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by: Columbus Wyman
Columbus Wyman

GPA 3.76

B. Edwards

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B. Edwards
Class Notes
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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Columbus Wyman on Monday October 26, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MUED 106C at University of South Carolina - Columbia taught by B. Edwards in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see /class/229627/mued-106c-university-of-south-carolina-columbia in Music Education at University of South Carolina - Columbia.


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Date Created: 10/26/15
MUED 106C Secondary Brass Trombone Handout 2 Breathing Part I The mechanics of breathing Breathing is a natural process complicated by too much instruction The breathing can be explained simply i The diaphragm drops creating a vacuum 2 Air is sucked in through the mouth causing the lungs to expand The lungs like balloons tend to expand in all directions but of course are prevented from doing so by the other parts of the body When breathing out the diaphragm does nothing but relax to its original position Most air will rush out of full lungs of its own accord The rate of air ow can be controlled somewhat Air leaving the lungs can be de ned by the variables of pressure and ow rate U A U 0 Each of these points will be considered in greater detail 1 N DJ The diaphragm drops creating a vacuum The diaphragm is a muscle that when relaxed is domeshaped It sits underneath the lungs When this muscle contracts the dome pulls downwards creating a vacuum in the lungs Technically speaking one cannot choose whether or not to breathe from the diaphragm All breathing must use the diaphragm Air is sucked in through the mouth causing the lungs to expand Given that the windpipe is relaxed and open air will naturally enter the lungs through either the nose or the mouth Holding the mouth wide open will not help inhalation and may create tension in the throat The teeth need only be far enough apart to prevent audible air friction In other words a good breath should be relatively quiet Many young players breathe quite noisily thinking that they are getting more air this way The lungs like balloons tend to expand in all directions but of course are prevented from doing so by the other parts of the body As the lungs fill with air they will expand Most of this expansion takes place around the lowest rib but can also be observed as a more vertical movement at the apex of the lungs near the clavicle bone The shoulder J UI 9 when relaxed will naturally rise somewhat as the upper portion of the lungs fills with air When breathing out the diaphragm does nothing but relax to its original position The diaphragm is only active during inhalation not exhalation As one plays or sings one cannot possibly support the note from the diaphragm However muscles close to the diaphragm can be tensed to create this feeling of support In trombone playing this tensing of near diaphragm muscles can be useful for playing high notes but is easily overdone Most air will rush out of the lungs of its own accord The rate of air ow can be controlled to some extent When the lungs are very full air pressure inside the body will naturally cause the air to rush out This rush of air can be controlled somewhat by the conscious act of holding open the chest As the volume of air in the lungs decreases its tendency to rush out also decreases Ultimately abdominal and intercostals muscles must be brought into play to contract the lungs further to force out the last remaining air Air leaving the lungs can be de ned by the variables of pressure and ow rate These variable are best described through personal experience As an experiment try loudly making an ssssss sound As you create this loud hissing sound you are generating high air pressure but low air flow rate It is important to define air flow rate as the volume of air leaving the lungs not the air speed Notice the abdominal pressure needed to make this hissing sound By hanging a bit of tissue paper in front of your mouth you can also observe that not much air is owing out Now consider the opposite extreme with another experiment cup your hands loosely around your mouth and warm them up with your breath As you do this you are generating low air pressure but a high air flow rate Notice that your abdominal muscles naturally relax and your lungs run out of air more quickly Again using the tissue paper in front of your mouth you can observe that the air flow rate is much higher Point of Resonance Each note on a brass instrument has a point of resonance in which the variables of air pressure and flow rate combine for optimal vibration with minimum effort As one plays higher notes air flow rate decreases while air pressure increases The opposite is true for lower notes Most young players usually blow with too much pressure any given note thus losing resonance Common Falsehoods Concerning Breathing The shoulders should not rise during a good breath Relaxed shoulders will naturally oat up over expanding lungs One however should not lift the shoulders by tensing any muscles A good breath should start low and ll the lungs from bottom to top The lungs just like a balloon cannot be in ated in segments It is true however that many people do not relax the abdominal muscles to allow full expansion at the bottom of the lungs Thus comments such as breathe down low and allow the belly to expand may be helpful even if they are not technically accurate Ultimately I believe it is best to focus attention on the air rushing into the opening of the mouth and let the lungs take