"If I had 8 hours to chop a tree, I'd spend six sharpening the ax!" Abraham Lincoln


EVERY Music Educator should have these Teaching Tools™ 
& Resources, regardless of the ages taught, lesson groups, ensemble type or size.   Wherever and whenever these tools have been properly applied, 
GREAT changes have been made. New case studies are always in progress. 
The WAYS of KNOWING Teacher-Guide is a MUST for well-prepared Music Educators 
defending their Work, their positions, and programs. See testimonials.


WAYS of KNOWING, MIDI-Music-Mathematics-Science (is available on iTunes)

LET's FIND OUT Teaching Suite Options!




WAYS of KNOWING by Stephen Melillo


Accolades :

"The Information Age has exposed the interconnectivity of many concepts that we routinely study with disparate approaches.  While advances in technology have enabled us to achieve vast amounts of knowledge, achieving a holistic appreciation of how this knowledge comes together remains the greater challenge.  Just as the study of network topology helps us understand and visualize the physical and logical interactions of a complex network, WAYS of KNOWING breaks through the conventional, disciplinary approach to teaching music, mathematics, and science to enlighten students about the physical and logical interactions of the world they see and hear every day.  Stephen Melillo's innovative program is both interesting and accessible, and certain to inspire both students and teachers."  Sean Deller, PhD., Operations Research & Applied Mathematics Analyst

"WAYS of KNOWING is a much needed, timely BULL'S EYE.  Stephen Melillo has, once again, reached into the depths of his genius and created another cornerstone masterpiece certain to benefit the landscape of music education.  WAYS of KNOWING embraces the importance of music learning and music making, unlike the traditional curriculum requisites.  It provides a proven tried-and-true template-of-success applicable to ALL, and it demonstrates, without question, we must avail EVERY CHILD to the immeasurable value of MUSIC in a way it will unleash the unlimited potential of the human soul.  Incorporating the latest technological communication tools, Stephen brings-to-life the artistic possibilities afforded to every student.  This is more than another book of hypothetical suggestions for musical success; this is a definitive blueprint certain to avail all of us to the WAYS of KNOWING."  Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser

"Composer and author Mr. Stephen Melillo is a most gifted and brilliant musical force in our profession. His compositions are unique from all other composers! When one listens to his music, an intense spiritual statement immerses one into his beautiful world of musical expression.  As an educator, he is simply amazing at the depth and knowledge base that surrounds his presentations. His Ways of Knowing text emphasizes the role and importance of Music in every child's life. WAYS of KNOWING connects Music, Mathematics, and Science and surpasses all other publications… a "must" for all music educators.  Thank you, Steve, for the massive contributions you continue to make to our musical world. You are one of a kind!"  Edward S. Lisk, Conductor, Clinician, Author, Oswego, NY

"The most memorable learning often occurs when the knowledge is made accessible in a way that has been previously inaccessible in the person's mind.  A pathway becomes apparent where only clouds of confusion appeared before.  Stephen Melillo's WAYS of KNOWING makes the abstract clear and resonant, engaging your mind in a playful manner that makes you want to explore further.  His work helps make new ways of creating musical, mathematical and scientific order both fun and revealing." Kerry O'Connor, Founder, and CEO of Bellwether Leadership Research & Development 




WAYS of KNOWING by Stephen Melillo

Description :

In the early 1980s, students from Spanish Harlem, Harlem, the Bronx, and Queens took part in a Carnegie Foundation, New York Academy of Sciences and Ford Foundation-funded, Stephen Melillo engineered program entitled MIDI-Music-Mathematics-Science... WAYS of KNOWING.  (MIDIMAST) Noted scientists involved at inception included Seymour Papert, author of MINDSTORMS and Professor at M.I.T., as well as fellow professor Marvin Minsky, the "Father of Artificial Intelligence."

Students with no prior musical training learned how to compose a contemporary piece of music at a professional level. By means of the process and stipulated goal of the immersion, students acquired concepts in Mathematics and Science greatly exceeding the normal learning for their grade levels.  Principals stunned at the algorithmic improvements in Mathematics and Science test-scoring in such a short time, immediately initiated a New York City-wide training session where 275 Mathematics and Science teachers learned how to utilize Music to better impart concepts pervasive in and inclusive to Music, Mathematics, and Science.

