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What my students need...supplemental material!

As a teacher, I always need to supplement the method books I use with all sorts of materials such as handouts. My students will lose them; I will make copy after copy, I'll post them on our Google Classroom page, and so on. This has become really daunting in my planning time. So I decided that I needed to create a supplemental book with all of the documents that I want my students to have. So I then thought to myself, "What do I want my students to know that cannot be found in their method books?".

I sat down and made a list and looked at all the handouts I had saved in a folder and/or had posted in Google Classroom. It really created itself. So I gathered up all the materials and started to create a certain flow to develop my book. I created my first version a year ago. I was happy with it, but I didn't have the time to include page numbers or had a teacher copy to use my instrument or a flute (band) and violin (orchestra). This year is the second year of this book. My student teacher wanted to help out with the second edition of this book. We included page numbers and revamped some of the material to reflect that our program is virtual this school year.

I have used Essential Elements for band and orchestra for over 12 years. I enjoyed it, a good method book, but I needed something new. I had my eye on Sound Innovations series for some time now, but I wasn't ready to make the switch. I finally made a move, and I love it!

However, with any method book, it doesn't address everything like how to tune, pitch tendencies (orchestra books)- rhythm studies in the back of the book like the band books have, cleaning your instrument, and much more. So I have gathered and created material to compile for my students. Here are some items that I shared in my supplemental books for my students:

Orchestra: - How to tune your instrument

- Rhythm studies

- Bowing studies

- Tone Production

- Balance, Blend, Sound Pyramid

- Theory material

- Practice techniques

- Intervals

- Solo and Ensemble / Festival preparation tips

- Staff paper

- Vibrato

- Cleaning your instrument

- Many different warm-ups

and more!


- How to tune your instrument

- Rhythm Studies

- Pitch tendencies

- Fingering charts

- Many different warm-ups (ability based)

- Transposition chart

- Solo and Ensemble / Festival preparation tips

- Staff Paper

- Chorales

- How to clean your instrument

- March style and practice

- How to practice

- Articulation studies

- Scales

and more!

There are some things that you can't get into a method book 1 and 2 at this level; you need so many more books or make it a larger book to include all these concepts or to expand further. It has been really successful and loved by my students.

How it was put together. My student teacher and I compiled all the material, put the material into folders for each instrument. After creating the table of contents, layout, front cover, and run the files in a program to number the pages, the book is sent off to our district printing service company. They print and bind all of the copies.

Doing this has saved so much time from fighting to get my way in the teacher workroom to make copies. I can go from the method book right to the supplemental book to expand on a concept. The students can have a fingering chart, and their method book opened at the same time. Teachers, it is so worth the time, energy, and efforts to create a supplemental book for your program and situation!


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