Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

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johntarr
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Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by johntarr »

Hello all,

Our wind department is doing an open house for kids and I'd like to find a few pieces that I can use to play for a young audience, perhaps with a background accompaniment. Ideally the pieces would be appealing to their young ears and also show the various aspects of the trombone and what it can be used to play.

Many thanks for any suggestions,

John
tmarco97
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by tmarco97 »

I did something similar to this for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes during my student teaching placement with my bass trombone. It was nothing serious so I took some liberties with how silly it was.

It went something like, "The trombone can make very interesting and unique sounds *plays glissandos and racecar noises*. It can also play silly stuff *plays Fortnite dance music* or very serious stuff *plays Ride of the Valkyries excerpt* It can even play stuff you have heard on the radio! Since I play bass trombone, I can play cool, low bass lines! *Plays Billie Eilish's Bad Guy bass line*"

I didn't play anything with a recorded accompaniment, simply because of time, but I also think the younger audience I played for wouldn't have been able to focus that long. I believe keeping it short and relatable is the best way to go, especially with young students. :good:
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BGuttman
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by BGuttman »

I did a demonstration for pre-schoolers with learning disabilities.

I brought an older trombone and an extra mouthpiece.

First I showed the instrument, then played a long glissando (1-7-1, slowly).

Then I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It's in the Suzuki method Book 1. Viola has it in alto clef, cello has it in bass clef (I used my viola book).

Then we put the old mouthpiece in the trombone. I had a bunch of wipes and a big bottle of mouthwash. I showed how to buzz. Then each kid (and each teacher) tried to make a sound. In between blowers we cleaned the mouthpiece with the mouthwash. Of 20 kids and 4 teachers/aides just about 50% of each were able to make a sound. A couple even managed more than one pitch.
Bruce Guttman
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timothy42b
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by timothy42b »

BGuttman wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:53 am

Then I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It's in the Suzuki method Book 1. Viola has it in alto clef, cello has it in bass clef (I used my viola book).

Did they know Twinkle Twinkle?

Years ago I did something similar when my kids were in preschool. I thought it would be a fun game to see who could recognize common nursery rhymes.

Alas, the answer was none of them. These kids hadn't been brought up on the nursery rhymes I knew, and didn't recognize them. Today I'd probably use Disney, maybe Frozen or Lion King.

Um, not criticizing, but Twinkle Twinkle is all simple intervals, no accidentals - probably should be able to play that by ear. Not on viola of course, but on trombone....
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BGuttman
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by BGuttman »

timothy42b wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:36 am ...
Um, not criticizing, but Twinkle Twinkle is all simple intervals, no accidentals - probably should be able to play that by ear. Not on viola of course, but on trombone....
I didn't trust my ear. Rather read music properly than mess up looking for intervals. I didn't rehearse for this thing.

I used "Twinkle" because the main teacher (my friend) suggested it. I would think she would know what the kids were exposed to.
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hyperbolica
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by hyperbolica »

I would think playing in a group would be something that would be attractive to kids. Even duets sound better than just playing by yourself, and kids have more fun if they're doing something with their friends. I think using more contemporary tunes is a great thing, showing music is relevant. You might have to make your own arrangements, or raid places like Musescore, TubaPeter, Christopher Bill or Paul the Trombonist for content.
johntarr
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by johntarr »

tmarco97 wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:28 am I did something similar to this for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade classes during my student teaching placement with my bass trombone. It was nothing serious so I took some liberties with how silly it was.

It went something like, "The trombone can make very interesting and unique sounds *plays glissandos and racecar noises*. It can also play silly stuff *plays Fortnite dance music* or very serious stuff *plays Ride of the Valkyries excerpt* It can even play stuff you have heard on the radio! Since I play bass trombone, I can play cool, low bass lines! *Plays Billie Eilish's Bad Guy bass line*"

I didn't play anything with a recorded accompaniment, simply because of time, but I also think the younger audience I played for wouldn't have been able to focus that long. I believe keeping it short and relatable is the best way to go, especially with young students. :good:
That’s along the line of what I’m thinking. The reason I might want to have some background accompaniment is so the kids hear the trombone in relation to harmony.
johntarr
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by johntarr »

BGuttman wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:53 am I did a demonstration for pre-schoolers with learning disabilities.

I brought an older trombone and an extra mouthpiece.

First I showed the instrument, then played a long glissando (1-7-1, slowly).

Then I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It's in the Suzuki method Book 1. Viola has it in alto clef, cello has it in bass clef (I used my viola book).

Then we put the old mouthpiece in the trombone. I had a bunch of wipes and a big bottle of mouthwash. I showed how to buzz. Then each kid (and each teacher) tried to make a sound. In between blowers we cleaned the mouthpiece with the mouthwash. Of 20 kids and 4 teachers/aides just about 50% of each were able to make a sound. A couple even managed more than one pitch.
We aren’t allowed to let them try the instrument because of you know what.