This Teacher-Based Curriculum Guide is exactly the kind of knowledge and broad scope our Music Teachers need to have in their toolbox, as they work with administrations and sometimes, colleagues, who are misinformed about the vast, potent usefulness and interconnectedness of Music!  WAYS of KNOWING is also strategically connected to other must-have STORMWORKS Teaching Tools™: Scaleworks™, Rhythm Readers™ and Function Chorales™, all of which belong to the "Hypertools for Music Educators DVD Teaching Suite."

The concepts covered, the facts presented, and the actual case studies shared, uplift the role and importance of Music in every child's life. The texts, whether made into curricula or not serves to expand one's knowledge base with specific regard to the intersection of Music, Mathematics and Science...  and more.

WAYS of KNOWING, 26 CDs, and several other books are available at iTunes.


"Imagination is more important than Knowledge." Albert Einstein


Many conductors have expressed a desire to improve their Music-making via a mastery of the Basics. Function Chorales are designed to time-efficiently teach and reinforce the ability to SEE where a Pitch will Sound, dramatically improve Tuning, Intonation, Ensemble Listening, Vertical Hearing, Knowledge of Function & Transposition, Knowledge of Progression & Harmony, Knowledge of Interval, Form, and Knowledge of Inharmonic Devices such as Suspension, Retardation and Passing Tone. This is an immensely powerful tool which will achieve, via your efforts, discernible results.




"Hello Stephen, today, I get the CDR and the DVD. I used your warm-ups for two rehearsals and get only positive reactions by the musicians and already a better intonation... Thank you! Kind Regards from Switzerland," Stefan Roth


"After music for the tapping feet (composer name) and for the head (composer name), the next part of the body after the intermission was the heart. Under Melilloís baton, who conducted the world premiere of five new works, there was emotion pure, not only in conducting and in music but also in the composerís presentation. A treatment of the spiritual "Were You There?" was without further ado dedicated to a boy from the Allg‰u region, who died in autumn 2009, only seven years old.


Melillo, who names his compositions for band, "Stormworks" and collects them into "Chapters," dedicated his recent "Chapter 21: Won Way" to Roberto Clemente. This former baseball player was the first Hispanic in this profession who gained national fame. He died 40 years ago during a self-organized, relief action for earthquake victims in Nicaragua.


Melillo and the band found very well together in this one week. The "Function Chorales," developed by Melillo had a very good impact on the bandís intonation. Invited by Melilloí's art of motivation one experienced a totally relieved way of making music, honored by very long applause."


Joachim Buch (his own translation from the original German Article. Concert on 6 August 2011, concluding one week at the Bavarian Music Academy in Marktoberdorf, Germany)


"By the way, I tried your set-up with both my wind ensemble and my 120 piece 7th-grade band and I have to say the sound difference is really amazing. The Horns and T-Bones love the space and they are playing better because of it. I have also been using your FUNCTION CHORALES every day and the kids love them! Thanks for everything! My groups are starting to really sound dynamite! AndÖ Man I wish more companies were this efficient. Thanks!!" Dan Hayes, Three Villages Central Schools, NY


ARTICLE involving MMMS Curriculum by MATT SMITH


Review of Stephen Melillo's FUNCTION CHORALES, by David Martin


"I have recently had the opportunity to peruse and listen to a set of twenty-two Chorales by the eminent musician and composer, Stephen Melillo. After only a few seconds I knew that these pearls of musical delight, whilst short in length, nevertheless embodied deceptively simple genius and musicality. Originally FUNCTION CHORALES were written for providing ensembles with transparent exercises to improve tuning and intonation. After careful listening, I knew they offered great potential in my lessons as a teacher with a special interest in tonal harmony and the well-rounded musical development of my piano and theory students.Stephen Melillo has succeeded in creating chorales that " ooze " with musicality. Particularly the chorale of no 15 ministered to me immediately with its Greek sonic reference. Should any aspiring musician seek sonic and visual examples of the various types of the Augmented 6th chord, look no further than chorales no 10 and 13. These chorales will be a wonderful aid to any tonal harmony text that is currently on the market and I am convinced that today's learners will be proud to associate themselves with Melillo's chorale creations.


