Woodwind Methods

Course Description: 

This course is designed to help prepare music education students to instruct flute, clarinet, and saxophone at the primary and secondary level. While there can be no substitute for hands-on experience in the schools, this course aims to make available to students both the information and tools necessary to continue their journey on the way to becoming music education professionals.


Upon completing this course, students should have the requisite knowledge and skill set to instruct those beginning woodwind instruments and to have the amount of information necessary to assist woodwinds in a more advanced large ensemble context.

Course Materials: 

Students will be provided with:

  1. An instrument (a $10 instrument rental fee must be paid to the music office before an instrument can be issued)

  2. A mouthpiece (when applicable)

  3. A method book appropriate for each instrument

Students will need to provide:

  1. A three-ring binder

  2. Good quality reeds for both clarinet and saxophone (this will be discussed further on the first day)


The grading scale will be the normal scale used by most of the instructors in the University:

A: 90-100%B: 80-89%C: 70-79%D: 60-69%F: Below 60%

Assignments - 10%

Quizzes - 15%

Instrument Proficiencies (15% each) - 45%

Notebook - 30%


All assignments given during class will be due at the beginning of the following class period unless otherwise stated.  Each assignment has the potential of earning ten points.  A maximum of five points, however, will be given for late work.  Late assignments will only be accepted for one week after the due date unless other arrangements are made.


In a music course, quizzes can take many forms and will often be comprehensive in nature.  Quizzes will be given often and may be scheduled or “pop.”  If a quiz is missed due to a prearranged and excused absence, it can be rescheduled.  If a quiz is missed for any other reason, a zero will be given.


Each student will give two thirty-minute private lesson to an elementary or middle-school beginner on each instrument studied. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule these lessons. These lessons will not be graded, but all three lessons must be completed to receive a passing grade in the course. 

Lesson Observation:

During the course of the semester, one collegiate-level woodwind lesson must be observed. The student can choose to ether observe a private lesson or a coaching of the woodwind ensemble. After the observation, write a short report of what you witnessed in the lesson to be included in your notebook. These lesson observations will not be graded, but must be completed to receive a passing grade in the course. 

Instrument Proficiencies:

At the conclusion of each instrumental topic, all students will be required to perform a proficiency examination in front of the rest of the class. This examination will consist of a short prepared etude and scales.  


Each student will keep a notebook to be handed in on the final meeting of the class. The notebook should be clearly organized with a table of contents and dividers (or other means) for delineating each subject covered. The notebook must be organized by instrument/topic. Everything from the class needs to be included in the notebook, including but not limited to: class notes, handouts, music studied, quizzes, music used, and lesson records and observations. The materials in the notebook do not have to be retyped provided they are well organized and legible. The notebook will be graded on its completeness and organization.


Because of the nature of this course, perfect attendance is expected.  Some things must, however, take precedence over school.  For this reason, you are allowed two absences without penalty.  On the third absence, your final grade will be lowered one full grade for each class meeting missed over the allowed two (ex. three absences takes an A to a B).  Exceptions to this policy will only be made in the most extreme circumstances.  Please notify your instructor in advance via email if you are going to be absent/late to class.  Emergency situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis and will require a dialogue with your instructor.

Academic Honesty:

Academic honesty is at the very core of any University.  Any behavior deemed as academically dishonest by the division will result in an F for the class.  Academic dishonesty would include, but is not limited to, the following types of behaviors:

  1. 1.Misrepresenting another individual's work as one's own.  Plagiarism.

  2. 2.Copying from another student during an exam.

  3. 3.Copying another student’s work.

  4. 4.Allowing another student to copy a paper or other class assignment.

  5. 5.Representing the work of a group as one’s personal work.  In short, if the assignment is not specifically designated as a group project, it is meant to be completed on one’s own.

  6. 6.Altering one's exam after grading for the purpose of enhancing one's grade.

  7. 7.Submitting the same paper/assignment to more than one class.

  8. 8.Use of any material not approved by the instructor during an exam.

I take academic integrity very seriously.  When in doubt, sight it.  If you have questions about how to properly sight a reference, please do not hesitate to ask.

Students with Disabilities:

The Minot State University seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Disability Services Office. The Disability Services Office is located on the lower level of Lura Manor in the Student Development Office – Phone: 701-858-3371. They will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.

All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Disability Services Office.

National Standards as Relevant to this Course:

Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Standards

1. Knowledge of Subject Matter

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.

4. Multiple Instructional Strategies

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.

5. Classroom Motivation and Management

The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

7. Instructional Planning Skills

The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) Competencies

Music Competency 3: Functional Performance

The student shall have functional performance abilities in instruments appropriate to his/her teaching specialization.

Music Competency 6a: Essential Competencies

The student shall have functional knowledge of and performance ability on wind instruments sufficient to teach beginning students in groups.

Teaching Competency 4: Knowledge of Methods

The student shall acquire knowledge of current methods, materials, and repertoires appropriate to the teaching specialization.

Teaching Competency 5: Critical Thinking

The student shall gain the ability to accept, amend, or reject methods and materials based on personal assessment of specific teaching methods.

Coursework as it relates to the aforementioned standards:

Assignments (INTASC 1; NASM 3, 6a, 4)

Quizzes (INTASC 1; NASM 3, 6a, 4)

Instrument Proficiency Examination (INTASC 1; NASM 3, 6a)

Private Lessons (INTASC 1, 2, 5, 7; NASM 3, 6a, 4, 5)

Lesson Observations (INTASC 1, 2, 5, 7; NASM 3, 6a, 4, 5)

Notebook (INTASC 1, 2, 5, 7; NASM 6a, 4, 5)