care of things by themselves One should push out the notes The verb push can invoke many damaging habits with brass players First among these is a tendency towards the damaging val salva maneuver which is simply a locking up of the air commonly used in defecation and child birth Although it is true that increased air pressure is needed for high notes one should always use terms that connote moving air such as fast air or jet of air Review Questions Brie y list the six major points of the breathing process What is the diaphragm muscle How does it work when we breathe TF The wider the mouth is open the more easily one can breathe deeply explain your answer TF A noisy breath is always a deep breath explain your answer Where should we observe expansion and contraction as we breathe TF Technically speaking one can support from the diaphragm while playing 7 TF One can consciously control the rate of air owing from the lungs Describe two experiments for experiencing the variable of air pressure and ow rate 9 Define the term point of resonance What is the most common mistake of young brass players with regard to this concept 10What should you do with your abdominal muscles while playing a high note Explain your answer llList and debunk three common falsehoods concerning breathing WN A gum 00 MUED 106C Secondary Brass Trombone Handout 3 Breathing Part 11 Three Common Breathing Errors Error 1 Inhaling too little Most young players take in too little air when inhaling Some may feel inhibited about taking largevolume breaths It is sometimes helpful to step away from the instrument and practice deep breathing independently Solutions Kinesthetichisual Feedback 1 Have the student look in a mirror As they breathe deeply they should strive for maximum expansion and contraction of the lungs 2 Have the student place a hand at the following checkpoints to notice expansion and contraction the lowest rib firmly placing the thumb and first finger around the side of the lowest rib the chestclavicle area placing palm ofhandjust below the clavicle bone the back placing back of the hand at on the back Auditory Feedback 1 Demonstrate and then have the student listen for the sound of a good breath This should be a relatively soft dark oh sound Some teachers use the analogy of wind blowing through a cave 2 quotFinger whistlesquot Although a good breath should be relatively quiet one can vertically place a nger in front of the mouth while inhaling The friction of the air passing the finger will create a whistling sound Feedback using Breathing Aids 1 Breath Builder This is essentially a ping pong ball in a tube One breathes through a exible pipe attached to the tube When enough air is owing the ball will be elevated both during inhalation and exhalation l 2 Incentive Spirometer Insprx or Inspiron This device originally designed for medical use shows air ow during inhalation A small ball is elevated in a tube by the ow of air A dial regulates the amount of air needed to elevate the ball Inverting the device is excellent for measuring air ow when buzzing a mouthpiece Volumetric Exerciser Voldyne This device originally designed for medical use consists of a plunger in a tube that elevates during inhalation Instead of measuring air ow the plunger indicates total volume of air inhaled b b Breathing bags These can be either commercial or homemade The commercial bags generally hold either 45 or 6 liters of air and are made ofa thin rubber For a homemade bag it is best to use a clean paper bag with a piece of exible vinyl tubing at the opening Breathing Tubes 7 One can use a piece of PVC pipe exible vinyl tubing or even a soda bottle with the bottom cut off Any of these devices helps to promote the feeling of an open airway Conceptual Imagery Any number of images can be used to help promote deep breathing These may include 1 Descriptions of large amounts of air quotrushing in the mouth 2 Descriptions of the cold sensation felt at the back of the throat during a big breath a breath mint can be quite helpful with this 3 Smooth hand gesture to imitate the movement of air into the mouth 4 Imaginary situations requiring deep breathing such as returning from underwater running a ight of stairs or blowing out birthday candles U39 Error 2 RestrictedTense inhalation The airway must be open for a good breath to take place If the mouth the oral cavity or the throat is somewhat closed breathing is inefficient The mouth If either the lips or the teeth are too closed air ow is impeded This air friction is quite audible The oral cavity Try saying the word quotkeyquot To form the long E vowel the tongue must rise in the mouth If one tries to breathe with the tongue in this position air ow is restricted Now form the long 0 vowel dropping the tongue must to the bottom of the mouth In this position the tongues interference of the air ow is minimized The throat Throat muscles tense sympathetically along with general tension Opening the mouth too wide also leads to throat tension see below Solutions The mouth Remind the student to separate the teeth and lips enough to prevent air friction Breathing tubes can help with this see above However one should not assume that a widely opened mouth is best for a deep breath If the jaw is open too wide tension will occur in the throat The oral cavity Remind the student about the quotoh syllable when breathing in Also demonstrate the sound of a good breath The throat Provide general reminders to reduce tension Increase awareness of the symptoms of throat tension such as physical discomfort and voice sounds eg grunting during playing Do not however tell students to hold their throats open They cannot consciously do this and will probably end up with greater tension