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First Lesson for the Beginner Trumpet Player

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Many band directors extend their employment beyond the classroom to the private studio. Often in a private studio, you are teaching all levels of musician. In this article, we will identify a recommended 30-minute first-time trumpet lesson for a beginner. Teaching components include creating student rapport, dealing with cases, identifying the parts of a trumpet, learning the trumpet embouchure, and developing quality trumpet tone.

Create Rapport

Start every lesson with a friendly greeting. As the educator, you want the student to feel comfortable working with you in an enclosed room. Be sure to create a good rapport by establishing some common interests. Next, develop a series of goals that you and the student agree to build. Keep the working environment positive and a safe space for all parties involved. Positive experiences usually result in repeat lessons.

Trumpet Case

Cases are a valuable part of a trumpet players arsenal. The case protects the trumpet from being damaged from external objects. Cases come in different sizes, colors, and hardnesses. Every trumpet player must have a trumpet case.

Trumpet cases have clear value; however, beginner trumpet players should understand how they should be used. Most musicians understand that cases protect their instrument. However, they do not understand every item relating to their instrument should be in the case. Equipment that the case is not designed to hold could potentially take up valuable space and bend the instrument. As a result, the trumpet will not be able to perform appropriately.

In a lesson, trumpet cases should be emptied and closed. Their placement should be on the side of the student’s chair or underneath it. Cases should never have someone sitting on them because the weight could shift and bend the instrument that the trumpet case is trying to protect.

Parts of the Trumpet

Next, introduce the different parts of the trumpet. Start with the mouthpiece. Be sure that the beginner trumpet player understands that sound is a result of the buzz within the mouthpiece.

Next, introduce the mouthpiece receiver. Insert the mouthpiece into the instrument. The mouthpiece receiver connects to the lead pipe which sends the vibrating air stream through the rest of the trumpet.

The lead pipe and the main tuning slide connect to the trumpet’s valves. Valves, in addition to the mouthpiece, enable the horn to change notes. The valves push air through extra tubing and allow the trumpet player to play notes beyond the natural overtone series.

The top valve cap is part of the valve system. This part is where trumpet players can comfortably press the valves for activation and help keep them aligned.

Sequentially, the finger rings are the parts of the trumpet. Knowing how to use these can set an amateur apart from a professional trumpet player. The three rings include:

  • Pinky Ring
  • First Valve Ring
  • Third Valve Ring

Continuing along the length of the trumpet, at its end, is the bell. The bell is where the air and vibrations come out of the instrument. These instruments are known for their bell’s flare and come in different sizes.

The trumpet also includes water keys, where performers release collected condensation. Water keys are at the front end of the instrument.

Finally, the trumpet would not sound in tune if it did not have the main tuning slide, first valve slide, second valve slide, and third valve slide. All parts of a trumpet are necessary for proper performing opportunities.

Trumpet Embouchure

To learn the trumpet embouchure start with the mouthpiece first, start by saying the letter “M.” When the “M” vibrates to an “mmm” sound, stop. Hold this position with the lips and blow through the lips creating a buzzing sound. At first, this lip position my seem odd but will feel more natural with additional practice. Beginner trumpet players will need to understand that this is the basic lip position and trumpet embouchure when playing the trumpet.

Trumpet Tone

Next, the teacher needs to discuss with the beginner trumpet player about how to create a sound and why a quality tone is so important. Ask the student what they know about creating a quality tone. Typically, beginners won’t understand much.

Any explanation should be kept simple and emphasize that air is necessary to create an excellent trumpet tone. The teacher should demonstrate by modeling how to blow through the mouthpiece. Above all, emphasize that fast airspeed is needed. Have the student echo your movements. Do this several times, back and forth between the student and teacher. Do this first just with air then buzz, continuing to stress fast air.

Next, have the student connect the mouthpiece with the trumpet. If the student is using fast-moving air, then buzzing should naturally occur. As a result, a sound on the trumpet will occur.

I would recommend that student trumpet players buzz, however, on a limited basis. I recommend that student musicians buzz no longer than 2-3 minutes. Don’t buzz in the extreme upper and lower registers. Buzzing should be done in a comfortable mid register, preferably to recognizable 8 bar melodies.

Once creating a sound is naturally produced, have the beginner trumpet player learn actual notes. I recommend with “G, F, and E.” Continue to emphasize the need to use fast-moving air to create a quality tone.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, running a private music studio can be loads of fun for the music-loving student and teacher. Be sure to guide the beginner trumpet player in a logical sequence so that he or she will be able to build a foundation. As a result of carefully scaffolded instruction, your beginner trumpet player will advance to the next level and have you to thank.


Ago, Amy.k  •  3 years. (2019, April 12). A Beginner’s Guide: Your First Trumpet Lesson by Trumpet Hub. Retrieved from https://www.trumpethub.com/your-first-trumpet-lesson/

Christophel, A. (2016, June 21). Developing Tone in a Beginning Trumpet Player. Retrieved from https://www.octavemusicstore.com/blogs/news/developing-tone-in-a-beginning-trumpet-player

Sam. (2019, August 18). Anatomy of a Trumpet – What Are the Main Parts of a Trumpet. Retrieved from https://merelymusic.com/anatomy-of-a-trumpet/#targetText=The valves (or buttons as,how the trumpet changes notes. 

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