I have been using the Beginning Band Method instrumental lesson books written by Mr. Brendan Van Epps for the past 3 years and in 31 years of teaching they are the absolute best method I have ever used.
"Written by teachers, for teachers" is true without question...."and kids" should be added to the end of that statement as these books facilitate student learning brilliantly. Gone are the days of skipping all over a lesson book because too much is presented on one page, ranges are too high and songs and examples are too difficult to hold the student's attention or give them a feeling of accomplishment.
Mr. Van Epps' books are consistent, well thought out and designed to help young musicians love learning to play their instruments. Get these books for your kids! You will be elated!
I also have been using the Sight Reading Book series composed by Mr. Brendan Van Epps and developed and created by Mrs. Erin Tapia and Mr. Van Epps and these books have revolutionized my life.
For YEARS I wrote out my own sight reading examples in order to incorporate the NYSSMA manual criterion so my students would be prepared to sight read for NYSSMA Solo Festival and All-County Auditions.
The examples in these books are varied and appropriate. They look similar to the examples presented to students at festivals which helps to relieve anxiety and allows to students to feel comfortable.
An excellent addition to my teaching repertoire. Many thanks for an outstanding series!!
Lisa Stearns- Deruyter Central Schools
After 20 years of teaching I finally found a method book series that addresses many of the issues I have struggled with in traditional method books. Brendan Van Epps Instrumental Method books have logical and sequential etudes within each book that are the appropriate length for the developing musician. The logical and sequential flow from one book to another within the series is well thought out for a seamless transition, and the “workbook” component of these books is exceptional for developing the young musician’s vocabulary and depth of knowledge.
The proof is in the results:
With the aid of Brendan’s books, my students are better independent readers who demonstrate more musical nuance than they did with other books. Each page is designed to teach and reinforce a concept before confusing the student with a more information than they may be ready for.
My students are showing tremendous growth in SLO testing after a year of study with this book series.
With the aid of these books we are able to prove that they are able to synthesize at a much higher level than ever before in my teaching career.
I highly recommend this series any instrumental music teacher at all levels. There is something in it for everyone!
Phil Aguglia-Kenmore East High School Band Director
Music is Art Board Chair
2014 Grammy Foundation Music Educator Semi-Finalist
Multiple Award Recipient for excellence in Music Education
"I wish I had these books at the beginning of my career! These method books provide students with more playing examples based on a singular concept than any other method book I've seen. There is an emphasis throughout the methods on rhythm reading, extended range, key signatures, and classic tunes. Most importantly, my seventh and eighth graders enjoy playing out of the lesson book (no more whining!) and are making progress and retaining concepts better than ever before."
Elizabeth Buell- Onondaga Hill Middle School, Westhill Schools
I began using The Intermediate Band Method and The Advanced Band Method with my lesson students this year, and I have already seen a great difference in their rate of progress. For years, I have used other different commonly used Band Methods, but have always been frustrated with the way new concepts were introduced and then rarely reinforced or all together abandoned. I found myself using fewer and fewer examples from those books and just teaching concepts on my own with my own materials. I have now completely switched to Brendan Van Epps method books.
Brendan’s Method Books present new information in a way that my students understand: he introduces new concepts thoroughly, singularly, and with tons of repetition, without overburdening students with unrelated challenges. Examples capitalize on students' prior knowledge with the use of familiar tunes like Hot Cross Buns, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and familiar classical repertoire to encourage students to focus on one skill set at a time. His books also include many full-page music literacy worksheets so that as students progress, they are creating their own music theory textbook to keep and reference. I recommend this book to all of my music educator colleagues and peers.
Erin Tapia-Westhill Central Schools
Brendan's series is an exceptionally effective band method that provides plenty of material to encourage student mastery of important reading concepts. The books accommodate different types of learners with written material and great assessment options. It's an enjoyable method for my students to become musically literate.
Greg Borsz- West Genesee High School, West Genesee CSD
The new method book series by Brendan Van Epps is a "must have" method book series for educators. The educators that my store calls on as well as my staff agree that there is no other method book series out there like this. It seems that other method books throw too much information at the student in an unorganized fashion that just simply confuses the student. Brendan Van Epps method book's structure includes building blocks, which incorporates recognizable songs that students will enjoy, as they progress through new skills. This series aligns nicely with the new standards that teachers need to meet for state education requirements (APPR). This book series has a really nice "easy to understand" fingering chart and little "question and answer" portion in every book which gives the student a little music history on composers, notation and rhythm at the end of each learning segment. All in all this is a fantastic method book series!!!
Brian Bird (co-owner)-EMPIRE WINDS INC.
I have been using The Beginning Band Method Book with my students since September and absolutely love it. My elementary students love the familiar songs, and my high school students love the asymmetrical rhythm exercises. I have seen significant growth in their comprehension of basic musical elements because of the repetition and reinforcement that this book provides. There is enough material not only for instruction, but also for assessment. Finally, a method that covers everything I want to teach in the order I want to teach it, without necessitating tons of supplemental material.
Kirsten Meyer-Stockbridge Valley Central School
"I've been looking for a new band method for my beginning band students for a while, and I just started using THE Beginning Band Method this year. It's fantastic! The way the concepts are introduced, paced, reinforced, and assessed are helping my students to have a deeper understanding of their performance. Their reading skills have improved, and they are playing with more confidence. Unlike other methods, this one actually makes sense in its scope and sequence. I highly recommend it. "
Tim Groth-Central Square Central School District
“Mr. Van Epps has included “understanding music notation” pages that have helped me to understand how to count music better. The book also teaches rhythm and songs. We even learn about composers such as Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. One last great thing about this book is that it has hand positioning for notes in the back. I truly enjoy this book!”
Carmela C.-9th grade student
The Beginning Band Method is an excellent resource for any early band student. The slow but steady pacing gives students sufficient time to fully comprehend and practice a concept before adding on something new. I especially like the approach used for getting clarinet students to play over the break. The music theory workbook pages are an innovative approach to establish and assess knowledge so the student can continue playing their instrument with optimum understanding. This book is usable in any band program and is a great way to develop students' musical abilities!
Andrea Rommel-Redwood and Washington Elementary Schools, West Orange Public Schools New Jersey
I had the pleasure of using “Beginning Band Methods” series with my beginning 4th grade band students this year. The book teaches concepts in a spiraling manner to help the student recall information from previous lessons and be able to build on rhythmic understanding, note-reading abilities and fingerings- when appropriate- so that they reach success when performing in every lesson! Mr. Van Epps’s book entices the learner with visual aids of hand positions and fingerings and keeps them excited through the performance of familiar tunes. For the teacher, built-in written assessments are included on nearly every other page to better monitor the students’ level of understanding of various musical concepts. This not only helps the student reach a higher level of learning, but it goes along with the new APPR teacher evaluation system in New York State. I highly recommend this new series book for all beginning band students!
Classroom Music Teacher, Chorus and Band Teacher Smith Road Elementary
North Syracuse Central School District. 2006, Syracuse Symphony Teacher of the Year
2010, NSCSD Teacher of the Year