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100 Days to Sight Reading Excellence, Book I & II

100 Days to Sight Reading Excellence, Book I & II is a ONE-TIME investment that you will use every day that you rehearse - for as long as you teach. Each year as your number of players and instrumentation changes, the method’s inherent flexibility allows you use it with no further purchase. Each music stand gets one book, and every instrumental part is available no matter where players or sections sit.

Both Book I and Book II are composed with a coherent, gradual increase in difficulty as the year progresses -- and as your band progresses. If you have band five days a week, once a week, or anything in between, the difficulty level increases with your students’ abilities. The compositions are carefully written and organized that way.

Every piece is composed in perfect rhythmic and melodic unison. The sight reading student will actually know if he or she was right or wrong. Your whole band will know where the errors occurred and even why!

The music is presented in score form and each book contains all the instrumental parts correctly transposed. You will never have to worry about buying extra parts for peculiar instrumentation. The first day you use the book, you will explain which line each section will read from. Once they have done it once, they will know to look for their part and read from that line every time.

Through practice and experience anyone can get better at sight reading. Simply sight reading new music on a daily basis makes your students better sight readers. You will notice an incredible improvement in each student’s ability and confidence to read music within the first month.

Use our band method to develop a ritual of regular sight reading:

Each music stand in your band room should have a copy of 100 Days to Sight Reading Excellence opened to the previous day’s reading. You can write the piece number on the board and the students will turn the page as they filter to their seats. A “fun fact” is provided on the page that faces the students, along with concepts to look for in the composition to be played. The tuning for the timpani is also given, so the player can tune in advance and be prepared to read when you are.

The way in which the book is bound allows the pages to be folded back, while the fact sheet sits completely flat, facing the students. Functionally, this page prevents “cheating” or practicing the music ahead of time. This is TRUE SIGHT READING.

On your command, the band flips the entire book over and looks at the music for up to 30 seconds. You may point out certain concepts to look for and remind students of any issues given in “Murphy’s Law”. Count off as you normally do and play through the piece. You might choose to make suggestions and do a second read. The entire process takes less than 90 seconds!

Understanding Other Clefs and Instruments:

Our band method works great to get your mallet players reading the bass clef. The Timpani part (Line 11) provides a fairly modest sight reading challenge for mallet players. Also, adding low end marimba or other keyboards to this line will bring out the harmonic importance of the Timpani part. For more challenging bass clef reading, have your better keyboard players read Line 8.

If you have a Double Bass or Electric Bass player in your band, you may elect to assign them Line 11 to help accentuate and solidify the Timpani line. However, as their skill as a reader increases, they may find it much more challenging attempting Line 8. In either case, the authors recommend that the bass player ALWAYS plays at the “nut”. That is to use the lowest possible fingering position. E, A, D and G are always to be played on open strings, and Bb or Eb is always played at the first fret, etc. This consistency will result in much more accuracy from your player.

Mixed Lessons:

If your lessons are for mixed groups of instruments, the books provide a clean and effortless way for all to play and learn together. The beauty of the method is in its perfectly flexible format: Flutes, saxes, mallets and low brass can get together for review of past compositions (at a faster tempo), or perhaps look ahead for a “small group challenge”.
Transposing instrumental parts:

Your students can actually use this method to learn the art of transposing. During lesson (or even in band!) try having a Bb instrument player read Line 2 (the oboe part in C). When played along with other players, their errors will be noticeable. You may even a have a French Horn player perform an earlier composition from the book. They then read the Alto Sax part and try to make it sound the same. With your help this really works. You will find the challenge of transposing becomes so much less abstract when addressed through our powerful concise band method.