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Creative Activities for Young Bands


by Matthew Clauhs

This is an eBook for digital download.

This e-book presents a variety of exploration, improvisation, and composition activities that foster creativity in young band students, and serves as a supplement to a traditional band method book. This interactive resource includes video examples, play-along accompaniments, lesson plans, and customizable worksheets, all designed to work with any instrumentation in small group and large group band settings


While creating is one of the four artistic processes that guide national core standards for music education, very few of the best-selling band methods emphasize creativity in a beginning instrumental setting. The goal of this e-book is to supplement the executive skills, notation reading development, and instrument-specific techniques that are often the focus of method books with a variety of activities that foster creativity in young band students. These activities are organized into the categories of exploration, improvisation, and composition, and require little to no prior understanding of standard five-line staff notation.

The seven creative activities presented in this e-book are designed to work with any instrumentation in small group and large group band settings. Pitches are identified by movable-do solfege syllables to eliminate the need for transposition. The activities vary in length, ranging from 5-minute exercises, to a larger creative project spanning several weeks. The e-book includes interactive features, such as YouTube bubbles with links to video examples and play-along accompaniments and Dropbox bubbles with links to customizable handouts and PowerPoint presentations. Readers are encouraged to download and edit the files to best suit their needs and make adaptations for the individual learners in their classrooms.


MAtthew Clauhs

Preview (first 7 pages)

About the Author

Matthew Clauhs is an Assistant Professor of music education at Ithaca College where he teaches courses in band methods, modern band pedagogy, and an introduction to music education. Dr. Clauhs serves on the editorial review board of Music Educators Journal and is chair of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Research Committee. He has received grants and honors from Mr. Holland’s Opus, the NAMM Foundation, Little Kids Rock, Guitar Center, NYSSMA, the Ithaca College Center for Faculty Excellence, and the Surdna Foundation. Many of these awards helped to provide quality music education to students in underserved communities.

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