A ukulele in a brass band?

We started the new year at Backworth Park Primary by demonstrating our cornets and trombones to all years 3, 4, 5 and 6. A total of 12 volunteers bravely got up in front of everyone and had a go at one. Now we have 18 new members of our brass group that meets every Tuesday after school!

To demonstrate how to make the sound that comes out of a brass instrument, we started with a ukulele! How do we make a sound with a ukulele? Answer: we pluck a string, the string vibrates very fast (in a blur) and makes the air around it vibrate.

The room is full of air. We can’t see it but we can feel it if we wave our hands about or the wind blows. Billions and billions of tiny molecules of gas, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other gases, vibrate and a wave of sound travels out across the room like ripples on a pond when you throw stone into it.

The sound wave reaches our ears and makes our ear drum vibrate. The ear drum is a tiny membrane just like the surface of a drum. When the vibration reaches it, signals travel from the ear along nerves into our brain and we hear sound! Which when you think of it is absolutely amazing and mind blowing!

We pluck the string, it vibrates and makes the air around it vibrate sending a sound wave across the room to our ear and into our brain. BUT … cornets and trombones don’t have strings! So how do we make sound with a brass instrument? With our lips by buzzing!


Did you know that sound cannot travel through space because there is no air in space and nothing to vibrate. But sound can travel through a wall, the ground or your body!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *