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Best of the Best

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It means the item was selected for one of our annual reading clinics, and comes highly recommended.

Instrumental Music Department

Jamie Croil

Cameron Willis

Instrumental Music Specialist

Welcome to the instrumental music department at Northwest Music. We carry a large selection of music for soloists and ensembles at all ability levels, and from an extensive collection of publishers worldwide.

If you're looking for a method book, solo repertoire, a jazz or concert band chart, even manuscript paper, we can help; and if you don't see it on our shelves, we'll order it for you.

If you're having trouble choosing band repertoire, we also run annual reading clinics, featuring excellent guest clinicians and hand-picked repertoire guaranteed to excite and educate.


Nick Anderson - Brass Specialist
Nick Anderson
Brass Specialist

Brass/Breathing Gym & Intonation Repair Tool

As we approach festival season, many of you teachers (and students) might be looking for ways to take your performances to the next level. In addition to our wide selection of print music, we also carry a number of educational resources to enhance musicianship. I wanted to take the time to focus on two fantastic products that promise to improve the sound and intonation of any musician.

Breathing Gym & Brass GymThe Breathing Gym books and DVDs have been around for several years now and have helped countless band directors and students expand their air capacity to make a full and dynamic sound on any instrument. Patrick Sheridan and Sam Pilafian, the two tubists behind the Breathing Gym, have now released a number of instrument specific brass methods in a series entitled Brass Gym. Working with different editors for each edition, they have created daily practice routines which incorporate the breathing gym techniques to enhance range, tone, pitch, and expression. Brass Gym is available for Trumpet, French Horn, Euphonium (TC and BC) and Tuba. The Breathing Gym is available for $34.45 (book only) or $68.85 (book & DVD combo), and there are a number of other purchasing options available (see all).

Intonation Repair ToolWe have just received our first shipment of Intonation Repair Tool which is an exciting new product that allows students to practice intonation together in class or individually at home.  Students play through various scales, arpeggios, and chords while listening, matching, and blending along with a pre-recorded track. Students are also given the opportunity to practice various scales and passages against a drone. Consistent work with the Intonation Repair Tool will improve any musician's ability to tune and blend within an ensemble. The Comprehensive Teacher's Edition is available now for $30 and the Student Edition (Booklet and CD) is available for $15.

Cameron Willis - Manager of Instrumental Music
Cameron Willis
Manager of Instrumental Music

Music of Robert Buckley

Over the years, Northwest Music has endeavored to promote local composers whenever possible. Around 2005, the North Shore Concert Band was a testing ground for new band works by local composer Robert Buckley. Two enterprising band members, John Gosden and Dave Simpson, decided to form their own publishing company, NS Musico, to promote these new works, many of which Northwest Music has highlighted at our annual reading sessions (see below).

Bob Buckley went on to have many of his pieces published by De Haske/Fentone Music in Europe which was subsequently purchased by Hal Leonard Corporation. Today Bob is one of Hal Leonard's most popular writers and also has works published by Alfred and Barnhouse. I listened to a demo recording of his new works due out this year and am certain he has more winners on the way. Look for them at this summer's reading sessions...

Robert Buckley selections featured in our reading sessions include:

2005: Cathedral Grove (Grade 3 Band), Shadow Play (available from Barnhouse through Northwest Music), This Is My Home (available from NS Musico through Northwest Music)

2006: Sea To Sky (available from NS Musico through Northwest Music)

2009: Procession Of The Sorcerers (Grade 4 Band)

2010: December (Grade 3 Band with Choir), Thunderbird (Grade 3 Band)

2011: Continuum (Grade 4 Band), Windjammer - Voyage Aboard a Tall Ship (Grade 4 Band)

Cameron Willis - Manager of Instrumental Music
Cameron Willis
Manager of Instrumental Music

Teaching Band with Excellence

Cover ImageTeaching Band With Excellence A Complete Curricular, Pedagogical and Administrative Resource written by Bruce Pearson and Ryan Nowlin, is a wealth of information for the band director compiled in one flexicoil book. All aspects of curriculum including music reading, sight reading, ear training, rehearsal structure, improvisation, breathing, articulation, balance, intonation, phrasing, assessment and more are covered in the first section.

The second section has an introduction to band instruments followed by an in depth coverage of each instrument. Topics covered are history of the instrument, members of each instrument family, playing range and transposition of each family member, how to select an instrument, choosing reeds, ligatures, mouthpieces and mutes, care, feeding and assembly of each instrument, posture, embouchure and tone production, as well as recommendations for identifying a student's suitability for a particular instrument.

The third section deals with administrative issues including recruitment and retention, budgets, understanding Purchase Orders, classroom management, motivation, lesson planning and organization, copyright, private lessons and parent support groups.

A Personal and Professional Growth section deals with resumés, cover letters, professional development, time management and personal wellness.

This is a valuable compendium, particularly for new band directors, and comes with a ringing endorsement from Peter Stigings at UBC MusEd, who was the first one shown the book, and the first one to buy it!