Alfred News

Alfred Releases Sound Innovations, A Revolutionary New Method for Beginning Concert Band and String Orchestra

LOS ANGELES, CA  -  Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In an unprecedented innovation for the music and publishing industries, Alfred Music Publishing announces the release of Sound Innovations, a revolutionary method for concert band and string orchestra. Written by renowned music educators Robert Sheldon, Bob Phillips, Peter Boonshaft, and Dave Black, the method is a unique blend of time-tested attributes, advances in modern technology, and insights on how students learn and how teachers want to teach, offering the foundation for a successful teaching and learning experience.

The method will be available in two formats: the Standard edition and Director's Choice edition, which allows teachers to customize the method's pedagogy, music, and enrichment materials based on their experiences and preferences.

Written to state and national standards and based on comprehensive research of music educators' needs and preferences, Sound Innovations provides fundamental teaching tools in a clear and organized format that allows directors to incorporate their own style of teaching.

"We surveyed a vast number of music teachers from all parts of the country to find out about their teaching, what they want in a method, and what would be the most helpful in meeting the challenges they face based on their unique teaching situation," said Phillips. "We looked at everything available for teachers, got in depth information about their preferences, and pieced together the best of all worlds, with many exciting new additions."

Customizable Features

Sound Innovations: Director’s Choice is the first method that allows a director to easily customize the method to fit their unique teaching styles and classroom situations. Using the sound pedagogical foundation of the method, a director can customize features such as the basic pedagogy (starting concert pitch, starting note values, and much more), the selection of tunes presented in each book, enrichment activities, as well as the cover and introductory pages.

Said Boonshaft, "We're empowering teachers to select what they want to teach and the way they want to teach it, by allowing them to choose the things they do and don't want in their method book, while still providing the solid foundation they need."

Starting in spring 2010, directors can log onto and use the internet-based step-by-step program to build and preview their own method. They can add reinforcement exercises such as additional solos and duets, enrichment pages, and even customize the selection of tunes that students will play throughout the book, allowing the director to keep up with fresh materials and focus on their favorites. Tunes can be substituted individually, or focused on a specific genre, such as pop/rock, patriotic, classical, Christian, and more. Accompaniment recordings will be customized to match all selections.

Clean and Uncluttered Format

Responding to the preference of teachers across the country, the method presents all musical concepts in a clear and uncluttered format. Each page is structured to highlight essential concepts, allowing students to focus on the topic being presented. The books are organized in six levels to provide benchmarks for learning and each exercise includes a specific goal, helping students focus on key concepts.

"We received a lot of feedback that indicated teachers prefer a simple format of presenting information, without cluttering up the page with supplementary text and images," said Phillips.

Unique MP3 CD and DVD Unlike any other method, Sound Innovations includes an MP3 CD with instrument-specific recordings of every single line of music in each student book. Each tune contains a click-off track and two versions: a melody track and play-along accompaniment track. Also included is a Tempo Changer program in which a track can be sped up or slowed down to accommodate practice styles.

Another unique addition is a master class DVD for each instrument, which provides lessons from renowned music teachers and performers. With topics from setting up the instrument, to performance techniques, to sample performances, the DVD can be referenced throughout the entire year, not just at the beginning. Supplementing their teacher's classroom instruction, students have the opportunity to model the master teacher's tone, technique and musicianship as they advance through the book.


The method is available on the popular SmartMusic program and provides free access to the first 100 lines of music on SmartMusic for students using Sound Innovations.

"It is the combination of all the elements in this method that will provide a music classroom with the best tools available today: an organized and uncluttered format, complete recordings and comprehensive DVD with master teachers, specific pedagogical elements, and the ability to customize to your needs," said Boonshaft. "The feedback we received has been tremendous, and we hope to revolutionize the way music teachers view method books."

Debuted at the 2009 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Book 1 of the Standard Edition and the Director's Choice Edition will available starting spring 2010.

Visit to view sample books, introductory video and sound/video clips.


Since inception in 1922, Alfred Music Publishing remains dedicated to helping people experience the joy of making music. With hundreds of expert authors and composers backed by a talented staff in seven offices worldwide, Alfred publishes educational, reference, pop, and performance pieces for teachers, students, hobbyists and performers spanning every musical instrument, style, and difficulty level.

Alfred currently has more than 90,000 active print, digital download, DVD, software, Blu-ray, audio CD, and enhanced CD titles in circulation throughout the world. Titles represent a full range of musical tastes and styles, including the works of George and Ira Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Henry Mancini, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Madonna, Green Day, and hundreds more. In addition to its own titles, Alfred distributes works from the National Guitar Workshop, the Dover Music catalog, and Faber Music.

Marina Terteryan
Marketing Coordinator- School/Church Team
P: 818-891-5999, ext. 149
F: 818-830-6259