Brass for Beginners

Click here to visit the Brass for Beginners blogsite.

Brass for Beginners is an innovative method utilizing the natural trumpet to teach the fundamentals of brass playing. Developed by Chris Hasselbring, faculty member at the Music Institute of Chicago, and Jack Hasselbring, Director of Instrumental Music at Holland Brook School in New Jersey, the Brass for Beginners (BFB) curriculum has been used to teach group classes in the Evanston, Chicago, and New Jersey public schools. The goal of BFB residencies is to offer a head-start to 3rd or 4th graders, preparing students for success in their public school instrumental music programs. With the generous support of the Music Institute of Chicago, the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, and the Mount Olive Education Foundation Grant (NJ), the BFB curriculum has been used to teach group classes since 2007. The method has also been used effectively to start young players in private lessons. Additionally, natural trumpets have been used as a pedagogical tool for students at intermediate and advanced levels at the Music Institute of Chicago, where natural trumpet ensembles have been formed to showcase 18th and 19th century trumpet ensemble repertoire. Learning the natural trumpet has something to offer students, amateurs, and professionals alike, and it is our hope that Brass for Beginners will not only provide a new and fun way for young players to learn brass playing, but also will help promote the widespread use of natural trumpets. In pursuit of this goal, we have partnered with a U.S. manufacturer to develop a redesigned low cost natural trumpet, and we plan to make these instruments and the BFB method book available  in 2013.

BFB students in Evanston, IL
MIC Natural Trumpet Ensembles at the 2009 Chicago Brass Festival

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