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2023 Reading Session

Please join us in listening to the premiere of our “Select New Music Titles” at a Reading Session/New Music Party for the 2023 – 2024 year.  We listen to hundreds of new releases to find and showcase our selections at these events.  

Calgary , Monday August 28th – 4:00 pm @ TransAlta Performing Arts Studios

Calgary, AB, 1302 6 Street S.E.

Red Deer, Tuesday August 29th – 4:00 pm @ Bower Place Community Association (new venue)

Red Deer, AB, 85 Boyce Street  

Edmonton, Wednesday August 30th – 4:00 pm, @ Cloverdale Community League (new venue)

Edmonton, AB, 9411 97 Ave NW

Many other titles are available, including our “Select New Jazz Band”and “Select New Choral Selections“.  In the interim, you may hear our 2022 – 2023 selections on our page, a unique resource when music shopping
Snacks, dinner and drinks provided.  Prizes too! 
A mentorship component is offered.
June Sale orders may be picked up at the event (if requested when placing your order). 

We look forward to providing a lovely and rewarding time as we kick off a new year filled with great music, inspiration and community!

Thank you!

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New Music Reading Session Events!

Announcing our New Music Reading Session Events, 30th Anniversary Edition!

Hear our new Concert Band selections premiered at these unique events.
We listen to every new release that we can get our hands on. Doing so keeps us in touch with all new titles.


Wednesday August 24th @ 3:00 p.m.
TransAlta Performing Arts Studios Main Floor (free parking)
1302 6 Street S.E.
Calgary, AB
Click to register for Calgary!

Red Deer

Thursday August 25th @ 4:00 p.m.
Balmoral Community Hall (new venue)
#20, 26553 Hwy 11
Red Deer County, AB
Click to register for Red Deer!


Friday August 26th @ 3:00 p.m.
Strathearn Community League Hall (new venue)
9511 90 Street N.W.
Edmonton, AB
Click to register for Edmonton!

Our sessions are designed to help you select fine literature for all types of programming.

In addition to our new Concert Band selections, our new Jazz and Choir selections will also be at our Events, as will the following repertoire:

  • ABA Syllabus titles;
  • Library Classics;
  • Indigenous Music;
  • Under-Represented/Colourful Composers;
  • Female Composers;
  • Favourites;
  • Christmas/Holiday;
  • Light/Pop;
  • Sale; and
  • the latest Reference material for Music Educators.

We are grateful to have new music, and while we proceed through the listening process, we are happy to see a bigger crop of releases this year as publishers regain their footing.

While you are finding your music, we will treat you with supper and beverages.

There are few times for directors to meet amongst colleagues these days; this aims to bring you together and also to fill your soul.

Where two years prior we went online, and last year we were in-person with restrictions, this year we look forward to getting back to our unique and fun sessions that directors have come to know and love. Enjoy an enriching afternoon of new music, and collegiality.

Further, 2022-23 will mark 30 years! These Events will kick that celebration off!

In honour of our 30th Anniversary, we’re making it a significant year. Your presence will make it a distinguished event. Spread the word, bring a director friend or two.

Reminder – June Sale orders may be picked up on these dates.

Have a great summer, and we look forward to seeing you at a Session.

Thank you!

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New Music Ed Tools and KYIV 2022

New! Maximizing Student Performance: Student Music Journal – Wendy Barden

Seeking a resource to engage students in more meaningful performances in band, choir, and orchestra that is effective in both junior high or high school?
The Student Music Journal is perfectly-sized for easy storage in music folders and is designed to work for almost any ensemble and age. Based on best practices in the Maximizing Student Performance series, the Student Music Journal holds a year’s worth of prompts for students to analyze, interpret, evaluate, connect and reflect on the music they are rehearsing. Multiple opportunities in each task help students practice and develop each level of thinking. An accompanying Teacher Notes book gives considerations for effective use and grading. The Student Music Journal is brought to us from the fine people at Kjos, who also bring us Standard of Excellence and Tradition of Excellence, to name just a few.
The Student Music Journal comes as a Classroom Pack containing 25 student books and 1 teacher book – $44.95.
Individual student books are also available – $3.75 each.
Please click the below for sample pages and an index showing what is included:
W73CP – Student Music Journal – Teacher Notes (Introduction Page)
W73CP – Student Music Journal – Teacher Notes (Sample Pages)
W73S – Student Music Journal (Index)
W73S – Student Music Journal (Sample Pages)

Click to view on our page
See other books in the Maximizing Student Performance series by Wendy Barden.

Kyiv, 2022 (A Sequel to Moscow, 1941) – Brian Balmages. In stock. 100% proceeds to charity.

Kyiv, 2022Written as a powerful sequel to Moscow, 1941, Kyiv, 2022 changes the narrative, where the theme from Moscow now represents the aggressor, and the heroic people of Ukraine are represented by the Ukrainian National Anthem and the powerful song Prayer for Ukraine. Grade 3.

