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Reaching Out/June Sale/Session!

Hello! 

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 musicdir@telus.net so we have enough watermelon bandwidth.  A passcode will be provided.


Here are a couple short videos that may be useful;

Scott Lang author of Sound Leadership – http://joinsll.com/covid-thoughts/?inf_contact_key=19904c8dc33dfac56b540a606683b30b1b0a3f0fd3ee5d9b43fb34c6613498d7

I Will Survive – https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=best+music+education+video+in+covid&PC=APMC&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3dbest%2bmusic%2beducation%2bvideo%2bin%2bcovid%26form%3dAPMCS1%26PC%3dAPMC&view=detail&mmscn=vwrc&mid=47CB7CD1E8AA8D98308947CB7CD1E8AA8D983089&FORM=WRVORC


Sometimes we need a laugh… 

I overheard some kids talking… “I can’t believe school used to start before 9 am and we actually went.”  

I’ve discovered commas are important.  For example “No more caffeine.”  Where really it’s “No, more caffeine.”  

It’s OK if you fall apart, tacos fall apart and we love them. 

I ordered a chicken and an egg online.  I’ll let you know… 

This Covid-19 shall pass, like a large kidney stone.


A big and genuine thank you for all that you do, and hang in there for a couple more weeks.  Your work on behalf of music students and the music community IS appreciated.  

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Together We’ll Get Through #3

Hello again valued customers and friends,

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

Free Content for Remote Learning for Band, Choir, Orchestra and Elementary music from our friends at Alfred Publishinghttps://www.alfred.com/free-remote-learning/

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 reedsD’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.” 


Thank you to Randall Standridge and Samuel Hazo for the below lighter moments;From Randall Standridge facebook – How Composers Wash Their Hands.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbTze87-RcQAlso from Randall – What It’s Like to Work From Homehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L-LzFCJQtc&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0zjC3gcdnNN_9jAfoLic_ng2aSnP6in6RKqQMZqq-KUdgwFIpZkb4F_Z8

From Samuel Hazo facebook.  Sam says “This is my former student! I can take zero credit for his abilities. He was in my 5th/6th grade band classes and taught me way more than I taught him!”  Quarantine or Quarantune? enjoy the video here https://www.wbgo.org/post/quarantine-or-quarantune-benny-benack-iii-shares-new-spoof-put-mask-your-face?fbclid=IwAR2RPx2PkFiARTVTKKjRi_cQN-RkUFbEIHbY3lz0tYZAD7j20X3CYyqhodI#stream/0And also this note from Sam Hazo.  A Covid19 Message From Your Composer Buddy.  Hi, friends! If you run out of hand sanitizer, that 70% Proponol-based mouthpiece spray in your instrument case works just the same. Even gives your hands a “minty waft!” And that advice is free.😁 Stay well!  We’ll call it “Band Sanitizer.”


Some humour (why not)…

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.

Thank you for reading.  Stay safe.

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Together We’ll Get Through #2

Hello valued customers and friends, 

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

Scott Lang (author of Sound Leadership and also a dynamic speaker) response to COVID-19 http://www.scottlang.net/scottsblog2/2020/3/15/my-response-to-covid-19  As Scott says  “Now is the time our students need us the most. The F#’s and Bb’s will soon be forgotten, but how we respond in this moment will be remembered.” Sign up for Scott’s #YouMatter Campaign, where you will get “frequent and unexpected positive messages why you do what you do!”http://bpotm.org/youmatter-registration/  This is a great pick-me-up for music directors! 

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

Scott Edgar(author of Music Education and Social Emotional Learning) has two items of interest.  Student tips on working from home https://www.lakeforest.edu/live/news/10994-scott-edgar-co-authors-timely-article-on-remote and The Students Voice during COVID-19 – Part 1https://nafme.org/students-voice-duringcovid-19-disruption-part-1/  

The below programs may be of interest; 

Noteflight – https://www.noteflight.com/  Notation software, now free! 

Sight Reading Factory – https://www.sightreadingfactory.com  Generates unlimited sight reading and sight singing – Try it free! 

