is the perfect fit! Suitable for any combination of instruments, each volume includes 15 favorite songs with 3 parts to choose from: A (melody); B (harmony); and C (bass). By mixing and matching instruments and parts each arrangement can be performed in an unlimited number of ways from solo and duet, to small ensemble and full concert band. The combinations for chamber music practice and performance are endless! Books are $8.95 (My entire family played from this, it’s fun!)
Free Online Theory Program: Please see the below from Adrian Bourgeois regarding his online theory program… “For people looking for an easy music theory access point for your students, I have redeveloped and reintroduced the online theory course I developed 13 years ago, alongside the Canadian Band Association. The theory program allows for students to practice their theory knowledge and expand on it as they go. Feel free to access and use the program with your students. A second level is currently in the works as well. To access the site and use it, click on the link below. If it asks you to log in, log in as guest. Once again this access is FREE. I just want to share with band teachers and students. The free version will not change and will be available until further notice. In the fall, a subscription based version will also be available to teachers that will include marks book, formal assessments (self-marking), and other options. Watch for more information on that as time goes on.”https://onlinetheory.moodlecloud.com/ Adrian Bourgeois BourgMusic
New Video resources from the Saskatchewan Band Association. This includes a video by Dean McNeil on Ways to Practise…Quietly, something that can help students playing at home at this time. Also Developing Motivation which has much content that crosses over to any student. To access a further series of videos at the beginner and intermediate level a free and easy access is provided. There are videos for all instruments and more are being added. The remarkable A Hope for the Future video is also here. www.saskband.org
Drum Head Maker Turns Drumheads into Medical Face Shields…D’Addario our provider of Rico and Rico Royal reeds, D’Addario guitar strings and Evansdrum heads turns drumheads into medical face shields. “…the engineering team devised a way to fabricate protective face shields using the clear film from the company’s popular Evans G2 drumheads. After working around the clock for three days, the team had its first prototype (shown below). The company plans to be in production by April 27 or earlier and to ramp up as quickly as possible to a capacity of 100,000 face shields per week. Management intends to manufacture the shields as long as they’re needed in New York and anywhere around the globe.”
Do not call the police about suspicious people in your neighbourhood, those are your neighbours without makeup and shaving.
Tempted to go for a drive because gas is cheap, the weather is warmer, and the snow is gone? Well your battery is likely dead and your winter tires are still on and probably low on air. The tire shop can’t change the tires till August. By then you might as well keep them on, winters coming.
What your students really think during your zoom meeting “oh so thats where you live!”
Tomorrow is the day to take out garbage and recycling…so excited I can’t decide what to wear!
We can all learn from Sasqatch, a social distancing champion.
Home schooling update: My son just said “I hope I don’t have the same teacher next year.”
With extra time on hand I went through my wardrobe and found something from 20 years ago and it fit perfectly! It was a scarf but still pretty proud!
The 6-49 lottery this week has grown to a 24 pack of toilet paper. Ticket sales are up.
For Free: 2020 Personal Planner. Hardly used, has some eraser marks.
For fun, after many weeks of self isolation post a picture of your moustache, guys; do this too.
While standing in line at the bank I coughed. It’s the most attention they’ve given me in 20 years.
Thank you for what you do. Amongst other things, for learning new (and hopefully provisional) approaches to keep students engaged in music. I’ll keep saying it, hats off to our health care and front line workers everywhere. Unsung truckers, you are the cavalry of the nation bringing food, meds and supplies where its needed.
To see our previous emails that included many resources, some of which have been updated; feel free to scroll down our Newsletter.
As mentioned earlier I am sharing this walk with you through this challenging COVID-19 terrain. I’m not going anywhere, rather I’m being available and committed to help and answer emails and the phone (I can’t go anywhere anyway as I gave myself a really bad home haircut with some hedge clippers and shaved an eyebrow to dissuade my persistent desire to congregate, and also accidentally clipped off part of my ear). In addition to working on our webpage, I’m searching for resources that assist in distance learning and that also offer encouragement to directors and students in this temporary period. It’s a time to assist, collaborate, and help one another. With this we will get through sooner and better.
This is the second post in this regard. To see our first email which provided resources, explains our COVID mission as it were, and also lists many other possible ingredients for the new (and hopefully short lived) modus operandi we are working in please scroll down to the previous post, or use the link; https://musicdirect.ca/newsletter/together-well-get-through/
I hope the below may be of benefit to you and your students…
Peter Boonshaft (educator, author, and dynamic speaker) A short uplifting video message you may use with your students https://vimeo.com/402940122
Virtual Education Series – “Many teachers are being asked to provide virtual content to their students, often without additional training and resources. The Virtual Education Series from Jupiter Winds offers fun and enriching online clinics for music teachers and their students. Produced in partnership with the International Music Education Summit, the weekly sessions are presented by highly regarded professionals and address a variety of music education topics. The clinics can be seen “live” every Thursday at 2 p.m. EST between March 26 and April 30. Archived clinics will also be available for viewing or revisiting at the viewer’s convenience after their initial airing.” See Patrick Sheridan (Breathing Gym) next, on Thursday April 9. https://musiceducationsummit.org/virtual-education-series?mc_cid=242a46c601&mc_eid=a1e445e0cf
Share the above with anyone you feel may benefit. If anything is helpful, I’ll feel this thorny journey has been made a little easier in some small way.
