Preservation Hall Lessons – Trumpet Technique with Preservation Hall Trumpeter Kevin Louis

Trumpet Technique

  • INSTRUCTION
  • MEDIA
GRADE: 9-12
SUBJECT: Band
GENRE: Traditional Jazz
TOPIC: Trumpet
DISCIPLINE: Harmonizing Instruments

DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students will be introduced to New Orleans techniques for performing on the Trumpet. Students will demonstrate how to incorporate the functions and techniques into their performance. 

 

OBJECTIVES

  • Students will be able to demonstrate body posture, hand positioning, and embouchure techniques. 
  • Students will be able to demonstrate techniques for warming up on the Trumpet.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate proper functions and techniques for playing New Orleans music.

 

STANDARDS

National Core Arts Standards

Music – Harmonizing Instruments, Anchor Standard 5: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
Music – Harmonizing Instruments, Anchor Standard 6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

 

INSTRUCTOR NOTES

Students should have knowledge of an instrument and an understanding of the lines and spaces on the musical staff. Teachers should review the lesson resources, media, and websites prior to launching the lesson.

 

MATERIALS

 

INTRODUCTION

  1. Tell students that in order to develop a full tone on the Trumpet they must adopt proper instrument techniques. The “Getting Ready” techniques are posture, embouchure, and hand positioning. 

 

  1. Display slide 3 on the presentation, Trumpet Technique, to demonstrate and define posture, embouchure, and hand positioning for students. Posture is the proper way to sit in your chair. Tell students they should have their feet flat on the floor, back straight-up, seated on the edge of the chair, and chin up and parallel to the floor. Embouchure is the way you position your mouth, lips around the mouthpiece. For the Trumpet your lips should be centered with the mouthpiece hole. Hand positioning is the placement of your hands and fingers on the Trumpet. Starting with your left hand, wrap it around the valve casing of the Trumpet. With your right hand, place your right thumb under the thumb rest with your fingers resting on the valves (some Trumpets have a pinky rest). Elbows outward or away from the body. 

 

  1. Reinforce the selection of a mouthpiece with students. Tell students the mouthpiece is designed in several sizes, but size 7C is recommended. A person’s body structure and lip shape may help in determining the best mouthpiece fit.

 

  1. Allow time for students to practice the techniques. Facilitate through the room providing feedback to students.

 

APPLICATION

  1. Seat students in a circle, with the instructor in the center. Tell students they are going to practice making sound with their mouthpiece, prior to inserting it into the receiver. Model and explain to students how to use the technique of “Buzzing.” Apply the mouthpiece to your lips, lips firm and centered but slightly relaxed, firm chin (flat and pointed), breathe into the diaphragm by inhaling through the sides of your mouth, then commence to FIRMLY buzz with and without the mouthpiece. 

 

  1. Display the “Trumpet Anatomy” slide on page 4 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique, to review the anatomy of the Trumpet while students. Have students gently insert the mouthpiece into the Trumpet. 

 

  1. Once the students have their Trumpet ready, review the posture, embouchure, and hand position techniques. Allow time for students to get into position.

 

  1. Display the “Warm Up” slide on page 5 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique. Tell students they are now ready to make a sound. Model and explain to students how to warm up. Warm-up with Long Tones: one breath, soft to loud, and loud to soft. 

 

  1. After students are warmed up, introduce the Traditional New Orleans Jazz melody techniques. Display the “Functions and Techniques” slide on page 6 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique. New Orleans musicians are known for implementing the following instrument functions in Traditional Jazz. 
    • Melody: The Trumpet leads the band by embellishing the melody. The Trumpeter embellishes the melody by improvising, yet staying close to the melody. Display slide 7 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique, to review the Trumpet Melody in The Front Line.
    • Song Form: The Trumpeteer should know the arrangement of a song. Display slide 8 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique, to hear why Song Form is a key technique used in New Orleans Traditional Jazz.
    • Inflections: The Trumpet places emphasis on a musical note. Display slide 9 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique, to see an example of New Orleans style Inflections
    • Listening: A technique used by Trumpeteers to identify the melody. Display 10 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique, to hear why Listening is a key technique used in New Orleans Traditional Jazz.
    • Improvisation: The Trumpet and other horns solo as a group. Display 11 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique, to hear how a Trumpet uses Improvisation in New Orleans Traditional Jazz.
    • Scales: The Scales are musical notes arranged in a specific order. The Trumpet “directs traffic” within the band so the Trumpeteer must know the Scales. Display slide 12 of the presentation, Trumpet Technique, to hear why knowing your Scales is important in New Orleans Traditional Jazz.

 

  1. Have students practice the functions and techniques of Traditional Jazz. Allow students time to practice at home and rehearse at school. 

 

EVALUATION 

  1. Assess students’ knowledge of New Orleans Trumpet techniques. Have students demonstrate posture, embouchure, hand positioning, warming up, leading the melody, and embellishing a melody by improvisation.

 

ATTRIBUTIONS

Used with permission. Portions of this work are based on the National Core Arts Standards Copyright © 2015 National Coalition for Core Arts Standards/All Rights Reserved – Rights Administered by SEADAE.

Louis Ford, Curriculum Developer and Music Artist Liaison
JoDee Scissors, Editor and Content Curator

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