Do It!: Play in Band Method Book

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On the surface, Do It!: Play in Band appears to be a great resource to implement in the beginning band classroom: music of many different styles, time periods, forms, and nationalities is incorporated into the method book, it includes not one but two CDs of accompaniments for students to play along with, and opportunities to improvisation using different methods abound. However, upon digging deeper into the text, one may find that the book is flawed in several critical ways. This text contains both good and bad elements of a beginning band method book, and if an instructor is willing to supplement the book with their own exercises and sequencing, the book could yield positive results for your beginning band students.
Not to be short-sided this method book does have redeeming qualities that the band instructor could take advantage of. As mentioned before, the variety of music used in this text is quite extensive. Music of all different styles from the United States is used, as is music from other countries in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Within these different musical styles, the variety of musical forms incorporated is also good, as ethnic styles, such as polka, as well as other standard musical forms like waltzes and ballads are used. In addition, many of the exercises – such as the “Listen and play” tunes – throughout the book encourage students to use the accompanying CD, which contains quality sound models for the students to hear, reinforcing ideas for good tone production. Other helpful elements included towards the beginning of the book include a simple practice journal and illustrations and instructions on developing the basics of proper embouchure, posture, and hand position. As an added bonus, the represen...

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...ng students establish good, fundamental, subdivided rhythmic pulse. This being said, this book should not be completely taken out of the equation when choosing a method book for your classroom. The lessons involving improvisation and composition are very valuable and could be easily extracted from the text and used with a different method book. In addition, this book’s adept teaching of beginning percussion is desirable, and some aspects of the percussion lessons would be very useful for beginning band students. With these benefits as well as drawbacks in mind, one could choose to teach with this book and do it effectively, given that he/she devised a logical sequence of the exercises and information available in the beginning of the book, which may or may not require supplementary materials such as providing correct harmonies to exercises teaching the first notes.

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