A music lesson all about the Horn and the Trumpet

Here are a few Lesson Plan Ideas for learning about Brass instruments in the Music class.

You can have the students 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. Use the cut-off bottom of the bottle as a “wah wah mute” like trumpeters use plungers or hats.

Measure things in “trumpets” and “horns.” 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. e.g. the blackboard might be 2 trumpets long, and the hallway might be 5 horns in length. You can also measure smaller things by folding the string back and forth. e.g. if you have to fold the trumpet string three times to measure a desk, then the desk is 1/3 the size of a trumpet (Obviously, some estimation and rounding will be necessary for this exercise.) As a possible homework assignment, ask students to measure their bedrooms, beds, family vehicles, yards, etc., and report back the next class. This music lesson plan activity will focus students on the amount of tubing within the relatively compact brass instruments.

You may wish to show students this recording:Haydn, Trumpet Concerto in E-flat. Wynton Marsalis and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Sony 92619.