1. Colwell, R.J., Goolsby, T. (1992). The Teaching of Instrumental Music (2nd Edition)
2. In The Teaching of Instrumental Music (1992), Richard J. Colwell, and Thomas Goolsby provide knowledge of how to teach instrumental music; from the history of the subject, to the logistics of running a music program, and information about every band instrument.
3. Here is a list of things I found in the book that I thought would be of good use. These are not direct quotes but I have included the page number that I found them on:
- p. 17 Teaching music as an art can be accomplished by helping students recognized the following; balance, contrast, tension, relaxation, form, texture, color, mood, and then teaching how these things are related.
- p. 19 Use skill oriented objectives such as; mental skills, aural skills, physical dexterity on the instrument, and musical understanding.
- p. 21 A music program is continuous, k-12.
- p. 27 Evaluative tools; Measures of musical aptitude, measures of musical achievement, audio and video recorders, self judging/ peer review, computers, contests, private lessons, interviews with students, student logs, critical-incidents tests, attitude scales, preference scales, practice cards, sectionals, student demonstrations, point systems, check lists, and teacher-constructed tests.
- p. 35 Evaluating music as an activity includes; participation, attitude, and habits.
- p. 42 Motivation is priority to keep students interested.
- p. 56 Organization is key to a good music program and effective administration.
- p. 63 As the director, be cautious about accepting any money.
- p. 71 Include parents in activities by creating a band boosters organization.
- p. 77 Make the instrumental music program visible in public and at local elementary and middle schools.
- p. 93 4-5 minutes of technical drill and sight reading should be included every day in rehearsal.
- p. 96 End rehearsal on a positive note with previously learned material.
- p. 101 At least one auditorium rehearsal should be had for every concert.
- p. 125 Save drill with individual sections for scheduled sectional rehearsals.
- p. 131 “Proper breathing” only happens when “proper posture” is attained.
- p. 161 Begin flute players on the head joint alone to concentrate on correct embouchure and sound production.
- p. 188 Do not start a beginner on oboe or bassoon, due to the disconnect of how difficult beginning band books are for these instruments.
- p. 264 Good tonguing on clarinet is developed by slowly learning to coordinate fingers and tongue.
- p. 291 Saxophone is one of the easiest instruments to produce sound on, yet the most difficult to produce a good sound on.
- p. 340 The best mouthpiece for brass beginners is a medium-sized cup with a standard rim.
- p. 359 one of the most important variables in good horn sound is the air stream.
- p. 383 Students who have trouble producing a tone should buzz using the mouthpiece only.
- p. 413 The trombone slide speed should always move at the same rapid speed regardless of the speed of the passage.
- p. 458 The biggest element in tone on tuba is having plenty of air, and support for the air as well as a relaxed throat and jaw.
- p. 472 percussion ensembles are an important part of motivating the young percussionist.
4. The Teaching of Instrumental Music (1992) has brought me extensive knowledge of the history of how instrumental music came to be in schools. The following quotation from the 1927 Dallas meeting of the Department of Superintendence brought about many new music programs:
“The audience was highly impressed by the orchestra’s performance and passed this resolution: “We would record our full appreciation of the fine musical programs and art exhibits in connection with this convention. They are good evidence that we are rightly coming to regard music, art and other similar subjects as fundamental in the education of American children. We recommend that they be given everywhere equal consideration and support with other basic subjects.” This resolution resulted in the initiation of hundreds of instrumental programs in schools across the country.” (p. 9-10)
This book also provides great advice on evaluative tools that can be used by directors.
“Evaluation is dependent on objectives and, similarly, objectives cannot function without evaluation.” (p. 31)
I will use these suggestions to my advantage in the classroom to ensure that every student is evaluated fairly and effectively. Not only is fair evaluation important but almost just as important is the motivation of students both intrinsically and extrinsically. This is crucial to any successful program.
“Whether the characteristic of fun is intrinsic or extrinsic, the study of music must be fun. The fun of being in band or orchestra may be the student’s goal– and the student determines whether the fun and enjoyment of performance justifies the extensive study and practice.” (p. 43)
The number-one thing in good administration of a band program is parent and student involvement. With the help of parents and students, keeping your administrators happy will be that much easier for you.
“Parents’ organizations can handle a variety of tasks such as helping with concerts, trips, fund raising when necessary, and chaperoning. All of the effort put into administration will be enhanced by the practice of consistently keeping the principal informed.” (p. 58)
An effective director/leader has knowledge of all instruments in his or her band program. This book provides in-depth information over each instrument and is a great reference guide to have on any bookshelf.