The Chicago-based organisation Brass for Beginners® have created a brass programme aimed specifically at the primary school classroom. It is a “learn by ear” method, delivering a cross-disciplinary curriculum and utilising the Brass for Beginners® Natural Trumpet – a polymer natural trumpet, robustly designed for school-age children.
The first volume of the curriculum, Around the World in Twenty-One Trumpets: A Brass Odyssey, is a book which creatively intertwines brass pedagogy with stories that capture significant moments in the history of the trumpet. It also provides a progressive pathway for learning to play the instrument, with valuable links to additional online resources such as the ‘Practice Cave’.
Created by music and history educators, it brings human history and the history of lip-blown instruments to life through the adventures of Ragnar, a hypothetical prehistoric trumpeter.
The curriculum puts the focus on the fundamentals of playing and the development of aural skills, while simultaneously preparing students to play any of the modern brass instruments. Students learn either by listening to their classroom teacher or by playing with online sound files, recorded by some of the world’s best brass players.