A relaxed throat is an open throat Error 3 Confusing Pressure With Flow For any given note most intermediate players blow with too much air pressure and too little air ow As a result the tone sounds forced and the pitch is often sharp There are many causes for this overall tension levels shallow inhalation and the tendency to push notes out Solutions Mouthpiece and rim buzzing Because of its lower back pressure the mouthpiece will more readily uncover bad habits with air ow than the trombone Often a student who is playing with a somewhat harsh sound will be unable to produce a consistent relaxed buzz As a teacher listen for a mouthpiece buzz that l is centered in pitch 2 demonstrates a happy medium between muf edtight and thinweak 3 has a moderate amount of air quothissquot mixed in with the buzzing sound Use of a buzzing rim a circle of metal imitating the rim of mouthpiece but without the cup see below because of an even lower back pressure will prove even more challenging Even high school players will probably have difficulty producing a good buzz on the rim alone l J One can also carefully cut away portions of an older mouthpiece to create a working rim see below One advantage of the cutaway mouthpiece is that it can be inserted into the instrument for buzzing practice while working the slide j at Development ofthe low register Students who blow with too much force typically have trouble with low notes because these notes require slower air ow rates However do not assume that low register struggles are automatically an indicator of air ow problems Embouchure setting can contribute as well quotBlowing inquot notes Either on the mouthpiece preferable or on the trombone have the student begin blowing silent air Initially the lips will be too far separated to buzz As the air ow continues have the student bring the lips together so that they can buzz It is vital that the student keep the air owing smoothly as the lips come together This approach is a bit unusual and will not work with all students However it can produce dramatic results with difficult cases Please note that this is not correct technique with respect to embouchure Pitch Lowering If a student tends to play very sharp not how far out the tuning slide is Try having them push the tuning slide in and then use relaxation to lower their pitch Teaching this can be tricky because this technique is not to be confused with lipping notes down with the embouchure Jp A U A U 0 9 Review Questions Describe three common breathing errors mentioned in the handout In solving the problem of inhaling too little what are the three forms of feedback one can use Give examples of each form of feedback This handout mentions three handplacement checkpoints to check for expansion and contraction What are they Can you think of any others Explain these two terms quotdark ohquot and quotfinger whistlequot Explain how the following devices work to aid trombone players breath builder incentive spirometer volumetric exerciser Describe four conceptual images to reinforce deep breathing 3 from the handout and one of your own TF The jaw should be opened as wide as possible when taking a deep breath Explain your answer TF Do not tell students to hold their throats open Explain your answer Discuss solutions to the problem of restricted inhalation centering on the mouth the oral cavity and the throat lODescribe the sound of a good buzz both with the comments from the handout and your own observations llTF A mouthpiece rim or cutaway mouthpiece should be easier to buzz than a mouthpiece Explain your answer 12TF Low register struggles are automatically an indicator of air flow problems 13 Describe the techniques of quotblowingin the notesquot and pitch lowering What do you do How can it help MUED 106C Secondary Brass Trombone Handout 1 Assembling and Handling the Trombone Taking it Out ofthe Case There are too many case designs to thoroughly discuss here Generally case design has improved but many older cases are accidents waiting to happen The problem most often occurs in older beatup cases that don t properly secure the instrument When such a case is opened parts of the instrument tend to fall out It is ironic that many cases provide the worst protection to the component that needs the best the slide Many old cases use tabs to hold the slide in place Over time these tabs loosen and break allowing the slide to drop out and become dented Another common problem arises when cases don t properly secure the mouthpiece The mouthpiece falls loose and can dent the instrument Some newer form fitting case designs seem to do a better job Watch for this Take a look at the trombone cases in your band room Is the slide secure If it is held in place by tabs how snug are the tabs Try opening the cases What happens If you have bad cases perhaps you can explain to the principal or band boosters that an initial investment in better cases will pay off in lower repair bills down the road I cannot recommend a specific sequence for taking the trombone out of the case since there are too many case designs to discuss here Instead here are a few general principles to observe 1 Lay the case on the oor Common Error Laying the case on a chair to open it If the latches are on the top have them facing up when you open the case Common Error Laying the case on its side to open This is a problem because it is easier for the slide or mouthpiece to drop out depending on the case of course Remove the slide first followed by either the bell or the mouthpiece When putting the bell onto the slide have the slide standing vertically on the floor As you look down the slide the bell brace and the slide should form a J 4 U 0 As soon as the bell is on the slide