Students in my woodwind methods classes are usually music education majors, planning careers as school band directors. In my class, they get their one-semester crash course in playing and teaching the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone. Clearly there’s a lot of information that they will need but which will be easily forgotten—I can’t give a trumpet player three weeks to learn to play the clarinet, and then expect her to remember many fingerings once the playing test is done, the clarinet is returned, and I’ve given her a bassoon contend with.
So I have them prepare a woodwind notebook over the course of the semester, with lecture notes, class handouts, fingering charts, and other things that will hopefully be valuable resources to them in their teaching careers.
One of the things I ask them to include in the notebook is some resources that they have discovered independently. The idea here is to have them find things that they think they will need, and to become acquainted with some good sources for woodwind information along the way. I tell them that information found on the web will only count if I think it’s reliable, and I encourage them to send me links for advance approval.
Usually my classes figure out that I can’t very well reject anything they print from my website, so I usually see a lot of my own stuff appearing in their notebooks. I don’t object to this as long as they choose well, but sometimes they don’t. Last semester’s submissions included my review of the AKAI EWI 4000s, which, of course, is not part of our curriculum, and even some of my links pages, which become considerably less useful on paper, since you can’t click through to the good stuff.
So I figured I might as well share my own selection of posts from this blog that I would encourage future band directors, or other woodwind players or educators, to put in their notebooks:
- Breath support
- What is voicing? and Voicing, part II
- Physical factors and beginning woodwind players
- Clarinet pinky fingerings
- Information overload: oboe F fingerings
- Not making your own double reeds
- Buying woodwind instruments
- Does material affect tone quality in woodwind instruments?: Why scientists and musicians just can’t seem to agree
- Dubious pedagogy alert: woodwind vibrato
- How well do you know your major scales?
- 10 ways to improve your musicianship with a computer
- Seven habits of highly effective beginners
And this isn’t one to print out, but one to bookmark in your favorite web browser: