The Trumpet and French Horn – a classroom music lesson

Learning about brass instruments in the classroom will be enjoyable for the students with some of these activities.

Make a rudimentary brass instrument. You will need plastic beverage bottles (e.g. two-liter soda bottles) and sharp scissors or utility knife. Cut the bottom off a plastic bottle. Try to get different tones by Buzzing your lips into the neck of the bottle Experiment with different sizes and shapes of bottles. The bottom of the bottle can be used as a mute or hat as you will see trumpet players do to change the sound.

These music lesson plan activities are part of our printable music lesson plans product from the Fun Music Company.

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. Cut lengths of string into these dimensions and give them to groups of students. 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. 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 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:Mozart, Horn Concerto No. 1 in D. Barry Tuckwell and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. EMI Classics 74967.