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Kindergarten Trumpet Talk


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Derek Reaban
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 10:43 pm    Post subject: Kindergarten Trumpet Talk Reply with quote

On Thursday I was the guest speaker for my Son’s kindergarten class. And my topic was, of course, the trumpet! I’ve read several accounts of people preparing for presentations like this in the past on both TPIN and TH. I thought it would be fun to write up my experience as well!

I told them that I was Jonathan’s Dad and they could call me Mr. Reaban and if they had any questions while I was talking to just raise their hands. This first kid’s hand shot up and I called on him. He said, "I like you already!" That absolutely made my day!

I started out very simply by telling them about the different parts of the horn: bell, valves, leadpipe, tuning slide, mouthpiece. To catch their attention I explained to them that if all the bends in the trumpet were straightened out it would be exactly the same height as a kindergarten student! They brightened up when I told them that.

Egypt

I told them that the trumpet that I was holding was 15 years old, but trumpets have been around for over 3,500 years. That got a big "Ooh" from the class. I asked them what civilization was around 3,500 years ago with Pharaohs and pyramids. Lot’s of hands shot up, and they told me "Egypt". It’s great to have lots of participation at this age!

I told them that the Egyptian trumpets were very different from the modern trumpet with valves. They used hollow animal horns, shells, and finally metal trumpets. These simple trumpets were used for signaling, announcing, commanding, and ceremonial purposes and could only play one or maybe two notes. Then I played for the first time during the talk:

Do Sol............Do Sol...Do Sol

Next it was on to the Castles of Europe and the Tower Trumpeters.

Tower Trumpet Players

I told them that the Tower Trumpet players had jobs very similar to the Egyptian trumpet players. Since there were no telephones, television, radio, or the Internet the only way to communicate quickly over long distances was to play signaling calls with the loud, resonant sound of the trumpet. I told them that Beethoven wrote a call that was similar to what the Tower Trumpet players would have played (Leonora No. 3). I borrowed a line from Phil Smith before I played and said, the Tower Trumpet player is "sounding the call of rescue. Help is on the way!"

Then I told them that there were calls to lead the troops into battle. I used the three-trumpet call from Strauss’ Eine Heldenleben.

George Washington

I jumped forward to 1776 and asked them if they had heard about the Declaration of Independence. Lot’s of hands shot up and I chose my Son for this one (and he nailed the answer!). I told them that George Washington was the President at the time and two years after 1776 a composer named J.N. Hummel was born. He wrote a famous concerto for the trumpet that used valves for the first time and combined calls and fanfares (like the Egyptian and Tower Trumpeters would play) along with "melody". I played the opening section through the triplets.

Fanfare Trumpets Players

The next topic was fanfare trumpet players or buglers that are playing today. I told them about Matadors and played the bullfight call. I told them about the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness (on TV this weekend), the Belmont Stakes, and the Triple Crown (winner of all three who is then the Best Horse in the World). Then I played "First Call". At this point I asked them how many bugles they thought were in one trumpet with valves (I told them a bugle had no valves). Lots of hands went up. "Three?" "Four?" "Five?" I said, "Let’s count them together" and played the opening phrase to First Call (putting down each valve) as the whole class counted and finally got to "SEVEN".

Next I asked them who watched the Summer Olympics last year and what part they liked best. Everyone had a chance to participate on that question!

I told them about my favorite Summer Olympics from 1984 in Los Angeles (I marched in Olympic Stadium later that year for a USC vs. UA game). I told them they used fanfares to begin the Olympics and a composer named John Williams wrote the music. I told them to listen for the fanfare parts followed by the melody parts (they really liked this one).

Symphony Trumpet Players

Next I asked them where else trumpets are used. My Son was the ringer here and said, "Symphonies". I played the Promenade from Pictures and two contrasting lines from Mahler 5 (loud and soft).

I did a quick segue to mutes and played Debussy’s Fetes with a Montreal mute and then a metal straight mute for comparison (they loved this part).

Jazz Trumpet Players

I played Parker’s Confirmation with a Harmon mute and then In the Mood with a cup mute. When I do this in future years for my other boys, I may explore this part of the presentation more. They really loved all the different mute sounds and styles.

Wedding Trumpet Players

Then I moved on to the wedding trumpet player and Trumpet Voluntary on piccolo (I told them to listen for the "bright" sound). I played after we compared the difference in size between the piccolo and the Bb. This was another highlight of the presentation.

Movie Trumpet Players

I checked the clock and saw that I was just about out of time and told them that trumpets are used in the movies. I asked them what movie was coming out today and almost all of them said, "Star Wars…Episode III". I told them the same man that wrote the music for the Olympic Fanfare wrote the music for Star Wars. They liked that a lot! I was just about to start playing and then stopped and said, "This music begins with the words A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" and I heard many of them saying these words with me!

