A better method for your band.

What is The Next Step you ask? This is a beginning band method book that is not out to reinvent the wheel but to improve upon it. Sometimes through out a school year, we as directors ask "Why doesn't my band sound better?". Personally, I asked myself this numerous times. What could I have been doing wrong? I had good size bands, they played at their appropriate skill levels, and the long tones were an abundant part of my routine. I was also using the same band method book I was taught on and it worked for me.

Several factors made me stop and rethink the what and how in my teaching strategies.

First, a colleague of mine introduced me to the concept of small instruments, a book by Eddie Green, and the realization that the only important thing to accomplish as a beginner is proper tone. Performing long tones is good practice but if we do not continually correct the bad and lazy habits of the improper emboucheres in our band no amount of long tones can fix that.

Second, the method book was not in line with how we need to teach students. There are numerous concepts being thrown at the students in every section of the book. I relate it to a firehose; the books opens a fire hose on the students but only a small percentage of the water is sticking to them.

  • This book is built to allow the director to provide all the information for every concept. Definitions, How To, and Instructions are left up to the direct to supply their students.
  • Eliminated all dynamics and articulations. This book is focused on tone not dynamics and articulations. Dynamics and articulations can interfere in building proper air support. Once a proper tone is established then dynamics and articulations can be added in.
  • Measure numbers on every exercise. This is just a time saver.
  • Virtual Method Book. Under student resourses there is a virtual method book for students to use when they lose theirs.

Last updated 6/24/2020