Learn to play a Brass Instrument.........Now Online!

Alan Holford. Specialist teacher, musician, conductor & Ensemble trainer

Learn to play a Brass Instrument.........Now Online!

Alan Holford. Specialist teacher, musician, conductor & Ensemble trainer


New Beginners lessons Q & A

Learn to play Brass Instruments
Learn to play Brass Instruments

Information for New Beginners 

What instruments can I play?

Click below to find out further information on the instrument you have chosen to play or need help with your choice.

 Trumpet/Cornet    French Horn/Tenor Horn    Trombone    Baritone/Euphonium/Tuba

About Brass Instruments generally

Brass instruments are made up of lengths of tube of different size and shape. Sound is made in a similar way on all of them. Each has a mouthpiece at one end and a bell at the other end. Once a sound is produced different notes can be made by shortening or lengthening the lengths of tube in the instrument by pressing down valves and by altering the firmness of the lips in the mouthpiece.

How do you make a sound?

The mouthpiece is placed over the top of the lips. As the player exhales air through the instrument(like cooling a hot drink or making a candle flicker) relaxed lips vibrate the air which produces a sound. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO BLOW HARD! Beginning to play a brass instrument takes no more air than singing or talking. It can take up to four weeks to produce a sound, but it is a knack that young players often acquire very quickly. Once achieved simple tunes of three or more notes can be learnt relatively quickly.(First sounds Video~coming soon!)

What age can I start?

It is never too late in life to learn to play a brass instrument and join bands and orchestras. School children aged 8 or in year 4 at primary school can start to play. It is desirable for young players to have second front teeth before starting. Due to the size of the instruments young starters need to be tall and strong enough to support the weight and reach of their chosen instrument. Those aspiring to play the larger heavier brass instruments sometimes start on one of the smaller instruments, like Cornet or Trumpet, then progress to the larger instruments at an appropriate stage of physical development.

Do I need to provide an instrument?

Yes! It may be possible to borrow an instrument from school or a local band. Alternatively, you can hire an instrument to see if you like it before going to the expense of buying one of your own. Instruments can be hired from County Music Hubs or instrument shops. Click here to contact me for more information. 

Do I need to be able to read music?

Not to begin with. The first taster and block of four lessons are done without music then you will learn to read music as you learn to play thereafter. 

What else will I need to purchase?

Once you have your instrument,  you do not need to buy anything else for the first few weeks' lessons. After that you will need to purchase a suitable music stand and tutor book from which to learn to play.

Do I need to practise? 

Yes, you will need to practise making your initial sound for just a few minutes three of four times a day. Once you can make a sound, then to make the most of your lessons a beginner will normally practise for 20 minutes at least five days each week. Try to build your practise time into your daily schedule and increase the time you spend as your stamina and skill grow. 

Are lessons available in Schools?

At  this time all lessons in schools, colleges and private homes are suspended due to COVID-19. Lessons are currently only available ONLINE over Zoom. About Zoom lessons online.

Whats on offer and what is the cost?

FREE taster lesson (Online only!)

New beginners receive one FREE taster lesson on their first instrument of choice only up to maximum 30min duration. The lesson provides an opportunity to meet me and acquire information on the first steps along with setting up Zoom and your workspace at home. Click here for more information on Zoom

Your next four lessons for the price of three.(Online only!)

After your FREE taster lesson, enjoy a further block of four lessons for the price of three. These lessons are paid in advance and non-refundable should you stop before the end of your fourth lesson. 

After this initial try-out period beginners are advised to have regular lesson. These are arranged on a week by week basis with payment due for lessons received at the end of each calendar month. The charge for each 20min lesson is £12.00 and for a 30min lesson £18.00. Further terms and conditions apply. Click here for full T&Cs