Foundations - Book

The Fundamental Elements for Building a Successful Middle School Band Program

Chip De Stefano, Chris Grifa

Item #: G-10596     Status: Available

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Contributors: Kim Bain, Chip De Stefano, Rick Ghinelli, Corey Graves, Chris Grifa, Robert Herrings, Wendy Hart Higdon, Kazuhiko Tsuchiya, Heath Wolf

Written by an all-star team of music educators with over two hundred years of combined experience and success, Foundations presents the fundamental elements necessary for building, maintaining, and growing a successful middle school band program. Topics covered include:

  • Creating a culture of excellence
  • Professional development and self-care
  • Organizing your program and band room
  • Teaching students how to practice
  • Developing fundamental performance skills
  • Recruitment
  • Student motivation
  • Communicating with the administration and school community
  • Keeping things in perspective

The ideas in this book have been thoroughly researched, tested, revised, and, most importantly, are used in the authors’ own classrooms every day to achieve remarkable results. Guided by their skill and passion, the authors present actionable and practical advice that can be implemented in the classroom today and for years to come.


Chip, Chris, and their contributing authors have put together a comprehensive guide that you will want to reference throughout your career as a middle school band director. No matter when you start your beginners or how many grades you serve in your middle school or junior high program, there is something in Foundations you can use every period of every day. Once you have Foundations as part of your arsenal of resources, you will be on your way to “master teacher” status and you will LOVE having the opportunity to share this information with your middle school or junior high groups!

—Richard L. Saucedo
    Director of Bands, Carmel High School, retired

Chip De Stefano and Chris Grifa have collected a group of rock star teachers to contribute to this resource! You will find many gems in every chapter to add to your toolkit! This book is required reading for every middle school band director as well as a great addition for our college students as they prepare for their careers in music education.

—Cheryl Floyd
    Director of Bands, Hill Country Middle School, retired


Chip De Stefano has been director of bands at McCracken Middle School in Skokie, Illinois, since 1996. He is active nationally as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, and he received his Master of Music Education degree from Northwestern University.

Chris Grifa is the director of bands at Clay Middle School in Carmel, Indiana, and has been teaching since 2004. He serves as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator for concert bands and marching bands across the country, and he received his Master of Music Education degree from the University of Florida.

Categories: Pedagogy, Planning/Management, Professional Development

Number of Pages: 208

Format: Book

Discipline: Band