First Lesson

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by B15M, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.

    I had a new experience the other day.

    I had a new student that never played the trumpet before.
    When I started to teach I realize that I had never started anyone before.

    We made it through the lesson ok.

    Does anyone have advise for me to teach a new student?

    SJORDO New Friend

    Apr 6, 2009
    Hey Joe,

    My best advice is keep it simple. Get them to form an embouchure, corners of the mouth firm, and buzz through their lips. Repeat with mouthpiece and then trumpet, after you have showed your student how to hold the trumpet. I like to start with low C. ( no valves to worry about at first) Have the student try to get a nice big sound, echo some simple rhythm patterns with you. Just keep stressing to take big breaths through the mouth and use a fast, relaxed airstream when producing a sound. I then move on to D and E. Usually by the end of the first lesson, we have C, D, and E, and Hot Cross Buns. I write out the song using letters and that is their first assignment - to practice the three notes, long tones, simple rhythms (nice big sound) and be able to play hot cross buns. The first few weeks is just simple three note songs by rote and then we move on to F and G. Just keep stressing the use of air and to think about the sound they are producing, your student should always strive for a nice sound, even though it probably won't be. Have them sing, you sing, you demonstarte with your horn. Have fun beginners are great, for the most part.
  3. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2009
    I'm not a teacher, but I tried to teach a beginner once, and I was completely confused on how to do it. The second time I casually gave advice to a complete beginner, I just told them how to form a loose embrouchure and how to blow. It turned out okay.
  4. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    Fundlementals. As SJORDO said keep it simple. Fundemntals will allow the player to improve by himself eventually without the help of a teacher.
  5. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Explain how things work instead of saying "Just do this..." I've found that in teaching beginners that when you explain why, they seem to get it a lot quicker. I am of teh mind tohave them start on 2nd line G. Why? You can start the fingering patterns of learning the horn as well as start to focus on airstream from teh beginning. I've found setting up on low C often impedes the upper register later on in life as they set for that low area of low C to low G. Also, for some reason, young kids seem to be able to produce a 2nd line G easier than a low C or a 3rd space C.
    I always start with sound, play some examples of DIFFERENT trumpet sounds, then let them kind of guide you from there. I like Maynard sound because... I like Phil Smith's sound because.... I always combine tounging with the beginnings of trumpet teaching... You'll be amazed that a lot of kids can actually double/triple with ease on the same note if its explained right... Then start working on the fingers. Then style, range, colorings, etc. Once you get to that point I'll play little games to introduce them to theory and transposition such as they play Mary had a little Lamb as written and teacher will play up/down a third, then have them figure out what you did, why, etc, which brings about a good time totalk about the differences between C and Bb... of course by this time they are no longer beginners, HAHA.
    Also, the metronome is ALWAYS on for beginners, help to establish good time from the start. Believe it or not, but when you start teaching theory and all, it'll help with ear training and dictation/transcribing... I always start with meld the tradiational (classical) teaching with "jazz" teaching. Too many kids can do one or the other, but not both well. "I've never played jazz!" Just play Bach fugues with a looser fill and sub some of the chords w/7ths tritone, etc., HAHA. It's jazz!
    Oh man, I could go on all night... ABOVE ALL, the teacher is ALWAYS talking about the musical line. No one cares if the kid can triple tounge at 280bpm, or play a DHC loud enough to put jackhammers out of use unless there is a musical element behind it!! If you have specific questions, just PM me. I'd love to help.

    Disclaimer.. this is just what I do. One size does not fit all, though my kid can outplay your kid. Relax, just a joke.
  6. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I am not a trumpet teacher although I teach a lot of other subjects. I agree with the above approach it is fits my mindset. When I learned trumpet 55 years ago, I was shown the fingering chart starting at low 'C' but no one ever told me how it worked. It seemed totally random to me (playing the major scale up from C). When I started my comeback effort, I went to the internet (it had been invented during the time that I was on hiatus) and immdiately found out how the valves affect the pitch. So, when I was giving my grandson (a new beginner, age 11) some tips (I was NOT acting as an instructor so I deferred to anything that his his instructor would later tell him), I coined this guideline for him: "Valves are used to decrease the pitch - lips are used to increase the pitch." Then I started him on G (he could easily play it as Bear stated) and then had him play the progressively lower tones after explaining how the valves worked to lower the tones one semi-tone at a time. Once he knew how the valves worked, he could play a chromatic scale from G down to C and back up WITHOUT EVER SEEING A FINGERING CHART! While I have never heard of this approach before, it seemed like a revelation to me to learn how the valves worked and I though he would like to know that right away. He did seem to relate to it.
  7. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    The neat thing is when the kids learn the "pattern" they start trying to get "new" notes to show off to their friends or try to play the fastest, etc. It becomes a games, and technique, range, endurance,etc just start flowin. It turns into something they want to do instead of "I have to practice three hours instead of playing video games, this sucks" type mentality. Plus, getting them thinking that early on opens the door for the introduction of music theory, especially relating to fingering partials, overtones, etc.
    After two or three years on trumpet getting the fundamentals down, I often encourage my kids to learn soem doubles (either horn or bone) and once the fingering/slide system is explained... lol, they are versatile little buggers. But always, gotta remember to keep the musical aspects first!! This is fun...


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