Greetings, music lovers! The month of September is upon us, and for many that means a return to school, classes, or lessons. Even if your school days are long gone, you may be interested in cultivating a new skill, such as learning to read braille music or playing the piano! The NLS Music Section offers music instruction books for many instruments in three formats: braille, audio, and large print. In today’s blog post, we feature a selection of new (or newly-digitized) additions to our braille music collection that can help you achieve your goals in a new year of growth and learning.
Please note that all the materials listed below are also available to borrow by mail, not only through BARD. Contact the Music Section to borrow hard copies. Call us at 800-424-8567 ext. 2, or e-mail us at [email protected] If you are new to BARD, you may find the following links helpful: Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) and BARD Access.
Braille Music Course Books from Hadley
If you’d like to learn to read braille music notation, the NLS Music Section has many resources to help. An excellent recent addition to our collection is the donation of materials for four braille music courses that were formerly offered by the Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The courses are Braille Music Basics, Braille Music Reading, Braille Music Reading: Keyboard Music, and Braille Music Reading: Vocal Music. The course books are available in both braille and large print, and Braille Music Reading also includes audio exercises. The braille and audio materials are available to download from the Music Collection on BARD, or to borrow in hard copy through the mail. The large-print course books are available to download from our website under “Braille Music Course Materials from Hadley,” or to borrow in hard copy through the mail. We hope our patrons benefit from these wonderful resources for learning braille music!
Braille Music Basics: Textbook for the course “Braille Music Basics” developed by Hadley. The course was intended for adults who are sighted and wish to learn the basics of braille music in order to support braille music learners and possibly pursue further training in teaching braille music or transcribing print music into braille. The course consists of five chapters: Beginning Braille Music, Expressions and Other Procedures, Vocal Music, Keyboard Music, and Teaching and Transcribing Braille Music.
- Braille edition of Braille Music Basics: BRM37001
- Large-print edition of Braille Music Basics: LPM00900
Braille Music Reading: Textbook for the course “Braille Music Reading” developed by Hadley. Whether a student once read print music or never read music before, whether the student is a beginner or an experienced musician, this course teaches how to read single-line melodies in the braille music code. It introduces music fundamentals while explaining how to read rhythms, pitches, and other elements in braille music. Abundant exercises allow students to practice their skills, and audio illustrations (DBM04340) for almost all of the exercise tracks help them check their progress.
- Braille edition of Braille Music Reading: BRM37002
- Large-print edition of Braille Music Reading: LPM00901
- Braille Music Reading: Audio Tracks for Exercises (DBM04340). This talking book contains audio illustrations of the braille music reading exercises found throughout the course so that learners can hear the rhythms and pitches as they learn to read music in braille.
Braille Music Reading: Keyboard Music: “A continuation to the course ‘Braille Music Reading’ (BRM37002), this course enables students to read keyboard music in braille. For those who play piano or another keyboard instrument, reading braille keyboard music will expand their musical experiences. The ability to read braille music allows players to study and practice independently. The course provides abundant exercises excerpted and transcribed from print piano and organ music, which allow students to practice their skills. A print companion edition of the course book and music is available for sighted teachers and assistants (LPM00902). Volume 3 includes a supplementary discussion for readers of braille keyboard music by Karen Gearreald, designed for current encouragement and future reference. Prerequisite Skills: successful completion of ‘Braille Music Reading’ (BRM037002); ability to play the piano or another keyboard instrument at any level; access to a piano or another keyboard instrument (acoustic or electronic, 61 keys minimum); and excellent literary braille skills.”
- Braille edition of Braille Music Reading: Keyboard Music: BRM37003
- Large-print edition of Braille Music Reading: Keyboard Music: LPM00902
Braille Music Reading: Vocal Music: “A continuation to the course ‘Braille Music Reading’ (BRM37002), this course enables students to read vocal music in braille. For those who sing in a choir or sing solo with or without accompaniment, reading braille vocal music will expand their musical experiences. The ability to read braille music allows singers to study and practice independently. The course provides abundant examples excerpted and transcribed from classical and popular solo and choral vocal music. These examples allow students to practice their vocal music reading skills. You can use what you learn here to write down songs you hear or compose on your own. A print companion edition of the course book and music is available for sighted teachers and assistants (LPM00903). Prerequisite Skills: successful completion of ‘Braille Music Reading’ (BRM037002); access to a piano or another keyboard instrument (acoustic or electronic, 61 keys minimum) for identifying pitches and playing melodies to be sung; and excellent literary braille skills.”
- Braille edition of Braille Music Reading: Vocal Music: BRM37004
- Large-print edition of Braille Music Reading: Vocal Music: LPM00903
Tradition of Excellence Band Method Books in Braille
The NLS Music Section offers many method books in braille for various instruments, as well as instruction in audio and large-print formats. Since we strive to offer series that are popular with school music programs, such as Standard of Excellence and Essential Elements, we are thrilled to announce our newest series of method books in braille is Tradition of Excellence by Bruce Pearson and Ryan Nowlin.
Percussion, Book 1 (BRM36863). Also available in large print (LPM00862).
Bastien Piano Series in Braille
Bastien piano lesson books have been popular among piano teachers for decades, and the Music Section is pleased to offer classic, newly-digitized Bastien series in braille from their voluminous collection of method books, including Bastien Piano Basics and Bastien Piano Library. Please note that the Music Section also offers many other popular piano method series in braille, such as Piano Adventures, Alfred, Frances Clark, David Carr Glover, John Thompson, and John W. Schaum. Contact the Music Section to learn more about these series.
Bastien Piano Basics
Transcribed by National Braille Press (1997) and MN State Services for the Blind (1995). Bar over bar format.
Level 1 (BRM32959)
Bastien Piano Library
Transcribed under the sponsorship of NLS (1977). Bar over bar format.
Piano Lessons – Primer (BRM30970)
Piano Lessons – Level 1 (BRM30545)
Piano Lessons – Level 2 (BRM30559)
Piano Lessons – Level 3 (BRM32019)
Piano Lessons – Level 4 (BRM28354)
Sight Reading – Level 1 (BRM24696)
Sight Reading – Level 2 (BRM28364)
Sight Reading – Level 3 (BRM30944)
Piano Solos – Primer (BRM24694)
Piano Solos – Level 1 (BRM32021)
Piano Solos – Level 2 (BRM25714)
Piano Solos – Level 3 (BRM25705)
Piano Solos – Level 4 (BRM30561)
Technic Lessons – Primer (BRM24685)
Theory Lessons – Primer (BRM24693)
Theory Lessons – Level 2 (BRM36996)