Learning all about Horns and Trumpets in the music classroom

There are a few activities you can do which will make learning about Brass instruments in the music class lots of fun!

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.” An uncoiled trumpet would stretch about 6 feet or 1.8 meters. If a horn were rolled out it would stretch about 3.6 metres or twelve feet. Cut lengths of string into these dimensions and give them to groups of students. Invite students to measure things in the classroom 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. Some estimation and rounding is going to be necessary to make this exercise work 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:Bartók, Concerto for Orchestra, II. Giuoco delle coppie (Game of Pairs)

These are just a couple of ideas that you can include in your music lesson plans.