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Musical Resources
Choosing a Brass Instrument

Choosing a Horn
The tone is affected by the material

What is the bell made of?

Because the timbre of a wind instrument is determined by the quality of the vibration of the air column that passes through it, the materials used to make a wind instrument will also have a slight effect on the timbre, in addition its shape and length.
Brass, which is an alloy consisting of copper and zinc, is more malleable (easy to work with), and corrosion resistant (resists rusting) than iron or other metals, and since it is also pleasing to the eye, it has long been the primary material used for making the bodies of brass instruments. This is what gives the brass instruments their characteristic tone.

The trumpet, trombone, horn, and other brass instruments have a range of timbre that is determined by the type of brass (determined by the relative amount of each component material) used for the bell.

Ratios of copper and zinc used in yellow brass and gold brass

Ratios of copper and zinc used in yellow brass and gold brass

  Amount of copper Timbre
Gold brass Proportionally high Generally has a broad, rich timbre
Yellow brass Proportionally low Generally has a bright, tight timbre

Sometimes a shiny white alloy consisting of copper, zinc, and nickel-called nickel silver-is used instead of brass. It is even more corrosion resistant than brass, and Kruspe horn bodies are made of this alloy. Yamaha uses a special nickel silver alloy that has a different constitution from that of common industrial nickel silver, and that has a deep, solid timbre.

Even on instruments with a gold-colored brass body, the slides, leadpipe, and other parts are sometimes made of nickel silver because of its wear-resistant and corrosion-resistant properties. This can be seen in the two-tone color of many horns.

The ratio of copper, nickel, and zinc in nickel silver

The ratio of copper, nickel, and zinc in nickel silver

Finished metal tubes are filed and sanded to make their surface smooth as glass, and then they are coated with a polish and buffed with a high-speed buffer to give them that beautiful metallic shine.
At last the stage, lacquer or plating is applied. The primary purpose for the lacquer or plating is to protect the metal from rust and dirt, but it also has a slight effect on the timbre of the instrument.
Lacquer seems to contribute to a solid, dark tone that projects well. Non-lacquered instruments are said to generally have a deep resonance.

Woodwinds - What Are They?

Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments. Common examples include flute, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, and bassoon. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments (otherwise called reed pipes).The Woodwind family does not include every instrument.   all wind instruments are woodwinds. The difference between woodwind instruments and brass instruments (the other type of wind instrument) is actually pretty simple. Woodwind instruments create variations in sound due to the instrument itself. Brass instruments change sound because of the vibrations of the musician’s lips.

The most basic woodwind instruments include reed instruments, such as the oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, and contrabassoon. There are a few non-reed instruments, too, including the flute, piccolo, and recorder. Lots of these instruments have multiple forms (such as soprano instead of alto), so there are a surprising amount of options for woodwind instruments. Bagpipes count, too, although you won’t often see those in a traditional orchestra setting. being used!

woodwind instruments

The changes in sound and tone are due to the length of the instrument. The air travels through the column of the instrument. A high frequency has a high pitch and a short column for the air, whereas the larger instruments with more column space create a lower frequency with a low pitch. Humans hear high frequencies with more sensitivity, which is why it’s easier to notice the high-pitched trill of the piccolo over the low thrum of the bassoon.  (Thanks to the folks at the University of New South Wales for explaining these concepts in a clear manner. For more details, check out their post related to the workings of woodwinds here.)

 

The Importance of Music Education
Minyard
(This is an excellent article by Debra S. Minyard, 2015 New Mexico State Teacher of the Year)
When I first started teaching in 1998, I believed fervently that music education was as vital to each student's development as math, reading, science, English and history were, and I stand by that even more today.
       

When I first started teaching in 1998, I believed fervently that music education was as vital to each student's development as math, reading, science, English and history were, and I stand by that even more today. The constant drumbeat of "high-stakes testing, Common Core State Standards and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)" resounds off the educational walls of America. We are inundated with reports of America's failing education system and how we are slipping in the ranks of worldwide scholastic ratings. We demand that our educators prepare students to be independent thinkers, life-long learners and educated members of a democratic society who can work collaboratively, think creatively and live successfully in a fast-paced changing world in which 65% of the jobs these students will pursue have yet to be created.

