Alfred News

Music Education Leader Alfred Music Publishing Revitalizes Music Education

Customizable, Print OnDemand Music Texbooks Help Fight Budget Cuts and Cater to Varied Classroom Settings

LOS ANGELES, CA  -  Tuesday, May 22, 2012
In the days of school budget cuts and alternative learning environments, music classrooms come in all shapes and sizes. To help music teachers make the most out of their time with their students and teach most effectively, Alfred Music Publishing has created a revolutionary technology that allows music teachers to customize their music curriculum based on the needs of their unique classroom, school, or district.

Sound Innovations is the first-ever customizable multimedia instructional series for school bands and orchestras. This ground-breaking method combines time-tested educational concepts, input from thousands of teachers, advances in modern technology, and solid pedagogy that follows state and national music education standards.

“Music educators must overcome many challenges year after year, including decreasing music budgets, cross-curricular education requirements, and the changing habits of today’s students,” shares Andrew Surmani, SVP of School & Church Publishing. “Sound Innovations creates a way for teachers to utilize the vast knowledge of the industry’s best authors, and to inject their own experiences in their teaching materials.”

Customizable, Print OnDemand Technology The core of the book is written by four of the world’s most respected music educators: Robert Sheldon, Bob Phillips, Peter Boonshaft, and Dave Black. Using an online print OnDemand platform, teachers build their Sound Innovations books by customizing the sequence and pace of teaching concepts, selecting the amount and type of assessment exercises, and more. Additionally, for the first time ever, teachers can select which songs students play as exercises to reinforce important concepts, including current pop songs or themed playlists, which facilitate cross-disciplinary study and aids with student retention and motivation. Plus, teachers can even customize the cover and introduction letter. The whole process from building the method to delivery takes about 10 days.

Teacher Testimonials Teachers around the world have adopted this method and immediately saw results in their classrooms. Entire states and districts require their teachers to use this method, and there are multi-lingual versions currently in development, including an Australian and Spanish-language version. “I’m seeing my students become more confident in themselves,” said Janet Hodek, a music teacher in St. George, UT.

“The students can’t get enough of it! The feedback I receive is a lot of happy parents,” said John Montgomery, a music teacher in Holland, MI.

Dedicated to Music Education Alfred Music Publishing, which celebrates its 90th year as the world’s largest educational music publisher, continues to provide music educators with the ability to build music learning environments that are innovative, highly effective, and fun. Music programs with this sort of stimulus not only result in invigorated music classrooms, but also release a powerful force in the social and educational development of students.

Gallup Poll According to a recent Gallup poll performed by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), an overwhelming majority of the sampling of Americans believe music education is essential to development.

• 96% believe that playing in a school band is a good way for young people to develop teamwork skills
• 94% believe that music is part of a well-rounded education
• 92% believe that schools should offer music as part of the regular curriculum
• 88% believe that participating in school music often yields better grades
• 88% believe music education should be mandated by states
• 88% believe music helps teach children discipline

Furthermore, roughly nine in ten believe music education motivates young people to stay in school, agree that participation in music helps prepare young people to be innovative in the workforce, and that playing a musical instrument helps a child develop creativity and supports a child’s overall intellectual development.

Employing the right curriculum in music classrooms is critical to the success of schools and its students. Now with Sound Innovations, the perfect custom-tailored music method book is possible for any school.

Sound Innovations helps music education in many ways,” said co-author Bob Phillips, a veteran string teacher and current President of the American String Teachers’ Association. “If a school's music budget is cut, Sound Innovations provides extra resources that would typically have required purchasing more than one book. If students need extra motivation, teacher's can now use pop songs and additional enrichment pages to practice important concepts. If teachers only meet with their class once a week, they can tailor the pace of the book to their schedule. If students cannot afford private instruction, the supplementary mp3 disc and DVD provide valuable master classes and opportunities for effective in-home practice.”

For more information about Sound Innovations visit alfred.com/soundinnovations.