Brass Techniques and Pedagogy
Brian Weidner, Butler University
Copyright Year: 2020
Publisher: Palni Press
Conditions of Use
A substantial contribution to the instruction of brass techniques. Expansive, while concise and logical in presentation, the work is a significant resource for teacher and student alike. read more
A substantial contribution to the instruction of brass techniques. Expansive, while concise and logical in presentation, the work is a significant resource for teacher and student alike.
The content is accurate, well researched, and easily understood. The methodology presented is basic but valid approach to the subject.
The text presents a well-founded, established approach the playing brass instruments. It is constructed in a manner that allows for future modifications should future research dictate. The video links also provide the opportunity for continuously updated content.
The text is clear and concise, and accessible. It does, however, assume a certain level of musical understanding, that would probably render it most effective for college-level instruction.
The text is consistent in voice, content, and presentation throughout. The linked videos are also presented in a consistent and logical manner.
The text has been constructed specifically to allow for easy navigation. The TOC is linked to each chapter, making it easy to immediately access a given chapter. And each chapter can easily be divided into smaller sections to accommodate instruction.
The text is organized in a thoughtful, logical manner. Part I gives an overview of brass instruments and techniques applicable to the entire family (embouchure, breathing, tone production, acoustics, articulations, etc.) Part II encompasses each individual instrument of band and orchestral palette.
The interface is clear and accessible. The multitude of videos are easy to navigate, add context to each section, and provide for superior engagement that one doesn’t find in traditional printed texts.
A few grammatical errors, but nothing that notably detracts from the content.
The prelude of the text references brass instruments such as the shofar, the didgeridoo, and Swiss alphorn. The first chapter of the text addresses the history and cultural background of the brass family. It addresses the evolution of the family from ancient times (salpinx, buccina, lur) to the present in a somewhat abbreviated overview. While the history and cultural relevance the brass family is certainly not the focus of the text, Weidner does take the time to provide a valuable synopsis. The text contains nothing that could be considered culturally insensitive.
An extremely valuable resource. Highly recommended.
The comprehensiveness of this book is vast, yet greatly detailed as it covers a wealth of information and material about all of the standard brass instruments as well as the proper pedagogy of each of them. this book is a wonderful resource and... read more
The comprehensiveness of this book is vast, yet greatly detailed as it covers a wealth of information and material about all of the standard brass instruments as well as the proper pedagogy of each of them. this book is a wonderful resource and is free of charge. There are numerous technical exercises and pedagogical concepts, along with specific technique and pedagogy for each of the unique instruments. Included are guided practice lessons and many other resources and activities. Designed specifically by a specialist in the field, musicians and/or music educators should find this as an invaluable resource for teaching and learning.
I found the techniques to be accurate with the knowledge and research in brass technique and methods courses. The material contained in this book is well written and researched.
The relevance of the material in this book is up to date with current research. The pedagogy is designed to achieve high student success rates over a long period of time.
The clarity of the material makes music educators more at ease while teaching students with the correct pedagogy. There is an abundance of detailed information and various exercises presented through musical notation, pictures, as well as video and audio demonstrations.
The book is consistent in using a macro to a micro approach. Each topic is designed with comparison of similarities of all brass instruments, and then the author also offers individualized pedagogy for each of the brass instruments.
The modularity of the book makes it easy to navigate through various topics. The chapter and informational links make locating the material quick and easy to access.
The organization of the material is broken into general sections, but includes all of the instruments in order consistent from highest to lowest voice.
The book's interface is clear, easy to read and is free of distortion of images, charts and written musical notation.
There were few grammatical errors. The book is easy to read and comprehend.
There are no culturally insensitivities in the material. The exercises in this book are general, technical exercises with intentional high quality instruction through solid pedagogy.
I would like to thank Dr. Weidner for his time and expertise in providing this valuable resource for all music educators and musicians of all ages! Bravo!
Assistant Professor of Music Education & Coordinator of Summer Graduate Studies
A no-frills guide to the history of brass instruments and a logical approach to playing/practicing for improvement. read more
A no-frills guide to the history of brass instruments and a logical approach to playing/practicing for improvement.
It is clear that the author has extensive knowledge of his craft.
The book is centered around decades-old foundation and presented in a logical and relevant way to improve play
Navigating the book is a little clunky, but the videos provided make the clicking worth it
As stated prior, the book is in alignment with best practices for brass teaching and learning.
The book is scaffolded in such a way that each section allows for practice modules.
This book is arranged in a useful and logical way
As noted, some of the nuances of the book are a little clunky, but overall a solid work
The book is written in an easy, conversational way that had few errors.
The book is appropriate for the topic - with some background given in a brief manner to tie in history and culture.
Weidner has produced a much-needed update to previously existing brass techniques texts. With helpful videos and printable materials, teachers no longer have to spend hours finding and assembling information from separate resources. The text... read more
Weidner has produced a much-needed update to previously existing brass techniques texts. With helpful videos and printable materials, teachers no longer have to spend hours finding and assembling information from separate resources. The text seeks to identify unifying characteristics between individual instruments while at the same time provides the necessary information to successfully teach all brass instruments. Beginning with historical information in part 1, general fundamental concepts such as posture, breathing, tone production, acoustics, pitch and intonation, articulation, instrument care, and advanced techniques are systematically presented. Part 2 includes instrument specific techniques and pedagogies for the trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba. Part 3 includes an incomplete set of guided practice lessons as a starting place for creating lessons and generate ideas from students. Although the author provides the first 11 lessons, the remaining 10 lessons are missing, presumably providing space for the reader to contribute to the document. These ten blank pages in the text seem odd, and the author gives no indication that these lessons have been titled and left blank for the purpose of reader contribution. Lastly, part 4 contains printable resources and activities such as comprehensive and well-written fingering charts, exercises to build technique, short performance etudes, recommended equipment, a glossary of brass terminology, and recommended texts for each instrument. Throughout the text, the author recognizes the need for additional collaboration and encourages additions from the reader.
