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Method Book Review

The Belwin Student Instrumental Course


Bassoon Student
Published in 1969
Cost: 7.95
Volume: Elementary
Volumes Available: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced
Intermediate
By Henry Paine in collaboration with Fred Weber
Supplemental Associated Material: Bassoon Soloist Solo Book
Elementary Level
Accompanying CD available? No
Any online resources? No
Starting pitch for the instrument: F
Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations occur in the book? (slurs, staccatos, accents):
Lesson 5 slurs, Lesson 10 accent marks, Lesson 22 staccato and
legato.
Fingering Charts included? Yes.
Physical layout of text: Too small, sometimes hard to follow.
Illustrations: In the beginning of the book with the fingering charts,
illustrates keys with numbers to correspond with reading the fingering
chart.
Approach: Very basic approach, step by step.
Pacing: slow, one concept at a time.
Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements: At the end of
each lesson there is one or more melodies used to reinforce the
concept of that lesson.
How are specific instrumental challenges approached (going over the
break, clef changes): There is a part of the book where it goes over

difficult slurs, including octaves. There are no clef changes to tenor clef
in this book.
Pros: Very slow paced, good for a beginner, nice place to start (on open
F), good progression from easy to difficult. The book has exercises to
test students on note names.
Cons: Takes a ling time to progress into difficult things. There is no
tenor clef in this book, tenor clef should be taught in the beginning of
bassoon playing because it becomes more natural. Going over the
break isnt really talked about, its just something that happens
eventually in the exercises.

The Belwin Student Instrumental Course


Flute Student
Published in 1969
Cost: 7.95
Volume: Elementary
Volumes Available: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced Intermediate
By Fred Weber in collaboration with Douglas Steensland
Supplemental Associated Material: Flute Soloist Solo Book Elementary
Level
Accompanying CD available? No
Any online resources? No
Starting pitch for instrument: B
Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations occur in the book? (slurs, staccato, accents):
Lesson 7 slurs, Lesson 19 staccato, Lesson 21 accents.
Fingering Chart Included? Yes
Physical layout of text: Instructions and explanations too small.

Illustrations: In the beginning with the fingering chart there is an


illustration of a flute showing the keys. There is a picture of
embouchure and hand position.
Approach: Step by step, everything is explained thoroughly.
Pacing: Slow, great for beginners just picking up the instrument.
Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements: Melodic material
used at the end of each lesson. No ensemble arrangements.
How are specific instrumental challenges approached? (going over the
break, clef changes): Starts going over the break in lesson 4,
approached quickly, but not with great difficulty.
Pros: Has exercises to test the student on fingerings and note names.
Cons: The embouchure picture in the beginning of the book is out of
date and not used in standard practice anymore. Going over the break
isnt talked about, it just happens in the exercises.

The Belwin Student Instrumental Course


Alto Saxophone Student
Published in 1969
Cost: 7.95
Volume: Elementary
Volumes Available: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced Intermediate
By Fred Weber in collaboration with Willis Coggins
Supplemental associated materials: Alto Saxophone Soloist Solo Book
Elementary Level
Accompanying CD available? No
Any online resources? No
Starting Pitch for instrument: B (Concert D)
Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations occur in the book? (slurs, staccato, accents):
Lesson 7, slurs, Lesson 12 accents, Lesson 17 staccato

Fingering Chart Included? Yes


Physical layout of text: Too small
Illustrations: In the beginning of the book along with the fingering chart
showing where the keys are on the saxophone. How to hold the
saxophone.
Approach: Step by step, basic, beginner
Pacing: Slow, very good for a beginner
Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements: Melodic material
is used at the end of each lesson, putting the lesson to use directly
after.
How are specific instrumental challenges approached? (going over the
break, clef changes): Goes over the break in lesson 4, also has an
alternate fingering for C to facilitate that change.
Pros: Has exercises to test students on note names and where they fall
on the staff.
Cons: Starts on B, not a bad note for the saxophone, just hard to get a
good tone in the beginning. Going over the break isnt talked about, it
just happens when the exercise calls for going over it.

