Hello All,


For the past couple of years I've been involved in beginning our sixth graders on their secondary instruments. (We do this in January.) The instruments we add to our band ensemble are as follows: oboe, bass clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax, horn, treble & bass baritone, and tuba.


Each year I've wanted to prepare special study sheets focusing upon the notes the students need to learn in order to play their secondary instruments in our concerts. Since I just purchased a NanoKeyboard, I finally created music sheets for this purpose.


We also request our students to purchase Essential Elements Book 1 when they begin their secondary instruments. I use this book with them to provide fingerings, notes, etc. The students are also required to take notes on the DVD and turn them in for a grade. They practice anything they want in this book and play solos during our class sessions. (Note: We spend two weeks dividing the secondary instrument performers from the other students in the band. Because we have band everyday, two weeks gets them off to a great start.)


I am attaching the music. If anyone can use this for your secondary instrument beginners - great!

I wrote most of the music so that the woodwinds play first, then the brass. (There are two measure alternations for the most part.) After the two measure alternation, everyone finishes the line in unison. This approach has helped the secondary brass players find their pitches.


Sheet 1 - Introduction to the five pitches (used with our secondary instruments.) (One pitch per line.)

Sheet 2 - More practice on the pitches. (Mixing the pitches.)

Sheet 3 - Focus upon interval skips.

Sheet 4 - More interval practice.

Sheet 5 - Short melodies to enjoy - still focusing on producing the correct intervals.


I'd like to hear different approaches used by those of you who begin secondary instruments for your young band students. I anxiously await your posts.


Enjoy! Pamela Rezach



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Hi Pamela,

My solution to the problem you face each year was very similar. I used a basic text and along with it a set of technique builders for the band students. This was supplementary material yet at the same time it covered basic pitches, some tonality and key signature  development and some simple technique patterns. To view the material, at least parts of it, you could go to hofmeistermusic.net.

What you've laid out is very good and provides an efficient way to get the students started on the new instrument.


Don Hofmeister

Thank you for your input. I'll go to the site and absorb more wonderful information - I'm sure! Thanks so much for sharing,


I failed to mention in my post that I team teach with another band director. This makes it possible for us to "divide and conquer." I work with the students who are beginning secondary instruments at one school while the other band director, Chris DeMarco, works with the rest of the band. He then works with the students beginning secondary instruments at our second building while I work with the rest of the band. Pamela Rezach


These sheets are amazing.  What a great idea!  Hope folks take advantage of these.

Hi Pamela,

I replied this morning to your last letter. Since I see no evidence of it on the site I have no idea of where it went. I could re construct most of what I said, but I thought it might be better to see if you did receive it before repeating the thoughts. My forte is not navigating web sites!



These are fantastic!


I'm glad you were able to make use of these training sheets. Due to a major change in my schedule this year (now teaching alone,) I assigned student/peer tutors from my 7th and 8th grade bands to help me begin my sixth graders on their secondary instruments. The 7th and 8th grade students used these sheets with their assigned sixth grade students. It turned out to be a successful way to implement the secondary instruments in the sixth grade band. (The student tutors enjoyed going back and revisiting the same sheets they used when they were in sixth grade band.) Pamela

Thanks for the helpful resource.  Printing now.



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