Beginning Trumpet

Week 1 Instrumental

Dear Parents and Students-

I’m excited that you are starting an instrument here at Fairmount Park! This is our first week of lessons and I want you to understand the following principles that will help you progress on your instrument:

  1. Plan time this week when you will practice by using the sheet I gave you in class. By scheduling a daily practice time, just like you do for your homework, sports events and other activities, you can prepare yourself to actually do it!
  2. Find a practice space that is free of distractions, is well lit and use a chair that will give you the correct posture for your instrument.
  3. Practice for brief periods of time (10-15 minutes) every day. This will get you into a routine and avoid tired muscles, especially in the beginning.
  4. Be patient with yourself if you don’t get a certain skill right the first time.
  5. Record your practice time on the sheet I gave you in class. Have your parents initial the column when you are done and return the sheet to Mr. Pendergrass at your next lesson.

*If you practice twice in one day, put a / in the box with a new time, minutes and skills practiced.


Trumpet practice. Put the number of the skill you practiced in the column above labeled “SKILL PRACTICED.” Do skills 1-7 each time you practice and and at least three of the skills numbered 8-12 at each daily practice session. Remember to try and imitate what we did in class by listening and paying attention to the sound your instrument makes. Repetition is the key to success. You should be able to show me the skills on the back of this page you have practiced at our next lesson on October 5.


*means you must do this every time you practice

  1. *Point to and name the parts of your instrument out loud including valve 1,2 & 3.
  2. *Hold the trumpet with your left hand in the proper position at a 90 degree angle for as long as you can before you get tired and have to put it down. Rest for 30 seconds and do it again. Do this 5 times.
  3. *With the trumpet in your right hand resting on your left knee, place the tip of your index, middle and ring finger of your right hand on top of the valves as lightly as you can. Don’t press the valves down.
  4. *Keep the position in #3 and lift the trumpet with your left hand while lifting your right hand with the fingertips gently on top of the valves NOT pressing the valves yet..
  5. *With the trumpet at a 90 degree angle to the floor, lightly press each valve all the way down one at a time with your right hand but do not lift your finger off the top of the valve. Rest your left arm when you lose a 90 degree angle due to fatigue. Repeat this many times.
  6. *With the trumpet at a 90 degree angle try pressing down different combinations of valves, being careful not to lift your fingertip off the top of the valve. Try pressing 1 and 2, then, 2 and 3, then 1 and 3. Use different combinations but never lift your finger off the top of the valve. Imagine. Glue it in place.
  7. *Always rest your left arm when you lose a 90 degree angle and start again

Do at least 4 of the following at your practice session:

  1. Put the trumpet back in the case and take out your mouthpiece.
  2. Blow a 4 count lip buzz without the mouthpiece. Rest for 4 counts. Buzz for four counts. Breath should be from your belly: warm fast air that fogs up the mirror.
  3. Buzz on your mouthpiece- now hold the mouthpiece in your left hand by your thumb and first finger and make a buzzing sound. Always breathe first and buzz for as long as you can on one breath. Don’t press the mouthpiece hard against your lips.
  4. Now do #9 with a buzz on the mouthpiece. Buzz for 4 counts, rest for 4 counts. Do this 3-5 times until your lips are tired. Rest. Do it 3-5 times again.
  5. Siren Buzz- take a deep belly breath make a buzzing sound as low as you can and tighten your lips as you blow to make the buzz sound higher in pitch. Do this buzz high and low, like a siren. First slow, and then fast. Do this 3-5 times until your lips are tired. Rest. Do it 3-5 times again.
  6. Use a mirror to make sure you are not puffing your cheeks when you buzz on the mouthpiece with any of the above exercises.



 Some great trumpet instruction videos you should check out: