Play BRASS and Feel Amazing!
Imagine that exciting moment when you have chosen your favourite instrument, had a few lessons and begin to read music and play your first few notes. Then comes the day of your first rehearsal. All of a sudden you become one voice in a massive bubble of sound. Incredible!
Playing brass opens a world of opportunity
Playing a brass instrument is a super creative and fulfilling experience for people of all ages and demographics. You can play brass in bands, orchestras, jazz and stage bands - in shows, or even feature as a brass soloist. Beware - it will be LOUD and so much FUN! Many children learn to play at school, and it's never too late for adults to find a passion for music in their community bands and orchestras.
What skills will you learn?
- how to develop your mouth position [embouchure]
- extend your breath control and support
- learn about rhythm and how to stay in time
- develop pitch awareness and extend your range
- improve your memory
- become great at multi-tasking as you juggle mulitple tasks all at once
- improve tone and control so you sound great
- and enjoy all of the new creative sounds you’re making
You’ll learn to play in lessons, attend rehearsals and eventually perform. You’ll find yourself listening better as you experience playing in time with others - watching your conductor, and how to balance your volume and blend with your band.
Be patient and allow yourself to learn
Now when you’re just a beginner and in a training band, the sound is not going to be incredible just yet. This is just ground zero. You’re allowed to make mistakes - and these usually loud on brass instruments, so loud and proud is the way to go.
Playing in front of other people can be a little scary at first – however, once you’ve done this a few times with friendly audiences, your confidence will begin to grow. It’s especially wonderful when you hear that rise of applause and people cheering you on. What a great way to impress friends and family and have a sense of personal achievement. You’ll also learn that perfection doesn’t always happen and that the real goal is the journey. Any mistakes you make along the way are simply the pathway to improvement.
Is learning to play brass really that good?
It’s been my privilege to conduct bands over many years, so I'm already a big fan. Here is what Sam's Grandpa had to say:
"What a great band you have created. I have been to nearly all their performances and was amazed as to how well they improved over the year. It’s been a JOY"
Here is what Mum Nina had to say after Showcase performance with our beginner band:
"My Year 4 son performed for the first time in the Junior Band, and we all nearly cried when they pulled it together and performed as a proper band. I think it will do a huge amount for their morale now they know they really can do it"
How to Start Learning
My Dad conducted a brass band so it was almost inevitable that I was going to learn to play. But learning music for most people is 'way out of comfort zone'. The story I hear most from parents is that they really don't know anything
about music or bands, or how to get started. How do you even know which instrument is right for you?
Let the right instrument choose YOU
Wise words from my friend Debbie English [an amazing hornist, conductor and teacher]. She’s absolutely spot on!
BLOW TESTS: Bands often run ‘blow tests’ to help students find the instrument that suits them best, while keeping in mind all the different instruments they need to make a well balanced ensemble. Yes - ‘Blow Test’ is a weird name, and Blow Tests are a noisy place. You’ll see tutors inspiring prospective students to play all the various instruments, and testing them according to their aptitude.
They will check your:
- face shape
- body size
- musical ear
- your favourite musical styles
Grab every second to try things out and actually BLOW. You’ll see a frenzy of cleaning as mouthpieces are dipped into sterile solutions, as people moving from one instrument to another exploring all the different sounds and ways they can blow. This is the time to ask all of your questions, and just be patient and kind to yourself as you try all these instruments for the first time.
What if you want to learn an instrument that is too big?
Some of the larger instruments have diferent options so children can learn. For French Horn start on a small single horn [I like the F horn to start, but others use Bb, and both are fine]. For trombone, slide e
xtenders help until your arms grow longer.
How to find an instrument and start learning?
You will need your own instrument so you can learn to play and practice. Just remember, if you buy a cheap and cheerful instrument, you may not sound so great and have repair issues that cost you more. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
RENT: A lot of schools offer rentals, and this can be a great way to try out your new instrument. After a few months you’ll get the hang of how the instrument works and how to play it, and how you like it. If you LOVE it, later you can buy a better model and sound even better.
RENT TO BUY: Anther option is rent to buy plans from music stores. At least you're paying off an instrument while you rent!
BUY: You can always sell your instrument if it's a decent brand and well cared for. We've seen a LOT of dents and stuck mouthpieces as young children learn to take care of their instruments, and this will also affect the resale value. You can buy new or buy a second hand instrument from other students who are upgrading.
Start Lessons with a Fantastic Brass Tutor
Next it’s time to start beginner brass lessons in a small group or in individual lessons. It's super important to set up a solid technique with an expert tutor so you learn to play correctly from the start
Good playing habits mean fast, frustration-free progress and ease in playing.
Bad habits limit what you’ll be able to do, and you may crumble in more challenging music. This can be frustrating and damage confidence.
You wouldn't bellieve how many people get the basics wrong and make playing so much harder..
At StandOut Music, we teach students to play with a solid technique in a range of musical styles right from the start. Aim for strength though a relaxed but active body posture, well balanced mouth position [embouchure], finger and hand positions and of course how to breath and blow correctly.
Step One is to
- play and read your first five notes
- coordinate breathing with buzzing
- start developing a great sound
- learn the first 5 basic rhythms
- how to subdivide beats
- learn basic scales and arpeggios
- tonguing and slurring
- and how to play melodies while counting
We love to mix technical skill with good music that fits your level with challenge, so we often play solo with backing tracks and piano accompaniment, and sight-read duets together. FUN!
When you're a little more advanced, the question of taking exams may pop up. Exams are not for everyone, but many students and parents love this incentive to practice, overcome nerves and gain confidence They can also help you keep up in band and progress at your fastest learning speed. Bands have auditions for section leaders too - even band captains, so if excellence is on your radar, exams may be an option for you.
Preparation is Key for Success
We set up our year with a strategic Calendar of Events to help students achieve for top results and give everyone playing fun to the MAX. These events help you practice performing and keep you on track for success and buzzing with excitement, and range from workshops, masterclasses and mock exams to the FUN of Sing For Your Supper, Showcase Concerts and Soirees :)
Lessons in the Studio and Online
At StandOut Music, we offer:
- French Horn Lessons
- Trumpet Lessons
- Trombone Lessons
- Euphonium and Tuba Lessons
Learning with others in a small group is a super effective way to start, usually limited to 3 students per group for beginner brass lessons. It’s fun and you’ll meet friends just like you who are discovering the amazing world of music. We recommend a practice schedule for all group beginners to stay on track and understand all the concepts you’ve learned.
You may prefer individual private lessons where you have the full attention of your teacher for the entire lesson. These are great for students who want to progress fast with excellence.
We offer lessons:
- In the Studio
- Online brass lessons
- Individual and Small Group Lessons
- Beginner Brass lessons
- All Ages, Styles and Levels
- 30-45-60 mins
Confidence happens when you’re consistent, so we book lessons weekly following the school terms. Enquire HERE!
One-off lessons are also available on application, or we sometimes work out a flexible arrangement just for you, like home-schoolers who learn online but come in person once per month,
At StandOut, we pride ourselves on the care support our students receive, and the positive learning hub and supportive community we nuture. We meet every week to find ways to better serve your musical learning experience.
All students have access to our learning portal, calendar, resources [backings, sheet music, masterclasses, lesson notes and updates],with the option to message us directly for support.
Prices start at $30 for 30 minute group lessons, both online and in the studio. What are you waiting for?
Get in touch and start strumming in no time! Book your introductory lesson NOW