Brass instruments are played by creating a "buzz" with the lips and blowing into the instrument. The pitch is changed by using valves or slides to change the length of the tube.
» Most brass students start out on one of the 4 core brass instruments: trumpet, the trombone, the french horn, and the tuba. There are many other brass instruments like euphonium, cornet, and sousaphone that are used in orchestral and band music.
» One of the hardest parts of learning a brass instrument for beginners is the embouchure (creating a buzz with your lips).
» Learning a brass instrument can be physically challenging for young children (7 or younger). See our F.A.Q. section below for our advice on starting out a young child in brass lessons.
MEET THE TEACHER
Wes is a young multi-instrumentalist who has played professionally with many artists and groups including Caged Birds and Outlier. Wes also has extensive experience with brass instruments and has been heavily involved in marching bands throughout his life. He has a degree in Music Pedagogy (The Method of Teaching) from Birmingham-Southern College and has been teaching private music lessons for several years.
about brass instrument lessons at NOLA School of Music
WHAT IS A GOOD AGE TO START LEARNING A BRASS INSTRUMENT?
Unlike string instruments like violin, there are not smaller sizes of brass instruments made for children. Because of this, some younger children will have difficulty playing a brass instrument because of physical limitations. 6-7 is typically a good age to start.
If your child is too young to start on a brass instrument, your brass teacher will have your child start out on piano, learning the basics of music and then transition them to the trumpet, trombone, french horn, or tuba when they grow into it. Knowing how to read music and having a little experience playing music will give your child a HUGE head start when they start to learn a brass instrument!
WHICH BRASS INSTRUMENT THE EASIEST TO START OUT ON?
It depends. For some students, making a sound on a smaller mouthpiece (like the trumpet) will come more naturally to them, but for others, a larger mouthpiece like the trombone will be easier. If you're undecided about which instrument you'd like to learn, your teacher will help you figure out the best brass instrument for you based on your physical features.
For a young student, there may be some physical limitations to consider: a larger instrument like the tuba will difficult (or impossible!) for a child to hold and a trombone requires a longer arm to be able to extend the slide completely.
WILL I NEED TO BUY AN INSTRUMENT?
Yes. We do not provide instruments for our students to take home, so you will need to purchase or rent an instrument.
We have a limited number of brass instruments available for rent to our students. Let us know if you're interested in renting when you sign up for lessons and we'll let you know what's available!
If you don't have your brass instrument yet, don't worry! We actually recommend coming in for your first lesson before you buy an instrument, so Wes can help you know what to look for and where to shop.
30-minute lessons are our most popular option at NOLA School of Music. They are ideal for beginners and children who don't have enough material (or the attention span) for a longer lesson.
60-minute weekly lessons are great for adults or intermediate/advanced students. An hour lesson gives your teacher plenty of time to focus on technique, sight-reading, improvisation, and other aspects of music without being rushed.
For many students, 45-minute weekly lessons are the perfect sweet spot. Since 45-minute lessons are difficult to schedule, they may only be available during early afternoon hours or late evening.