YourClassical Kids

YourClassical Kids Music Lessons: Trombone Talk

Trombones at CarnavalAndi Graf/Pixabay

February 25, 2021

Need ideas for easy and fun at-home music learning? Here's our latest YourClassical Kids Music Lesson.

Target age range: K-4

Today we will learn about an instrument in the brass family–the trombone!

1. First, a few basics. Minnesota Orchestra principal trombone player Doug Wright explains how his instrument works in this demonstration video.

2. The movie Soul includes a couple of scenes with a young player just starting out on trombone. Watch this clip from the movie.

After watching the movie clip, answer the following questions by journaling or discussing with others.

• The trombone player in the movie is still a beginner. What might be challenging about starting to play a new instrument?
• Do you play an instrument?
• If you do play an instrument, think about what it was like when you started. How did you get better? What was challenging about learning to play? What was fun about learning to play?
• If you do not play an instrument, think about what instrument you might want to play, and why.
• Even though the player in the scenes from the movie is a beginner, it seems like she really loves to play. What does music mean to you?

3. The trombone is commonly used in jazz music. Watch this video of a famous trombone player called Trombone Shorty. He plays a song that has some call and response singing. See if you can echo his singing when that part comes up.

Trombone Shorty started playing trombone at the age of 4. Look below for an early picture of him playing his instrument.

Trombone Short
Trombone Shorty at age five, with the Carlsberg Brass Band, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, 1991
Information/Wikimedia Commons

4. The composer Gustav Mahler featured the trombones in this short section of his second symphony. As you watch, you will see other instruments too. See how many you can name.

5. Finally, answer the comprehension questions below to secure your knowledge of the trombone.

• To which instrument family does the trumpet belong?
• How do trombone players make a sound on their instrument?
• How do trombone players change the pitch, or the notes, that they play?
• How would you describe the sound of the trombone?

Have a question or suggestion? Contact Katie Condon, music education specialist.

More: View all of our YourClassical Kids Music Lessons