May is Woodwind Supplies Month!

As mentioned previously, our mini-promotion for the month of May is Woodwind Supplies @ 10% off. This includes reeds.

This in advance of our upcoming large June Sale where all supplies, method books and more are discounted. Stretch your budget now on woodwind supplies or wait for the June Sale coming soon. The June Sale has the popular option for delayed billing till fall on next year’s budget, or use remaining funds from this year. June Sale orders have a further option to be picked up at our Reading Session Events. These sessions will be announced shortly, and will be in-person. Yes people together – Hallelujah to that! And that means, very shortly, I’ll be listening to an avalanche of new music before the regular work days begin. Hello early mornings and giant cups of coffee!

La Matriarca – Matthew Putnam

Few titles are written for Mom or “The Matriarch” of the family, but this is. Consider La Matriarca if looking to honour the female heart of the family, or anytime a grade 2.5 Spanish march is needed.
Also a way to feature an euphonium player (cued bassoon).
Featured on our current volume 29 of select titles.

Hear a recording here.

Some light Mother’s Day humour.

Queried of a police recruit during an exam, “What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?”
He said, “Call for backup.”

“Asked to switch seats on the plane because she was sitting next to a crying baby. Apparently, that’s not allowed if the baby is yours.”

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Upbeat! – a prominent new release in music education…

New! – Upbeat! Mindset, Mindfulness, and Leadership in Music Education and Beyond by Dr. Matthew Arau. Forward by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser.
#G-10550 – $43.50 – in stock.

Upbeat! book

Just as a conductor’s preparatory “upbeat” gesture at the beginning of a performance influences the way an ensemble plays, we too get to choose our “upbeat”—our thoughts and attitudes—at the start of each day, at the beginning of each class, and in our interactions with students and colleagues.
With this clever premise at its core, Upbeat! presents a winning combination of mindset and mindfulness strategies as well as leadership principles that will motivate, inspire, and transform not only your internal world but the culture of your music program.
With immediately applicable ideas and strategies that work for students, and teachers Upbeat! affirms the importance of living and working with intentionality and establishes that what we do, why we do it, and how we do it matters.
We are seeing some school divisions in Canada adopting Upbeat! for every music program within their system. Inspiring and powerful!
“…a must read for all who wish to become highly effective conductors and composers of their lives.” – Dr. Paula Crider, Texas.
“Rarely is there a book that captures the moment as well as Dr. Matthew Arau’s Upbeat!” – Scott Edgar, author of Music Ed and Social Emotional Learning.
“A deafening BRAVO!” – Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser
Watch this short YouTube from Dr. Arau.


As we progress through the 2022 school year, we are pleased to present the following monthly promotions to help stretch your budget, culminating in our big annual year-end promotion; the June Sale.
AprilBrass and Percussion supplies receive an extra 10% off.
MayWoodwind supplies receive an extra 10% off.
June – The last month marks the time of our June Sale, where almost everything is discounted with a bonus of optional delayed billing till Fall and next year’s budget. The June Sale is our largest promotion and a great time to stock up for next year as we prepare to get closer to normal.

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New in Music Ed

New! – Rehearsing the Marching Band – Stephen Meyer. For the marching arts! – G-10639 – $28.95

Careful, on first glance of this book’s intro I thought it said martial arts, not marching arts haha! It is in fact marching arts, there is a slight difference, marching bands are much more physical.
Thirteen prominent educators in the marching arts provide insight into their philosophy and creative process for marching band show design and share innovative teaching strategies related to visual fundamentals, visual ensemble, and generating effects that cause audience reaction. Their guidance can be applied to all teaching situations and programs, whether the ensemble is in the early stages of development and growth or has enjoyed well-established success over many years.

New! – Creating Excellence in Choirs and Orchestras – Dr. Dennis Shrock – G-10449 – $57.95

As Shrock states, excellence is an attainable goal for anyone with a vision, a persistent commitment to that vision, and creative strategies to facilitate that vision’s realization. With this inspiring premise at its core, this insightful text guides readers as they embark on their own quest for musical excellence. While the book highlights the choral and orchestral mediums specifically, all concepts can be applied to any type of ensemble, from marching bands and wind ensembles to chamber groups. Further, the recommendations herein are not exclusively for the benefit of conductors. Music teachers, church musicians, ensemble members, and administrative staff will glean from these pages as well.

New to us! – Silk Bari Sax Swab – HSBSS – $35.95

The Hodge silk baritone saxophone swab is uniquely designed to swab out the circular part of the body after each playing session; keeps the area clean and prevents gunk from building up. It is a foam covered flexible snake, 24 inches long, with a silk covering which quickly absorbs the water that has accumulated. This swab is pushed into the top of the saxophone and around the loop and then pulled back out removing the moisture. The neck is cleaned similarly. This gets more and more requests and as such has become a regularly stocked item for us.

