SoundStart for Band by Brian Appleby

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SoundStart for Band is our beginning band method which is used by many music programs in western Canada.  It is the product of Brian's over 30 years of experience starting beginners.


Ten lessons use forty songs to achieve a carefully sequenced introduction of notes and reading skills, producing maximum results in minimum time, while having fun.  


Two CD's are included featuring multiple tempos and solo versions (with extra repetitions) for most songs.  CD's may be copied for home practice, and the tracks are also freely downloadable in mp3 format on this page.


Important features include special supplementary pages for accelerated development of the clarinet section, integrated theory and rhythm pages, and optional electric bass and guitar parts.


SoundStart for Band includes a detailed coil bound teacher's manual, a set of two CD's, and a binder of student photocopy masters.

SoundStart for Band


Features of SoundStart for Band


Organized for maximum efficiency - features 40 short tunes organized into ten very logically sequenced lessons, designed to be mostly completed by Christmas, even for programs where students meet only two or three times a week.  Students will develop the skills they need to play beginning band music.


Permission to photocopy - student parts come in the form of master pages which may be photocopied as needed. These can be handed out one at a time for students to put in binders, or they may be compiled into booklets.  You never have to buy new books or replacements again!


Extensive Teacher’s Manual - techniques and solutions developed over thirty years of teaching beginning band are outlined in detail, with lots of step-by-step suggestions for teachers.


First priorities: look good, sound good - the initial emphasis is on getting physically comfortable with the instrument, while using correct physical basics.  Making a good sound is the number one priority; the first few songs are short, use only three notes, and are easy enough to teach by rote, so students can devote all their initial energy to looking good and sounding good, before they turn their attention to reading.


Intelligent note vocabulary and range development - the order of introduction of notes is somewhat unique, and works well for all instruments, including horns.


Outstanding rhythmic development - playing along with the recorded accompaniments encourages the development of rhythmic feel. Rhythms up to and including the dotted quarter note are covered in a systematic and thorough manner.


The accompaniments really work - recorded accompaniments are provided for all the melodies on two CD’s, also available as free mp3 downloads from this page on our web site.  These are in a wide variety of styles and have been extensively field tested with beginning students.  They use easy-to-follow musical introductions rather than distracting count-ins. Most songs are recorded at two tempos (more for some “speed” songs).  Most songs have “solo” versions with multiple repeats so individuals and sections can be checked in class, or featured in performance.  The tracks can be used to give a very effective first performance early in the year.


Students practice more - they are very motivated to practice at home.  With copies of the accompaniments available to each student (mp3 versions are freely downloadable from this web site) students can sound great at home, and put on their own “performances” for family and friends very early in the year. Some parents have reported that the only “problem” they have is getting students to stop practicing!


Theory pages introduce concepts in a clear, logically sequenced manner. All information needed to understand beginning band music is covered.


Extended songs at four key points introduce the "look" of band pieces while remaining in unison.


A series of Clarinet Specials is included to accelerate the development of your clarinet players (who have to learn more notes than everyone else), with lots of early emphasis on the right hand low notes, and a well-introduced use of the second register.


Percussion players have a choice of mallet or snare drum parts.  The snare parts follow a very logical progression and prepare students for virtually any part they may encounter in young band pieces.  


Optional Electric Bass and Guitar parts are included for all lessons. These pages are very useful for teaching young  players to read music.  A bright student can effectively use these pages for self-study.

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