Welcome to Woodwind Lessons
There is a wide variety of music written for woodwind instruments suitable for all stages of learning. Although they have some characteristics in common and their sounds blend well together, each woodwind instrument has its own distinct sound.
About Woodwind Instruments
A woodwind instrument produces sound when the player blows air against a sharp edge or through a reed, causing the air within its resonating chamber (usually a column or tube) to vibrate. In most modern woodwind instruments, pitch is modified by pressing or releasing keys which cover holes along the length of the instrument, essentially changing the length of the resonating chamber. Woodwind instruments include the flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, English horn, bassoon, and saxophone. Although it is a brass instrument, the French horn sometimes the role of a woodwind instrument in an orchestra, because of its wide range and mellow sound. The flute is the instrument that serves as the soprano voice in most bands, orchestras, and woodwind groups. The piccolo is like a flute but smaller and pitched an octave higher. It is used for special effects in orchestras but more widely used in concert and marching bands. The clarinet is usually made of wood and has a full, rich tone. The oboe is a double-reed instrument, meaning the player makes a sound by blowing between two flat reeds, which vibrate against each other. It has a distinctive, mournful tone. The English horn is similar to the oboe, but slightly larger and pitched lower. The bassoon is the lowest of the woodwinds, and is often the rhythmic and harmonic backbone of the section. Although the saxophone is made of brass, its sound is produced by a reed and it is a derivative of the clarinet, so it is considered a woodwind instrument. It is occasionally seen in orchestras, but more often used in jazz music.
Quick Lesson Tips
The two most important things a beginning woodwind player has to learn are the position and tension of the lips, or embouchure, and which combination of keys produces each note, or fingering. A first lesson will begin with practicing simply making a sound on the instrument without pressing down any keys, then learning the fingerings for a basic scale, usually C or B-flat major. Once this scale is mastered, the student can begin learning simple tunes.
At first the student may learn by ear, but for most styles, note-reading is essential, so the teacher will probably begin introducing theory right away. Learning theory might sound intimidating, but it is simply a matter of learning to identify notes by letter name on the page, then identify those notes with the correct fingering on the instrument. With enough time and practice, reading sheet music will become second nature.
As the student progresses, the teacher will introduce more scales, including all major and minor scales, arpeggios, and the chromatic scale. The teacher will introduce exercises to improve finger dexterity and breath control. The next steps will depend on the style of music the student is interested in. A student with a good mastery of note reading as well as the major and minor scales will be prepared to play most band repertoire. Classical and jazz music tend to require more time, both because of the technical demands made on the player, and because of the amount of theory that must be learned. Jazz may take the most time, as the student must learn to understand chords and how to improvise. A teacher is likely to work through repertoire of any style with the student, helping them learn correct notes and adjust their technique for healthy playing and good tone production.
Finding the Right Instructor for Your Woodwind Lessons
Woodwinds are some of the most popular instruments for beginning musicians. It is relatively easy to get started on a woodwind instrument, and they have a pleasant, soothing sound when played well. Whether you are looking to join a band or orchestra, or simply enjoy the sound of a woodwind instrument and want to make it yourself, a teacher from The Music Teachers Network can help you fulfill your goals.
Simply submit your request for lessons and we will match you with amazing instructors near you. We offer a tremendous selection of local music instructors and studios that are actively available to teach you and want your business. Those contacting you have paid to do so, and are serious about teaching at very competitive rates. So what are you waiting for? Start your search today!