Monthly Archives: February 2011

Have you Met Freddie the Frog?

Have You Met Freddie the Frog? 

Freddie the Frog is an elementary music sensation! He’s a music teacher’s best friend, especially in teaching preschool through third grade students the basic elements of music.

Using the 14″ hand puppet, in conjunction with the storybooks (written by Sharon Burch; illustrated by Tiffany Harris), is a fun, creative, engaging way to introduce treble clef, bass clef, tempo, beats, rhythm, and more.

The first book in the series is Freddie the Frog and the Thump in the Night, where Freddie explores Treble Clef Island and discovers big adventures. The treble clef comes alive as a map of where Freddie lives, and the various lines and spaces represent each part of the story.

In Freddie the Frog and the Bass Clef Monster, Freddie’s adventures continue, when he awakens from hiberanation to discover that he is not on his beloved Treble Clef Island. As he searches for home, he discovers dancing bees, a moonlit cocoon garden, a fire-breathing dragon and the Bass Clef monster. Here, too, lines and spaces represent a map of this eerie adventure, and sound effects and music bring it to life.

The series’ third installment is Freddie the Frog and the Mysterious Wahooooo, where Freddie and his best friend, Eli the Elephant discover the tempo, rhythm and beats of Tempo Island. Eli and Freddie are perfect in introducing kids to the joys of playing rhythm instruments.

Freddie the Frog and the Secret of Crater Island, the fourth in the series (so far), teaches six note names and completes the treble clef staff that was first introduced in Freddie the Frog and the the Thump in the Night.

All the books include an audio CD with story narration and bonus sing-a-long songs. In addition, there are supplemental teaching aids available, including flash card sets, a rhythm game, and posters.

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Elementary Music Mondays, the series, posts to www.pendersbuzz.com about twice a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!

American Idol-ization

It’s American Idol Season on Fox, and final cuts are currently being made for the live competition shows. This brings to mind the formal vocal audition process – it was sometimes albeit painfully obvious as you watched the city-to-city auditions, that some of the singers were quite well prepared, while others simply fell apart in the heat of the moment, when it really counted the most.

If you’re a choral or voice student in an organized music program, perhaps you’re thinking about auditioning soon to get into a particular workshop event; to perform over the summer in a community theatre production; or perhaps even to get accepted into a degree program at a college or university that has a great school of fine arts.

Don’t become the American Idol statistic of unpreparedness and nervousness, or the next YouTube viral video for the wrong reasons. Find out what you can about the audition process for the specific event, production, or degree program that you’re interested in. Ask the organizer(s) lots of questions if you can, and try to find some people that have previously gone through the same type of audition, in order to get some feedback from them, too.  Make sure that you adhere to their criteria and rules, whatever it may be – song choice, length of audition, dress code, etc. It’s all important, and falling below acceptable levels in any one area could make or break your success in getting what you want.

Nowadays, in many vocal audition situations, particularly in Broadway and contemporary music, you’re not expected or even required to sing a song in its entirety.  You may actually be asked to sing only 8, 16, or 32 measures of it. What’s important to know here, is that you really need to select the right 8, 16, or 32 measures of the song – that magical part of it that shows off your range, musicality, versatility, etc.  And that can be hard to do, especially if you don’t have much experience in it to begin with.

Luckily, there’s now a wide range of music books (many with CDs available) that can help.  You can be ultra-prepared in so many ways – maybe you’ve asked many questions, practiced a lot, plan to be dressed appropriately and more – but if you’ve chosen the wrong song, you’re probably sunk, before you’ve even really begun. Don’t American Idol-ize yourself, and let that happen to you. Ask Questions. Get Prepared. And choose the right song, because success for you might be just around the corner!

 

Audition Songs for Male Singers:

Broadway Favorites
Classic Soul
Classical Greats
Elvis Presley
Film Hits
Rock Favorites
Standard Favorites

Audition Songs for Female Singers

Broadway Favorites
Broadway Standards
Classical Greats
Favorite Pop Songs
Favorite Standards

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Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology – 16-Bar Audition

Soprano
Mezzo-Soprano
Tenor
Baritone/Bass

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16-Bar Theatre Audition

Soprano
Mezzo-Soprano
Tenor
Baritone/Bass

 

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16-Bar Pop/Rock Audition

Men
Women

Kids

Audition Songs
Musical Theatre Audition – Boys
Musical Theatre Audition – Girls

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Friday’s Focus for Vocal, the series, posts to www.pendersbuzz.com about once a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!

On Being the Best

Every now and again, it’s nice to take a break from the mechanics of teaching and read something that’s informative, historical and inspirational, to give you that boost you might need in reaching your next goal. Many of the publications available from Meredith Music definitely fit the bill.

One of the newest is The Best We Can Be: A History of the Ithaca High School Band 1955-67. This inspiring story provides an extraordinary model for band programs of today and tomorrow explaining how the most creative high school band program in America’s history evolved and functioned daily, with glimpses of individuals involved including Frederick Fennell, Norman Dello Joio, Vincent Persichetti, William D. Revelli, Warren Benson, Richard Franko Goldman, Donald Sinta, Harvey Phillips, “Doc” Severinsen and Benny Goodman.

