Brasstown Press

The Brasstown Press catalogue of music education books is available here.

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Publications

RIT One front cover

RIT One by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-0-6
$17.95 USD

Recorder Improvisation and Technique Book One:

Beginning with the Soprano Recorder

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

What’s Inside?

For the classroom or lesson setting, RIT One systematically introduces fingerings from the C pentatonic scale, continually reinforcing new skills as it expands to F and G pentatonics. A step-by-step process introduces basic recorder skills in a highly interactive context of singing, moving, responding to Kodaly hand signs, echo play, and accompanying on pitched and non-pitched percussion. Improvisation is a key component of the instruction.

Carley’s suggested exercises—presented in clear, incremental steps—make this model accessible for teachers regardless of previous experience. Repertoire is either newly composed or drawn from folk sources. ~ Leslie Timmons in American Recorder, the magazine of the American Recorder Society

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RIT Two by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-1-3
$19.95 USD

Recorder Improvisation and Technique Book Two:

Intermediate for Alto and Soprano Recorder

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

What’s Inside?

This second of three books in the Recorder Improvisation and Technique series is an intermediate course for the classroom or lesson setting. Extending the lessons of RIT One, it develops improvisation skills, and immerses students further in music composition.

True to its title, recorder technique is also covered. By the final lessons in this book, proficiency on the instrument can be attained. More important, students can use the book as a vehicle for improvisation and invention. In fact, the engaged student will see that the lessons can apply much more broadly, to other instruments and to voice as well.

By Lesson 6, the student is improvising variations by ear. Starting with Lesson 7, the student begins a comprehensive understanding of the diatonic modes. It will be readily apparent this is not simply a “recorder method” book.

The last two lessons, on shifting-chord accompaniments and paraphony (parallel melodic movement), are an open doorway to a musical life that embraces improvisation and composition. As my mother said repeatedly, what she most admired about the Orff approach was that it introduced students to the materials of music, so that students acquired confidence and proficiency developing musical ideas – just as a composer does. Requiring a higher level of technical ability and theoretical understanding than RIT One, which is an introductory work, RIT Two makes the transition from the classroom to the whole world of music.

These volumes contain a wealth of practical pedagogy for learning and teaching recorder—a reflection of [Carley’s] incomparable musicianship and extensive work with children and adults in ensemble settings. Leslie Timmons in American Recorder, the magazine of the American Recorder Society

Clear, well developed teaching activities beautifully set out in a way that makes them accessible to both experienced and inexperienced teachers….It is very clear that [Carley] is a master teacher. ~ Kim Kendrick in Ostinato, the National Journal of Orff Canada

Your recorder books are excellent … completely in the spirit of the Schulwerk. ~ Gunild Keetmanco-creator with Carl Orff of the Orff Schulwerk

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RIT Two by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-1-3
$19.95 USD

RIT Three front cover

RIT Three by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-2-0
$19.95 USD

Recorder Improvisation and Technique Book Three

Advanced • Composing, Arranging, Analysis

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

What’s Inside?

Recorder Improvisation and Technique Book Three is for the advanced student who already plays both C and F recorders.

Designed for the classroom or lesson setting, RIT Three shifts the emphasis away from basic recorder instruction. These lessons focus in detail on how the Orff-Schulwerk Volumes basic sequence can be applied successfully to recorder teaching and playing. The improvisational and compositional techniques in RIT Three are then readily transferable to other instruments and the voice.

Compositional forms are explored with improvised materials using major, modal, and minor scales, as well as dominant and subdominant bass lines and improvised melodies. Historical, traditional, and contemporary approaches to harmony are considered, combined with improvisations using Organum, Faux Bourdon, heterophony, shifting chords, descants, and more. A final chapter includes improvisation for movement, free solo improvisation, and group improvisation.

RIT Three embarks on a grand exploration and appreciation of a global musical mix. Take songs of Medieval Europe, blend in a modernist respect for Indonesian and African layered subtleties of melody and rhythm, then add in North American musical traditions, and individual improvisation.

The third volume, although specific to recorder, is equally applicable to the musical development of any vocalist or instrumentalist…Carley deftly guides the player through scales, melodic ornamentation, decoration of the third, canons, chord changes, descant creation and free improvisation. She includes many fine musical examples, but the focus is the emphasis on improvisation leading to composition in the forms that parallel the history of Western music. ~ Leslie Timmons, American Recorder. the magazine of the American Recorder Society

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Making It Up As You Go front cover

Essays by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-3-7
$19.95 USD

Making It Up As You Go: Selected Essays

Writing About Music, Improvisation, and Teaching

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

What’s Inside?

The first collection of essays by Isabel McNeill Carley, this book gathers some of her best written work, both previously published and unpublished, in a work full of inspiration, commentary, personal memoir and incisive, helpful insights into teaching and the Orff Approach. Isabel McNeill Carley is one of the co-founders of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and a longtime teacher, composer and author. These essays are for the new Orff teacher, the classroom teacher, and the experienced Orff instructor. For parents and others who care about the importance of music education, these essays give a new window into the underlying thought, care, and love of creativity that imbue this approach to childhood music, improvisation, and community.

This collection of twenty-one essays from the pen of one of our most thoughtful pioneers is a landmark publication.

 
The book is divided into three sections: Origins, Practicum and Exhortations, with some useful reference material in a Resource section at the end.
 
