THE FLEXIBLE ENSEMBLE
Offering music educators a flexible,
purposeful resource for their musicians
As seen in the Creative Repertoire Initiative, this project is a collaboration
between composer and educators to create a new genre of music.
This project will begin with a single work using feedback from real teachers.
Goals of the Flexible Ensemble Learning Experience
How Project #1 will achieve these goals:
Music in 3 Parts (I-II-III)
Whether you have a full band class, clarinets alone, or a class of 4 trumpets, a flute and 35 percussionists, this piece will be written with "flexible instrumentation," and can be useful in any of these environments.
Tell your alto saxophone they should really consider a switch to trombone because they can still play in the same chamber group with their friends!
In addition to mallet percussion parts, there will also be non-pitched parts that can be played on custom, creative "instruments" (with materials from home) while still addressing the development of important skills.
Varying Ability Level
Beginner Band Class: Some students are really just starting, some are in their 3rd year of piano, some have an IEP, and the other two moved to the school district in November and want to get going!
This project will attempt to address different ability levels within the beginning band class by utilizing three separate instrument parts of varying difficulties, while all still being appropriate for the beginning student.
A single piece of music will allow you to teach the very basics to some, while allowing more experienced (perhaps bored) students in your class to start looking at the slightly more difficult parts.
Online, in-person, or hybrid?
This piece can work for a full ensemble concert, endless instrument combination chamber ensembles, or in a quick switch to online learning.
Parts will be provided in PDF form with rights to share digitally with students, or to print as many copies as necessary (because you know that kid from the 3rd row...)
The piece will also be easily adaptable in length. With multiple cadences, stopping at measure 64 or measure 16 will be satisfying. There is little pressure to finish the whole work before the concert when you're unsure of what your lessons will look like this year.
New, Unique Learning Experiences
Within the work, there will be a section (easily adjusted, or even omittable by the teacher) where students will be able to compose their own music. Composer Kevin Poelking will be creating a short video available online as a tool for teaching the beginner musician the basics of creating their own music!
There will also be a play-along track that is recorded at various tempi (especially the slow ones that your students hate) so that musicians can work on these pieces in their at home practice.
Become part of the
Flexible Ensemble Learning Experience Project #1
Step #1: Review the Official Timeline and Details
What can I expect?
Click the PDF link to see an official document of the timeline and details about the project:
Keep it for your records.
Use the National Standards listed to create lesson plans
Send it to your front office or boosters.
Show your parents and administration what you are doing to help our students!
Click icon to read the
Step #2: Contribute to the Consortium
(Note: Both of these payment methods are still in use to purchase the work
since the consortium has ended!)
Before contributing, be sure to review the PDF from Step #1 above. Payment assumes you have read and understand this document.
(PayPal or Credit Card)
A receipt will be sent upon payment
Teaching in a Title I school
or a program
with limited funds?
If you are working on a budget that would not allow you to financially contribute to this consortium, please get in touch via the Contact Form so we can help! It is important to the project that we offer help to these communities.
Request an Invoice
(If your school needs to pay by check or through an account that will not work in Option #1)
Do you know another creative teacher who would be able to use this resource?
We are keeping our consortium fee low and offering financial help to our schools in communities with lower budgets in the hopes that you will share this project with your colleagues and social media groups!
Step #3: Give some feedback! (Optional)
Click the link for the
This project is unique in that it is designed in the spirit of collaboration! Contribute your ideas that may be helpful to our students.
While we will not be able to use all of the suggestions, we may be able to incorporate them into future projects!
Step #4: Delivery of Music
A PDF document for your professional portfolio which will include:
Names of all consortium members (YOU!)
Description of the project and its importance
National Standards that are addressed in the project
PDF parts and score (with unlimited printing and sharing within your band program)
Instructional Video from composer Kevin Poelking geared towards beginning students
Play-along tracks for your students
Need more info, teaching in a low-income school, or have a specific question before you join?
Fill out the Contact Form below and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible!
THE CONSORTIUM LEADER
Cooper Haywood, a native of Fayetteville, Georgia, currently serves as assistant director of bands for Tupelo Public School District in Tupelo, Mississippi. His responsibilities include teaching and managing the logistics for the beginner band program at Milam Elementary School and assisting with band activities at Tupelo High School.
Outside of his teaching duties, he maintains an active playing schedule as a member of the Starkville-MSU Symphony Orchestra and teaches private lessons in the Tupelo area. He also assists with instruction for the North Mississippi Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Haywood completed his studies at Mississippi State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Music Education (instrumental & vocal concentrations). While at MSU, Mr. Haywood served as drum major for the Famous Maroon Band, played bass trombone in the MSU Wind Ensemble, and sang in the premier vocal ensemble, the MSU “State Singers.”
Professionally, Mr. Haywood is a member of the Mississippi Band Directors Association, the Northeast Mississippi Bandmasters Association and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
With a growing number of premieres in the United States and Europe, Kevin Poelking is an emerging American composer. His music has been performed by the Dallas Winds, multiple European groups, and ensembles at major American universities including Colorado State University, Oregon State University, The University of Akron, The University of Southern Mississippi, and Emory University in Atlanta. He is a regularly commissioned composer in his home state of Colorado and beyond.
Before pursuing his master’s degree, Poelking worked as an Instrumental Music Teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland, where his programs grew significantly. During his tenure, he taught beginning band and orchestra across multiple schools in the country’s wealthiest zip codes, as well as multiple Title I schools including Gaithersburg, Maryland which was named the most diverse city in the United States by NBC News in 2016. He was invited to present at the 2019 Colorado Music Educator Association Annual Conference, delivering a presentation entitled: "Work Life Balance: Helping Your Students by Helping Yourself."
Poelking studied percussion and music education at the University of South Carolina before obtaining a Master of Music in Wind Conducting with Dr. Rebecca Phillips. He was recently named winner of the Dallas Winds Fanfare Competition and winner of the Minot Symphony Orchestra's Young Composer Competition.
His composition teachers include award-winning composer
Dr. James M. David and Pulitzer Prize-Nominated composer Dr. Carter Pann.
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