Accent on Achievement, Book 1

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Accent on Achievement was written by John O’Reilly and Mark Williams, two of the most-performed composers of band music in the world today. Hailed as experts in the area of beginning band instruction, O’Reilly and Williams’ have made a major impact on contemporary instrumental music education. 

Your students will be able to easily establish a visual link between new concepts and their applications with the color-coding system. The technical exercises address specific issues for each instrument. The exercises encourage orchestrating, improvising, and composing. Ensure that your students will remember what they learn as they progress quickly using the comprehensive review cycle. Featuring the most complete collection of classics and world music in any band method, your students will have a wealth of practice materials with the included full-band arrangements, chorales, duets, and the correlated performance music series.

Sample Pages: Flute / Clarinet /Alto Sax / Trumpet / Combined Percussion

Unique Features:

  • 5 full-band arrangements
  • Solo with piano accompaniment
  • 22 different classical composers
  • 49 folk songs from 19 countries
  • Chorales in the keys of Concert B-flat, F, E-flat, and A-flat
  • 6 creativity exercises (composing and improvisation)
  • 15 duets
  • 2 pages of rhythm clapping exercises
  • 2 pages of exercises for rests
  • Scales & thirds in 4 keys
  • 8 theory exercises
  • 7 technical exercises plus 2 additional pages!
  • Updated Accent on Interactivity Software available for download at
  • Works on newer operating systems
  • Students can record their performances to share with their teachers
  • Includes chromatic tuner for easy and accurate tuning
  • Works with the computer's built in mic

The Accent on Achievement method teaches your band all the fundamentals for a solid musical background. It is a best-selling band method that will excite and stimulate your students through full-color pages and the most complete collection of classics and world music in any band method. The comprehensive review cycle in Books 1 & 2 will ensure that students remember what they learn and progress quickly. Also included are rhythm and rest exercises, chorales, scale exercises, and 11 full band arrangements among the first two books. Book 3 includes progressive technical, rhythmic studies and chorales in all 12 major and minor keys. Also included are lip slur exercises for increasing brass instrument range and flexibility. Accent on Achievement meets and exceeds the USA National Standards for music education, grades five through eight. Books 1 & 2 are available in SmartMusic®.

Color Coding System

The Accent on Achievement color coding system streamlines the introduction of new material. Used in Books 1 and 2, this approach highlights material in a color-coded box at the top of each page where the concept first appears. In addition, the first time the new item is used in the music, it is shaded in the corresponding color. In this way a visual link is established between the new learning and its application. For consistency, the presentation of new material follows the color coding outlined below.

  • New notes are always shown in yellow.
  • Key signatures are always shown in green.
  • New rhythmic values are always show in blue.
  • New terms are shown in either purple or red.

Specialized Individual Books

While the books are designed for learning in a band class, each of the books contains material specifically geared towards each individual instrument. Every few pages, you'll find the phrase "Accent on Clarinet," or "Accent on Flute," etc. These are specialized technical exercises designed to address the specific technical problems for each instrument. With the exception of the percussion book, no new notes, rhythms, or concepts are introduced in these exercises so that materials previously learned can be effectively reinforced. For additional drills, pages 42-43 of student Books 1 and 2 contain expanded technical exercises including alternate fingerings and slide positions. Each book also contains a solo with piano accompaniment suitable for performance at concerts, recitals or festivals.

The Oboe and French Horn books contain extra optional lessons which are arranged in a more comfortable range of the instrument. These lessons can be used outside of regular band rehearsal to help students to play with more confidence.

Color Photos

Proper playing positions and instrument assembly are pictured in each student book (Book 1) by real middle school children. One photo shows the student in proper playing position with tips on correct posture. The other photo shows a close-up of the student and includes material on forming the correct embouchure. In addition, the instrument is pictured alone with the parts of the instrument clearly labeled.

CD with Every Book 1 and 2

An enhanced CD accompaniment is included with every Book 1 and 2. This CD contains audio tracks for all the music in Accent on Achievement, Book 1 through line 42, and for Book 2 through line 53, with the exception of some of the "Accent on..." exercises and the Accent on Performance pages. Each selection is recorded once with a soloist and once without.

The CD also contains Accent on Interactivity, a computer program that will run on Mac Operating Systems up to 10.6 or Windows Operating Systems up to XP. The program, provides General MIDI accompaniments for all the lines in Book 1 and Book 2. When accompanied by a microphone, students can record themselves playing and listen to determine if they played the correct tempo, pitches, and rhythms.


Music theory is included throughout the student books. Exercises are at the bottom of every few pages in each of the student books. You'll find them strategically placed to reinforce concepts taught while playing the instrument. Students are drilled on note recognition, fingerings, rhythms and more!

Full Band Arrangements

You will find five full-band arrangements in Accent on Achievement Book 1 while Book 2 contains six arrangements. Book 3 contains 12 chorales-perfect for warm-ups and working on intonation.

Listening and Creativity Are Encouraged

As early as the first page of music, students are taught to listen to others in the band. Other exercises are included every few pages encouraging students to experiment with improvising rhythms, creating orchestrations, improvising, and composing. All techniques are introduced within the context of the lesson, making them easy for students while encouraging their creative development.