The beginning of the year can be a hectic time for all teachers, but especially band directors! Many hours of thought and preparation are required to set up our students for success. Here are 10 back to school resources for band directors that will help get your school year off to a great start. Add these to your wish list so you will be prepared for the new school year!
1. Band Director’s Back-to-School Bundle
This comprehensive bundle comes with 7 helpful resources:
- Instrument Care Pack– this is a lifesaver at the beginning of the year! It’s helpful for both students and parents. Send home with the kids for reference at home and consider projecting on a large screen during class instruction time. The detailed pictures are great
- Beginning Band Chants– these are handy for developing a routine when it comes to teaching the lines and spaces of the staff, time signature, key signature and posture. A good plan is to have students say the chants at the beginning of every class to make sure they are getting them memorized. Then, use the chants as teaching tools when students encounter new time signatures and key signatures in their beginning band books. You will be amazed at how quickly they learn after using the chants often!
- Editable Band Practice Records– 5 options are included in this pack so you can pick the option best for your band program. The options included are weekly by time (with grading rubric), weekly by time (simple), monthly by time, weekly by time and objectives, and weekly by objectives only.
- Music Stand Name Tags– these are so helpful all year long, but particularly at the beginning of the year when learning new student names. They are editable with room for student note taking on the back. These also work great for when you have guest conductors or clinicians, substitutes, and a communication tool. Other fun ideas are to collect them and draw names of students or use them as “exit tickets” at the end of class.
- Careers in Music Sub Plan– everyone needs a quality plan for a non-music sub when they need to be out unexpectedly. This plan requires no technology and students have fun exploring possible music careers. A fun card game is included. This lesson plan was written for a 50 minute class.
- Music Symbols Word Wall– this is great for adding decor to your bulletin boards and is a quick reference for students. The posters print well and are also perfect to use as large flash cards.
- Back-to-School Checklist– tons of great ideas on this list! Make sure you are prepared with this comprehensive checklist geared toward the middle school band director.
Some reviews on the Back-to-School Bundle:
⭐”This bundle is a lifesaver!! I can’t wait to implement these new ideas at the beginning of the school year. I also feel organized and prepared for the busy year ahead. Thank you for helping me get off to a great start!”
⭐”LOVE this bundle. My 5th Graders are loving the Posture Chant. I used the instrument care sheets with all of my students. A great resource!”
⭐”Rather than wait for back to school, I will be hosting some summer camps to keep students connected to music. I can not wait to implement the chants for camp. The practice records are a great resource so you can select a specific approach to collecting practice documents and accountability. All the materials look really clean and classy and should appeal greatly to my students! In the packet, I have gained some new ideas to implement too-I’ve never thought of name tags on the stands, but that will be very helpful!”
2. The Embouchure Project
We all know that good teachers are experts at saying the same thing a million different ways and that a picture is worth more than 1,000 words. That was the inspiration for this project! Through our many years of teaching we have collected sayings, phrases, tips, tricks, recommendations and advice from friends, colleagues, clinicians, and instrumental music classes. The photos included in this project are of college music majors and fellow band directors.
- Embouchure Faces Slideshows- plus BONUS Percussion! These are PowerPoint slideshow presentations of professional musicians and college music education/music performance students. More than 100 embouchure faces are included! Showing these slideshows to your beginning band classes will help your students in the first days of embouchure formation and percussion playing. Simply point to the screen and say “make your face look like this.” Then, have your students check their embouchures in the mirror on their music stand.
- Director Reference Sheets- More than 30 pages of helpful tips for directors, solutions for common problems and pictures of correct embouchures.
- Student Reference Sheets- These are short, one page handouts to send home with students so they can use as a reference when they practice at home. Pictures of correct embouchures are included!
- Embouchure Quizzes- One page quizzes are included to help assess student learning and understanding. Also perfect to leave for a sub if you have to be away from your class. Answer keys are included, which is helpful for a sub activity.
- Choosing a Player Guides- These are one page guides that will be helpful to you when it is time to assign your upcoming beginning band students to instruments. These handouts include physical attributes to look for in potential players.