[Carley] draws attention to the use of many pentatonics in the Schulwerk, including those centred on tones other than doh or lah. She was an advocate for the use of American folk songs featuring many modal, and unusual pentatonic tone sets; she points out that this melodic variety was not available to Orff and Keetman in their native Bavarian musical culture, so the North American teacher actually has a richer heritage to draw on in this respect.
 
[The book covers the] basic where and why of complementary orchestration, improvisation, hand drum, recorder and more, along with global advice about how to maintain a balanced program.
 
Altogether this is a collection to savour, to dip into and read in bits and pieces, or from cover to cover. It clarifies important, perhaps sometimes overlooked, understandings from the dawn of the development of Orff pedagogy and inspires belief in the model, and its ongoing relevance. ~ Catherine West, in Ostinato, the National Journal of Orff Canada

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Making It Up As You Go front cover

Essays by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-3-7
$19.95 USD

Taking the Orff Approach to Heart front cover

TOATH Essays by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-9-9
$7.95 USD (ebook)

Taking the Orff Approach to Heart:

Essays & Articles From A Pioneer of Orff in America

~ Isabel McNeill Carley 

What’s Inside?

Taking the Orff Approach to Heart, this ebook compendium by North American Orff educator Isabel McNeill Carley, contains 29 original essays and articles. It is a companion book to Making It Up As You Go, (Brasstown Press), which presents additional essays and articles. Carley writes with skill and humor on topics from theory to practice, integrating music, speech, movement, and improvisation.

Also included are a Foreword by Karen Stafford; an Editor’s Introduction by Anne M Carley; a Biographical Note about the author; informative essays on Carl Orff and the Orff Schulwerk, which was developed by Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman; a short essay about the significance of the pentatonic scale in Orff education; diagrams of the pentatonic scales and modes in C, F, and G; a glossary; biographical notes on names cited; published resources and references; a selected bibliography of works by the author, and information on her other recent publications. Each article includes an introductory headnote.

Some materials have never before been published; others are repurposed and edited with permission.

Dip into this book for inspiration, or read it cover to cover to immerse in the world of elemental music education for all ages.

Isabel McNeill Carley's Five Little Books

Five Little Books ~ Isabel McNeill Carley

Isabel McNeill Carley, composer, writer, editor, and lifelong innovator and creative teacher of music, was the first American Honors graduate of the Orff-Institut in Salzburg, Austria and a founding member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. She organized and instructed at Orff certification programs in the US and abroad. Ms. Carley composed, performed, and taught music for over fifty years to children and adults. She developed her “Five Little Books” to be resources of singable, playable tunes of gradually expanding range and complexity.

My Song Primer front cover

My Song Primer by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-4-4
$10.00 USD

My Song Primer

13 Songs & Lessons from So-Mi to Pentatonic

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

My Song Primer provides an introduction to learning songs and musical notation in the classroom. Each of the 13 lessons explores one song, accessible to primary or preschool-aged children. These pieces are of very limited range, and are presented with simple rhythm patterns and Orff instrument accompaniments. There are also many suggestions for games, movement, or dramatic play. Starting with So–Mi in the first song, the range gradually increases to the entire Pentatonic scale (Do–Re–Mi–So–La).

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Mt Recorder Primer front cover

My Recorder Primer by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-5-1
$10.00 USD

My Recorder Primer:

35 Songs in 6 Lessons, D-E-G-A

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

Specifically written for young beginners just learning to read music in the classroom. Six lessons introduce rhythm notation and recorder tonguing, then pitched staff notation, through 35 short pieces drawing on texts of traditional folk rhymes, short poems, and original tunes. Includes many Orff instrument and rhythm instrument accompaniments. D-E-G-A range.

A very carefully sequenced approach to rhythmic training, with provision for creativity. ~ Catherine West, in Ostinato, the National Journal of Orff Canada

This book will ensure the student’s success. I recommend it highly. ~ Patricia Brown

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Mt Recorder Primer front cover

My Recorder Primer by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-5-1
$10.00 USD

My Recorder Reader 1 front cover

My Recorder Reader 1 by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-6-8
$10.00 USD

My Recorder Reader 1:

41 Songs in G Pentatonic

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

Introduces the soprano recorder and its notes, one by one. Promotes the development of muscular control and confident reading skills by mastering 41 songs in G pentatonic and its minor modes. For classroom and lessons. 

Recommended for use with both child and adult beginners. ~ Mary Stringham Shamrock

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My Recorder Reader 2 front cover

My Recorder Reader 2 by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-7-5
$10.00 USD

My Recorder Reader 2: 

47 Songs in C and F Pentatonic

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

Introduces the soprano recorder and its notes, one by one. Promotes the development of muscular control and confident reading skills by mastering 41 songs in G pentatonic and its minor modes. For classroom and lessons. 

Recommended for use with both child and adult beginners. ~ Mary Stringham Shamrock

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My Recorder Reader 2 front cover

My Recorder Reader 2 by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-7-5
$10.00 USD

My Recorder Reader 3 front cover

My Recorder Reader 3 by Isabel McNeill Carley
ISBN 978-0-9836545-8-2
$10.00 USD

My Recorder Reader 3:

44 Songs from Pentatonic to Diatonic 

~ Isabel McNeill Carley

These 44 selections for soprano recorder from around the world teach the traditional hexatonic, major, and minor modes. In addition, some specially composed instrumental pieces fill in the musical gaps of more conventional instruction. With material appealing to both children and adult learners, this is also a superior resource for teacher training courses. For classroom and lessons.

Forty-four tunes. Four stars. ~ Patricia Brown

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