Pedagogy

The Brass for Beginners® curriculum provides strategies and resources for teaching the fundamentals.

I. "How to Play a Bison Horn"

The first chapter of "Around the World in Twenty-One Trumpets" lays out a framework for learning the basics of sound production on a brass instrument. The Teacher's Edition offers numerous strategies to help students build healthy playing habits at the outset.  

II. Practice Cave

The "Practice Cave" is where students develop fundamental techniques and learn to play various musical forms as they are introduced through Ragnar's adventures. The Teacher's Edition presents a wide range of ideas to help with the development of sound production, articulation, and navigation of the harmonic series.

III. "Learning-by-ear"

The BfB Methodology uses a "lear-by-ear" approach to jump-start the development of critical aural skills. Students learn by listening to their classroom teacher, or by using "Listen & Play" online sound files. All musical exercises and pieces also appear in musical notation for students who know how to read music or are visual learners.

IV. Teaching Tips

The Teacher's Edition provides ongoing pedagogical advice, empowering teachers to help their students overcome various challenges as they develop their skills.

V. Learn with BfB Artists

In addition to learning by hearing the tone quality and music characteristics of the world-class brass artists who have recorded for each "Practice Cave" chapter, many BfB artists have also recorded "Welcome to My Practice Cave!" videos in which issues of brass pedagogy are discussed.

VI. The history of lip-blown instruments

The history and development of lip-blown instruments offers some interesting clues about how to play brass instruments. For example: this piece of Greek pottery depicting a female Amazon warrior playing a salpinx is surrounded by a series of syllables. These could represent the use of the tongue to initiate the sound, and the use of tongue position to move the sound up and down to different partials.