Stephen Melillo has succeeded in creating chorales that " ooze " with musicality. Particularly the chorale of no 15 ministered to me immediately with its Greek sonic reference. Should any aspiring musician seek sonic and visual examples of the various types of the Augmented 6th chord, look no further than chorales no 10 and 13. These chorales will be a wonderful aid to any tonal harmony text that is currently on the market and I am convinced that today's learners will be proud to associate themselves with Melillo's chorale creations.


I am in total agreement with the famous theoretician Ralph Turek in his poignant statement when he says " if a student is not reachable, then they are not teachable! FUNCTION CHORALES by Stephen Melillo will certainly reach today's students of tonal harmony. They should be sung ( to develop one's sense of audiation ) and played in SATB format to gain a full and deep pleasure.


I advise all students of tonal harmony, be it studying at conservatoire, college or with a private practice pedagogue to purchase this extraordinary set of chorales as they will change your life. Perhaps they should be listened to only from the onset ( resist temptation to firstly visualize them from the provided score notation! ) and you will then hear these wonderful creations come alive and leap off the page. I highly recommend Stephen Melillo's FUNCTION CHORALES to all learners and you will NOT be disappointed!"


- David Martin - LGSM LTCL LLCM ALCM - Piano pedagogue UK - Member of the European Piano Teachers Association UK - Member of the Churches' Child Protection Advisory Service UK - Ex-member of the Board of Examiners at London College of Music and Media - Ex touring pianist and Assistant Director to the worldwide gospel touring organization the Continental Singers


Well, Ladies & Gentlemen, this may be the only thing you need read. I am deeply grateful to Glenn and to all those dedicated Teachers who have offered not only their words of support but their hard work in making a new reality.




Steve, I've been using your methods for a few years. But not to the extent of recent, mostly inspired by the STORMSummate. If you have the chance to go watch Steve work, or work with him, do it. You WILL be transformed; you will be energized and refreshed and so will your students.


As of this year, ALL students in grades 7-12 know all 15 major scales, thanks to SCALEWORKS and the process included therein. We practice 15 scales almost daily. The days we do not are spent working on specific scale challenges, be it playing all flats, all sharps, 3 flats, and 3 sharps, or 4 and so on and up. We are exercising more creativity in our scale work than ever before, and it is showing up in the language used in the concert & jazz ensembles.


The FUNCTION CHORALE work we do has added a new dimension to our rehearsing as well, adding transposition at sight, intonation and tuning, creativity and musicianship to the warm-up process. No longer is warm-up "routine" (a DANGEROUS notion in music!). Using the FUNCTION CHORALES as a blueprint, we have explored the concepts of modality, poly-tonality, chord changes and improvisation, transposition, musicianship, and creation. Student musicians now are beginning to develop a keen sense of musical reasoning. In one instance, a group of 7th graders and I played a Function Chorale as a trumpet quartet. The resultant tones were absolutely fantastic.


Using RHYTHM Readers as a basis for musical thought in both ensemble and classroom music has really spurred the creative process and understanding of music. Students in 7th Grade Music have taken rhythmic dictation including examples in alternating meters: 5/4, 3/4, 6/4, and 9/8, 7/8, 5/8 and 3/8, and averaging scores of 80 or better.


At the University level, we are just beginning our journey, although the foundation was laid before them a year in advance. In a University that is NOT a music school, the concert band has begun to approach tuning and intonation the same way that a professional ensemble does, and is beginning to tackle similar challenges.


The use of PAD Bass, which until this year was used only in my public school job, and not in its ideal way (until this year) has transformed the sound of the ensemble. When tuning a 7-8 band from the bottom up, we hear such overtones that flutes can be heard... when none are playing. The smiles and giggles that happened in the flute section were immediate; all because the overtones that THEY would play were already sounding! This is the exact same approach to tuning that professionals use: listening for colors in the sound they want to hear. Yes, Resonant sound IS within the grasp of young students.


In short, the approaches used are NOT gimmicks that force the students into a corner to think a certain way. It is an approach that, when given creative application and careful thought, brings out of the students the inner musician that is inside of everyone. There are NO flashy pictures, no cartoon characters, no merchandising or silly pre-packaged and contrived, meaningless pandering. It all rests on the shoulders of the creative educator to bring about, but trusting in the music that Steve writes even into "exercises" brings about a transformation like no other music. Be prepared for "lesson books" to take a back seat to musicianship and creativity. PS: I tried desperately to keep it to-the-point; there is so much more...




