Written by Brittany Bauman and Dr. Cassandra Eisenreich, the WindStars Series is a simple, effective, and affordable way for elementary school kids to experience the joy of playing music together. Through WindStars, children learn to play a musical instrument and develop a life-long love of music at an early age.
The WindStars Methodology is focused on the holistic approach of teaching the “whole child” through the WindStar of music education, which is comprised of the following five elements of music: Rhythm/Tempo, Pitch/Tone, Melody/Harmony, Structure, and Expression. The WindStars Series can be used in a solo or group setting with appropriate tunes for each level. The method introduces and develops fundamental beginning instrumental skills while creating an exciting and engaging experience for all students. WindStars is a book-based program with supplemental materials available online (instructional videos, audio backing tracks, and printable PDFs).
The WindStars 1 Teacher Book is spiral-bound with 91 full-color pages. The book is broken into three sections:
- Base Curriculum – iconic notation recognition, steady beat, pitch, melody, breathing, assembling and holding the Dood or Toot, making the first sound, articulation, 4/4 and 2/4 time signatures, repeat sign, how to read fingering charts, and notes B, A, and G.
- Extension 1 – Notes C, F, E, D, low C, and eighth notes,
- Extension 2 – 6/8 time signature and duets
A printable completion certificate is included for each section. Suggestions for movement and performance are included in the back of the book.
WindStars is a 3-level program which can be easily adapted to fit into existing programs:
- Level 1 – designed for ages 5-9, with an emphasis on Sound Before Sight. Written for the general music classroom, level one encourages students to learn by ear as much as possible. Iconic notation is provided for a simple introduction to music notation. Students will use instruments to explore their own musical creativity, develop fine and gross motor skills, and proper playing techniques.
- Level 2 – designed for ages 6-10, with an emphasis on transitioning to notation. Books are written for the jSax, jFlute, jHorn, and Clarineo. Books are intended to build on the experiences in Level One and those learned in general music classes. Level Two is written for individual and/or class lessons that extend woodwind and brass skills while playing fun tunes in various genres.
- Level 3 – designed for ages 7-10, emphasizing pre-band ensemble playing. Level three introduces multi-part music for the jSax, jFlute, jHorn, and Clarineo in a variety of styles. All tunes are written in standard notation.