Although music-making is an interaction between the maker and the organized sounds she is making, virtually all beginning band method books used in United States public schools attempt to teach music notation literacy prior to and along side the act of making music. Although research shows that music is learned more effectively when taught aurally first and visually sometime later, most music educators admit to using one of these “traditional” books. Many times, they find the need to supplement these books due to a lack of authentic music-making inherent within them. Furthermore, new educators tend to rely on the “traditional” book as their entire curriculum unknowing of any other method of instruction. There are several “alternative” beginning band methods available that attempt a sound-before-symbol approach, but only one is published, is not widely used, and attempts to completely replace the “traditional” method book.
What follows is an approach that combines methods of various veteran music educators with research-proven data, and culminates with a book and video series to be used before and alongside any traditional method book. Rather than replacing the traditional method, this approach attempts to do what has yet to be done: provide a reliable segue to using the sound-before-symbol approach to music learning in a way that still relies on the traditional band method book.