Standard Of Excellence Band Method


Bassoon
Published in 1993
Cost: 6.95
Volume: Book 1
Volumes Available: Book 1 (Easy), Book 2 (Intermediate), Book 3
(Advanced)
By Bruce Pearson
Supplemental associated materials? Theory workbooks
Accompanying CD Available? Yes
Any online resources? Yes. Recordings available online.

Starting Pitch for the instrument: D


Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations happen in the book? (slurs, staccato, accents):
Covers what is in the band arrangements 2 lessons before the
arrangement shows up in the book.
Fingering charts included? Yes
Physical layout of text: Big, easy to read
Illustrations: In the beginning, how to hold the bassoon and bassoon
embouchure
Approach: Band method, step by step, but for a band setting, not
private one on one
Pacing: Fast, goes with the needs of the band not the needs of the
student per say
Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements: There are
melodies at the end of each lesson and there are many ensemble
pieces, seeing as this is a band method.
How are specific instrumental challenges approached? (going over the
break, clef changes): Not mentioned, goes over the break within the
first band arrangement. There is no tenor clef in this book.
Pros: Very good method book for the band setting, is usable for private
teaching, there are a lot of duets and rounds that are fun to go over
with students.
Cons: There is not any tenor clef in this book, its really nice to
introduce it early, even if its not that common in band repertoire.

Standard Of Excellence Band Method


Flute
Published in 1993
Cost: 6.95
Volume: Book 1

Volumes Available: Book 1 (Easy), Book 2 (Intermediate), Book 3


(Advanced)
By Bruce Pearson
Supplemental associated materials? Theory workbooks
Accompanying CD Available? Yes
Any online resources? Yes. Recordings available online.
Starting Pitch for the instrument: D
Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations happen in the book? (slurs, staccato, accents):
Before band arrangements that involve specific articulations.
Fingering charts included? Yes
Physical layout of text: Big, easy to read.
Illustrations: In the beginning of the book there are illustrations of how
to hold the flute and what the flute embouchure looks like.
Approach: Band method, step by step, but for a band setting, not
private one on one
Pacing: Fast, goes with the needs of the band not the needs of the
student per say
Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements: Melodies are
included at the end of each lesson, and there are multiple band
arrangements as it is a band method.
How are specific instrumental challenges approached? (going over the
break, clef changes): Going over the break just happens, not talked
about, no preceding exercises to get used to it.
Pros: Its a great bad method, there a lot of duets and rounds that are
fun to go over with students in their lessons.
Cons: D is not a good note for the flute, but since its a band method,
all instruments have to start on the same note. Band methods are
usable for private teaching but it is better to stick to private teaching
method books.

Standard Of Excellence Band Method


Alto Saxophone
Published in 1993
Cost: 6.95
Volume: Book 1
Volumes Available: Book 1 (Easy), Book 2 (Intermediate), Book 3
(Advanced)
By Bruce Pearson
Supplemental associated materials? Theory workbooks
Accompanying CD Available? Yes
Any online resources? Yes. Recordings available online.
Starting Pitch for the instrument: B
Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations happen in the book? (slurs, staccato, accents):
Before band arrangements that involve specific articulations.
Fingering charts included? Yes
Physical layout of text: Big, easy to read and follow.
Illustrations: In the beginning the book illustrates how to hold the
saxophone and saxophone embouchure.
Approach: Band method, step by step, but for a band setting, not
private one on one
Pacing: Fast, goes with the needs of the band not the needs of the
student per say
Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements: Melodies are
included at the end of each lesson, and there are multiple band
arrangements as it is a band method.
How are specific instrumental challenges approached? (going over the
break, clef changes): Going over the break is gone over, but not
explained, students are expected to just learn to be able to do it

without any explanation of why its hard, or what to expect going over
the break in different situations.
Pros: Good for a band method, los of duets and rounds that are good
for private studio teaching.
Cons: Not in depth with student instrumental issues, like going over the
break and tone production, and what steps you have to take to achieve
these thing accurately.

