Read what our customers say about us!
"This is an excellent music learning
program! The flexibility it provides is just the thing I was looking
for. I teach chorus in grades 7-12 and have both experienced "lifers"
and entry-level students mixed in the same classes. Your program
provides a 'niche' for everyone...The curriculum will probably be used
in our band program as well. (My colleagues in other disciplines are
- Jay Rogers, Chorus Director
Unity High School, Tolono, IL
"This program is an integral part of our total music curriculum. It is
by far the best, most thorough program I've found in twenty years of
teaching. Thanks for helping me teach my students a lifelong skill
they'll use many years after they leave my classroom."
- Terry Annalora, Choirs
Custer County District H.S., Miles City, MT
"Congratulations on the materials you have so carefully developed to
teach concepts of music theory within the context of performing groups.
So often much of music instruction has been done by rote imitation
without solid internalization of musical concepts. Your materials
provide a valuable, concrete sequence for teachers to help cement
Dr. Carol Scott-Kassner
Chair, Music Education
Seattle Pacific University
"If only I had had access to Music Reading & Theory Skills by Carolyn
Francis Several years ago ... Carolyn's curriculum and teacher's manual
thoroughly cover all the standards, goals and objectives we spent hours
writing for the theory section of our district's music standards."
Editor, New Repertorium/Strings Newsletter,
and Secondary orchestra teacher
"I am impressed with the care and thoroughness with which they have been
prepared, I believe that most of us are not as thorough as we should be
in the teaching of music reading, and you have clearly taken a major
step in providing some very useful material."
Past National President
Music Educators national Conference (MENC)
"With regard to the new national standards in music, music reading is an
expectation, but no method for teaching or learning this process is
specified. As we move into the implementation stage of the standards,
the results of your research and your recommendations are meaningful and
timely. Your materials have proven to be effective and are particularly
important in light of the music standards which specify sequential
instructional programs for all children. Thank you for your dedication
and for your efforts in music education."
Dorothy A. Straub
Past National President, Music Educators National Conference (MENC)
”Carolyn Francis' "Music Reading & Theory Skills" presents an orderly
progression of music reading exercises and introduces the rudiments of
musical notation in a concise manner. The program is designed to be of
use in the classroom or on an individual-study basis. It should be of
considerable use in both contexts. I will recommend it to my students at
the Alaska Fine Arts Camp in the summer. The curriculum fills a gap
which has previously been difficult to bridge for that particular
Dr. Edward Rutchsman,
Past Associate Professor of Music History and Theory
Western Washington State University
"The Level 4 "Harmony" chapter is great! This is a wonderful approach
and very well written. You should be very proud of this chapter."
educator, MIDI Workshop founder, jazz musician
B.M. & M.M. degrees in Composition & Theory
North Texas State University
"Your curriculum materials are really making a difference for students
throughout the country."
Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser,
music educator, author, seminar leader
Music Faculty Duquesne University, Vandercook College of Music
Here's what adult
"I've been trying to revive the music skill I had as a child, but
couldn't find a method book that could make sense out of it all. Music
Reading & Theory Skills made a lot of things clear and filled in a lot
of things I hadn't learned before."
"When I got these lessons from Carolyn, to use on my own without a
teacher, I had no music experience at all. I was surprised and pleased
to see how well the materials taught me. Now, I'm playing the Hammond
B-3 organ I bought from my neighbor and "jammin'" with my daughters who
have band at school. I never knew how much fun music could be" WA
"I'm a supervisory nurse, and knowing what I'm doing is important to me.
When I went to my violin lessons, it was difficult to find a way to
understand what the music on the page was all about, until Carolyn was
my private teacher. These lessons helped me, finally, to understand how
music was organized, and counted, and taught me what all the symbols and
marks meant." WA
"Carolyn, You may have to put on your thinking cap to remember me. I met
you at the print shop and I fell in love with your work, "Music Reading
& Theory Skills." I felt I had to connect with you to let you know how
much I have appreciated learning music over the years, and your book has
help my quest tremendously!" WA
"I'm a student in college. When I first started taking private lessons
here at Western, I informed my teacher that I knew very little about
music theory. He advised me to order your book and work through it at my
own pace. I haven't gotten very far yet but that's far enough for me to
tell you that the lessons have helped a great deal." WA
"I think "Music Reading & Theory Skills" is a fantastic learning tool.
Your program is something that music students as well as music educators
need, in order to learn and teach the fundamentals of music and much
more. I just wish this had come along before I entered Berklee!” ME
Teachers who use
this program say...
"This program is basic. It should
be in every school. When a teacher comes to a building to teach, there
should be a piano, a tuner, and this curriculum (Music Reading & Theory
Skills) in the room." NV
"The students love it and they learn!"
"The theory materials are wonderful! The material is so clearly
explained and reinforced. I'm so pleased with the presentation and
content. My most surprising response was from several adult violin
students. They have never had the basics explained and are so delighted
to learn how to count! I'm so glad to have been introduced to you and
your theory curriculum." WA
"The "Music Reading & Theory Skills" materials have proven to be very
helpful in raising the music literacy of the orchestra students in our
district. We are looking forward to incorporating you new materials into
our curriculum." Music coordinator, TX
"It is most generous of you to allow my district to retain the extra
Evaluation Modules. I will share these with another building and advise
the teachers of the value of this program. An extra "thank you" for the
certificates. My students will fee and even greater sense of
accomplishment, I'm sure, when there is tangible evidence of their
success. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. In sending these and,
for that matter, in all of our communication. It is clear that you
believe in your curriculum and want as many students as possible to
benefit from it. You have truly "gone the extra mile" for me and my
"The curriculum all looks wonderful. In fact, my friend used it last
year and highly recommends it. Last week, during a panel presentation in
which we participated, at a music workshop at Duke University, where my
friend was on staff, he introduced your curriculum and told the audience
how well it worked for him. As a result, a number of teachers signed the
enclosed list to receive your mailed information packet. Thanks for a
great product." GA
"First rate! I am really pleased to have this comprehensive program for
my students." CA
"I have used the lesson pages for several years and I like the way the
items are introduced and reviewed."
