We gave a demo to the year 3, 4 and 5 children at Backworth Park Primary on Tuesday (26th April). Over 40 children came into the hall and sat very nicely while the Headteacher Mrs Crerar introduced us. Natalie was known to many of the children as “Jenny’s mum”!. Amazingly some of the children remembered Gavin from the Christmas concert that we played at in December.
We asked the children if they knew what instruments we were holding…yes: a trombone and a trumpet (a red plastic pbone and a yellow plastic tromba trumpet to be precise), and we showed them what they sounded like. Natalie played an extract of “Let it Go” from the film Frozen on the trumpet, the Gavin played some of “All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainer on the pbone, while the children clapped along.
Then it was the children’s turn – we showed them how to “buzz” (while holding their hand in front of their mouths so as not to spray the person in front!). After a first go at it, we got them to buzz using a “duck face”, then imagine they were blowing through a straw, and then buzz through an “O” formed by their index finger curled inside their thumb.
Mrs Crerar helped us select 6 volunteers to have a go at blowing the instruments: a boy and a girl from each year group. They were brilliant, and with a little coaching here and there, all 6 managed to get a sound out…well done. We were all ready to reassure them that it can take a bit more trial and error and help to do it and not to be disappointed if they didn’t manage straight away, but there was no need. In fact, at the end we let all the children that wanted to have a go, come up and queue for a try on either or both instruments. About 20 did, and they all managed to get a sound out on one or the other, some of them were astonishingly good! We put it down to the excellent coaching, of course.
Before the end, we showed them some instruments they might aspire to play in years to come: a bass trombone and a flugel, while we duetted an arrangement of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
A great start. All the children were sent home with letters to get signed and return so they can join the brass group in September.
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