tighten the locking screw so the bell doesn t swivel into the slide denting it Putting the Trombone Back Into the Case Once again your job is to protect the slide Follow these principles 1 Put away the mouthpiece and the bell first and make sure they are secure Put away the slide last and make sure it is secure Don t force the case shut WN Posture Holding the Trombone Torso and Legs The upper body should be sitting standing tall but relaxed Imagine you are hanging from a string attached to your head As an experiment try taking a deep full breath first with a good upright posture and then with a poor slouched posture Notice how much more air you can take in with good posture Good posture also helps contribute to an alert mental state One possible source of slouching is the need to find a place for the slide to fit In a crowded band room the trombonists must often hold their bodies at odd angles in order to fit slides around music stands or in between the chairs in front of them Be sure to give the trombones enough room behind as well since part of the instrument sticks out behind the head The best position for the music stand is slightly to the right of the player Thus the slide need not go under the stand but can pass just to the left This means that the trombones also need extra space from side to side in order to sit with good posture Remember with two students sharing one stand the student to the right of the stand will have their View of the music partially obstructed by the bell The lower back naturally curves As a result the hips need to be rolled slightly forward Notice that rolling the hips back creates pressure on the lower back and inhibits breathing Thus the tops of the thigs will probably have to tilt slightly down from hips to knees to facilitate the proper position of the hips and lower back Larger students sitting in smaller chairs may need to slide the feet back under the chair in order to facilitate the correct downward sloping of the legs Hands The left hand should bear the weight of the instrument leaVing the right hand free to work the slide If one forms a gun with the left hand thumb out index finger extended holding the instrument should come naturally The extended index finger curves slightly around the mouthpiece shank to prevent the instrument from tipping The right hand should grasp the slide brace at the bottom using the thumb and one or two fingers The slide should not be grabbed with the fist or whole hand The palm of the right hand should find a comfortable position Most often this will be pointing down diagonally Initial Tone Production Breathing Although breathing will be discussed in greater detail later in the text here are a few pointers to get you started 1 2 U UIb Sit tall or stand tall Imagine you are hanging from an inVisible string connected to the top of your head Let your shoulders relax Open your mouth slightly and breathe in with a deep oh sound Allow your chest to naturally expand as you do this Keep the abdominal area relaxed Fill up with air Breathe as if you are about to go underwater for a while Focus on the air rushing in through the opening of the mouth As you blow out while playing allow the lungs to collapse Blow with a steady relaxed stream of air Force the air as little as possible Imagine you are fogging a piece of glass with warm air Embouchure Once again here are a few pointers to help you get started 1 Pucker the lips slightly as if you are about to whistle or drink from a J ho U 0 straw Make a razzing sound with the center of your mouth There should be a smooth gentle breeze of air coming out of your mouth as you do this Keep the corners of the mouth squeezed together as if you are squeezing straws placed at the outer edges of your mouth Do not allow the comers of your mouth to turn up as in a smile Place the mouthpiece centered horizontally left and right with a vertical placement of about 23 of the mouthpiece on the upper lip Repeat the razzing sound with a good breeze through the mouthpiece Don t worry about perfection just get a full buzz with a generous flow of warm air Use as little mouthpiece pressure as possible especially on the upper lip Slide Handling Movement A few pointers to get started i WM 0 00 9 i Hold the slide lightly but firmly with the thumb and first one or two fingers of the right hand Hold the slide near the bottom of the slide brace Keep the hand and wrist fairly relaxed but not oppy Think of a spring 4 As you change positions snap the slide quickly and lightly to the new position Shake your instrument as little as possible while changing positions Keep your slidearm relaxed with the elbow out only slightly from the body WN OUi Review Questions Describe some principles to remember when taking the trombone out of its case and putting it away TF One should never lay the case on a chair to open it Should you use cases with tabs to hold the slide in place Why or why not When you inspect the trombones in your band room what caserelated problems might you commonly expect to see TF When taking the trombone out of the case always remove the slide last TF The bell brace and the slide should form a V Where is the best position for the trombonist s music stand Why Describe the importance of the lower back in posture and breathing What experiment can you use with your students to help them experience this TF A student should always sit with feet at on the floor Explain your answer 10 Describe proper hand position for playing a trombone ll TF The abdominal area should be relaxed during inhalation 12 Describe correct mouthpiece placement on the embouchure 13 Describe correct placement of the slide arm including the elbow


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