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,

And the Music Direct Team
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Together We’ll Get Through

To our valued customers and friends,

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.

Teach Band 101 – https://teachband101.com  Lessons, links, videos, worksheets designed by music teachers for junior and senior students.  Jazz too.  Plenty of teaching ideas here, and watch for the page to grow, revisit often!
Band Directors United on facebook – https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=band%20directors%20united&epa=SEARCH_BOX  A variety of teacher sourced resources and community for the school band director.
Meet the Composer Webinars from Excelcia Musichttps://excelciamusic.com/meet-the-composer-videos/  Hosted by Larry Clark, see interviews with composers of band, choral and string music.  Interviews are being added daily as composers sit at home and wait out the virus, watch for this to grow.  Sean O’Loughlin was added recently.  This is more of general interest for directors, versus curriculum ideas.
Play Along with Brian Balmages and Virtual Conductor/Smart Music (this just went live Brian says) https://www.facebook.com/brian.balmageshttps://www.smartmusic.com/brian-balmages/?fbclid=IwAR2aSaw0PNILZnJ8SVDVo9blpHFTtpR-cOdMNi12Gw7V9aORxHF7s3VYnwA
Practicing Musician – https://www.practicingmusician.com  Now free!
Distance learning made easy with Tradition of Excellencehttps://mailchi.mp/kjos/distance-learning-made-easy?e=ed3e267ff4  Use online tools available with other band methods, like Essential Elements Interactive, and Sound Innovations.
Online Tools and Resources for Choirs – https://www.choiralberta.ca/online-tools-and-resources.html  Many ideas and information for choirs, and much crosses over to any musical group.
If you have come across resources that work please reach out.  Sharing and helping is the idea.

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.

Stay safe,

And the Music Direct Team
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New In Music Ed! Pathway to Success by Lautzenheiser/Rush!

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 

Pathway to Success – Teacher’s Edition – $53
Pathway to Success – Student Edition – $15

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.

Donald Lee at Music Direct


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.

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COVID-19 – A note from Music Direct

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!

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New in Music Ed.!

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!

Looking for great new lit for your jazz band or choir for 2020? Check our Selected New Music here. https://musicdirect.ca/new-music/

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.

Thank you for reading!

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New Music Reading Session

Hear Ye Hear Ye!  We are pleased to announce the dates of our annual New Music Sessions!

Calgary Reading Session Party:

Monday, August 26th, 2019 

Choir – 1:00 

Band – 3:00 

Tuscany Club

212 Tuscany Way NW, Calgary


Red Deer Reading Session Party: 

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 – 3:00 

Eastview Estates Community Hall

120 Ellenwood Drive, Red Deer 


Edmonton Reading Session Party: 

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 – 3:00 

Riverdale Community League Hall

9231 – 100 Ave NW, Edmonton


Our new hand picked selections derived from much listening are premiered at these events which are our unique fun version of a reading session.  Other great music for you too is here including jazz band and choral!

Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages served to you while listening, and a BBQ/meal afterwards!  Prizes for all!  

Although the time, the faces, the places have varied in 27 years, our Sessions continue to unite great music with great people, camaraderie and community. 


We hope the steady growth of these events continue. RSVP and receive a gift at the event!

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New in Music Ed/June Sale On Now!

Hello you that do the amazing!  Please see below for what is new in music education and the June Sale, on now!

New! – Sound Leadership – Leadership Training for Music Students – Scott Lang – 47892 – $19.95  Watch the June Sale for discounts.  Sound Leadership is a must-have for any music ensemble seeking to establish and grow their student leadership program. This innovative method provides everything you need to teach, select, train, and evaluate your student leaders. It guides the reader to think through real problems to create real solutions.  When completed students will have their own leadership journal containing their aspirations and goals for the future.  Sound Leadership will help students in band, orchestra, and choir programs to learn and take ownership of their strengths and weaknesses, and experience significant growth in the classroom, on stage, and in their lives. 

