"Music for Everyone, All Ages "
1515 WARREN STREET, (NORTHSHORE) PITTSBURGH, PA 15212-3332
(412) 322-0520                                             info@KikuchiMusic.com
                                                                     Founder: Lee W. Kikuchi

NEW STUDENT TUTORIAL
INFO FOR PARENTS

Studying Voice

INSTRUMENTS

BRASS INSTRUMENTS

(Why piano first?)

Below are listed the brass instruments KMI offers for private study. As with wood winds, brass players have the added advantage of being part of either a symphonic orchestra or a band, but usually in smaller numbers for the orchestra. As the KMI faculty grow, we will be able to offer more brass instruments. In High School, the marching band is often the most prestigious performing ensemble. All these instruments are also capable of performing as featured solists, but the added ability of participating in a large group performance creates many opportunities and substantial fulfillment for the student during the Middle School and High School years. In addition, there are infinite possible combinations for these instruments as chamber music (smaller groups), such as trios, quartets, wind quintet (wood winds plus french horn), etc. (For an understanding of a student's pathways to other musical activities such as orchestra, band or choir, see ELEMENTARY DEVELOPMENT. See STRING ENSEMBLES descriptions of available prestigious orchestras brass players may also join.)

[If you are a brass instrument teacher, see RECRUITMENT for information on becoming a faculty member at KMI.]

TRUMPET: The trumpet is the brass equivalent of the violin - it is the most popular, it is the "soprano" (highest) instrument and it is an important soloist for the band or orchestra. Any student age 9 or older may begin trumpet lessons. Students under age 9 may begin trumpet lessons with 2 years prior musical study (preferrably piano) and a recommendation from their current music teacher. Because the trumpet is the most popular of the brass instruments, the competition to gain entrance into bands and orchestras, as well as music schools is much more fierce than for other brass instruments. Often over a two dozen applicants audition for only 2 to 3 positions! If your child is considering trumpet simply because that is the instrument she/he knows about, strongly encourage your child to consider another brass instrument simply to allow for less competition and more opportunities in life. CLEF: trumpet music is written ONLY in the treble clef.

FRENCH HORN: The French horn is the "alto-tenor" instrument of the brass family. Any student age 9 or older may begin French horn lessons. Students under age 9 may begin French horn lessons with 2 years prior musical study (preferrably piano) and a recommendation from their current music teacher. Many brass students begin lessons on trumpet, then switch to another brass instrument once they become aware of their existence. Others select their instrument (French horn) specifically from the beginning. The typical orchestra or band has four or five French horn players, because French horn music often consists of rich chords - the foundation of musical harmony. The lead French hornist is also responsible for horn solos. CLEF: french horn music is written only in the treble clef.

EUPHONIUM: (also "baritone") The euphonium is the "tenor" instrument of the brass family. Whereas it is a strong member of the brass band and marching band, the euphonium is rarely present in orchestral music. The euphonium is also called the "tenor tuba", and can be a good starter instrument for students considering tuba (which requires mature breath control and stature). Any student age 9 or older may begin euphonium lessons. Students under age 9 may begin euphonium lessons with 2 years prior musical study (preferrably piano) and a recommendation from their current music teacher. Many brass students begin lessons on trumpet, then switch to another brass instrument once they become aware of their existence. Others select their instrument (euphonium) specifically from the beginning. The typical brass or marching band has three or more euphonium/baritone players, often of different sizes/ranges. Since euphonium is rarely required for orchestra music, symphonic orchestras either rely upon crossover abilities (tubist plays the euphonium) or sub-out the part (hire an outside musician). CLEF: Euphonium music is written in the bass clef and baritone music is written in the treble clef.

TROMBONE: The trombone is the "tenor-bass" instrument of the brass family, and is very recognizable to children because of the "slider". Ability to play trombone does depend on the child's size, as reaching all the slider positions can be difficult for smaller children. Any student age 9 or older may begin trombone lessons. Students under age 9 may begin trombone lessons with 2 years prior musical study (preferrably piano) and a recommendation from their current music teacher. Many brass students begin lessons on trumpet, then switch to another brass instrument once they become aware of their existence. Others select their instrument (trombone) specifically from the beginning. The typical orchestra or band has two to four trombone players, and one may be a "bass trombone". Playing tenor or bass trombone is similar enough to each other that many trombonists learn to do both - but eventually decide to focus on one or the other. CLEF: trombone music is written primarily in the bass clef, then sometimes in the tenor clef or treble clef for high notes.

NOT YET OFFERED: Tuba or Sousaphone.

(Once you have choosen an instrument, see GETTING AN INSTRUMENT for information about renting or buying.)

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