Brass for Beginners, an American venture which introduces children to brass instruments through the use of natural trumpets, is to launch its products into the UK. Brass for Beginners is the first brass programme geared specifically for the primary school classroom. It is a ‘learn by ear’ method utilizing a cross-disciplinary curriculum and a natural trumpet designed for school-age children.
The story-driven approach, tracing the development and significance of lip-blown instruments throughout human history, engages young learners and helps to place emphasis on musical outcomes while students develop the skills necessary for success in playing modern brass instruments.
The first volume of the curriculum, Around the World in Twenty-One Trumpets: A Brass Odyssey creatively intertwines brass pedagogy with stories that capture significant moments in the history of the trumpet. Created by music and history educators, it brings human history and the history of lip-blown instruments to life through the adventures of Ragnar, a hypothetical prehistoric trumpeter. The curriculum puts the focus on the fundamentals of playing and the development of aural skills, while simultaneously preparing students to play any of the modern brass instruments. Students learn either by listening to their classroom teacher of by playing along with online sound files, recorded by some of the world’s best brass players.
International trumpet soloist and music education proponent, John Wallace, has recently been working on the scheme with colleagues in Chicago, where the programme has run since 2007. Wallace hopes the UK-adapted programme will be embraced here by primary schools and music hubs.
Brass for Beginners will exhibit from 9-10 February 2017 at Music & Drama Education Expo (Stand J2). During the Expo on the 9th February, John Wallace will also present, along with his Chicago-based colleagues, Around the World in 21 Trumpets: A Brass Odyssey.