Welcome to the blog devoted to brass playing and classical music. A blog by two brass teachers: Matt Hurley and Doug Battson.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Beginner or Easy Play Books, Should They be Used?

When I head over to the local music store to find music, I am often torn as to whether or not I should brouse through the Easy Play Books. Ultimately, I usually do look through these selections and find something that I will pick up and use with my students.

My quandry for wanting to choose these books is the fact that they are easy. Most of the time these types of books do not present any kind of challenge except for beginners. The arrangements are usually simplified versions of the songs. Sometimes, the editors and writers in an effort to make the songs easy for students actually make poor editing choices and the essence of the song is comprimised. Most of the time the range for these songs is well within the students abilities and is actually limiting for Intermediate to Advanced students.

So if they are easy and so full of problems why choose them? They do offer some benefits. Oftentimes they can be used to help teach different musical concepts or styles in a simplified manner. They can also be used to teach musical phrasing. When introducing another style of music, such as latin and jazz, they can helpful to help teach the style without too much difficulty.

When you use these books, you use them knowing that you will have to be careful and choose wisely. They should be used to help reinforce musical concepts and ideals rather than as true music.


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