Music FUNdations

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MUSIC FUNDATIONS - Music Education Re-imagined

This revolutionary book that re-imagines how we teach young musicians, and is designed with three goals in mind:

1. Create better musicians

2. Make students aware of how to be better citizens and leaders

3. Have more fun in band!

When completed, the students will not only have learned a great deal but will have a memory-filled journal that they and their parents will treasure forever. Written by two leading authorities with over 70 years in the profession, Robert Sheldon and Scott Lang have created something truly new and unique.

The book's five chapters are sequentially built to address the five elements of social-emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and decision making. All SEL elements are woven into the music so teachers can provide real-life skills while developing real musical skills. Early in the book, students establish a code of conduct and make decisions as a group about acceptable and unacceptable behavior.  

Our nine characters (Brayden, Mada, Evan, Elisa, Aiko, Miguel, Tanisha, Amir, and Rexi the dog) represent different ethnicities, nationalities and personalities. Each character speaks to their unique challenges (Asperger syndrome, paraplegia, struggles with learning) in a meaningful way that addresses diversity, empathy, and acceptance. The book also encourages meaningful engagement with parents on a musical and personal level. Practice records are replaced with conversation starters, performance opportunities, and familial interaction. Parents will see their child growing as a musician and a person right before their eyes.

Students are also provided with a variety of ways to play and rehearse (pad slapping, buzzing, bopping, clapping, counting, air-banding, etc…) that make music fun! These techniques will not only "funnify" your rehearsals, but more importantly increase the music literacy levels of your students.  Musical styles, improvisation, conducting, and arranging are introduced and explored. Students receive a more complete and holistic look at what music is and how they can do really big things even as a beginner. As the book progresses, single line exercises become duets, trios, quartets, and small ensembles. The lines (A, B, C, D) provide for layered instruction with increasing difficulty. Students can be met and challenged at their individual level inside a group setting. In addition to learning different ways to rehearse, play, and read music, they also practice sight reading, music memorization, and commonly used rhythms and keys. 

Four “Band-It Band” pieces are included.  These short arrangements are memorized by the students and allow them to become a run-out pep band. Themed around specific times of year, these serve to incentivise the students to practice while providing unique performance opportunities.  In chapters four and five, students can break into chamber ensembles where they make all the musical decisions (part assignments, tempos, dynamics, etc…) as they prepare to host an evening of chamber music.

And a dog… Cause everything is better with a dog! Say hello to Rexi :-)