Then there is the Music. This Music is completely different from the typical "band music". It has depth, meaning, and connection both to other works and the world; indeed the Universe around us. I have been approached after concerts where your Music in on the program by audience members (lately that's nearly every concert I have the privilege of conducting) who always allude to the same idea: they feel the Music very clearly. One audience member told me it made her toes curl and that she could not believe that these were 7th and 8th graders. Another said, "I laughed, I cried, I felt it all."


THIS is why people go to concerts; THIS is the purpose of all art: to make you feel, think and react, and to take those lessons and apply them to yourself. There is a definite lesson in all of Steve's Music that does lift one and give hope.


There is an energy created by his Music and the pedagogical approaches necessary to fully realize it. Each ensemble takes on that energy with tremendous drive.


There is a very interesting video on YouTube where John Corigliano is discussing the role of the composer in an address to the Pittsburg Symphony board, and how the symphony orchestra has evolved over the years. According to Mr. Corigliano, the contemporary orchestra dates to Mahler's time. There are no saxophones presently on a consistent payroll, and nearly no electronics used at all.


In contrast, Steve's Musi looks forward. He has, with the use of PAD Bass, voice sounds, harp sounds (most schools I know do not have harp players, so most will need to synthesize them), and recently, the innovative use of video, creating new forms entirely, in such works as LAST WORLD STANDING & THAT WE MIGHT LIVE, to pre-recorded sounds as in OUR TIME as a SONG in the UNIVERSE and The UNIVERSE BELOW broken ground and explored areas not explored by "commercial" composers.


From its inception, with part distribution on CD-ROM, STORMWORKS has been ahead of the curve by a good decade. This is the breath of fresh air needed in today's music world. With arts organizations beginning to experience financial difficulty, and so many classical concert goers having "white hair", it is now left to the younger generation to become supporters of the arts. Music with meaning (such as Stephen Melillo's) does much to create this future audience. His, is Music for its own sake, not created to fill a contractual need or pre-determined output with specified borders and boundaries." Glenn Roberts, Lisbon Central School & St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY


"Stephen - I was at the conducting symposium in Greeley and saw you present - it was inspiring to say the least. I purchased the ScaleWorks, Rhythm Readers and Function Chorales (an investment) and have begun using the ScaleWorks with my 8th graders. The process is incredible! After introducing the concept Tuesday, practicing, and reinforcing yesterday, one of my weakest players was able to construct and play C# Major - flawlessly. The class sat in shocked silence before erupting in cheers. He left yesterday feeling like a king and I left knowing that any student can have success in music."




"I have never left a professional conference so inspired, excited, or energized. So much of what we see as music educators is "same old, same old," or slight variations on the techniques used to teach music to our grandparents. Seeing you teach in such a different mode, without holding any knowledge or passion back was a breakthrough for me, more valuable in many ways than some graduate courses I have taken. I know that my students see a passion in me that they have not seen in a long time. Thank you so much for the inspiration and guidance!" Justin Mavity, Laredo Middle School


"Hi Stephen - I received your teaching tools DVD recently, and have been using your methods in all of my classes. I cannot believe how much I am able to teach in such a short period of time. There is no way that there is a more efficient way to teach than your methods. I have always dreamed of the day when I would be able to teach music without spending hours of rehearsal time re-teaching rhythm, reminding students of fingerings, and re-explaining key signatures." Nathan Beutler, Sidney Public Schools, NE


"Thanks! Your music and mission. The voice with which you speak has truly been and will continue to be an inspiration to me. It has reminded me of what is true, right, noble, and noteworthy about what we do and WHY we do it. No words could suffice to describe what an inspiration, motivation, and yes... sometimes even a kick in the pants it has been." Larry Barnett, Teacher


