Welcome to Fun and Funky Tunes – a collection of compositions I originally wrote to use with my own students. I’ve used these pieces with School Bands, in Small Group lessons, and with Whole Class Instrumental Teaching. After having used some of the pieces for a few years now, some of my teaching colleagues were telling me I must get them published, which is why they’re now available for sale, and to be enjoyed by a much wider selection of students, teachers and audiences!
The pieces were originally designed with Trumpet, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone and Baritone horn in mind, and some had several parts. However, this music has been rearranged for all Brass and Woodwind in Bb (Trumpet, Clarinet, Bb lower brass), Bass Clef Brass, French Horn, Eb Horn, Alto Saxophone and Flute. It has been written in such a way that if your class, ensemble or lesson only has one of, or a selection of
these instruments, the pieces will still work. The music is not designed for complete beginners, but it can be used once students have learnt the first five notes of the concert Bb major scale.
For an example of one of the pieces, here’s a fun video of I put together with my wife, Beth! It features the piece ‘Take A Look At Us’, which is the 8th piece in Fun and Funky Tunes.
The pieces are all accompanied with backing tracks that I have also composed. To download the backing tracks click on this Soundcloud Link.
You will notice that many of the pieces have more than one note written at a time on the part. It is up to the teacher to choose how and when to use this. As a general rule, I would suggest asking your more advanced players to play the higher notes. There are also some passages in which I have made arrangement suggestions, such as ‘Woodwind play 8
bars here’. These are entirely optional as the pieces will work without them, but they could add some variety.
Many of these pieces are designed to be longer than regular beginner pieces on purpose. I have written the pieces to double up as exercises, and they are a good way of getting effective practise done during
the lesson. For instance, that’s why some of the pieces start with long notes, helping to gradually build up technique. I have found the longer pieces really help students to build up their technique and stamina
quickly, and that the practise they get in lessons is particularly valuable, since we all know how much practise most students do at home really!
The pieces have been listed in an approximate level of difficulty, although each tune presents a slightly different challenge. ‘Up To G’ may feature less notes than ‘It’s Just The Reggae Way’, but it is at a quicker tempo, and at the back of the book, students may find ‘Pirate’s Jig’ easier than ‘Summer’s Gone Away’, so pick the tunes that work best for you!
Finally, in some schools I have presented these tunes with all the notes written on. For this published version, we decided to leave it without note labels, but if your students are struggling, please write them on! They will learn to read at some point, and the main point of these tunes is for them to be enjoyed. Also, you may wish to edit the pieces, add extra notes and change the arrangements slightly. That’s all fine!
Above all, I hope everyone (teachers, students and audiences) enjoys these pieces, and the various challenges presented in them. Get stuck in and enjoy these Fun and Funky tunes!