A bit of humour… Is your cat still trying to figure out why you are in their house after 7 am? Is your dog wondering why all the extra walks? When the kids are watching too much TV; mute the sound, activate the subtitles and KAPOW suddenly they are reading! Tempted to touch your face? Double fist any favourite beverage and problem solved.
Thank you to all of you for what you do. I hope you are keeping well in these trying times.
Thank you to the front line workers everywhere. Some heroes wear masks, not capes. Have a happy and safe Easter break and talk soon,
As business slows down, we are catching up on our web page. As mentioned previously some of our people are doing this from home. The web work will be where we put much of our energies to refine this tool for directors and fix an update that did not go perfectly. Managing thousands of recordings/titles takes a certain amount of time, we have more of that now. I will be here to monitor emails and phone calls. Business is slow but not yet gone. I’m not going anywhere. However rather than signing off and saying “see you on the other side”, or “talk again when it’s over” I want to take a different approach. I want to be with you as we wade through these turbulent times. A virtual connection or partner to share the walk, if you will. It’s already lonely right now, why make it more so? I love talking shop with music directors so let’s keep it going and make a difference together in this temporary frontier we find ourselves in.
Most of my emails usually pertain to the music listened to and the titles recommended or to pertinent other new releases in music education that will make your job easier and you better. That’s awesome and I’ll continue to do that for when we get back to normal. But as we navigate this changing landscape, I want to transition to or add something new where I’ll share non music-product relating things; the links, web pages, social media posts of what I feel is helpful for the new distance learning thrust upon us and ways to make this temporary situation as positive as it can be. I’ll start with the below, but otherwise I don’t know what it will be yet as some of it is still to come, as there are many ideas still in the oven. It may be great for your program or it may not work in your situation, use what works for you. Importantly we can move forward together, share and provide community. As we so often hear right now “We are in this together”. You are not alone.
Everyone is affected in some way. Teachers are missing their students and lamenting the year that is now different. Students are looking for guidance, wondering how to continue their music from home. Some of their parents are out of work, fearful of the future. Let’s get some music in the home. It’s curriculum but more than that. Let’s help each other. Let’s be human. Let’s help music do its wondrous thing. With this spirit I’ll move forward.
Thought you might be interested to see what other directors are doing. Here are some great clips (in bold blue text) from directors we’ve received recently…
“Now that students are away I will have time to organize my library and I need music storage boxes”… “I’m just working on my ‘Band at Home’ plan for my guys. Are you able to take orders for play-along books from parents and mail them out?” Our answer is yes! “We are setting things up to take music online for the rest of the year, and there are some resources we would like to order in to get out to kids, please order 62 books of …”
Tempted to congregate outside? Try this remedy…give yourself a really really bad home haircut. Shave an eyebrow for extra assurance. Have a toddler colour your brow back in. Once again a huge shout out to our health care providers and front line workers everywhere.
Hello to the coolest people in the school. Please see below for what is new and great in music education.
New! Looking to enhance the culture of excellence within your groups? Released recently at the Midwest Clinic is Pathway to Success – Habits for Creating a Culture of Excellence – by Tim Lautzenheiser and Scott Rush.
A book destined for not just for section leaders or a few bright students in your group, but for all student as leaders of their own pathway in life. True leadership begins with self-reflection in each student. All students can benefit when they see themselves as their own best leaders, and therein lies the foundation of a culture of excellence. Pathway to Success is a groundbreaking leadership program designed to inspire student growth and enhance any band, choir, or orchestra program—and beyond.
“To borrow a phrase: All children have talents; however, not all children have opportunity and encouragement. Pathway to Success by Tim Lautzenheiser and Scott Rush describes in detail the “how” and provides that encouragement young people need to overcome any reservations and reluctance they may have to step forward and become a leader! History is full of examples of shy and timid youngsters who responded to a challenge and rose to greatness as a leader. This book is invaluable for any age! Leadership by example. Pathway to Success. I wish it was available when I was a student. …nailed it! — Richard Crain, President of The Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic
New! – The Band Director’s Lessons About Life – by retired band director Donald Lee – $25
Ever ponder the deeper meaning of those everyday band room events? Check out this new book by band director Donald Lee, “The Band Director’s Lessons About Life”. Donald takes common school events and pulls uncommon “illumination” from them by looking at life through spiritual eyes.
You will be delighted and inspired by how these band-room vignettes shine a spiritual light on everyday experiences. The parables are short enough to read in the bathroom yet deep enough to ponder for days.
Every little event has a spiritual dimension—tuning the flute section, a terrible performance, a broken clarinet, hallway bullying, cell phones, test anxiety, and even the ugly band uniforms. If you’ve ever been to school, you’ll recognize the characters, chuckle at their misadventures, and maybe even learn something about yourself. If you’ve been a kid, if you love music, this book’s for you.
