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Anne McTighe

Lesson Plan – First Trombone Lesson

• First lesson
• Student has never played trombone before
• The goal is for students to become more familiar with the trombone
• They will learn:
o Correct breathing
o A correct embouchure
o How to buzz with and without the mouthpiece
o How to hold the instrument
o A few basic notes
• At the end of the lesson students will be expected to be able to:
o Put the instrument together and show the teacher
o Explain the steps for a correct embouchure and how to recognize an incorrect
o Demonstrate a correct embouchure for their teacher
o Play the different notes they have learned
• Yamaha trombone
• Mouthpiece
• Fingering chart

Time Sequencing Assessment

2 - Have the student stand. Ask him or her take a deep breath Make sure students are
min. for you. Watch their breath and analyze what they do. breathing deeply; their
- Explain that deep breathing is very important. Show them abdomen is rising and falling.
how to breathe deeply, placing your hands on your stomach There is no excessive shoulder
so that they can see them rise/fall. lifting, etc. Correct if any of
- Ask them to do the same. Again watch their breathing. this occurs.
3 - Once the student knows how to breathe well teach them Make sure the student’s
min. how to form a trombone embouchure and buzz. corners are tight. Ensure that
- Emphasize that the corners of the mouth should be tight, they are not puffing out their
like when eating a lemon. Demonstrate how to buzz. cheeks.
- Ask the to buzz as well. Watch their embouchure and make
sure they are still breathing correctly. (If not correct it)
5 - Have the student take out the mouthpiece. Tell the students Make sure the students can
min. about where to place the mouthpiece on their mouth buzz with the mouthpiece.
(roughly in the center). Emphasize that they should not Look to make sure they’re not
smash the mouthpiece into their mouth. Have them hold the pressing it into their face too
end of the mouthpiece to try and avoid this. much.
- Tell students to form the embouchure then place the
mouthpiece on their mouth. Explain that they will use the
same buzzing technique with the mouthpiece.
- Demonstrate buzzing with the mouthpiece. Ask the
students to buzz as well.
1 - Review proper breathing again. Emphasize its importance. Have students breathe. Make
min. sure their breathing is correct.
3 - Ask the students to try to change the pitch of their buzz. See if they are able to change
min. Demonstrate changing the pitch of the buzz. Emphasize that the pitch. Make sure their jaw
their jaw should remain in a fixed position. is not moving.
2 - Explain to the student how to change the pitch of the buzz Students should be able to
min. by changing the shape of the oral cavity. Tell them to think change the pitch of their buzz.
about going from “ahhh” to “eeee” when trying to make the
pitch higher, and vice-versa. Ask them to try this.
3 - Have the students take out the body and slide of the Students should be able to
min. trombone. assemble the sections. Make
- Make sure the slide lock is on. sure it is done correctly.
- Show them how to put the trombone together.
- The slide goes to the right, with the longer end towards
you. With the bell to the left, form a V shape and screw the
two pieces together. They fit onto the longer side of the
- Show the students where to fit the mouthpiece into the
2 - Show the students how to hold the instrument. Students should be able to
min. - Right hand at the base of the slide, pointer and middle correctly hold the instrument.
finger holding the brace. Make sure they can.
- Left hand wrapped around the two braces by the
mouthpiece, pointer finger resting over the mouthpiece
- Demonstrate the hand positions and ask them to copy.
Assess their hand positions.
9 - Show the students the different slide positions, and give Make sure the student
min. them points of reference (i.e. 3 is a little bit before the bell) understand where the 7 slide
- Have them play the long tone exercise so they get practice positions are and that they can
finding the different slide positions. play them.
- Demonstrate/model the positions for the students while
they are playing.

• At first some of the students may trouble with the embouchure. Some might puff out their
cheeks or have trouble keeping their corners firm. After reviewing the steps to
embouchure they should be able to correctly form an embouchure.
• If the students move quicker than expected, teach them about lip slurs.
• Have them practice a scale
• Teach them a simple song through call and response.