Weissenborn Method for Bassoon


Published in 1940
Cost: 24.95
Volume: Method for Bassoon
Volumes Available: Practical Method for Bassoon, The New Weissenborn
Method for Bassoon (Instructional)
By Julius Wessenborn Edited by Fred Bettoney
Supplemental associated materials? No
Accompanying CD Available? No
Any online resources? No
Starting Pitch for the instrument: C
Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations happen in the book? (slurs, staccato, accents):
Lesson 3, staccato and accents, Lesson 4, slurs
Fingering charts included? Yes
Physical layout of text: Easy to read, but confusing with all of the
German
Illustrations: Fingering chart, showing where all of the keys are.
Illustrations on how to position hands on keys and parts of the reed.
Approach: Instrument specific (only for bassoon, there isnt a
Weissenborn method for flute), very detailed.
Pacing: Medium, starts slow but picks up pace

Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements:


How are specific instrumental challenges approached? (going over the
break, clef changes): Tenor clef is introduced early in the book and is
introduced over the bass clef equivalent, so students can check
themselves. The break isnt mentioned much, it comes down to the
type of bassoon and flicking methods.
Pros: Includes the first 25 Milde Concert Studies, which are fantastic for
advancing students. The Weissenborn has it all; it grows with the
students as they advance and progress. Explains every exercise in
great detail.
Cons: It includes the German translation for everything and can get
confusing for younger students.

Rubank Elementary Method for Flute and Piccolo


Published in 1934
Cost: 6.99
Volume: Elementary
Volumes Available: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced Volume 1 and
2
By A.C. Petersen
Supplemental associated materials? No
Accompanying CD Available? No
Any online resources? No
Starting Pitch for the instrument: G
Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations happen in the book? (slurs, staccato, accents):
Lesson 14, slurs, Lesson 15, staccato, Lesson 25 accents.
Fingering charts included? Yes
Physical layout of text: Big, easy to follow and read.

Illustrations: Next to the fingering chart there is an illustration of the


flute and where the keys are and how they correspond to the fingering
chart.
Approach: Step by step, basic
Pacing: Slow, great for beginners.
Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements: There are
multiple melodies interspersed through the book, most of them
recognizable and fun for students to play after working very hard on
something foreign.
How are specific instrumental challenges approached? (going over the
break, clef changes): Not mentioned, but more progressively
approached than other method books, starts out slow.
Pros: Great book for beginning students. Very explanatory and well
defined, goes over concepts in detail.
Cons: Doesnt talk about tuning expectations for different ranges of the
flute.

The Universal Method for Saxophone


Published in 1929
Cost: 17.96
Volume: 1
Volumes Available: 1
By Paul De Ville
Supplemental associated materials? No
Accompanying CD Available? No
Any online resources? No
Starting Pitch for the instrument: G
Any supplemental exercises? No
Where do articulations happen in the book? (slurs, staccato, accents):
Lesson 37, slurs, Lesson 112 accents, 115, staccato.

Fingering charts included? Yes


Physical layout of text: Good size, easy to read and follow.
Illustrations: Included with fingering chart and illustrating keys and how
they correspond with the chart. Includes illustrations of dimensions of
the reed, and how the reed fits on the mouthpiece.
Approach: Very personal to the instrument, very good.
Pacing: Slow, but gets to the advanced level in a very nice progressive
way.
Melodic material and use of ensemble arrangements:
How are specific instrumental challenges approached? (going over the
break, clef changes): Very progressive, doesnt rush in, gets student to
warm up to it.
Pros: Very detailed, even talks about making ones own reeds.
Approaches everything slow but with forward motion, building on the
fundamentals.
Cons: Out of date, hasnt been fully edited since 1929.