Your Sound Innovations Ordering FAQs Answered

We’re thrilled that many directors are utilizing the revolutionary new technology that lets you custom-make your own Sound Innovations Book 1 for Concert Band or String Orchestra! We have heard from many enthusiastic directors interested in or already using Sound Innovations. Since it is back-to-school season, here are some tips and frequently asked questions about the ordering and delivery process for Sound Innovations.

1. How long does it take to get my books after I place my order? What happens if my delivery date is after my school starts?

Please allow up to 10 business days for processing, printing, and delivery of your custom books. After your order is processed, you will be able to print the first level of all student books and the first 50-60 pages of the score. This allows you to have material for your class until the books arrive.

2. I am ordering from and I can’t find my favorite music store listed!

Alfred is proud to support our Sound Innovations Authorized Retailers. All authorized retailers are committed to stock our Standard Edition books in their stores and are listed on our site as a music retailer choice. If you don’t see your preferred retailer listed, please contact them and encourage them to become an Authorized Retailer by contacting our Sales Department.

3. I want to pay by PO. Can I do that through the website?

Absolutely! Just set up a PO with your preferred retailer and choose this option upon checkout.

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Interview with Bob Phillips, Lead Author of SI for String Orchestra

We had a wonderful chat with Bob Phillips, lead author of SI for String Orchestra! In addition to his role as the Director of String Publications for Alfred Music Publishing, Bob is also President-elect of the American String Teachers Association and he maintains a busy schedule presenting clinics throughout the nation and around the world, so we are incredibly appreciative of the time he took to share his thoughts with us:

If you had to pick one (of the many) revolutionary features and concepts within SI as THE most impact for both educators students what would it be? 

Sound Innovations has many powerful features for teachers and students. The feature that I most wish had been available when I was teaching is the ability for teachers to customize the pedagogy as well as change and add content. This is groundbreaking. When teachers can alter the materials so they fit the way they teach and what they think, then everyone wins. Students will have success when teachers can create materials that fit students’ needs. Teachers are in the best position to evaluate what will motivate and meet the goals they have set for them. Each year there will be more and more material that can be added so that the method is always current and reflects current ideas and trends in music education.

Any tie-ins between your affinity for fiddle and alternative strings and Sound Innovations? If not, maybe a plan for a Fiddler Innovations series someday?

I have always been an out-of-the-box thinker and embraced new ideas, so from that standpoint, they are connected. Who knows what will come from this fabulous technology in the future. We have a huge wish list of ideas that we would love to be able to implement today but it all takes time to write and do correctly.

Will you tell us a little about your experience as a teacher and how it helped determine what goes into Sound Innovations?

I was an instrumental teacher in the public schools for 28 years.  I taught grades 4-12 and worked with beginning students the entire time. During my teaching career I used a variety of books and rewrote or revised my elementary curriculum every summer. In addition, I team-taught with a great group of string and band teachers. These two experiences taught me that there were many teaching styles and materials that could work. After many years of doing clinics throughout the country and visiting many classrooms, I was convinced that there was a need for teaching materials that gave teachers some control over the pedagogical choices that were presented. At that point we asked several thousand teachers around the country to tell us what they wanted in a method book.  We then took that information and designed Sound Innovations. After Book 1 was written we sent them out to a number of teachers for review. We then did a lot of rewriting to make sure the materials reflected the kinds of choices that teachers from every region wanted.

What was the most memorable part of your work with the Sound Innovations co-authors team? 

The Sound Innovations team is an incredible group of people with over 130 years of combined experience in music education. Everyone brought a lifetime of experiences with teachers from all over the world to the writing table. It was an enormous amount of knowledge and a variety of viewpoints that were represented. The exciting part for all of us was to create a method book that works for everyone and can change and evolve with teachers.

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Sound Innovations for String Orchestra, Book 2 is Now Available in SmartMusic

Students can access the method with a SmartMusic membership. The unique Sound Innovations section titles and exercise goals are incorporated within SmartMusic, so that students can focus on the individual goal for each exercise. For additional reinforcement, students can click on each note in the method, and view a fingering chart. Every line of music is available on SmartMusic, as well as on the MP3 CD that is included with each Sound Innovations student book.

Sound Innovations for Concert Band, Book 2 will be available in August.

Visit to learn more about this incredible technology.

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Register for Unleashing the Power of Sound Innovations and NEW Director’s Choice Features

It’s not too late to register for our FREE Sound Innovations webinar this week. Learn about the method, including our NEW Director’s Choice Edition customizable options, from Peter Boonshaft, Robert Sheldon, and Bob Phillips.

Thursday, June 9. at 4-5 p.m. PDT (6-7 p.m. CDT / 7-8 p.m. EDT).

Click here to register!

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New Features Added to Sound Innovations Director’s Choice Edition, Book 1!

Sound Innovations is constantly evolving to provide you with the latest opportunities to customize your method! New customizable features include:

  • NEW! Parents can pay online for individual books
  • NEW! Optional inclusion of note names in note heads
  • NEW! Personalize the introductory page

Don’t forget about the innovative customization options that already exist with Director’s Choice. You can:

  • Select your pedagogy
    • Band: Select starting concert pitch & starting note value
    • String: Select starting pitch direction, note value, and bowing technique
  • Substitute tunes
  • Add enrichment pages
  • Personalize the cover

Customize your method today!

Director’s Choice Edition Book 1 also includes with each student book:

  • Availability in SmartMusic – first 100 lines of music FREE!
  • MP3 CD: Customized instrument-specific MP3 recordings of every line of music in the book.
  • DVD: Instrument-specific Master Class DVDs referenced throughout the book


Learn about Sound Innovations with a FREE webinar presented by Peter Boonshaft, Robert Sheldon, and Bob Philips.

June 9, 2011

4-5 p.m. PDT / 6-7 p.m. CDT / 7-8 p.m. EDT

Click here to register.

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Self Evaluation and Its Effect on Performance

By Chris M. Bernotas

Some of the most important real-world skills that students need to acquire are how to think critically, evaluate and problem solve. We are lucky to teach and live in the world of arts where collaboration, problem solving and creative thought are the norm. These are the skills that we should be trying to help our students refine, embrace and develop. Using a musical performance rubric can be one tool in helping your students listen more critically when evaluating the quality of their own performance, or someone else’s.

As a conductor and music educator I spend a good amount of time researching the music that my students will be performing. I listen to recordings, search online for performance videos, read articles and sometimes talk to the composer about the music. While doing my personal research I began to think about how I am preparing myself, but wondered if I was preparing my students. Shouldn’t they be the ones researching the music, listening to recordings and evaluating the quality and interpretation? This thought led me to the idea that perhaps my students may not understand exactly what to listen for when watching a video or listening to a recording. Many times a student will say, “That was a good band” or “They were terrible.” While those reactive evaluations may have some accuracy on the surface, they do not show any true depth of understanding. It was time to help my students learn to think (and listen) critically!

Click here to continue to read Chris’s article.

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Instrumental Innovations Workshops, Co-hosted by Alfred and J.W. Pepper

Attend one of our Instrumental Innovations workshops in GA or NJ, and receive our FREE giveaways:

Each registrant will receive the following:

1. Band or Orchestra Arrangement (one full set, any level, up to an $80 value)
2. Sound Innovations Correlated Performance Music Arrangement
(Renaissance Fair or Two Celtic Dances, Grade 1)
3. Alfred Computer Bag
4. Free Download from

For more information, go to

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