"We've been using these for 4 years now and it is amazing how easy (and fun) it is to teach music theory this way. We analyze each one measure by measure; labeling all the non-chord tones with the specific names, discussing motion between voices, points of tension and release. Each year there is a distinct transition in their musical vocabulary... they go from saying "that sounds cool" to phrases like "I love the 4-3 suspension in the altos!" Because they have scores in front of them, everyone stays engaged. Every week or so I'll play the recording of the next chorale and that motivates them to learn the raised and lowered notes they need to move on... I don't have to push that at all. The individuals really do most of the mixing themselves because they want to hear the things we spent time analyzing. Our final step on each chorale is to have students make up a story (like scenes in a movie) that the music makes them think of. The best part about this is that they'll use their theory terminology as they describe certain points in the scene they create. When we are working on sheet music, we can isolate a measure or a chord and really dig in to improve it because they already have an understanding of what the composer is trying to do and we have the vocabulary to speak intelligently about it." BJ Marks, Northside Middle School


"Steve, I know that you have heard this before, but your approach to learning scales is amazing. I have seen and used your chart before, but after watching the DVD I had a new perspective. I taught my freshman jazz class to use your scale learning method complete with the stopwatch. The surprising part was how much of a motivator the timing was. Each student wanted to have the chance to outdo the other. We have also started a scale challenge to encourage to students to play scales for time. I used again during 2nd period to reinforce scales with the Music Theory class. From teaching to timing individual scales to filling in the entire chart took only 20 minutes of class time and they all felt it was beneficial. I can't wait to present your rhythm concepts. We also read through the 1st mvmt. of Aurora. We started by singing/playing the G scale over a drone. We then did the Function Chorale #2 and some of the other excercises (8-5-1,8-7-8-5-1, etc )in G. After that, they could actually hear in the key of G. They did have a few problems sight-reading the meter changes, but that will come. I can't wait to read the others. Thanks helping me make my students better than me." Ted Burton, Ben High School, Oregon


Testimonials from Waynesburg College, PA:


"Music has been my life. Iíve held the upper chairs in flute sections and was section leader of my high school band. I can play a variety of instruments. However, the Stormworks Suite caused me to see music and its theory in a totally different way. Iíve never taken a music theory class, but now I can transpose music and play 15 major scales. Stephen Melilloís teachings have changed music for me. More importantly, it has changed my life. Being able to read and understand music better has re-inspired me to write music. I gave up composing due to my lack of music theory knowledge. All I can say is ìThank you!î Stephen Melilloís Teaching Suite is priceless and will affect yours and your studentsí lives drasticallyÖand permanently." Heather Bryner, Flute/Piccolo, Freshman, Waynesburg College


"Steve Melliloís work is without a doubt the bright future of music education. Many students create mental barriers, believing that music theory and technique is beyond their reach. These concepts are very intimidating to students, so they donít want to learn it. Furthermore, theory is often over-looked within our schools. Steve completely breaks these barriers and makes learning not merely attainable, but surprisingly easy. With Steveís method, ANY student can succeed." Jesse Maxwell, Trumpet. Freshman, Waynesburg College


"If every music class used Stephen Melilloís teaching tools as a starting point, development and understanding of musical theories and ideas would increase exponentially and endlessly guaranteed!" David Call, Percussion, Freshman, Waynesburg College


"Steve Melillo is a mentor teacher for me! He constantly encourages me to reach farther than I initially believe possible. Our music program at Waynesburg does not currently have a music degree. After our ënon-music majorsí were connected with Steveís Scaleworks, Rhythm Readers and Function Chorales, their understanding, and level of engagement was combustible! Off the charts! I started using the Teaching Suite this past spring term. The financial investment in this program is minimal in comparison to the rewards for our students. I have literally overheard my students explaining scales and rhythms to their friends on campus ñ these are the same students who began the year saying, ìI canít really count,î and ìWhatís a triad? They are now saying, Oh, thatís just music in threes and Can you go through the section again because I missed my leading tone. Our goals are now MUSICAL GOALS! With my summer preparation time, I canít wait to get my former students back in the fall, as well as introduce the incoming freshman class to these amazing methods, just to see how far we can go. As Steve would say, Let's Find Out! Dr. Ronda DePriest, Waynesburg College, PA


