« I started playing trumpet when I was 11 years old.
All I wanted to be was a jazz trumpet player when I grew up. »
« I started playing trumpet when I was 11 years old.
Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Who doesn’t love the bright, clear sound of a trumpet, or the raw sonorous power of the saxophone?
Trumpet and saxophone always stand out. So if you want to be heard, if you want to be noticed, think about taking up one of these. They’re featured in symphony orchestras, jazz ensembles and big bands, and the brass bands you see at high school and college football and basketball games. The sax has an especially rich history in jazz, with players from Charlie Parker and John Coltrane to Sonny Rollins and Stan Getz becoming household names.
From the Beatles to Motown
Remember the famous Beatles tune “Penny Lane”? The memorable solo in that song played on a special “piccolo” trumpet, a little smaller and higher-pitched than a normal one. Trumpeters Wynton Marsalis, Louis Armstrong, Dizzie Gillespie, Chet Baker, and Lee Morgan are some of the greats who have made jazz so popular. Meanwhile, singers from Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra to Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand have made compelling use of trumpet in many of their arrangements.
Meet the Rest of the Brass Family …
The trumpet is one of four main members of the brass family. The others are the French horn, the trombone, and the tuba. If you loved the sound of Tower of Power, Chicago, or Earth, Wind & Fire, their brass sections are probably why.
Many people like the French horn for its “smoky” sound, a little lower than the trumpet. On both instruments, the musician presses valves that change the flow of air inside the instrument to make different notes. Beginners should know the French horn is considered a bit harder to play in tune than trumpet, but thousands of students have taken up the challenge and been glad they did.
Studies have shown that kids who study an instrument
think faster and are better in STEM.
Why Take Music Lessons
If you want to sharpen your senses, train your brain and express yourself, it’s time to take music lessons. We at MTN believe that learning to sing or play an instrument is about more than just music. It influences your character; it makes you smarter and more empathic and enriches life in myriad ways.
The Power of the Slide
Next down the scale comes the trombone, considered “low brass.” Unlike trumpet and French horn, the trombone uses a “slide” to play different notes. This gives it a distinctive sound that is not only lower than the others but also very smooth and silky. Again, check out bands like Tower of Power and Blood, Sweat and Tears and listen for the distinctive low, sliding sound of the trombone.
Ready, Set, March!
At the “bottom” is the largest and lowest-pitched of the brass instruments, the tuba. It makes a sound so powerful it can shake the room. It also has a cousin, the sousaphone, that may be more familiar – it’s the huge instrument you see on the football field, essentially a tuba made into a different shape so it’s easier to carry while marching.
Woodwind instruments, including flute, piccolo, clarinet, and saxophone, have a special place in any musical group. Flute and piccolo are popular because of their beautiful breathy sound, made by blowing across a hole at one end of the tube, and also because they are so easy to carry. Clarinet is only a little larger but has a much different sound because its sound is made by a vibrating reed. The saxophone comes in various sizes and shapes, with the soprano, alto, tenor and baritone being the most common. Charlie Parker favored the alto sax, while Coltrane was most famous for his tenor sax.
If you start getting into brass or woodwinds, you’ll hear some other names too. The cornet and flugelhorn are very similar to trumpet, played pretty much the same but each with a slightly different sound. Check out Kenny Wheeler for his haunting flugelhorn solos. There’s also the baritone or euphonium, which is a sort of half-sized tuba or double-sized trumpet. No harm in checking these out too, but most people stick with the big four – trumpet, French horn, trombone, and tuba.The woodwinds family also includes some less common instruments, like the oboe and bassoon. They are known as “double reed” instruments because the sound is actually made by two reeds held together with wires. They are among the most challenging instruments to master, but their haunting sound is both delightful and memorable.
Music lessons can be a wonderful and empowering experience
for special needs children and their families.
Through MTN you’ll find caring, skilled instructors who can teach in your home or at a care facility to create a familiar, comfortable experience. We know that teaching special needs children requires empathy, patience, and love in addition to musical and teaching skills. Our teachers share their qualifications and experience in these areas, so you can make an informed choice. We also offer our SELECT program to support you in finding the right teacher for your child.
« My adult son Allan has a mild form of autism. We’ve been using The Music Teachers Network for 5 years now.
He really looks forward to his lessons and loves playing an annual concert for the family.
I highly recommend this company. » – Howard H.