I was thinking of something related to playing Twinkle and/or some of the other tunes they know. My thought was that I could play the recognizable songs in different styles so they could get a sense of the variety.
johntarr
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by johntarr »

hyperbolica wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:47 am I would think playing in a group would be something that would be attractive to kids. Even duets sound better than just playing by yourself, and kids have more fun if they're doing something with their friends. I think using more contemporary tunes is a great thing, showing music is relevant. You might have to make your own arrangements, or raid places like Musescore, TubaPeter, Christopher Bill or Paul the Trombonist for content.
I agree and we will start each demonstration round with a short concert. Then we branch off into individual rooms. The reason I want to have something relevant to the children is so that they listen in a more familiar context.
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by timothy42b »

BGuttman wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:46 am
timothy42b wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 9:36 am ...
Um, not criticizing, but Twinkle Twinkle is all simple intervals, no accidentals - probably should be able to play that by ear. Not on viola of course, but on trombone....
I didn't trust my ear. Rather read music properly than mess up looking for intervals. I didn't rehearse for this thing.
For most of my life I just accepted that I needed sheet music and playing by ear was impossible; if need be I would memorize, or I'd write it out.

Now at my age I find it impossible to memorize something like Twinkle Twinkle, as simple as that seems, but I can play do do sol sol la la sol in most keys.
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BGuttman
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by BGuttman »

johntarr wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:04 am
BGuttman wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:53 am I did a demonstration for pre-schoolers with learning disabilities.

I brought an older trombone and an extra mouthpiece.

First I showed the instrument, then played a long glissando (1-7-1, slowly).

Then I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. It's in the Suzuki method Book 1. Viola has it in alto clef, cello has it in bass clef (I used my viola book).

Then we put the old mouthpiece in the trombone. I had a bunch of wipes and a big bottle of mouthwash. I showed how to buzz. Then each kid (and each teacher) tried to make a sound. In between blowers we cleaned the mouthpiece with the mouthwash. Of 20 kids and 4 teachers/aides just about 50% of each were able to make a sound. A couple even managed more than one pitch.
We aren’t allowed to let them try the instrument because of you know what.

I was thinking of something related to playing Twinkle and/or some of the other tunes they know. My thought was that I could play the recognizable songs in different styles so they could get a sense of the variety.
The Suzuki "Twinkle" actually has a set of simple variations. Look in any instrument version to see what I'm talking about. Mozart wrote a slick set of variations under the name of the French folk song "Ah, vous dirai je Maman". Not written for trombone, but here is a violin version you can adapt. some of the variations may be impossible (double stops) and some just too difficult. See what you can use:

https://ks4.imslp.info/files/imglnks/us ... e.MUS-.pdf
Bruce Guttman
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Geordie
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by Geordie »

In a similar context I took along a pink pbone, spare mouthpiece and disinfectant wipes. I played an excerpt the opening theme of the Imperial March (Star Wars). Seemed to get their interest. Then they had a go at making a sound. No sure current hygiene arrangements would allow them to share a mp now, disinfectant wipes not withstanding.
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keybone
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by keybone »

I am a retired music teacher. When it was time to recruit for band, I played Lassus Trombone, not knowing its history. For years, I had good trombone sections and I know that my playing Lassus at the recruiting assemblies had something to do with that. Years later, I came across Doug Yeo's article and since have regretted my decision to play Lassus. Buyers remorse - yes! Above average to excellent trombone sections and, more importantly, turning kids on to music - definitely conflicted. You might know the old saying - "It smells, but it sells"! Oh well!
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BGuttman
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by BGuttman »

keybone wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:31 am I am a retired music teacher. When it was time to recruit for band, I played Lassus Trombone, not knowing its history. For years, I had good trombone sections and I know that my playing Lassus at the recruiting assemblies had something to do with that. Years later, I came across Doug Yeo's article and since have regretted my decision to play Lassus. Buyers remorse - yes! Above average to excellent trombone sections and, more importantly, turning kids on to music - definitely conflicted. You might know the old saying - "It smells, but it sells"! Oh well!
if you never identify the context of the Fillmore "trombone rags" nobody is going to listen to the music and say "Geez, this stuff is intended to make fun of African-Americans". You have to see the subtitles on the sheet music to find the slurs (and not musical slurs). We are now "woke" and consider this to be improper. But there are other pieces of music that slander other ethnic groups that "the woke" seem to find OK. Sorry, but I really get steamed about this. I won't give Fillmore a free pass about it, but the piece of music was typical of music of the era. Let's ditch the racist subtitles and keep the melodies.
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Savio
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Re: Trombone demonstration pieces for young audience

Post by Savio »

johntarr wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 5:41 am Hello all,

Our wind department is doing an open house for kids and I'd like to find a few pieces that I can use to play for a young audience, perhaps with a background accompaniment. Ideally the pieces would be appealing to their young ears and also show the various aspects of the trombone and what it can be used to play.

Many thanks for any suggestions,

John
I do this often since my work is to teach young players. I do some songs that the young people knows like Disney movies and latest pop tunes. Taylor Swift is popular among girls but also boys knows the tunes. Also show one orchestra excerpts and a soft lullaby. I also do effects like motorbike, helicopter, cow, elephant etc. I tell them it isn’t difficult but we have to be patient and learn it over time. Then it’s fun and easy. I think that’s important to say because today they are used to iPads where you hit a button and you get an immediate response. I also tell the trombone you can play until you are hundred of years and more, but in football you end up very quickly on the bench and then the chair in front of TV alone. We can play together in bands when the piano players often play alone. It hasn’t been easy to let them try under the corona.

But I think we can do almost everything if we manage to engage them. There is no rules and it has to suit our self also.

Leif
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