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!

Big Gig Newcastle 2023

Students from Wellfield Middle joined nearly 2000 other pupils from local Primary and Middle Schools at the Big Gig Newcastle 2023 held at the Vertu Motors Arena on Scotswood Road, home to the mighty Newcastle Eagles Basketball team, last Wednesday 21st June.

With a rock band playing a selection of 1980s songs, we played and sang along. Wellfield’s brass band and the guitar group all had a fantastic time. After a full morning’s rehearsal, family members were allowed in to hear a great run-through performance of all the songs:
Never Gonna Give You Up; Girls Just Wanna Have Fun; Don’t Stop Believin’; (Working) Nine to Five; Summer of ’69; Ghostbusters!; Eye of the Tiger; Livin’ on a Prayer; Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.

Rock on Wellfield!

Wellfield Music Event

Our wonderful little brass band at Wellfield Middle School took part in an amazing music concert at the School on 25th May. Music teacher Mrs Gibson did a brilliant job of organising the event and leading the brass band and choir.

The band played: Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley; Never Gonna to Give You Up by Rick Astley; and Mamma Mia by Abba; the last a joint performance with some of the choir. Great playing and lots of fun. Very proud parents, family and teachers!

Wellfield Middle School

We are delighted to be starting a new after school brass band club at Wellfield Middle School.
Seven children from year 5 attended the first session on Monday (Halloween!) and we hope to have a few more next week. The children have been learning to play pocket trumpets with Miss Gibson, the Curriculum Lead for Music, as part of their “whole class” musical instrument tuition.

However, five of them immediately wanted to try the trombone, which caused a slight problem as we’d only taken four trombones along!
We’re looking forward to a great half term, hopefully with a performance in school at the end of term!

Apple Pie Blues

Our latest composition is “Apple Pie Blues”!

We think it’s a good exercise to help learn simple note rhythms using names of delicious desserts, e.g. “Ap-ple Pie” for 2 quavers and a crotchet; “Blue-ber-ry Muf-fin” for a triplet and 2 quavers; “Wa-ter-me-lon Slice” for 4 semi-quavers and a crotchet; etc.

Click here to take a look in our Sheet Music Pages: Apple Pie Blues

Back to Backworth!

After an absence of over 2 years due to the covid-19 pandemic, we have returned to Backworth Park Primary School!

Nine enthusiatic students have started their journey to learn to play a brass musical instrument, and whether that is a long journey or a fairly short one, we hope they have lots of fun and that is opens up a lifetime of enjoyment of music.

So far, we’ve learnt to get a sound and copy simple rhythms on one notes. We’ve also learnt how to play the notes C, D, E, F and G, and next week we are going to have a go at “We Will Rock You” by the band Queen: F.. E.. D.. C.. D-D, clap, stomp, stomp, clap!

Marden Bridge Middle School

North Tyneside Brass in Schools is delighted to be back helping children learn to play brass music at Marden Bridge Middle School in Whitley Bay.

Our volunteer tutor Gavin is helping Music Teacher Andrew Griffiths with his after school brass group on Mondays.

The mixed group of children are playing cornets, trombones and euphonium!

We’ve been able to share our fun warm up “We Will Rock You” and this week we had a go at “Rock Around the Clock”.

Andy is also a brass player, on Euphonium, and currently conducts Jayess Newbiggin Brass Band, where Gavin is playing Bass Trombone!

We hope to be back in more schools very soon!