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MUSIC 3L03 Woodwind Methods

Academic Year: Winter 2018

Term: Multiterm

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Joseph Resendes


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 405A

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23676


Office Hours: By appointment only

Course Objectives:

The goal of this course is to have students learn, through playing, the fundamentals of woodwind performance, pedagogy, and to develop approaches to teaching woodwinds in class situations. Students will also become aware with the basic equipment, repertoire, and literature.  The course will be divided into two six-week sessions. Students will be assigned to different instruments for each session.

By the end of the course, students will demonstrate:

  • an understanding of optimal woodwind pedagogical practice, including breathing, posture, intonation, proper embouchure and characteristic tone production, articulations, correct fingerings/alternatives and technique
  • proper care/maintenance including assemble/disassemble procedures.
  • basic technique through various etudes/exercises, simple tunes, and scales.
  • the ability to instruct the basics pertaining to the preceding objectives through peer teaching.
  • a knowledge of proper equipment; i.e., reeds, instruments, mouthpieces.
  • simple repairs and adjustments.
  • a knowledge of standard repertoire and method books.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Method books and instruments will be provided, however we will also be using the “Habits of Musicianship”, a creative (and free!) online resource. You must register and then you will be able to download the scores for your instrument. This pedagogical approach is radically different than most method books.

Minimum of two (2) single reeds and one double reed per instrument assigned purchased from a local music store, or from our Cage Manager (pending availability).


Suggested Reading (Optional):

  • Kirkbride, Jerry, and William Dietz. Teaching woodwinds: a method and resource handbook for music educators. New York: Schirmer Books, 1998.
  • Ely, Mark C., and Van Deuren Amy E. Wind talk for woodwinds: a practical guide to understanding and teaching woodwind instruments. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Method of Assessment:

Evaluation will be based on 5 components: 2 in-class playing tests, 2 solo (with piano) or duet performances at the conclusion of each 6-week session, a review of a recent article from a Music Education journal, a peer-teaching assignment and a final compendium.

In-class playing tests: January 25, March 8 (20 %)

Solos or Duets: February 8, April 5 (20 %)

Article review due February 15 (15 %)

Peer teaching, to be scheduled between March 15-30 (20 %)

Compendium, due April 6 (20 %)

Attendance & Participation (5%)


NOTE: Students will receive feedback on 10% of their final grade in the course by March 16, 2018

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students are required to play the tests and submit assignments on the dates indicated. Late assignments will be deducted 10% per class-day late (assignments must be submitted during class-time to the instructor or they will be considered late). Alternate test dates for individual students will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. In such cases, appropriate documentation may be required, and if it is not provided, students risk forfeiting the mark for the course requirement.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Focus of class sessions will be posted on Avenue to Learn.

Other Course Information:

Student Evaluations and Comments/Suggestions
You will have the opportunity to evaluate the course formally at the end of the term. However, if at any time during the course you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to discuss them with me so that we can try to find a mutually beneficial solution. Please do not hesitate to see me if you are having any problems with the course material or assignments.

Participation Expectations
Given the fact that students will learn the basics of two instruments over the course of the term, it is expected that students should attend all classes and spend time outside of class time practicing these new skills.