Note, this applies to both cornet and trombone.
I suggest that this video features one tutor for each section, but different tutors can record the different sections.
Please feel free to use your own words for any part of this.
“If you’ve completed the previous lessons then you should have an instrument ready, you know how to hold it, and you have managed to make a sound with it.”
“It doesn’t matter what instrument you have. I am playing a …. But it’s fine if you are playing a …. or any other brass instrument.
“Let’s play together. I’m going to play a rhythm and then I want you to copy it. Me then you. Ready?”
(play some simple rhythms on one note, repeated 2 or 3 times, pointing at yourself while you play it the first time, then point at the camera and play it a second time but quietly – this is when we hope the student will be playing along!)
2 2-beat notes, tutor first then tutor and students, 2 times
4 1-beat notes, the same 2 times
“Remember to squeeze the corners of your mouth, don’t puff out your cheeks, and buzz your lips into the mouthpiece – let’s try that again”
4 1-beat notes, the same 2 times
2 crotchets, 2 quavers, crotchet, the same 2 times
“How are you getting on? We’ll try that again in a minute, but first we need to think about a couple of other things that will help”
“Have you found that you need lots of breath to play? Most of the time, unless we’ve been running about, we only take in a small amount of air when we breathe, but to play our instrument we need more air.”
(this is my approach to teaching breathing – other methods welcome – we can have more than one approach in the same lesson!)
“Imagine you are yawning. Go on, give me a great big yawn like this! Can you feel how your throat opens up and you suck lots of air in? We yawn because our brain needs more oxygen. It’s our body’s way of quickly getting lots of it into our lungs. Well, we do something similar to fill up with air to play our instrument”
“Let’s have another go at yawning. Come on… That’s it!”
“Now, to help get lots of air inside, you need to be either standing up like me, or if you are sitting down, make sure you sit up straight, push your bottom right to the back of the chair, with your head up and your shoulders back. Let me show you”
(now find a chair to sit in – we can cut the video at this point and edit it to restart when you are sitting down, or about to sit down)
“So, try and sit like this. The idea is to allow plenty of room for your tummy and chest to expand as you fill up with air”
“If you sit like this (slouch) you can’t breathe so easily, or like this (hunch) is even worse. Don’t cross your legs either, because all these things squeeze your tummy or chest or neck and make it harder to get air in quickly, and out again when you want to play!”
“So, remember, sit nicely, bottom against the back of the chair, body upright, head up and shoulders back and relaxed!”
“Now we’re going to play the copy game again like you did with Tutor1, but this time, when I’m playing I want you to fill up with air ready for your turn to play. Here we go…”
(repeat copying rhythms)
“Anyone feeling dizzy yet? It’s very normal to find yourself getting a bit dizzy when you first start playing. If it happens, just sit down and breathe normally until you feel better. The dizziness should go quickly and it should stop happening altogether after a few practices but, if it doesn’t, please check with your teacher, or contact us for more advice. Just take it easy and go at your own pace!”
Back to Tutor1.
“So we need to think about our breathing, and if we are sitting down, having a good posture to allow the air to get in and out easily.”
“Now here’s something else to think about -using your tongue to start the note”
(this is my approach to teaching tonguing – other methods welcome – we can have more than one approach in the same lesson!)
“See if you can hear what happens when I play without using my tongue”
(play without tonguing and deliberately let air blow before the note starts, so it is audible)
“Did you hear the air coming out before the note started? It’s not good is it?”
“And if I’m going to play in a band, I need my note to start the at exactly the right time to fit in with everyone else.”
“To get a good start to the note, we use our tongue as if we were making a te sound or a de sound, like this…let’s do it together…”
“Let’s see if we can add that to our playing.”
(repeat copying rhythms, and add in something a bit quicker, like a quicker crotchet and 6 quavers)
“That last one is hard to do without using your tongue to start the notes! This is what happens if I don’t use my tongue…listen” (play without tongue) “Now I’ll start each note with a te sound, ter te-te-te-te-te-te” (play with tongue) “Your turn” (repeat last rhythm with copying 3 times)
Now split screen with 2 tutors, so leave time for the other tutor’s lines, and Tutor1 looks to their left and Tutor2 to their right while waiting.
Tutor2: “We’ve reached the end of this video, but not the end of the lesson. How did you get on? Have you had fun? Remember, if it seems difficult at first it will get easier with practice.”
Tutor1: “In the last lesson we learnt how to hold our instrument and how to get a note. Now we’ve learnt about the importance of breathing to fill up with plenty of air before we start, and we’ve learnt how to use our tongue to start each note with a te or de sound, and we’ve been using our ears to listen to rhythms and copy them.”
Tutor2: “If you managed to do all that, you’ve done brilliantly, but you can always watch the videos again at any time, and you can try out things for yourself.”
Tutor1: “Yes, so here’s some homework for you! See what rhythms you can make up. See if you can play quietly. See if you can play loudly, but not too loud – remember we are trying to make music, which means producing nice sounds, not elephant noises!”
Tutor2: “Have a go at our longest note challenge and playing our fun game ‘Don’t copy this one!’”
Tutor1: “and you play along with us on your first tune ‘Rock around the Clock’”
Tutor2: “Have fun and we’ll see you in the next lesson”
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