"We love this teaching tool! And, we use it every year." WA
"Handy format; Excellent instructions for use. Just what I need for this
"These materials have been wonderful for my students. I measured growth
in musicianship. I'm gaining "intelligent" singers. Hurrah! Thanks,
"These materials are giving good structure to my class. I'm so glad I
discovered this program." WA
"I've enjoyed using your materials for my classes. Thanks for making my
job a little easier. Since I do workshops for the LA USD, I will
definitely let them know about your wonderful curriculum, and encourage
"The very best to you. The legacy you leave with many youngsters is
"Before we had this program, we used to just muddle around trying help
students read music. Now, we have a structure which makes the teaching
much easier and greatly improves how students learn." WA
"There are many great specific teaching suggestions in the teacher's
"I've been using these curriculum materials with an adult church choir.
The program is excellent!" MO
"After using your curriculum for many years, I am still impressed at the
ease the students grasp basic music concepts." IN
"I've been teaching 25 years and I've never found teaching materials as
good as these." NY
"Thank you for your marvelous work! I'm very excited about using it next
year, and I'm confident that using your program is going to make a huge
positive difference in our already healthy program." NY
"My college students and I think this is one of the best series to come
on the market. When will software be released?" Alberta, Canada
"I just started teaching this year after graduating from college. These
materials are really helping because they give me just what I need:
structure, student goals and objectives, teaching ideas, ready-to-use
lessons and tests, and even lesson plans! When my principal comes to
observe, I can even just copy one of these if I'm in a hurry." IL
"I attended a clinic at which Carolyn Francis presented her theory
program for use in the instrumental classroom. In using the materials
with my students at Fountain Central Jr/Sr High School, it took only a
year to see the positive effects of this program. All students involved
approached the music presented in a theoretical fashion, rather than a
hope and pray attitude. Their knowledge of rudimentary music theory make
it much easier to teach and rehearse a new composition. I am now working
with junior high school students at Boonville Jr. High School and would
like to incorporate your program this year. It is very important to me
that the students be introduced to basic music theory at this level,
since I am also the director of the High School Band. Please send me
current information. Thank you for your program." IN
"Level 4 of Music reading & Theory Skills is the best jazz text I've
seen in twenty years of teaching. The appendices section is worth the
price of the book by itself." GA
"The curriculum materials go very well with any class method book." MT
"All of our band directors reviewed materials of your curriculum, and we
were very impressed with it. As well, I have shared the materials with
Arts Supervisor and he is equally impressed with it." NC
"Your materials are excellent, and I wish you the very best at marketing
them. I will do what I can in the southwest. Indeed, I intend to share
your materials with the participants in my workshop this coming summer
at the University of Arizona." AZ
"My students are chomping at the bit to do the whole packet. I'm trying
to stretch it out over 12 weeks." CA
"I've only been teaching a few years, so this curriculum has been a big
help. The ideas in these books are better than all the things I learned
in my college teacher prep' classes. The author, Carolyn Francis, has
given me her 40 years of teaching experience as a head-start for my
"The assignments are great! They're just what I would write, if I had
the time. Our choir teacher is also excited about the materials and
wants to order some for his classes." WA
"I'm going to order this curriculum for my beginning classes, but I
think you should write levels 4, 5, & 6 for upper college level. There
are no materials as good or written as clearly as these are." CA
"Thank you for sharing the fruit of your long experience. I look forward
to exciting sessions with our school children and college students using
"The music reading, performance and focus on details of my students has
markedly improved after using this curriculum."
"These lessons are just what I would write if I had the time. I've been
searching for materials like these!"
"This is the best thing that ever happened to my music program."
"My students are winning sight reading contests and getting "I+"
ratings. This is due directly to our regular use of Music Reading &
Theory Skills curriculum."
Read what students
using the program in school band, choir, and orchestra and private
"Now, I can learn new music by
myself, without asking my teacher "How it goes."
"I finally understand what my teacher is saying during rehearsal."
"I feel like I'm learning a lot in the class. This class is way more
interesting than when we just rehearsed music."
"Now, our choir gets to sing harder music, because we can all read
"These lessons are easy and fun! I can't wait until I get to take the
"I didn't know there was so much to learn in music."
"Now that I can read music, I look forward to the challenge of
sight-reading, and I'm getting pretty good at it."
"I love knowing about the Music language, so I can write my own music."
"I feel much more confident now when I perform in concerts."
"I like the change the written lessons give me during rehearsal."
"I finally feel like I know what I'm doing when I rehearse with the
Reading & Theory Skills (affectionately known as the Big Red
Music Book) was written by a teacher for teachers, not by a big
Francis, 40-year instrumental teacher, designed this indispensable
curriculum for her own students. Her colleagues urged here to publish it
after a dramatic pilot program. Now, after 25 years of development and a
generation of proven benefit to music education, she continues to share
her curriculum with others on a mission of national music literacy.
repeatedly tell us this program makes their job easier, accelerates
learning, and helps students master music literacy to develop life-long