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Woodwind instruments have a rich history of music making and are predominantly used in Jazz ensembles and orchestras as well as Folk music, Blues and Rock bands. There are two major types of woodwind instruments: those that are flutes, which vibrate air in a given space, and those that use a reed, to vibrate the air to create the note.
Flutes are the more basic of the two designs and require only a length of hollow material and a way of moving air inside. This can be accomplished by blowing air into it, or by blowing air across a mouthpiece to create movement of the air inside. This makes flute very easy to improvise. They come in a number of varieties beyond what many think of as the traditional flute, which is more precisely called a Western concert flute. In a typical orchestra, one will also find piccolos, a smaller variant of the flute with a higher pitch. Wooden flutes and bamboo flutes with no keys are used in folk music from South America to Ireland.
Reed Instruments: these instruments make music when the musician blows on a reed (in some instruments there are two), which then causes the air in a chamber to vibrate. The air then escapes through holes to create a certain note. Instruments such as the clarinet and saxophone are single-reed instruments, while the oboe and bassoon are a double-reed instruments. These instruments, along with string instruments, now form the core of many modern orchestras.
Brass instruments have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. They've played a part in historical military campaigns, religious ceremonies, and the development of music around the world. All brass instruments produce sound through the vibration of the player’s lips. The brass family consists of 5 major instruments with many other similar variations on them.
The Trumpet/ Cornet are two different instruments, but their differences are so trivial beginning band teachers don´t distinguish between the two. These instruments are the highest and smallest members of the brass family.
The Trombone is considered 'low brass' and reads from the bass clef in concert bands opposed to the higher treble clef that is read by the higher instruments. The trombone is a brass instrument with a unique feature. Rather than valves or keys that are pushed with the fingertips, the trombone uses a slide to change pitch.
The Baritone/ Euphonium are two separate instruments, but the difference is minor. A baritone horn is smaller and usually has three valves. Euphoniums are larger and have three or four valves. In concert bands Baritone horns and Euphoniums sit with the trombones, they have a similar range and usually play the same parts.The Tuba/ Sousaphone are two separate instruments and due to traditional tubas being difficult to walk with, many marching bands use a sousaphone—a specialized tuba that fits around the body of the musician—which was named for famed marching band composer John Philip Sousa. These are the largest and lowest instruments of the brass family.
Although students may choose to learn to play for relaxation and fun, our teachers are also skilled in exam preparation in all genres. The AMEB offers exams for all woodwind and brass instruments in the traditional style as well as Saxophone for Leisure.