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Alfred Music Publishing has released the Book 2 Standard Editions of the Sound Innovations for Concert Band and Sound Innovations for String Orchestra, written by co-authors Robert Sheldon, Bob Phillips, Peter Boonshaft, and Dave Black. In addition, new features have been added to the customizable Director's Choice Edition for Book 1.

Director's Choice Upgrades

The revolutionary customizable Director’s Choice Edition for Book 1 now includes the following enhancements:

•  Additional customization features – optional customization of the introductory page and inclusion of note names in note heads (up to 6 pages for band and string books).

•  Parents Pay Online option – for ordering convenience, parents will now have the option to individually pay for their students’ book online. All student books will still be shipped to the school for distribution. As with all Sound Innovations books, all orders will be processed through authorized retailers. Parents and teachers can select up to five authorized retailers to share in the sale of the books.

•  Premium books - the Combined Percussion book for band and customized versions of the Piano Accompaniment for the band and string methods are now available to order with all other student books.

The highly-anticipated Director's Choice Edition of Alfred's new Sound Innovations methods launched in August 2010 and marked a revolutionary new era for music education, by providing teachers with the ability to customize their own methods for concert band and string orchestra. It uses a brand-new technology that combines a solid foundation of pedagogy following state and national standards, with the flexibility to customize elements of the book such as pedagogy, technique, tunes, and enrichment pages.

Book 2 Features

The second book to the Sound Innovations methods continues instrumental students’ musical learning by teaching with segmented presentation of new concepts as well as introducing ensemble playing. Isolating concepts and teaching them individually facilitates understanding of the more advanced material. Continuing the unique Sound Innovations organization by levels, the books contain four distinct levels, each of which are divided into several sections that introduce concepts separately and provide plenty of practice and performance opportunities to reinforce each lesson. The books will be available for use in SmartMusic.

Concert Band

Level 1 provides complete sequential review of Book 1 followed by pages of warm ups, scales, technical etudes, and chorales in each of the keys introduced previously, and ends with a full band performance piece. Level 2 introduces new rhythms and meters, followed by new notes and key signatures, and ends with two full band performance pieces for practice. Level 3 combines those concepts with new and advanced techniques, scales, dynamics, and more.Level 4 acts as an appendix and includes pages to use throughout the year to assist in presenting and reinforcing concepts, including scales and arpeggios, technical exercises, rhythm reviews, and more.

String Orchestra

Level 1 provides a complete review of the concepts taught in Book 2 and uses tunes as reinforcement. Level 2 is broken into four sections, providing isolated introductions to keys containing sharps, keys containing flats, duple rhythms, and triple rhythms. Level 3 teaches several advanced performance techniques including tone, separated bow strokes, harmonics, sight-reading, and more. Level 4 provides repertoire for solo, duet, trio, and full ensemble performance, as well as a glossary and fingering chart.


Each student book for Concert Band and String Orchestra includes an MP3 CD. The instrument-family specific MP3 CD demonstrates every line of music in the book, with a different instrument performing the melody for each line. A play-along accompaniment track allows for additional practice. The tuning notes and solo performance piece are instrument-specific.  The disc also includes the SI Player with Tempo Change Technology to speed up or slow down songs for better practice.

Master Class DVD

Guided and introduced by the Sound Innovations author team, the DVD included with each student book features individual instrument and ensemble-specific lessons that are demonstrated by an instrument-family specific ensemble. These master classes are filmed in high definition and are presented by professional musicians to serve as private lessons that teach students the fundamentals of ensemble playing and new techniques. Unlike other methods on the market, the DVD references concepts throughout the entire book.

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