A music lesson about Trumpets and Horns

Learning about brass instruments in the classroom will be enjoyable for the students with some of these activities. These may help you to create your music lesson plans.

The students can make simple brass instruments. You will need plastic beverage bottles (e.g. two-liter soda bottles) and sharp scissors or utility knife. Turn the bottle over and cut off the bottom so it is completely open Buzz your lips into the neck of the bottle and try to get different tones. Different sized and shaped bottles can be used for different effects. The bottom of the bottle can be used as a mute or hat as you will see trumpet players do to change the sound.

You can have great fun by measuring things in “horns” and “trumpets.” A trumpet, if it were uncoiled would stretch about 1.8 metres or 6 foot An uncoiled horn would stretch about 12 feet or 3.6 meters. The students can cut strings into pieces of this length. Students can then measure things in their classroom and around the school using their strings. For example, the back wall of the classroom might be 1.5 horns long and the chalkboard might be 2 trumpets long. You can also measure smaller things by folding the string back and forth. For example, if a trumpet string must be folded three times on a desktop, the desktop is 1/3 of a trumpet long. Some estimation and rounding is going to be necessary to make this exercise work Students could even measure their bedrooms, hallways, cars etc for homework. This activity will focus students on the amount of tubing within the relatively compact brass instruments.

Recommended listening:A good piece featuring the trumpet and horn is:Haydn, Trumpet Concerto in E-flat. Wynton Marsalis and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Sony 92619.