Here’s a YouTube video of Garwood Whaley, President & Founder of Meredith Music Publications, with some of his thoughts about this significant book by Frank L. Battisti and R. Bruce Musgrave:

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Midweek Newspeak for band/instrumental, the series, posts to www.pendersbuzz.com a couple of times a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!

March is Music in Our Schools Month

Did you know that March is Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM)? That’s right, in just a few days there will be a prime chance to highlight the music program in your own school, or perhaps the school(s) of your past, or maybe the school(s) of someone you know and/or are related to.

MIOSM is when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation, and the celebration has grown since its inception in 1973. MIOSM began as a single statewide event. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is a perfect venue for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community and to display the benefits school music brings to students of all ages. The theme for 2011 is Music Lasts a Lifetime.

It’s also a prime time to heighten the awareness of all school music programs, since it’s budget time for many school boards. In this era where all cuts are discussed in earnest, there’s no better opportunity than now to chime in and make your case for the preservation of your program.

Things that can help:

Music in Our Schools Month Website: The destination for resources and guidance in celebrating the month in your school, including logos, activity ideas, contests, advocacy and more.

SupportMusic.com: SupportMusic.com is a public service initiative that impacts resolve and support for music education in local communities around the United States and abroad. Tens of thousands of concerned citizens visit the website every month and use its resources to keep music education strong in their schools and communities.

The Make Your Case database, powered by SupportMusic.com, and presented through MENC: This destination will help you build a case for your music program, particularly if it’s threatened. Music education advocates can use the facts, statistics, research, and anecdotes on specific topics for presentations, speeches, and other communications with school board members, administrators, and legislators.

Music indeed lasts a lifetime…..celebrate Music in Our Schools Month!

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Elementary Music Mondays, the series, posts to www.pendersbuzz.com a couple of times a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!

The Choir & the Community

Is your choir in a community that supports the arts, and supports your music program? If so, you might want to fill out a nationwide survey that searches for communities whose [music] programs exemplify commitment to music education.

Once analyzed, your school or school district might be listed as an official NAMM Best Community for Music Education.

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What you need to know:

NAMM: The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry.

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The NAMM Foundation:  A non-profit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.

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Best Communities for Music Education (BCME): Amid a backdrop of arts education budget cuts, the NAMM Foundation continues its effort to recognize schools across the U.S. that support music education and provide opportunities for children and young people to learn and grow with music. Their survey has been conducted annually since 1998.

The List: The projected announcement of the BCME final roster is Monday, May 2, 2011.

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Choral Cache Thursdays, the series, will post to www.pendersbuzz.com a couple of times a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!

Back to Bach

The Denton Bach Society (DBS) hosts a competition each year for young musicians, where the prizes in each division include $150 cash, a Pender’s Music Co. gift certificate, and the opportunity to perform at a Denton Bach Society event.

Any high school or home-schooled student of voice, piano or an orchestral instrument may enter. Students from Denton County and its adjacent counties are eligible (Competitors must have turned 14 by September 1, 2010).

Do you want to enter, or know someone who might be interested? Here’s what you need to know:

The Music: To enter, eligible musicians must prepare two challenging pieces, each in a contrasting style. The pieces must be approved by the student’s instructor, as well as the DBS audition committee. The audition itself lasts only 10 minutes, so participants may not be required to perform each piece in their entirety.

The Money: An entry fee of $15 is required, and needs to be made to The Denton Bach Society. It should be sent with the completed application form.

 

The Method: Applications may be obtained at Pender’s Music Company [Denton].

The Mail: The Application and fee must be mailed to Heidi Klein, Denton, TX 76201. Postmark may be no later than Friday, April 15, 2011. Entrants will be notified of the exact time and place of their audition.

The Denton Bach Society: The Denton Bach Society (DBS) exists to provide Denton and the greater North Texas Community with the highest quality choral and instrumental music, particularly of the baroque period, at a reasonable cost and in a format which encourages attendance by the widest possible audience. Established in 1976 as a not-for-profit organization, the Society and its performance groups, the Denton Bach Choir and the Denton Bach Orchestra continue to offer the community a unique and accessible opportunity to experience fine choral and instrumental music. For more information about the DBS or the Competition, you may contact Heidi Klein – heidiklein@verizon.net.

Tuesday’s Tidbits for Strings, the series, will post to www.pendersbuzz.com about once a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!

One O’Clock Lab Band @ TMEA

Hopefully all of you jazzers out there @ the TMEA Convention made it to the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band concert that was held last night at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. If not, however, all is not lost. Pender’s is one of the primary distributors of UNT’s Lab Band recordings.

UNT’s premier jazz ensemble, the One O’Clock Lab band, was nominated for a Grammy (Best Large Jazz Ensemble) in 2009 for their CD, Lab 2009; their conductor, Steve Wiest, was also nominated that year for his composition, Ice-Nine (Best Instrumental Composition), which is recorded on the same CD.

