What is the trumpet?
The trumpet is on the smaller side of instruments and made of brass. The piping, which is around six and half feet long, is bent over and over to take the form of what we know is the trumpet. Sound is created by the instrumentist buzzing their lips into a cup-like mouthpiece which goes through the trumpet. Pitches are changed through a combination of the student tightening or loosening their lips and pushing and releasing the valves.
Is the trumpet hard to play?
The three most common challenges students face when playing trumpet are:
1) The trumpet requires a bit of focused air to reach some of the higher pitches.
2) Students who have fuller lips tend to struggle since the cup of the mouthpiece since it is quite small. If this is the case, trombone may be a better fit instrument.
3) Improper way to hold the trumpet. Since the instrument is extending away from the student, some students find it difficult to hold the instrument for long periods of the time at the beginning.
Does it require a lot of maintence?
Every instrument in the band requires some level of TLC (tender, love, and care). Luckily, brass instruments, if taken care of properly, are relatively low maintence. It is advised to have a professional technician look at the instrument every 6-12 months to make sure it running in top condition. *Any quick and easy fixes will be taken care of by the band director.
Students will learn how to properly assemble and disassemble the instrument (and place it in the case correctly) in addition to other valuable actions to prolong the playability of the instrument.
Is this a good fit for my student?
This is the best question on the list and we love that parents ask this question! We think this is the most important step to the process as this will set up a positive and successful year(s) of band or an absolute disaster of a year. We recommend three things:
1) Go over the pairing sheet that was sent home after your student tried some of the instruments at school. If the instrument was emphasized, that means we believe they can be successful on that instrument.
2) If the student is still unsure, visiting a local music shop that sells band instruments will be the next best thing. Tey wil lbe glad to help you make a decision.
3) Talk! Having a simple conversation and going over expectations (without any pressure) will help everyone up for success.
Bonus 4) We will do everything we can to help your student be successful on any instrument they choose.
What is the trombone?
The trombone is the larger of the two brass instruments we begin our students on. The piping for the trombone, if laid out in a straight line would measure around nine feet, is bent to take the form of the trombone. Sound is created by the instrumentist buzzing their lips into a cup-like mouthpiece which goes through the entire trombone. Pitches are changed through a combination of the student tightening or loosening their lips and moving the slide.
Is the trombone hard to play?
Students who chose the trombone will enjoy many things about the instrument. However, there are a few things to be mindful of before choosing the trombone. The top three are:
1) The trombone is a bigger instrument which may be problematic to some students in the beginning of fourth grade. If this is a concern, most students grow into the instrument and many have successful experiences.
2) Students who have thinner lips tend to struggle reaching the lower pitches when buzzing which is necessary for this instrument.
3) Since the slide is one of the ways trombonists change pitches, students who are smaller may not reach all of the positions at first. We work with each student until they grow into the instrument.
What is a brass instrument?
Brass instruments are a family of instruments that have similar characteristics to one another. Such characteristics are:
1) Sound - Sound is actually created on the musician without the instrument. This type of method is called buzzing in which the instrumentalists press their lips together while blowing air.
2) Pitches - Different pitches are created in combination with the instrumentalist's tightening and loosening their lips and the instrument's mechinism (valves, slide, rotary, etc).
3) Other - All instruments are made up of brass.
What brass instruments does UP Music start their students with?
We start our students on one of two brass instruments: trumpet or trombone. We have considered students age, average body size, and complexity of the instruments and deemed that students would have the most success on these instruments. Additionally, these are the beginning instruments that are considered best practices by most organizations.