Teaching Low Brass
Steven Maxwell, Kansas State University
Copyright Year: 2018
ISBN 13: 9781944548162
Publisher: New Prairie Press
Conditions of Use
The topics covered are comprehensiveness. The text, however, occasionally lacks depth and at times relies upon direct quotes from outside sources. That being said, the text also contains ample original content and provides adequate references to... read more
The topics covered are comprehensiveness. The text, however, occasionally lacks depth and at times relies upon direct quotes from outside sources. That being said, the text also contains ample original content and provides adequate references to resources for the music education student to locate additional salient materials.
The content of the text is currently accurate and presents an adequate guideline for music education students to understand a basic approach to playing/teaching low brass instruments. The lists of instrument brands and supplies referenced in text may need updated/purged from time to time. Links to web sites and blogs will continually need to be confirmed and updated/replaced as the need arises.
The content is relevant to the instruction of playing/teaching low brass instruments. The longevity of the text will depend upon continually updating the linked/referenced materials.
The content presented is clear and precise. The text is presented in an informal style. As such, students will likely find the content more accessible than if the text were written in a purely academic style.
The text is consistent in its approach. While virtually all sections are delineated, the concepts are consistent in presentation.
The individual chapters could be presented as separate modules. However, the chapters are presented in a logical order, so the modules should follow that sequence.
The organization, structure and flow of the text is logical, concise and effective. Additionally, the exercises/etudes presented in the appendices follow a logical sequence.
Broken or orphaned links are always a potential hazard. Several of the embedded links in both the text and the citations yielded 404 errors. By relying upon links instead of incorporating the desired content into the text exposes one to possible functionality issues. Perhaps that could be a consideration for future editions.
Though informal in its presentation, the text contained no appreciable grammatical errors. There is the occasional spelling error, but nothing egregious.
The lack of cultural inclusion is not a detriment to focus of this text (playing/teaching low brass instruments). However, brass instruments are not exclusively a western European construct. The section on the history of brass instrument could have easily been expanded to include references to more culturally diverse brass instruments without distracting from the eventual focus of the text.
Dr. Maxwell has created what one could conceive of as a comprehensive outline to playing/teaching low brass. Though quite delineated, the content is accurate and presented in a logical manner. One could easily use this text as a guide to construct a customized, semester-long class on low brass, expanding content and adding depth as one sees fit. It is in that context that the book is recommended.
The text covers all basic topics for a low brass methods course, but still leaves room for the instructor to add their own material as well. It also covers all topics with enough clarity that a music education student could learn many basic... read more
The text covers all basic topics for a low brass methods course, but still leaves room for the instructor to add their own material as well. It also covers all topics with enough clarity that a music education student could learn many basic techniques without consulting an experienced low brass performer.
The text accurately presents information on the basic understanding of low brass instruments for music education students. There are some materials (lists of professional trombone brands, for example) that could be updated or expanded, but all content presented is considered accurate by mainstream brass teachers and performers. As with most texts, there might be several semantic or trivial issues the instructor has with the material, but they could easily alter or edit the text for their course needs.
All information is relevant to the topic - teaching music education students the basics of low brass instruments.
The subject matter is presented clearly throughout the text; however, the large sections of italicized text can be difficult to read in the current font. This is a small issue that might not even be noticed by most readers.
Text consistently represents materials and topics of study for low brass methods students, including a suggested daily routine and other playing materials.
The chapters from this text can be used in isolation without losing context.
The text is well organized and begins by covering the general characteristics for all low brass instruments before giving specific information about each of the individual instruments.
The text is functional and can be used by many devices. Perhaps an ePub with links to the various chapters would be nice in future editions, but not necessary. It might also be prudent to include the linked materials in the actual text. Although this would increase the size of the file, it would also fix broken links.
The text did not have any noticeable grammatical errors.
No extra cultural information was included, and it is not necessary for the scope of the course - teaching low brass performance techniques. If the text were to include a section on famous players, styles, etc. - it would then be appropriate to include a broad cultural representation of low brass performers. Perhaps this material could be added to future editions of the text.
Dr. Maxwell created a great resource for low brass methods with this text. The information presented is concise and accurate, but provides enough information to fill a semester-length course studying these instruments. If a teacher would like to add additional information, it is easy enough to modify the text for their purposes. My only issue pertains to the use of links in the text. While the linked pages are informative and can help future educators, there are several links that do not lead to the source. Perhaps these supplemental materials could be embedded into any future editions of the text. Otherwise, this is a great text to use as a foundation for any low brass methods course.
Table of Contents
- Brass History
- The Overtone Series
- General Intonation Tendencies
- Embouchure Problems
- General intonation Tendencies
- Instruments, Mouthpieces, and Equipment
- Low Brass Literature
- Basic Instrument Maintenance
- Low Brass in the Marching Band
- Baritone vs. Euphonium-What's the difference by David Werden
- Appendix I - Trombone/Euphonium Etudes
- Appendix II - Tuba Etudes
- Appendix III - Warm-ups
- Appendix IV - Trombone Slide Positions / Euphonium FIngerings
- Appendix V - Tuba Fingerings
- Appendix VI - Major Scales
- About the Author
About the Book
The purpose of this textbook is to provide resources about teaching low brass instruments to music educators and future music educators. The book was developed by the author as part of the open/alternative textbook initiative at Kansas State University. It Is the textbook used for the Kansas State University course Music 239-Low Brass Techniques and Materials.
The textbook focuses on two areas: basic information including pedagogical material for teaching low brass students and low brass etudes. The information is divided into several categories including brass history, the overtone series, general intonation tendencies, embouchure, instruments and equipment, literature, maintenance, vibrato, and low brass in the marching band. Pedagogical material is interspersed throughout each of the chapters.
Etudes are incorporated in the appendix of the textbook. These etudes are intended to be used in a laboratory setting with future music educators learning each low brass instrument for the first time. Instrument fingerings, slide positions, and simple warm-up material is also available in the appendix.
About the Contributors
Dr. Steven Maxwell is Associate Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Kansas State University. In addition, he teaches low brass techniques and the History of Rock and Roll. Dr. Maxwell is also the tubist with the K-State Faculty Brass Quintet and the director of the K-State Tuba Euphonium Ensemble. He is an active clinician, adjudicator, and soloist throughout the United States and Europe. Dr. Maxwell has been active internationally performing at prestigious conferences including the International Tuba and Euphonium Conferences, the International Trombone Festival, andthe U. S. Army Band Tube-Euphonium Workshop. He has also performed at numerous regional conferences over the years including the Great Plains, South Central, Rocky Mountain, and Southwest Regional Tuba and Euphonium Conferences.