A complete curriculum: 
* Covering topics such as leadership selection, defining roles and responsibilities, motivating others, and dealing with difficult people. 
* Facilitates a collaborative process of self-discovery, goal-setting, and team-building between student leaders and directors. 
* Includes sample situational questions along with a leadership contract and self-evaluation forms.
Scott is also a dynamic presenter, his workshops are great!  Here is a link with more information on Scott Lang and Sound Leadership.  http://www.scottlang.net

$19.95

New! – Music Education and Social Emotional Learning – Student Workbook with digital files – Scott Edgar –  G-9820 – $18.95 – in stock soon.  Watch the June Sale for discounts.We mentioned this book (yellow cover) in the fall of 2018 just as it was released.  Now the accompanying student workbook (blue cover) is available. Music educators are in a prime position to help students become socially and emotionally competent while at the same time develop excellent musicianship. How can music educators help their students to be successful when every day they struggle with social awareness, bullying, communication, problem solving, and other challenges? This pioneering resource addresses how music educators can utilize Social Emotional Learning to maximize learning in the choral, instrumental, and general music classroom at all levels, and at the same time support a student’s social and emotional growth.   Thirty practical and engaging activities (that correspond to the book) for music educators implementing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum in their classrooms. As an added convenience, the workbook contains a unique code allowing the purchaser to download an electronic file containing select worksheets, along with permission to reproduce them.  This book and the workbook are very pertinent for our times.

$18.95

New (fall 2018)! – Music Education and Social Emotional Learning – Scott Lang – (forward by Tim Lautzenheiser) – G-9418 – $33.95 – in stock.  Watch the June Sale for discounts.Essential for those who want to understand how their teaching strategies they may already use can become catalysts for students’ social and emotional well-being.  Perfect for band, choir, orchestra and general music.  Correlates with the student workbook shown above.  If trust, inclusivity, respect and positive behaviour are important values in your class this is a great read.  “This book is a gift to the entire world of music education.”— Tim Lautzenheiser

$33.95

New! – Superslick Fast! -This is a perfect substitute for Al Cass Fast Oil. Al Cass Fast Oil has currently been unavailable for quite some time with no known ETA from it’s developers.   This new light viscosity mineral oil from Superslick was developed in partnership with trusted chemists and through rigorous comparative blind testing in the market. It provides long lasting performance for valves, slides and keys.  Superslick Fast joins our line up of valve oils fitting in the middle price category.  Superslick economy – $1.99, Superslick Fast – $5.75, Superslick Super Synth – $5.95, Hetman Synthetic (Light, Medium, or Heavy) – $8.50.  Watch our June Sale for discounts.

$5.75

New! – from Finale…  Are you a Finale user, or wish to get Finale?  Finale has just released v26.1 a free or charge upgrade for all owners of Finale v26.  Finale comes from Alfred/Belwin where we order every week on our Rush Speed/Regular Price service.  Confirm your order by Thursday, we order it Friday and we have it Monday at 10 am, just a few days!  We do the same service with Hal Leonard with Hal arriving on Tuesdays!  Email delivery of Finale digital download codes may take 1-3 days.


Did you know we have a great stock of concert band, jazz band and choral titles and you may use a dedicated entrance to access it?  Well its not like we work in the bat cave or in a hidden room 10 stories in the ground (our place is actually quite sunny).   If ever in our area please stop by.  We do have a special entrance that brings you straight to us (just down the left side).  That dedicated entrance is partly why we are where we are.  If you have not visited, please do so whenever close.  Visit short, visit long.  Get a little, get a lot.  A quick retina scan on the first visit will be all that is required.
Our wacky June Sale is on! Billing on the June Sale can be delayed till fall and next year’s budget.  Or immediate billing can be provided if you need to deplete your current budget quickly before it is taken away.  And speaking of budgets that is a good reminder to check your budget, and use up what may be remaining.  Show your administration your budget is important by spending all of it, and leaving it like an old worn sack of woe (thought you might enjoy the jazz reference). 

