Trumpet Lessons Winnipeg
You’re an ancient warrior, living near Egypt around 1500 BC. Your region has angered one of the pharaohs, and you fear retribution, but bravely, you stand tall near the borders, on the lookout for the Egyptian army. You don’t see anything at first, but then, a low rumbling; you cup your hand to your ear to hear better. Suddenly, a blast of harmonious noise reaches you from afar; the thunderous sound sends fear through your heart. You’ve heard the clarion call of the trumpeters, and you know the enemy army is upon you. The trumpet, an instrument almost as old as civilization, has long been the herald of great and powerful things to come.
The trumpet has seen myriad variations over the years, having been used to herald the coming of armies as well as the hunt; the instrument and heraldry have gone hand in hand for eons, the sound being used for the coming of great kings and terrible news alike. The trumpet’s resonating, voluminous sound was soon adapted to the orchestra, and the Baroque era is known by some as the golden age of natural trumpet. The natural trumpet had no valves, and was used by Vivaldi, Bach and Handel in the Baroque era, often in passages invoking the divine and sacred; its use in heralding greatness remained a key influence, the instrument soaring over the rest of the orchestra. For some time after this, the trumpet fell out of use, as the range of the instrument was somewhat limited, though technically prodigious players could create notes at the high and low end of the register by changing their lipping. In the early 19th century, the valved trumpet was developed, and this type of trumpet remain in use today.
The trumpet is a brass instrument; this refers both to the material they’re made of (commonly brass), and the way they are played. Sound in the trumpet is produced by the vibration of the lips, rather than by the vibration of a reed or the air, as is seen in woodwind instruments. This is an interesting distinction, because other instruments constructed of brass, like the saxophone, are not consider brass instruments because the vibration of the lips is not the primary method of creating sounds. Valved trumpets feature three, or sometimes four, keys; when the keys are pressed down, valves are closed and the air passes through a longer series of tubes, creating a lower sound. Thus, the sounds created by the trumpeter are a combination of factors: the quality of the trumpeter’s breath, the keys they are pressing down, the vibration of their lips and the movement of their tongues.
The mouth is incredibly important to the trumpeter; brass players often joke that they envy woodwind players, because while the woodwind player can swap out their reed if it’s not working, brass players cannot swap out their chapped lips. This means learning to adapt to different lip conditions and strengthening the lip muscles is incredibly important for a good trumpeter. Trumpeters also vary the speed at which they play notes using the tongue, which is used to control airflow into the instrument. You can try different tonguings yourself, even without a trumpet. Simple tonguing is ta ta ta, double tonguing is ta-ka ta-ka, and triple tonguing is ta-ta-ka ta-ta-ka.
The trumpet is an incredible instrument, it’s voicings flying clearly over almost any other instrument; the clarity and volume it produces make it a wonderful instrument to learn. The trumpet has been used extensively in classical music, especially around the Baroque era; famous examples include Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major and Handel’s Messiah. The repertoire for trumpet as solo instrument, part of a brass ensemble and part of a full orchestra are far too extensive to be listed here.
The trumpet has also been famously used in many modern popular Western compositions. Louis Armstrong is one famous trumpeter who received acclaim in the 20th century. Miles Davis, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, was an incredible trumpeter, and it’s hard to imagine the world of jazz without seminal albums like Birth of the Cool, Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain. Diverse rock and country bands have turned to the trumpet when they need an instrument with punch; Johnny Cash, the White Stripes, Sufjan Stevens and the Cure have all used trumpet in their works, and that subset of musicians is about as diverse as rock gets.
Learning the trumpet, then, means following in the footsteps of some of the greatest musicians of all time. The instrument rewards so much fine tuning of your own body, you’ll get to know yourself in a way you never thought possible. You’ll learn about all of the muscles in your mouth, your lips becoming refined tools for creating beautiful music. You’ll learn cardiovascular endurance as you train your lungs and diaphragm to create the perfect quality of breath, from fast and forceful to slow and prolonged. You’ll learn incredible manual dexterity, too, as you press down the valves just so; jazz music even makes use of half presses to change the colours of the notes you’re playing. You’ll learn to read music and rhythm, to play beautiful pieces. You’ll get in touch with your emotions, learning that every trumpeter has something a little different to bring to the table, their idiosyncrasies becoming unique interpretations of pieces. Children can learn all of this too; in fact, they usually pick up music even faster than their parents, owing in part to their greater neuroplasticity. Emotional and rational intelligence, physical endurance and dexterity, self-love and confidence; these are all lessons you will learn on your trumpeting journey.
We want as few obstacles between you and gaining all of these abilities as possible. That’s why we offer in-home lessons for aspiring trumpeters. When you’re a busy parent, you might not have the time to drive your child to and from music lessons; we come to your home, so you can listen to your child grow and develop musically while you take care of whatever you need to around the house, including caring for yourself. Those without kids will still find our in-home practices marvellous; the home is a comfortable, familiar place, and that can give you the energy you need to go out on a limb and try something new.
You can be a total novice to the trumpet, or an experienced player; no matter where you are, we have courses for you. For new players, we offer Hal Leonard’s Essential Elements; we love this course because it teaches across a variety of media, including written work, mp3s and videos, so no matter how you learn, there’s something you’ll enjoy. The course takes you through the fundamentals of music theory and technique, each part compounding on the last until you can play along with the band. Royal Conservatory of Music courses are also offered; aspiring professional musicians know that completing the rigorous Royal Conservatory courses and exams puts them on the path to professional playing, and our teachers will ensure that you have all the skills needed to pass the exam. We’re also more than happy to customize; our instructors can personalize a program of study that best suits the needs of the student, whether it is to get a head start with a school band program, to reinforce and supplement a current school band program, to prepare for a university music program or just for fun! Let the sound of your soul resonate above the noise; join us, and learn the trumpet.