Pedagogy and Products July 31, 2015

Lesson Plans and More. Whether you teach music or just want to broaden your own musical horizons, check out these valuable resources from Lesson Planet, the website which shares videos, worksheets, and lessons for teachers and parents who home school their children. The newest offerings from the site include several videos on the subject of the music/math correlation. The first is titled A-rhythm-etic, and is a lively presentation by drummer Clayton Cameron. It's just the thing to attract young musicians! In a similar vein, Music and Math: The Genius of Beethoven shows how the artist used mathematical formulas to convey emotion in his works through careful applications of dissonance and consonance in his music.

Instrumentalists will enjoy two other new lesson videos. One tells the history of the Cajon drum and explains its significance to African slave culture and shows how this rich cultural heritage has led to this drum becoming one of the most popular instruments in music today. The video titled How Brass Instruments Work combines a bit of science with musical study to explain the mechanics of sound created by these staples of the orchestra and marching band.

These videos are just a few of the complete courses and lessons provided each month by Lesson Planet. Other resources include overhead projector packages, detailed music worksheets on a full variety of topics, and even resources to help you create your own video lessons. Check out the full selection at

Just for Woodwinds. Fresh from the NAMM Convention in Nashville comes a line of new products from D’addario. The company’s All-natural Cork Grease provides ample non-greasy lubrication and protection for reeds of all types. It’s perfect for woodwind players at all levels. Also new from the company is a line of Reserve Reeds. Each is precisely measured and cut in D’addario’s unique Digital Vamping Process; the full line includes seven strengths for soprano and tenor instruments,

ranging from 2.0 to 4.5 (including a 3.0+ 3.25 quarter strength). The soprano saxophone reeds come in boxes of ten, while the tenor reeds come five to a box; both types are available in two-packs. The last new addition to this woodwind line are stylish and effective reed protectors, which are great for professionals, students and teachers alike. They feature a grooved surface to prevent reed warping, and a soft, elastomer cover which holds an assortment of four Bb/Eb clarinet reeds or soprano/alto saxophone reeds. Available in choice of several colors including black, red, yellow, green, blue and purple. For more information or to order any of these new products, contact the company at

It’s Back to School Time. These are the words that strike fear into every child, but after a break for some summer fun, it’s time to get back to the routine of school. That also means getting serious about those music lessons and practicing which may have been put on the back burner in favor of time on softball, swimming and other summer activities. This leads us to a great resource for both teachers and students of all instruments.

Virtual Sheet Music is a website offering direct to iPad/android tablet sheet music for strings, woodwinds, brass, guitar, voice, and ensembles of all types. While the site states that they emphasize classical compositions and repertoire, there are offerings from other genres such as jazz and traditional. The site offers several options including a membership for $37.75 or the choice to purchase individual works for the fee of a traditional sheet music download. The advantage is that aside from getting access to your music immediately, you don’t have to worry about making copies or storing sheet music; the music is at your fingertips anytime you’re ready to play. You can also access mp3 accompaniments for playing along. Of course, you have the option of printing your music in addition to storing it on your tablet.

You can even download complete packages such as the Violin Package, which has all the music a modern violinist needs. You will find all the traditional favorites including many arrangements of classic songs for all voice types, as well as contemporary classical works by today’s most popular composers. The site also includes some exclusive titles and even titles which are available free of charge. A free iPad or android app allows easy downloads of your purchased titles. Check out Virtual Sheet Music’s jam-packed, easy to navigate website at Stay in touch with our blogs by subscribing to our newsletter here, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or Instagram.

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