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Internet Makes Music: Sound Innovations

SI Book Covers I recently tried out a great idea from Alfred Music Publishing. It’s Sound Innovations a way Music educators and Music department heads can create and modify beginning concert band or string orchestra lessons/”method”. It’s as simple as going online and clicking through the choices that best suit your students’ needs. I was able to create a book specific to trombone in a matter of moments. My music knowledge is limited to what I remember from guitar lessons as a kid, so someone with a bit more knowledge will have an even easier go of it.

According to Alfred Music, the “method” will be available in two formats: the Standard Edition and Director's Choice edition, which allows teachers to customize the method's pedagogy, music, and enrichment materials based on their experiences and preferences.

They are written to state and national standards and based on comprehensive research of music educators' needs and preferences, Sound Innovations provides fundamental teaching tools in a clear and organized format that allows directors to incorporate their own style of teaching.

Sound Innovations is written by music educators Robert Sheldon, Bob Phillips, Peter Boonshaft, and Dave Black, "We surveyed a vast number of music teachers from all parts of the country to find out about their teaching, what they want in a method, and what would be the most helpful in meeting the challenges they face based on their unique teaching situation," said Phillips. "We looked at everything available for teachers, got in depth information about their preferences, and pieced together the best of all worlds, with many exciting new additions."

Sound Innovations: Director’s Choice allows a director to easily customize the method to fit his/her unique teaching styles and classroom situations. "We're empowering teachers to select what they want to teach and the way they want to teach it, by allowing them to choose the things they do and don't want in their method book, while still providing the solid foundation they need," said Boonshaft.

And there’s more, including an MP3 CD with instrument-specific recordings of every single line of music in each student book, and their SmartMusic program provides free access to the first 100 lines of music for students using Sound Innovations.

I recommend that district music staff and department heads check out Sound Innovations at www.alfred.com/soundinnovations to use the internet-based step-by-step program to build and preview their own method, or to view sample books.

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