"We now have students wanting to write their own function chorales! I know this has happened at other schools, but I felt it was necessary to continue the story of how great these are. We rendered the first student's chorale affectionately entitled "Godspeed" yesterday. I since received "A Mighty Forbidden Fortress" and "In School Suspension". These are all settings of theory class projects, but they have really grabbed the students. I thank you for the gift of them and please know they are being put to excellent use. Also, thanks for the new clarinet player! Now you may ask what do I mean? The students have been trying to convince a 9th grade girl who felt she was too busy for band to join. I finally decided to get involved after some research and invited her to spend a period with us. The lesson plan included "By Love Compelled" I spent our time warming up etc. and did an in-depth rehearsal on By Love...never coming close to the end. (It was very good too! That is another story) Needless to say we did not finish, but the girl (right in front of the podium) looked up and said "But I need to know how it ends!" To which I replied "That is the next rehearsal." She is with us now." David Knott, Bishop Mcdevitt High School, Harrisburg, PA


"Do you remember this workshop I told you from.....St. Thomas Choral.... I did it on Saturday..it was a great time. The musicians were amazed about the effect that had on them. I explained and demonstrated to them all about tuning and intonation first (straight line, target with pad bass!!!!, functions, balance etc.), then played the Choral.....WOW... they sounded so different!!! That was motivating for them and for me!! Thanks to our meeting last year and all the things that I have learned so far from you I can do these things and pass it on to other bands. I'm so grateful for that. The amazing thing is, that at the beginning of a workshop you think... this band doesn't sound so badly...they play in tune more or less....what can I teach them. But then as soon as you start bringing in the concept of "target playing" it leads you from one to another problem and you realise the mistakes..... But when you make sense of it for them, it changes everything!!!!" Martin Wiblishauser, Germany


"Mr. Melillo, My goodness! It's been about two weeks since I started using the Function Chorales and ScaleWorks in my band classes/rehearsals, and I am BLOWN AWAY!!!!! I am a brand-new teacher straight out of college. I have struggled a bit to find different techniques that work for my students, but your model for ScaleWorks was so excellent I hit one out of the park right away (not that I won't go back and refine, of course). My students absolutely LOVE the function chorales--they keep asking for "the next one". We are moving quickly but cautiously, striving for precision in each. We are making effective transfers into the literature with these--we are doing an arrangement of Shenandoah, an obvious transfer, but I'm noticing things like a sense of direction on long notes and listening "vertically" for intonation in ALL of our playing, up to and including our spring musical. As for ScaleWorks, BRAVO! My students LOVE the method and process. I presented the information as you do on your DVD (an excellent model), and my students eyes got to be the sizes of dinner plates--they were drawn in within minutes. "Sing and Fing" has become a regular part of my vocabulary--for scales, but also chorales and difficult passages. I had my doubts about the "stopwatching" (because I'm a brand new teacher and know everything, right??), but I did it and it had its intended effect--some harmless competition amongst the students that creates a sense of "urgency" in order to not have the lesson become stagnant. My next project is Rhythm Readers--I can't wait!! My only regret is I did not use this source sooner. Bravo! Best," Then later: "The FUNCTION CHORALES continue to be a source of great material for building essential musicianship...I had a principal observation the other day, and we performed #20 in the key of B major. Went GREAT!" Keith Roeckle, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA


I have NEVER forgotten my view on your Function Chorales and I feel that perhaps a mention somewhere on site that it could be stated that your chorales can be used in correlation with the current examples in the tonal harmony texts such as;


1) The Complete Musician - Steven G Laitz - OUP
2) Tonal Harmony - Kostka / Payne - McGraw - Hill
3) The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis - Clendinning / Marvin - Norton
4) Theory for Today's Musician - Ralph Turek - McGraw - Hill
5) Harmony in Context - Roig - Francoli - McGraw - Hill
6) Harmony and Voice Leading - Aldwell / Schachter / Cadwallader - Schirmer / Cengage
7) Graduate Review of Tonal Theory - Laitz / Bartlette - OUP
8) Music Theory Remixed - Holm-Hudson - OUP


Your Function Chorales can be used to develop a stronger sense of audiation, as we know Steve that so many musicians don't have a secure inner ear facility.I feel that the usage of your Function Chorales here paramount.  David Martin, Yorkshire, NI

WAYS of KNOWING, MIDI-Music-Mathematics-Science (is available on iTunes)

Try a Function Chorale and understand the process:  Free Download

LET's FIND OUT Teaching Suite Options!