With brass instruments on loan from the Houston Symphony petting zoo, I wanted the preschool students to have a chance to try them. I read a big book called “Root-A-Toot-Toot” by Bernice Myers, where animals play brass instruments. Their friends comment that they play too loud, so the instrumentalists go to the lake to play. At the end of the story, the animals make a band and their friends dance to their music.
The Elephants and Seals were amazed to see the picture of the instruments in the story and then a real version of it. I played each one for them and several of them could not wait to try them. The story included a trumpet, drum, trombone, and tuba. I did not have a tuba, so I substituted a French horn instead.
I laid out the instruments and they chose to play their preferred instrument. Many students picked the trumpet. All of them worked very hard on putting their lips together and blowing into the mouthpiece. Their oral muscles were put to the test as they aligned their lips inside the mouth piece, breathed in, and tried to blow with their lips together. Most of them blew air through the instrument, demonstrating that they were preserving. A couple of students in each class were successful in making the instrument sound, whether on the French horn, trumpet, or the trombone.
There were a few students who preferred to watch or to just touch the instruments. It was a lot to take in with three new loud instruments. That also gave other students an opportunity to choose a second instrument to try. When one student made a sound on the trumpet or French horn, most of the other students wanted to try that one too. They followed the sound in hopes that they would make it happen, too!