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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Students as Teachers: Teach Your Family to pPlay with pBone!

With instrumental students at home, they really do have an opportunity to expand their musical prowess.  One way is to teach their siblings, parents or even grandparents how to play an instrument.

True, it’s not the same as having a qualified music teacher providing guidance (but it could lead to that).  The most important reason for encouraging your students to teach is that so music remains as strong and vibrant activity that the entire family enjoys regularly.

Warwick Music Groups makes high quality plastic instruments because they are ideal for beginners of all ages. Much less expensive than “real” brass instruments, pBone, pTrumpet and the like are designed to be musical, durable and affordable.  Plus each of these instruments comes with two mouthpieces, making it even easier to share the experience.

The first lessons are about moving air and making a buzz.  We’ve got a good video on how simple this can be.  Next, students can teach the positions (or fingerings) by using our slide and fingering charts, or by just following the leader. For brass instruments, moving air, creating the buzz, learning fingerings or slide position can be easily taught by someone who already knows how instruments generally work.

Partials (harmonics) can be identified as low, medium, high (and extra high) and practiced together.

The most difficult part of basic instrument learning, arguably, is learning standard notation.  For informal teaching, student can do what horn groups in pop/rock bands generally do.  They don’t necessarily write out every part using regular notation. Instead, they understand the rhythm and line by listening to each other.  Using non-traditional notation, such as Brass Tabs, makes it easier.  Think about guitar tabs.  There’s no rhythm indicated just fret and finger positions.   We’ve got some simple pep and cheer tunes, as well as pop/rock tunes.  Students can even write their own.

Learning on pBuzz, pBone, pTrumpet,  pCornet or for smaller children, pBuzz and pBoneMini makes the adventure fun, accessible and affordable!

Students can be the teachers at home with these example resources:

  1. A pBone (each has two mouthpieces!), or pBuzz, pTrumpet, pCornet
  2.  How to Buzz  - an instruction video for all pInstruments
  3.  Learn the positions or fingerings by following the leader.  Brass Tab Slide Chart
  4.  Learn the partials together (Low, Medium, High, Extra High)
  5. Use songs formatted in Brass Tabs, then write your own.
  6. Practice together.  Record and post for your friends.

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