Horn and Trumpet – great instruments to learn about in music class

Learning about brass instruments in the classroom will be enjoyable for the students with some of these activities. You can include them in your next music lesson plans about musical instruments.

Make a rudimentary brass instrument. 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. Experiment with different sizes and shapes of bottles. Use the cut-off bottom of the bottle as a “wah wah mute” like trumpeters use plungers or hats.

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 If a horn were rolled out it would stretch about 3.6 metres or twelve feet. 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. Smaller things could be measured by folding the strings For example, if a trumpet string must be folded three times on a desktop, the desktop is 1/3 of a trumpet long. (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 exercise will help students visualise the amount of tubing that it takes to make a trumpet or horn

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