The Canadian Band Association Howard Cable Memorial Prize in Composition accepts calls for works that are grade 3 or lower. If you are a composer with a new work or a director that wishes to be a consortium member click here for details. https://www.canadianband.org/howard-cable-prize-in-composition Compositions written within 5 years are eligible. This years winner will be announced in spring, a season when potholes dream of growing up and deep. Music Direct is pleased to once again be a project supporter of the annual competition to develop and create new repertoire by emerging Canadian composers. Past winners of this competition include Cait Nishimura, Paul Suchan and Kenley Kristofferson. Don’t forget to order your conductor scores for adjudicators if partaking in festivals this year. If you did forget, don’t fret, they can likely arrive in time via our weekly Rush Speed/Regular Price service, if not we can still help. Thank you for reading this.
Amid COVID-19 we at Music Direct are keeping calm and business is open but with an eye on the current situation. These are challenging times, as we see the impact of the virus on communities, individuals, schools, organizations and businesses.
With school closures this could be a very difficult time for many businesses but we are finding the lighter side of the situation and embracing new opportunity. We are taking this time to update some parts of our webpage. Having a resourceful and unique webpage is important to us and offers you the director an excellent tool when music shopping. I’ll do everything I can to keep our people employed, including working from home if needed (mostly again on our webpage). After that we will get creative!
We have a good supply of Sterisol and Sterispray should it be needed, and have more in transit to us. Steri-spray is hospital grade and safe for use on all surfaces, not just mouthpieces, and is a no rinse formula. Use it anywhere in the music room. We also use it here to keep surfaces clean.
As you know we have always been steadfast about the recording, and our webpage is a resource gold mine for that where students can hear or play along with the recording from home for example. Feel free to link our page and the recordings in any online or listening type homework. For younger musicians Tradition of Excellence and Essential Elements and other books have online tools built in to the method for example to enhance playing from home. There are many online teaching resources available and we will no doubt see more soon, but the ensemble experience will be elusive to capture.
Play-along books may also be a possible option for students to use at home. Most play-along books allow the complete melody to be played, rather than just an individual part. Accompaniments through the cloud enhance the experience. There are a myriad of play-along books at different levels available that your students may love. Same applies to Song Books, Fake Books, some of which have accompaniments. Contact us if interested.
Looking for music in pdf format? Something that can be emailed to students perhaps? Remember we provide titles in pdf format or e-print too! Please be in touch with us to let us know how we can serve specific needs of your school and students. We will do everything to help.
Although these are challenging days, we are motivated to be strong because we know the business we’re in is still bringing joy to students and people who need it and thats important right now, albeit more so in an individual setting for the time being. The power of music is resolute and needed deeply. I know you are missing your students. But with everything being quiet, take this time to enjoy your families. Canada is one of the best places to ride this out. We are all in this together. Hopefully we get back to normal soon. If you need help with anything (musical or otherwise) let me know.
And finally a big shout out to all the amazing health care providers. Stay safe and a big virtual handshake or hug to you!
Happy New Decade! I hope you enjoyed some quality RnR over the holidays. Rock n Roll isn’t what I meant by that acronym, but it could be. Regardless, may some rest, relaxation and good times with family and friends have found you over break whether you rocked out, or barely rolled away from the dinner table. All good!
New concert band is there too of course (we featured it in fall) but this email will showcase the jazz and choir choices we found. All are in stock and below are a few of our selections.
Jazz Band The Banana Boat Song – arr. Lopez – grade 0.5 – Calypso Mamacita – arr. White – grade 1.5 – Latin Bad Dog – Dana – grade 2.5 – Shuffle The Mooche – arr. Taylor – grade 3 – Latin Soul Proprieter – Rowe – grade 4 – Gospel rock click here for more new jazz titles – https://musicdirect.ca/…/jazz-…/by-year-jazz/jazz-2019-2020/
Choir Cangoma – arr. Beery and Dekaney – unison/2part – Portugese/Brazilian folk song Bandyrowe – arr. Brumfield – 2 part – Irish folk song I’ve Been in the Storm So Long – arr. Jones – SSA – Spiritual Connected – Tate – SAB – uplifting, catchy and Canadian! My Canoe Runs on Water – arr. Nickel – SATB – good for the environment and your choir, also Canadian to boot! click here for more new choir titles https://musicdirect.ca/…/ch…/volume-choral/choral-2019-2020/
New! – Released at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago this December is the Essential Elements for Jazz Ensemble Book 2 by Mike Steinel! This is a follow-up book to the popular book 1 (red cover). Online audio with a multi-function audio player is included (slow down without changing pitch, make loops, change keys etc). Suitable for high schools – grade 3. Student books are $18.95, rhythm books are $21.95, conductor $59.95 Click here for more https://www.halleonard.com/…/essential-elements-for-jazz-en…
To take advantage of our weekly Rush Speed/Regular Price service with the two bigger publishers (Hal Leonard and Alfred/Belwin and the smaller publishers they distribute for) please place your order by Thursday afternoon as we order early every Friday morning. We will then have your music via UPS rush by Tuesday, just two business days, and you will have it shortly thereafter. We are pleased to serve by offering this weekly rush service without the rush costs.