I played the Main Theme (I put it in F just to be safe). Then I asked them who liked Darth Vader and played his theme. Next I said, "this is the music for the Imperial Battle Cruisers" and played a short section from the Main Theme. And finally I ended it with the big brass chorale. They loved it!

At the end I asked them how tall a trumpet was if it was all stretched out and they all said, "As tall as a kindergartener". Then I asked them how longs trumpets had been around (lots of blank stares). So I said, the civilization with pyramids, and many of them remembered Egypt. Then I asked them how many bugles where in one trumpet with valves and almost all of them said Seven. I think I made an impression!

I just wanted to share a really fun experience.
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Derek Reaban
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Tempe Winds / Symphony of the Southwest


Last edited by Derek Reaban on Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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Solar Bell
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Post and a wonderful idea!

Chuck
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Hornblowerr
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2005 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks a bunch!

I'll use some of that next year for my year 7 presentations!!!

(if that's ok, of course )
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allstarbugler
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Kindergarten Trumpet Talk Reply with quote

Derek Reaban wrote:
On Thursday I was the guest speaker for my Son’s kindergarten class. And my topic was, of course, the trumpet! I’ve read several accounts of people preparing for presentations like this in the past on both TPIN and TH. I thought it would be fun to write up my experience as well!

I told them that I was Jonathan’s Dad and they could call me Mr. Reaban and if they had any questions while I was talking to just raise their hands. This first kid’s hand shot up and I called on him. He said, “I like you already!” That absolutely made my day!

I started out very simply by telling them about the different parts of the horn: bell, valves, leadpipe, tuning slide, mouthpiece. To catch their attention I explained to them that if all the bends in the trumpet were straightened out it would be exactly the same height as a kindergarten student! They brightened up when I told them that.

Egypt

I told them that the trumpet that I was holding was 15 years old, but trumpets have been around for over 3,500 years. That got a big “Ooh” from the class. I asked them what civilization was around 3,500 years ago with Pharaohs and pyramids. Lot’s of hands shot up, and they told my “Egypt”. It’s great to have lots of participation at this age!

I told them that the Egyptian trumpets were very different from the modern trumpet with valves. They used hollow animal horns, shells, and finally metal trumpets. These simple trumpets were used for signaling, announcing, commanding, and ceremonial purposes and could only play one or maybe two notes. Then I played for the first time during the talk:

Do Sol............Do Sol...Do Sol

Next it was on to the Castles of Europe and the Tower Trumpeters.

Tower Trumpet Players

I told them that the Tower Trumpet players had jobs very similar to the Egyptian trumpet players. Since there were no telephones, television, radio, or the Internet the only way to communicate quickly over long distances was to play signaling calls with the loud, resonant sound of the trumpet. I told them that Beethoven wrote a call that was similar to what the Tower Trumpet players would have played (Leonora No. 3). I borrowed a line from Phil Smith before I played and said, the Tower Trumpet player is “sounding the call of rescue. Help is on the way!”

Then I told them that there were calls to lead the troops into battle. I used the three-trumpet call from Strauss’ Eine Heldenleben.

George Washington

I jumped forward to 1776 and asked them if they had heard about the Declaration of Independence. Lot’s of hands shot up and I chose my Son for this one (and he nailed the answer!). I told them that George Washington was the President at the time and two years after 1776 a composer named J.N. Hummel was born. He wrote a famous concerto for the trumpet that used valves for the first time and combined calls and fanfares (like the Egyptian and Tower Trumpeters would play) along with “melody”. I played the opening section through the triplets.

Fanfare Trumpets Players

The next topic was fanfare trumpet players or buglers that are playing today. I told them about Matadors and played the bullfight call. I told them about the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness (on TV this weekend), the Belmont Stakes, and the Triple Crown (winner of all three who is then the Best Horse in the World). Then I played “First Call”. At this point I asked them how many bugles they thought were in one trumpet with valves (I told them a bugle had no valves). Lots of hands went up. “Three?” “Four?” “Five?” I said, “Let’s count them together” and played the opening phrase to First Call (putting down each valve) as the whole class counted and finally got to “SEVEN”.

Next I asked them who watched the Summer Olympics last year and what part they liked best. Everyone had a chance to participate on that question!

I told them about my favorite Summer Olympics from 1984 in Los Angeles (I marched in Olympic Stadium later that year for a USC vs. UA game). I told them they used fanfares to begin the Olympics and a composer named John Williams wrote the music. I told them to listen for the fanfare parts followed by the melody parts (they really liked this one).

Symphony Trumpet Players

Next I asked them where else trumpets are used. My Son was the ringer here and said, “Symphonies”. I played the Promenade from Pictures and two contrasting lines from Mahler 5 (loud and soft).

