The Wallace Collection champions creative learning in music education. The introduction of brass instruments to new entrants, from early learners to third age, is embraced by the ensemble through a variety of Discovering Brass projects, scaled to meet the needs of the participants and promoters.

The projects are specifically tailored to each and every setting and the profile of the participants. This enables active engagement; ease of access to instruments; interaction with professional musicians and brass experts; and access to a range of additional educational resources, including bespoke materials created by The Wallace Collection for each setting. Our teaching methods take as their initial inspiration the Brass for Beginners® Natural Trumpet, and its invaluable accompanying student book: Around the World in 21 Trumpets – A Brass Odyssey. This blend of provision enables Discovering Brass to comprehensively introduce and develop a continuing interest in brass playing and its many cross-curricular topics.

Discovering Brass – London

In 2017/18, The Wallace Collection, supported by the London Music Fund, delivered a bespoke 12-week Discovering Brass project involving ninety Year 5 and Year 6 students from three London-based primary schools.  Utilising sets of Brass for Beginners® Natural Trumpets and copies of the Brass for Beginners® ‘Around the World in 21 Trumpets‘ student book, the delivery of the project was adapted for each of the school’s specific logistical, time-tabling and participant needs.  In all instances, the students enjoyed meeting a variety of guest performers and speakers, and the cross-curricular nature of the project was embodied by progressive references to a time-travelling caveman character called Ragnar (devised by the originators of the full Brass for Beginners® brass education programme), who also made an appearance at the project’s finale concert at the Royal Academy of Music.

Working within strict timescales, the project was delivered in parallel to each of the schools on a weekly basis.  Members of The Wallace Collection, international guest musicians, brass instrument history experts, classroom teachers, brass tutors and even Headteachers were interwoven into the delivery.  This all-encompassing approach enabled participants to not only learn the fundamentals of brass playing, but also absorb a broad range of other new topics, helping them to better understand the interdisciplinary nature of music, and specifically brass music throughout history.

This comprehensive project culminated in an unforgettable performance at the Royal Academy of Music.  The finale concert brought together all three primary schools for a collaborative event, alongside The Wallace Collection, guest musicians and actor Karl Davies in the role of Ragnar to narrate the time-travelling programme of music, a production composed specifically for the concert by John Wallace.

Here’s a short summary video of what happened during the 12 week project:

Project Scalability

The scalability of Discovering Brass enables The Wallace Collection to deliver projects in a variety of settings.  Ultimately, the ensemble desires to disseminate the benefits of learning a brass instrument as widely as possible.  So, whatever the scope of project you have in mind, engagement with The Wallace Collection through a Discovering Brass project could be the ideal way for your students to participate in something which enhances their lives.

The success of the London Discovering Brass pilot has enabled The Wallace Collection to adapt many aspects of the delivery model to support a five-year collaborative project beginning in 2020 with University of St Andrews – StAMP (St Andrews Music Paricipation).

Find out more about StAMP and the way in which The Wallace Collection have been able to continue delivering Discovering Brass online during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Please contact us for a chat to find out more about Discovering Brass and how The Wallace Collection may be able to support you and your own enthusiasm to introduce the joys of brass playing to the people you work with – of any age – in your locality.