Thought for the day…

Respect grandparents – they graduated without calculators, and Google.
Nothing is truly lost, until mom can’t find it.

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Happy New Year!

Released at the recent Midwest Clinic…

New! – Building a Band Program That Lasts

Building a bandby Trey Reely G-10590 – $28.95.

Whether you are about to begin your band-directing career or have long since taken the plunge, Building a Band Program That Lasts will give you the essential tools needed to build longevity and lasting success.  With a focus on retention and motivation and finding paralleled accomplishments in both band and personal life this is a pertinent book for our times.  The very theories that lead to consistent success with a band program are the perfect tonic for your own well-being.  From veteran teacher and humorist Trey Reely, some of whom you may know via his web series Band Talk.

New! – Resonance, The Art of the Choral Music Educator

by Christopher W. Peterson – 00365359 – $69.95

Geared towards the senior high director, upper level choir director, or post secondary director. Resonance, The Art of the Choral Music Educator is an all-in-one choral methodology and sourcebook for our time.

3D Mask for Singers

50 pack – $49.95

This disposable (but capable of many wearings), $1 Canadian-made 3D Mask for Singers is comfortable, easy to breathe and sing through, and latex-free. Its 3-layer construction includes a melt-blown polypropylene filter layer, with 3D shape (despite packing flat!) for enhanced volume and filtration surface area. And it is extremely light and comfortable to wear, with negligible impact on sound production. One size (medium-large) available.

Coffee Gift Card

As mentioned in December, our popular Coffee Gift Card promotion is back for January.

Orders of $200 or over placed through end of January will receive a Starbucks or Tim’s gift card. Enjoy a beverage or lunch on us!

This applies to orders of supplies, music or anything off of our page. Card will be included with your order. A way of saying “Thank you!”

We look forward to aiding in the achievement of your musical goals in 2022.

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Merry and Bright!

Season’s Greetings!
It’s been a year as unique as Rudolph himself. Everyone has worked their tinsel off.

As 2021 draws to a close, we wish to say “Thank You!” and to extend Congratulations to you on your accomplishments in the year. 

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season! 

Hint of the (Better)New Year

Our popular January promotion will continue with free gift cards. Orders of $200 or over placed now through end of January will receive a free Starbucks or Tim’s card. Enjoy a beverage or lunch on us.

This applies to orders of supplies, music or anything off our page. Card will be included with your order. A special way of saying Thank you!

 We look forward to aiding in the achievement of your musical goals in 2022.

May your holidays be merry and bright!!

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What’s New in Music Ed…

Hello!  Please see below for what’s new in music ed…

A Music Teacher’s Gratitude Journal – Krista Hart.  Gratitude can be a key ingredient in attaining peace, happiness and reducing stress.  This gratitude journal for music teachers makes a nice Christmas gift (for yourself or a colleague).  See more gift ideas in our next upcoming email…
For a YouTube video from the author click here

Portraits of Social Emotional Learning – Scott Edgar.  This is the second book from Scott Edgar on Social Emotional Learning, this highlights stories and real life experiences of music teachers using SEL from elementary to high school.  The first book being the yellow covered one,
For a YouTube video from the author click here

Quattrosicles – Eight Diverse Quartets for Assorted Percussion – Row-Loff
New in the Sicles series from Row-Loff is Quattrosicles, featuring quartets at the grade 2-3 level.  For a video of one of the selections titled On Point click here.
To see other ensembles in the series and more click here

More (Coda)… Despite the delays you hear about shipping many things these days we remain committed to getting things promptly and so far have had pretty good luck avoiding waits (bell covers aside – but still not too long).  The adage “You’d better order Christmas presents at Halloween if you want them by Easter” seems to be getting more popular.  Although there are some holdups music for the most part has not been slowed, and that’s partly because it does not arrive via a container ship from overseas, and publishers have worked hard to keep things on the shelf with less staff.  Regardless, our Rush Speed/Reg Price service with the two larger publishers (Hal Leonard and Alfred/Belwin) consistently connects you with the source for about 75% of music for schools, every single week.  Place your order by Thursday, we order Friday and its here in 2 business days. We cover the rush shipping.  For this reason we like to call Thursdays, “Order Thursdays”.

Everyone please welcome George Langley and Stephen Pittman to our crew at Music Direct.

To lighten/brighten your day…90% of gym members don’t know it’s closed. If your eyes hurt from excess screen time, there’s a nap for that.Double negatives are a no-no in English.Dogs prepare you for babies, cats for teenagers.A snowman with a six-pack is an abdominal snowman.Thanksgiving is for counting blessings, not carbs.
Thank you for supporting small biz!  
Best wishes in your December concerts, be them recorded or in-person.  It’s great to know you are playing or singing.