Some reviews on The Embouchure Project:
⭐”Words cannot describe how amazing this bundle is! I just downloaded it and scrolled through. The pics are so clear and there are tons of them! I cannot wait to use with my beginners. The quizzes and student handouts are great too. Thank you SO much for an outstanding resource! ”
⭐”This is a game changer for me! This resource provides quality images for students who are visual learners, and some ideas to help clarify my teaching of each embouchure. I’m a relatively new teacher (5th year) and I am always looking for ways to improve and give my players a better foundation. Thank you for an outstanding product!”
⭐”This resource is going to be a big help with my beginner classes. The pictures are awesome and the director tips and worksheets are great. Lots of phrases and tips I’ve never heard of before- and I’ve taught for years. Thanks!.”
3. Instrument Care Pack:
This packet will help you save time and educate your beginning band students on the importance of proper instrument care. Less time in the repair shop means more playing time! Lots of detailed instructions and great pictures are included. These are great for sending home with students to educate parents, too! Also a great teaching tool during class- consider projecting the instructions on a large screen for students at the beginning of the year. Note: this item is also included in our back-to-school bundle (save money with the bundle!)
- What to do before you play
- Instructions on how to clean the inside and outside of instruments
- Information on oiling valves, applying slide grease, cork grease, rotating reeds and more…
- How to store instrument properly
- Weekly maintenance
- Monthly maintenance and things to watch out for
- Annual maintenance
Some reviews on the Instrument Care Pack:
⭐”Very well done! These are an easy hand out to give to both students AND parents, so they know exactly what to do! Thank you!”
⭐”Wonderful pictures and very comprehensive! I plan to print for my students so they can have it in their band notebooks. I also love the PDF format so I can project it from my computer for the entire class to see. Awesome resource!”
⭐”Thank you! I was looking at something much more expensive, and these are perfect! ”
⭐”Just what the instrument doctors ordered–I laminated these and put them in our band folders!”
4. Ice Breakers
Start your semester with these FUN ice breaker activities perfect for middle school or high school. This set includes 3 Ice Breakers that are ready to print. Detailed instructions about how to play are included – small group and large group interaction. Included are three card sets – Would You Rather…, If I Could…, and 3 Things About Me/Guess Who.
Some reviews on Icebreakers:
⭐”I used these the first few days back to school, and they were so much fun!”
⭐”A fun way to get kids talking the first few days of school :)”
⭐”I’ve been using this with my middle school students and they love it. It is really getting the year off to a great start.”
5. Band Room Bulletin Boards
Are your band room bulletin boards bare because you have no idea how to decorate them? Any of these posters sets would be great and were all designed with the band director in mind. Also perfect for general music teachers for those of you who teach grades K-12.
Some reviews on some of our bulletin board bundles:
⭐”I love this bulletin board set! I have selections from this product all over my room! Beautifully done, lots of options. I am very satisfied with this purchase.”
⭐ “Thank you SO much for a great poster set! I LOVE that I can edit & make my own to personalize even further. Thanks a million!”
⭐ “This bundle is great and cheap! Everything needed for any type of music classroom is here. Various sizes make it easy to adapt as well as blanks for adding extra symbols for older groups. Highly recommend this set!”
⭐ “I truly love everything in this bundle, its worth every dollar!!!”
⭐ “I printed these on heavier card stock paper and laminated them. Great posters!”
⭐ “These really brought my room together. The posters are meaningful and organized. I like that I can edit them and that there were blanks so I can cater them to my teaching style and classroom. ”
6. Tunes with a Twist
Students will be excited and motivated to practice with these FUN traditional, patriotic, holiday & classical melodies for band! This printable set of band music in unison lines will be enjoyed year after year. 59 songs are included for each instrument. ALL instruments are included in this bundle! The parts are REPRODUCIBLE for your personal band program. Only one book purchase needed – reproduce as many times as you need for your students!
Included Song Collections:
- Traditional Collection– 12 songs- 3 key signatures, duets, variation
- Patriotic Collection– 12 songs- 5 key signatures, variation
- Holiday Collection– 18 songs- 5 key signatures, variation
- Classical Collection– 16 songs- 6 key signatures
These songs were selected to provide a wide variety of difficulty level as well as time signature, rhythms, musical symbols, style, tempo and more. Each collection varies slightly in the key signatures and variations that are included. Click on the picture above for a detailed preview of each collection. They are different difficulty levels and different layouts based on the best options for each collection.