The UNT College of Music, their Jazz Studies Program (the first of its kind in the nation), and the Lab Band traditions have a great history in North Texas, as well as across the country. If you missed the performance at TMEA, maybe you can catch one later in the spring.

Boonshaft on Teaching Music

This week is the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, and many members of our staff are away from our store(s) manning the booths there. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of all that’s going on, once you get to San Antonio — there’s definitely something that appeals to everyone there. This year, one of our favorites is in Texas again: Dr. Peter Boonshaft.

One of Boonshaft’s latest endeavors is as the co-author of a new band method, Sound Innovations by Alfred Publishing Company. But it’s perhaps his Teaching books that resonate and speak volumes for most of us. There are three books in the series: Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise.

Additionally, Boonshaft has melded the three inspirational music education books into a whole new edition, which is appropriate for ALL educators. It’s entitled Teaching Music with Passion, Purpose and Promise, and was released 2010.

Boonshaft will be presenting two sessions at TMEA, plus he’ll be in the Pender’s booth immediately following the sessions. Attend either or both of the sessions, and then stop by our booth to say HELLO!

Unleashing the Power of Sound Innovations: The Revolutionary New Band & String Method
Friday, February 11th
12:30 – 1:30pm – CC102
Clinicians: Bob Phillips (Alfred Publishing Co.) & Dr. Peter Boonshaft (Hofstra University)

The 33 P’s of How to Conduct a Wonderful Rehearsal
Friday, February 11th
2:00 – 3:00pm – CC Ballroom B
Clinican: Dr. Peter Boonshaft (Hofstra University)

Dr. Peter Boonshaft in the Pender’s Booth

Friday, February 11th
3:15 – 4:15pm – Band Island (near booth 1420)

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Midweek Newspeak for band/instrumental, the series, will post to www.pendersbuzz.com a couple of times a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!

John Jacobson @ TMEA & in the Pender’s Booth 02/11

John Jacobson, now a bonafide YouTube sensation, will be at the TMEA convention on Friday, February 11th to speak about his new publication written in collaboration with Cristi Cary Miller, Order from Chaos.

Incorporating tidbits from the book, Jacobson will show you how to embrace the chaos, discuss the importance of having a plan, highlight how to get and keep your students’ attention and more!

Then, shortly after his session, John will be in the Pender’s Booth, from 5pm to 6pm. It’ll be a great time for you meet with him further — and have him sign a copy of his book, too!

Remember:

Order from Chaos: Taming the Wild Classroom
Clinician: John Jacobson, Hal Leonard Corporation
3:30 – 4:30 PM / CC BALLROOM C3

Followed by:

Meet and Greet John Jacobson
Pender’s Booth – Elementary Section (near booth #1620)
5:00pm – 6:00pm

In the meantime, did you see John’s debut on the Ellen DeGeneres show? For Ellen’s birthday, he went to the show’s studio and taught her staff the routine to “Double Dream Hands” (aka Planet Rock by Jacobson & Huff). He then led them in a surprise performance that was aired on January 26, 2011. John and his routine has garnered quite a following: it has been recreated, spoofed and posted many, many times on YouTube.

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View other John/Ellen “Double Dream Hands” videos on our YouTube channel, and on our Facebook page, under the YouTube tab….see you on Friday, February 11th @ TMEA!

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Elementary Music Mondays, the series, will post to www.pendersbuzz.com a couple of times a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!

The Texas Original Score Contest Wants You!

How would you like to win up to $25,000 for your choir? Wouldn’t that be something? $25,000, to put toward important supplies and resources for your school’s music program.

Well, as the well-known slogan says…State Farm is there [to give you a chance to win money for your choir]. That’s right. All you have to do is enter the Texas Original Score Contest, a combined initiative courtesy of TMEA and State Farm Insurance.

With a commitment of  $100,000 from State Farm, a Texas high school music program has the potential to win up to $25,000! All you and your students have to do is create and perform an original score that reflects something great about the state of Texas. One of the beauties of this particular contest is that schools of all sizes can get involved, and be judged appropriately. 1A-3A high schools will compete in one pool; 4A-5A in another. Additionally, you can use just one part of your fine arts program (i.e. the choir), or combine the efforts of everyone, and produce a collaborative project among multiple music groups (choir, band, orchestra, etc) from your school.

What do you need to do? In a nutshell:

  • compose an original score that reflects something great about Texas,
  • bring together an ensemble of high school student musicians to perform the composition

Winning ensembles will be determined based on their composite score comprising three components: (1) the number of votes received in relation to the total possible number of votes in the contest (500 points), (2) score received from Texas Original Score Contest Adjudication panel based on standard TMEA/UIL competition criteria and integration of TEKS in the collaboration and creation process (250 points), and (3) score received from music industry adjudication panel, including members of Los Lonely Boys and other music industry professionals.

Go to the contest website to download the teacher handbook, review the rules, and learn more about how you and your students can participate.

(information courtesy of TMEA & OriginalScoreContest.com)

Choral Cache Thursdays, the series, will post to www.pendersbuzz.com a couple of times a month, with information from our staff, our publisher partners, guest bloggers and more. Come back to this site, or access it from our main Home Page, to find out the latest buzz!