The content presented is overall accurate. As is the case with learning any instrument or fundamental approach, there are many different methodologies and approaches to teaching instrumental methods. Because of the variety of approaches (and the subsequent passion of these practitioners), presenting such an instructional text requires the knowledge that there are some in the profession who will disagree with the way techniques are presented. Although it would be worthwhile to explore and examine these different approaches in the text, Weidner encourages the reader to add to the existing material, allowing for many of these additional modes of teaching to be presented. In addition, the author provides his email address for comments and suggestions for how to improve the text.
The content of this text provides a much-needed update to the materials existing in many brass methods texts. The text is arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement. The addition of video links demonstrating specific techniques provides an excellent visual model for students that appeals to their increasing familiarity with online video and technological modes of learning. Additional materials in the text are flexible and can be easily supplemented or changed depending on the needs of the student, class, or ensemble.
The text is written in easy to understand, simple language. Although many ideas and information presented may be confusing or foreign to someone with no musical training, the language and concepts included are very appropriate for the target audience of a college-level brass methods course. Outside of the college environment, the book is applicable and appropriate as a resource for K-12 educators teaching brass.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
The organization of the text allows for smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course. The organization of the text appears to imply this this purpose, as the table of contents allows the reader to click on a section or sub-section to immediately “jump to” that part of the text. This feature is one of the most helpful tools for utilizing smaller sections or reordering the sections as the instructor sees fit.
The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion. Each topic is clearly identified, and the reader can immediately access each sub-section simply by clicking on each heading in the Table of Contents. The main drawback of the text is the overall flow of material. There are large, blank areas along with repeated headings that require a great deal of scrolling. In addition, the format is cumbersome to navigate through when reading the text continuously from start to finish. It is presumed that the text was intended to be used as a collection of smaller sections to be assigned at different points within a course, however, adjustments to the formatting and flow of material could be helpful for the reader.
There are many accessible online video examples. The additional multimedia is relevant and extremely helpful. All the links in the text take the reader to a separate web page that houses all of the videos. The format of this online page is easy to navigate, however, clicking the link directly from the book does not take you to the specific intended video; the reader must still scroll down on the new page to find the correct video.
Very few grammatical errors exist in this text. The language is informal.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive, however, all the pictures and videos are of the author. It would be beneficial to include visual examples of multiple races, ethnicities, sexes, ages and sizes. Providing diverse visual examples would not only be more inclusive, but it would also provide information on how to execute posture and provide other physical accommodations for inevitable differences in students. For example, many students beginning on tuba with a smaller stature may require additional supports and accommodations to allow for their success. Including information on how to modify or prepare for these differences will help the instructor experience greater success in an increasingly diverse teaching environment.
Brass Techniques and Pedagogy (Weidner) provides a much-needed update to previously existing brass techniques texts. With helpful videos and printable materials, teachers no longer have to spend hours finding and assembling information from separate resources. The text seeks to identify unifying characteristics between instruments while at the same time provides the necessary information to successfully teach each individual brass instrument. The addition of video links, demonstrating specific techniques, provides a visual model for students that appeals to their increasing familiarity with online video and technological modes of learning. Additional materials such as printable resources and activities are included. Exercises and materials in the text are flexible and can be easily supplemented or changed depending on the needs of the student, class, or ensemble.
Table of Contents
- I. General Brass Techniques and Pedagogies
- II. Instrument Specific Techniques and Pedagogies
- III. Guided Practice Lessons
- IV. Resources and Activities
About the Book
Textbook for undergraduate brass methods course focusing on brass instrument techniques and pedagogy.
About the Contributors
Brian N. Weidner is the assistant professor of instrumental music education at Butler University. He holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. Additionally, he holds an M.M. Music Education from Northern Illinois University, a M.Ed. School Leadership from Olivet Nazarene University, and a B.M.E. Music Education/B.A. English from Illinois State University.
Before coming to Butler, he was a lecturer in the music and education departments at Lake Forest (IL) College. Previously, he taught at McHenry (IL) High School for 12 years, serving as its Fine Arts Coordinator, Director of Bands, and Music Theory Instructor, and is a National Board-certified teacher.
He has published articles in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Music Education, Music Educators Journal, Psychology of Music, and multiple state and local journals, was a contributing author of a chapter in The Music and Literacy Connection. He has presented nationally and internationally at conferences including NAfME, RIME, SMTE, and CMS. His academic interests include investigating the relationship between music and literacy, the development of independent musicianship through large ensemble instruction, and the use of disruption in self-replicating cycles in teacher education.
At Butler University, he teaches courses in the undergraduate and graduate music education program, including Brass Techniques. Additionally, he serves as the co-director of the Butler University Symphonic Band.
Dr. Weidner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.