Some reviews on our Tunes with a Twist books:
⭐”These books are AWESOME! I can’t get over how much is packed into each set! I love that each song is in multiple keys and that there are so many opportunities for practicing style and other musical elements. The duets are going to be a big hit, too. I plan to send the holiday books home with my students over the winter break for something new and fun to practice. Thank you so much! You guys rock!”
⭐”Can’t wait to use this with my band students! Great variety of songs for multiple playing levels. The index is very helpful when it comes to deciding what songs to choose for a student’s playing ability. Thank you so much for including that! My students are going to love these!”
⭐”Great book! Love all of the music elements packed in (style, syncopation, keys, meter changes, etc) Also, thanks for allowing me to reproduce this set multiple times for my personal students.”
⭐”This book is fantastic! The fact that kids can practice a song in so many key signatures is great. The variations for each song are clever and well written and will really help my students with style, new time signatures, syncopation, etc. I also appreciate the large variety of holiday songs you included. Thanks!
7. Rhythm Grids & PowerPoint Slides
This rhythm bundle was designed to help your students be better sight readers and rhythm counters. The 5 levels of rhythm grids, rhythm slides (in single, double and triple version) rhythm flashcards and 7 rhythm game ideas are sure to keep your students engaged while mastering rhythm counting and beat subdivision.
- Rhythm Grids- 5 levels – These grids may be printed for each student. They may count the rhythms from left to right, top to bottom or bottom to top. Mix things up so they never count by rote! The gray lines show the subdivision so students can better understand the base rhythm on the page. These grids are SUPER fun for playing games like “don’t break the chain” or “popcorn.” Game play instruction are included.
- Single Rhythm Slides- 5 levels- These slides are perfect for introducing new rhythms to your students. The rhythm slides are broken down into simple, 4 beat rhythms. Timed slides are also included for metronome settings of quarter note = 60 beats/min and quarter note = 90 beats/min for directors that want to play and go. Also included is a shuffled slides version of the single slides to mix things up.
- Double Rhythm Slides/Flashcards- 5 levels- The double rhythm slides have two 4-beat rhythms per slide. Divide up your class into 2 parts and practice duets! Consider having half the class count and the other half clap or stomp. The double slides include a convenient black and white version for printing large flashcards. Timed slides are also included for metronome settings of quarter note = 60 beats/min and quarter note = 90 beats/min for directors that want to play with automation as they walk around the room.
- Trio Rhythm Slides- 5 levels- The trio slides are fun for a challenge – instead of duets, have a class trio! Divide up your class into 3 parts for a fun rhythm game. Have a contest to see which part can make no mistakes!
- Ideas for Use- This is an 8 page PDF that explains in depth how to use the entire contents of this resource. Ideas for simplifying and making things more challenging included too. Instructions for these games are included: Don’t Break the Chain, Last Man or Woman Standing, Popcorn, Am I right?, King or Queen of the Hill, Scavenger Hunt, Music accompaniment for background music
Some reviews on Rhythm Grids and PowerPoint Slides:
⭐”This is a fantastic resource to practice rhythm patterns in so many different ways. I love that they are in levels and can be used with so many different grades. Thanks for putting together this useful resource.”
⭐”Great supplemental material to challenge students with counting and reading. ”
⭐”I love these! I use these for my middle school and high school classes!”
⭐”This is so awesome! Can’t wait to use with my beginner class and level 1 is perfect for back to school. I can see myself using all the levels throughout the year with advanced band too. The variety of slides are awesome and love the grids, too. Thanks!”
8. Sub Plans Bundle
This Music Substitute Plan Bundle will give you peace of mind so you can be prepared for any unplanned absences. These are also great for non music subs- no prior music knowledge is necessary! You will be confident that your students are engaged in fantastic music lessons while you are away. This bundle includes 6 ready-to-print music lesson plans, as well as a substitute prep pack and bonus instructions on how to have a “Student Led Band Class.” While these were designed as band sub plans, we have gotten outstanding reviews from choir directors, orchestra directors and elementary music teachers as well.
All lesson plans are easy to follow and the sub instructions are EDITABLE for those that want to tweak or change the plans to meet your personal needs. The lesson plans are designed for a 50 minute class.