I did a quick segue to mutes and played Debussy’s Fetes with a Montreal mute and then a metal straight mute for comparison (they loved this part).

Jazz Trumpet Players

I played Parker’s Confirmation with a Harmon mute and then In the Mood with a cup mute. When I do this in future years for my other boys, I may explore this part of the presentation more. They really loved all the different mute sounds and styles.

Wedding Trumpet Players

Then I moved on to the wedding trumpet player and Trumpet Voluntary on piccolo (I told them to listen for the “bright” sound). I played after we compared the difference in size between the piccolo and the Bb. This was another highlight of the presentation.

Movie Trumpet Players

I checked the clock and saw that I was just about out of time and told them that trumpets are used in the movies. I asked them what movie was coming out today and almost all of them said, “Star Wars…Episode III”. I told them the same man that wrote the music for the Olympic Fanfare wrote the music for Star Wars. They liked that a lot! I was just about to start playing and then stopped and said, “This music begins with the words A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” and I heard many of them saying these words with me!

I played the Main Theme (I put it in F just to be safe). Then I asked them who liked Darth Vader and played his theme. Next I said, “this is the music for the Imperial Battle Cruisers” and played a short section from the Main Theme. And finally I ended it with the big brass chorale. They loved it!

At the end I asked them how tall a trumpet was if it was all stretched out and they all said, "As tall as a kindergartener". Then I asked them how longs trumpets had been around (lots of blank stares). So I said, the civilization with pyramids, and many of them remembered Egypt. Then I asked them how many bugles where in one trumpet with valves and almost all of them said Seven. I think I made an impression!

I just wanted to share a really fun experience.


Derek,

If I ever have the same opportunity, your presentation will have a big part. Well planned, well done!
MO
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Derek Reaban
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Joined: 08 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you all enjoyed it! Please use whatever will work from what I've put together. I know where I will need to refine the next time that I do this.
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Derek Reaban
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Tempe Winds / Symphony of the Southwest
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StewMuse
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about the section on "when Maynard ruled the world???"

Just kidding. VERY nice presentation, Derek!
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My iBooks currently available: Military Bugle Calls, Courting the Upper Register, Building Trumpet Technique, Tuff Keys, CUR II: JAZZ, Trumpet Rounds, Beginning Jazz for Young Trumpeters, Cigars @ Home
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Umyoguy
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PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2005 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wish I had some of those ideas for my 50 presentations in my local El schools this year...

Jon
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Derek Reaban
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm doing this presentation again for my 3rd little boy coming up this week. If anyone else needs end of the year school presentation ideas, this one works really well for little kids.
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Derek Reaban
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fast forward to 1789 and washington became president. the years before that were a depressing and weary slog through the backwoods playing cat and mouse with the superior british forces, with a certain noose waiting for him if he was not successful.
no pain, no gain. stability and presidency wasn't in the cards for 1776..chuck
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Oncewasaplayer
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful story! These kids will remember this visit for years to come. (And few might want to play the trumpet later!)
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HowlandLead
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very educating and interesting story. That should recruit some future players. Bravo.
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jicetp
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent !
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rkmonahan
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I have given some very brief kindergarten talks as well. What fun!
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talking to, or doing demonstrations for a Kindergarten class or symphony patrons at a formal luncheon: about the same thing. (BT, DT) Good historical info and organization.
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etc-etc
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek,

You could put your presentation on DVD, it sounds that good!
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jini_05
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:46 pm    Post subject: Guest speech in kindergarten Reply with quote

My kid is enrolled with Phoenix preschool. I have been invited for guest speech on this saturday at his school. I am wondering what topic should I choose to entertain and inspire kids , teachers and other invited guests.
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Trombacan
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It never ceases to amaze me at just how much young kids take in and what kinds of info. they latch on to. Great presentation Derek, Well Done.
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Comeback
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:41 am    Post subject: Worth reviving Reply with quote

Certainly an old thread worth reviving! What a great original post.
Jim
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Derek Reaban
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always smile when this topic comes back up. It’s been over 8 years since I did this first Kindergarten Trumpet talk. All three of my boys play trumpet now, although the oldest just switched to tuba this year due to balance issues in his freshman band (14 trumpets to 1 tuba before he switched). I think it’s worth posting a couple of photos to mark the time since the first post.

Here is a picture of my oldest son holding my piccolo (before he started playing trumpet), in January 2006 (he was in first grade at this point):



Here is a picture from last year when he was playing ball in 8th grade. Now he’s on the Freshman team!



Time certainly flies!
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Viwlar13
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, that’s an amazing presentation. Thanks for sharing it. I am also planning to do such a presentation for my kids on coming vacation. I prefer searching over internet for new ideas and inspirations. For their learning activities I always explore http://www.kidsfront.com/english/you_part_of_speech.html.
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