First Semester Workbook

First Semester Workbooks are a complete introductory program for beginning band, designed to prepare your students to begin study in the Arrangement Collection. Beginners will learn their first 6 notes and basic rhythms and articulations, in an innovative setting where failure is virtually impossible!

In most Band Method books, students start out with a tiny whole note, accompanied by an even tinier fingering chart graphic:


This seemingly simple picture, simultaneously introduces three separate concepts:

1. Fingering Chart Interpretation

2. Rhythmic Notation

3. Pitch Placement on the Staff

That’s like introducing Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication on the first day of math class!

In the First Semester Workbook, these three concepts are introduced one at a time. Easy written exercises to reinforce each concept are presented, before moving on to the next concept.

Page 1 and 2 introduce fingerings for three notes and an easy song by rote:



Notice that Flutes start out on a harmony part that uses Bb, A and G. When starting with FULL BAND, most method books start flutes with extremely difficult note connections like D to C, or F to Eb. But with this harmony part, and the Thumb Bb fingering, your flutes can have virtually the same easy fingerings for their first three notes, as beginning clarinets and alto saxes. Everyone can learn together: one finger, two fingers, three fingers…

Compare the fingerings on the same two pages for Clarinets:



On pages 3 and 4, basic rhythmic values are introduced, along with some written exercises to reinforce that concept:



Pages 5 and 6 present two pieces by rote, but with the rhythmic values inserted:



Pages 7 and 8 introduce pitch placement on the staff, and reinforce that concept with some simple note-writing exercises:



Pages 9 -10 present the two same pieces in proper musical notation, but on very large staffs. Note name charts are inserted at the ends of each system, so that students may “self check” their new reading skills!

Click here to download a pdf of pages 8-16 of the Clarinet Workbook.

Note: First Semester Workbooks are 18 pages long, and sell for only $3.00 per student book, when ordered directly from Rubber Band Arrangements.

Band Directors: Click here to request free sample books and CD.