Included lesson plans:
- Emergency Sub Plan #1
- Emergency Sub Plan #2
- “Meter” Sub Plan
- Careers in Music Sub Plan
- The Marine Band and John Philip Sousa Sub Plan
- John Williams Sub Plan
- Music Substitute Preparation Pack
Some reviews on our Sub Plans Bundle:
⭐”My non-music subs left me great feedback after doing these lessons with my classes. Can’t wait to use them again!”
⭐”Enjoyed using these sub plans last year. Very thorough, even for non music subs. Thanks!”
⭐”Awesome sub plans – very helpful, and very useful! My sub loved them! Thanks!”
⭐”Was so impressed with this resource! I immediately used the “Careers in Music” and “John Williams” plans, and the students LOVED them! So glad that someone else has made a resource that is practical, comprehensive and looks APPEALING. This is one area I definitely appreciate as a music teacher without a lot of visual art ability!”
9. Music Games SUPER Bundle
This music games super bundle will help your students have fun while learning and reviewing note names, rhythms, music symbols and musical terms. Perfect for any time of year and ANY class size to keep students engaged and excited about music theory practice. Your band students will love getting up and moving around the room playing scavenger hunts, find a partner games, I Have Who Has games, Rhythm Envelope Games, PowerPoint games and more! These activities can be played in as little as 5-7 minutes or for an entire class period and can easily be tweaked to meet the needs of your class and band students. We often get asked for suggestions of fun ideas for students before they have all secured an instrument, after their instruments have been turned in or for the last day of school before a holiday- these games are great activities for those times!
There are 18 different “volumes” or products which contain a total of over 40 different individual games.
- Quarter notes & rests
- Half notes & rests
- Dotted half notes & rests
- Whole notes & rests
- Dotted quarter notes & rests
- Eighth notes & rests
- Sixteenth notes & rests
- Tied rhythms
- Syncopated rhythms
- Treble clef notes (ledger lines included)
- Bass clef notes (ledger lines included)
- Musical symbols & terms
Some reviews on our Music Games SUPER Bundle:
⭐”Awesome bundle! I love that I can reinforce rhythm and note names in so many ways through these super fun games! Great resource!”
⭐”Enjoyed using these for quick brain breaks with my beginning band kids. You can play them for short amounts of time (around 5-7 minutes) to get students moving and engaged. Kids liked them!”
⭐”I was looking for fun games, these are great and my students really enjoy them.”
⭐Great information and easily taught! Love it!”
10. Fun Fundamentals
This Rhythm Bundle was designed to help your students become better rhythm counters and sight readers. Help them transition from counting rhythms to playing them on their instruments! By using simple, easy to play songs, your students can focus on mastering tricky rhythms (and not focus on their fingers!)
This set contains exercises for full band, plus slide show presentations for individual instrument groups for your convenience-no printing necessary! All fundamental packs are in Concert B flat, except Itsy Bitsy Time, which is in Concert E flat. These band exercises would be particularly helpful in a beginning band class setting or for homogeneous sectionals. Each packet has the original song and multiple variations containing different tricky rhythms. There are 3 levels included for each pack (with PowerPoint slide shows) so you can choose the appropriate level for your students.
Sets included in the bundle:
- Hot Cross Rhythms
- Twinkle Twinkle Ties
- Mary Had a Lot of Rests
- Itsy Bitsy Time
Some reviews on Fun Fundamentals:
⭐“I can’t wait to use the Powerpoint in my beginning band classes! Level 2 is PERFECT since we are working on dotted quarter notes. Thanks for a great product!
⭐“Very easy to introduce and my beginning classes enjoyed playing through the first few variations.”
⭐”My students are struggling with tied rhythms. Can’t wait to use this! Plan on using level 1 with beginners and levels 2-3 with concert band. Thanks!”
Hopefully these resources will help you get your year off to a wonderful start. If you would like to stay up-to-date with Band Directors Talk Shop’s latest products and new releases, click the link below to follow us. TpT accepts school purchase orders, so start your wish list now! Also, you can earn credits on future purchases by leaving us feedback in our store. We’d love to hear from you! Here’s to a GREAT back-to-school season!
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