The natural trumpet is an ideal pedagogical tool for both teaching and learning the fundamentals of brass playing because it limits the variables. It puts the focus on the development of fundamental techniques and aural skills, which are critical for success on all modern brass instruments. Furthermore, its simplicity and approachability makes it an ideal teaching/learning tool for brass players and non-brass players alike.
Benefits for Beginners
The benefits of learning the basics on the natural trumpet are numerous:
- The absence of valves/slides limits distractions, helping students focus on the fundamentals of sound production, articulation, and navigation of the harmonic series.
- Limiting the sound palate to the naturally occurring harmonic series helps students hear and navigate important intervallic relationships which are inherent to all brass instruments.
- The natural trumpet is an extremely effective tool for a “learn by ear” approach which helps students to develop the aural skills critical for overall musical development.
- The natural trumpet is particularly effective in group instruction. Having students “on the same page,” in the same key, with the same instruments, allows for more efficient and in-depth work on pedagogical issues such as embouchure formation, breathing, and articulation. Furthermore, having students on a level playing field in a classroom setting promotes the development of group awareness and ensemble skills.
- Because all notes in the middle and lower register of the natural trumpet form consonant (non-dissonant) intervals, students can play whichever notes are most comfortable at first, giving them an opportunity to gain confidence in sound production while they develop the more precise skills necessary to match specific pitches.
Hear what teachers have to say about using the natural trumpet to teach beginning brass