Sax on the Web Forum banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm a lifelong clarinet and saxophone player. The school where I give lessons is now going to give their beginning and intermediate high-schoolers a group lesson class as well as a band class, starting next year. So I'm trying to source teaching materials to use in these classes. There will be a two semester Beginning Saxophone Techniques class and a two semester Intermediate Saxophone Techniques class.

I couldn't be more stoked for the opportunity.

However, there will be multiple teachers covering these sections depending on who's available, not all of whom may be saxophone experts, so I wanted to find method books with the following criteria:

-introduce the material, essentially, in a sequential lesson plan
-practice various musical skills (tempi, rhythms, rests, melodies) on the first few notes... not just throw 4 pages of whole notes and half notes at you (looking at you Rubank)
-contextualize the challenges of the instrument as they appear
-emphasize and exercise tone production
-use slurred passages to teach a continuous airstream. SO MANY old methods introduce notes as strings of quarter notes on one tone, encouraging the student to "huff, huff" the notes out. Repeated quarter notes in beginning methods basically teach the "horrible middle school band" sound, IMO.

The lightbulb-over-the-head moment for me was when I was acquainted with the New Weissenborn Bassoon Method, which is laid out as above. About one new note per lesson, full explanations of the new techniques, 6-8 exercises with varied dynamics and rhythms, and a duet with the teacher... all from lesson 1! I said, where was this book for clarinet when I was learning?

In addition to using the method books I decide on, I'll also develop a standard warmup which will integrate into what they do in band class.

Here are the books I've chosen already:

Flute: The Trevor Wye Beginner Flute series
Oboe: ?
Bassoon: The New Weissenborn Method
Clarinet: crossing my fingers on the Practical Approach to the Clarinet by David Etheridge. Just ordered a set.
Saxophone: ?
Brass: ?
Percussion: A Fresh Approach to Percussion

None of the recommendations I've found so far for saxophone meet the above criteria. Any ideas? I'm also open to method suggestions for the other instruments with question marks listed above and for concert band in general. Accent on Achievement, Essential Elements, and Standard of Excellence are all one-size-fits-none approaches to group instruction in my opinion. Essential Elements might be the least bad. But I'm really wondering if there are other options out there.

I'm really pumped for the changes we have an opportunity to make. It's rare to get a whole program on the same level like this. I look forward to you comments!
 
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
Top