Musicianship (GIA Publications)

Musicianship: Composing in Band and Orchestra is a pioneering and practical answer to one of the great music education mysteries: how to effectively bring music composition to the band and orchestra room at all levels, as mandated by the National Standards.

Written by more than 35 nationally recognized teachers and composers, this book is truly a landmark music education publication.
Part 1 provides an introduction to the value of composition in instrumental instruction, from elementary through college level, including chapters on:

• getting started with composition

• assessing a composition

• generating a piece with narrative

Part 2 bridges theory and practice, with chapters devoted to creating a culture of creativity, preparing students, implementing technology, and involving the entire ensemble.
Finally, Part 3 features a diverse range of lesson plans by 25 teachers and composers, presenting imaginative and pedagogically sound approaches and projects for all levels of skill for grades K–12. Eminently practical and user-friendly, these plans will assist teachers who seek to enrich their students’ understanding of music. Students will acquire tools for developing their ability to use composing as a route to creative expression.
Musicianship: Composing in Band
and Orchestra offers an ideal combination of theory and practice, an essential resource for any school band or orchestra conductor.

Clint Randles is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at the University of South Florida School of Music in Tampa, Florida.

David Stringham is Associate Professor of Music at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Peter R. Webster is Professor Emeritus of Music Education at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University.

“The authors of this volume have provided a terrific set of practically-minded resources for taking real steps towards expanding band and orchestra curricula. Music teachers who draw from these materials can open up spaces and opportunities for children to engage in music in ways that go beyond performance.”

“This book speaks to a key area of concern cited by many music educators for some time, that being a lack of confidence and understanding regarding how to implement creative activities in the classroom and ensemble settings.”

“It is important to recognize the value and significance of the sheer breadth of the voices that are represented in this collection.”

—Peter Miksza
Associate Professor of Music Education
Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University


“Future generations of music educators may well consider this volume to be the door that opened to a new and more comprehensive world of instrumental music education.”

 —John Kratus
Professor of Music Education
Michigan State University


“The ideas shared throughout are grounded in current research in creativity, human learning, and educational practice….More student composing will only enrich the value of music education in schools. The possibilities are endless.”

—Robert H. Woody
Associate Professor of Music Education
School of Music, University of Nebraska


“This important and engaging book has great depth of field. It contains creative, inventive, practical composition lessons for all levels of band and orchestra students, and it situates them within a context of vital educational strategies and philosophical frameworks. A work of great range and depth, it should be essential reading for all band and orchestra teachers.”

— Daniel Deutsch, Founding Chair
Council for Music Composition
National Association for Music Education


“A big step forward in making bands and orchestras in the schools more relevant to the musicality of their members.”

—Bennett Reimer
Northwestern University



Musicianship: Composing in Choir is a pioneering and practical answer to one of the great music education mysteries: how to effectively bring music composition to the choir room at all levels, in alignment with the National Core Arts Standards. Written and edited by Jody Kerchner and Katherine Strand together with a team of 18 nationally recognized teachers, researchers, and musicians, this book is truly a landmark publication.

Central to this book are engaging project-based activities for individuals, small groups, and full ensembles. The authors goal is to provide singers with exciting new tools for exploring music. By promoting comprehensive choral musicianship, teachers will celebrate their students creativity, and their own.