I’ve just started the annual process of listening to all the new music for concert band, jazz band and choir to find our “picks” for next year.  In about 8 weeks I’ll emerge from a daily self-inflicted early morning exile (sometimes late evenings) with our Select New Music in hand.  I’ll have consumed enormous amounts of coffee, may be unrecognizable and in need of a haircut.  Rising with the birds will not be missed (sorry, not sorry birds).  But when I come across wonderful pieces of new music being a hermit for this time is so very worth it!  Want to hear our current and previous selected titles?  Visit here https://musicdirect.ca/new-music/

Thank you for reading this,

Don Closson & crew

Posted on

New in Music Ed.

Hello music education champions, you that do so much for so many!  Please see below for what is new in music education.


New! – Excellence in Chamber Music – Book 3.

Continuing the tradition of the highly popular and successful Excellence in Chamber Music Book 1 and 2, Excellence in Chamber Music Book 3 is also a collection of favorite melodies scored for maximum flexibility.  With Book 3 we now have more difficult literature.  Mix and match any combination of band instruments. Playable as solos, duets, trios and larger ensembles up to full concert band in unlimited combinations. Each volume includes 15 favorite songs with 3 parts to choose from: A (melody); B (harmony); and C (bass).  The combinations for chamber music practice and performance are almost endless!  Piccolo, alto clarinet, and bass guitar ensembles unite, you now have music!!  A perfect choice for festivals, concerts, or ensemble practice!

Having students perform in chamber groups is an excellent way to build your program.  This flexible new book at the grade 3 level makes finding quality ensemble music for any combination of instruments much easier.  Many flexible ensemble books are written at the easier levels.  This is a welcomed addition to the collective library at a harder level and is a suitable choice for high schools, or stronger junior highs.  Need something more difficult than this?  Consider Concert Ensembles for Everyone by Peter Blair at grade 4, the most difficult flexible ensemble book.

Excellence in Chamber Music Book 3 – Student books – $8.95.  In stock. Conductor – $34.95


New! – Habits of a Successful Choral Musician – Scott Rush and Eric Wilkinson.

Here’s what directors are saying about the latest in the Habits series.

“Habits of a Successful Choral Musician is a fantastic resource for choir directors who seek to develop all levels of singers. The book provides a pedagogical approach to teaching voice building, rhythm work, tuning exercises, sight-reading, theory exercises, and suggestions to nurture the entire musician. I love how this one method book covers multiple aspects of musicianship, rather than having to use multiple books to build each individual skill.”

“This book has provided a clear and well-organized pedagogy that is helping my students to improve in all facets of being a choral musician.”

This choral book is a fitting addition to Scott’s previous books in the Habits method series, Habits of a Successful Middle School Musician, and Habits of a Successful Musician, (both these for band).




We provide all kinds of deluxe music folders but did you know we keep folders in stock?  For band we have folders with pencil pockets and folders with pencil loops. Both are $15.95.  For choir we have folders without strings ($14.95), and choir folders with strings in the spine ($18.95).   If you don’t wish for imprinting of school or student names, these folders are available at a moments notice.  With or without imprinting, groups sound better with nice folders!  Well, they for sure look better!

Band folder with pencil pocket shown.
Choir folder with strings and pencil pocket shown.

Sad News – Sam Pilafian, tuba virtuoso and part of the duo (with Patrick Sheridan) that brought us The Breathing Gym (recently featured at SMC 2017) passed away this April after a battle with cancer.  Sam played accordion as a youngster but he switched instruments at 11 on advice of a veteran tubist, who told him that if he played tuba he would always have friends!  A natural entertainer Sam played with The New York Phil, The Boston Symphony, and founded The Empire Brass.  Sam was 69.

Congratulations to the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival which had a successful festival recently in Banff.  We are pleased to assist and provide help for the festival, which typically attracts Saskatchewan groups.   Pete Meechan known to many in Saskatchewan had a world premiere of his new composition let this place at the festival.  This and other festivals are truly a boon to music education.

Thank you for reading.
Have a great spring (maybe, we can hope).