Then we take students out of the classroom and we test them. And we test them again. And we test them yet again. We focus on aligning our lessons to the standards and to the test.

We strive to make sure our students score "Proficient." In doing so, I believe we lose our focus on what our students truly need. Yes, they must be prepared to problem solve, but they must also be independent thinkers capable of going beyond book learning to reach out and make contact with humanity. They must be prepared to adjust to life in an ever-changing world where tomorrow's discoveries will influence their lives greatly. They must understand the power of collaboration and realize that by working together they can achieve so much more. They need to feel that their contributions are worthy, and that they have the skills necessary to navigate through an unknown future.

In the micro-culture of my band room, however, today's current assessment-centered interpretation of education is altered. Students walk in, put cell phones away and take out instruments.

They discuss with their peers how their evening went last night and what the day might bring. They interact with each other on a human level. They sit down to warm up and they randomly get into groups to play songs together. Then rehearsal begins. We collaborate. We increase our literacy skills. We build upon our listening skills. We make musical decisions as an ensemble by studying the history of a piece and interpreting the many notes and symbols we see. We analyze phrases, melodies, harmonies and structures. We play and make mistakes. We fix them and we play again, and again, and again. We practice and dedicate ourselves to the team and not just to what notes are on the page, but to making music. My ensemble takes great pride in rehearsing the "slow pieces." Their goal, each and every time, is to make music more "musical." They want to reach out and touch the humanity in their audience and themselves. Therefore every day, they strive to do all of this better than the day before.

They understand that this does not happen by magic. They see that the strongest players are there because they have practiced repeatedly. They know that they have to learn their notes, rhythms and scales in order to be technically prepared to undertake whatever piece of music may be placed in front of them next. They know that they are leaders. They believe that as they build their own skills, they have a responsibility to share what they have learned with others around them. It is not unusual to have an upperclassmen request to work with a younger student in a practice room to help them learn a part. It's common to see older students assist the younger ones in cleaning the room after a rehearsal or performance. It is not surprising to see one student celebrate another pupil after a job well done, or give a high five after they finally are able to play that difficult passage. It is perfectly normal to see students preparing challenging music in order to pass an audition for a community or state-level ensemble. They want to make themselves and their world better.

Is this not what we strive for in our communities? Is this not what we wish our students to do throughout their lives? We want them to work hard, to become passionate, to always thirst for knowledge, to be diligent about constant improvement, to be human. We want them to contribute to the welfare of those around them—to recognize a need and step up to help. We wish for them to pursue their passion, share their joy and reach their goals.

This is why I believe that music education in our schools is so important.

If we continue forward with a focus on testing and noble, but misguided education reform, we will produce generations of children that can complete math problems and science labs but have no creative thinking skills, collaborative abilities or joy. Music MUST be a valued part of every child's education.

This is why I continue to teach in the manner I do. Why I arrange for master musicians to come and work with my students and why I guest teach at other schools. This is why I spend hours on researching music, ordering equipment and running rehearsals. I believe that the work I do pushes students to move beyond testing, math problems and science labs. I believe that what I do encourages students to connect to those subjects, their peers and the world around them in ways that will never be assessed on any test. I believe that music education—and for that matter, arts education—fills the gaps that our students fall into. I believe that through hands-on learning, through hard work, practice, repetition and passion that we can truly provide a child with all he or she needs to be successful.

As a nation, we have the responsibility to make sure our future generations are prepared for any opportunity that life may hand them. By keeping music education in our public schools, we continue to prepare students for these prospects. It is important that we remember this need as we strive to reform our schools, increase our standards and raise the goals for learning across the nation.

Minyard

Debra S. Minyard is New Mexico’s 2015 State Teacher of the Year and engages in a year of professional learning facilitated by the Council of Chief State School Officers. For information on a state's selection process, contact its State Teacher of the Year Program Coordinator.

 

Debra has been a public school educator for 17 years. She graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with her Bachelor of Music Education, and earned her Master of Music Education from New Mexico State University. She currently teachers Concert Band, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Music Appreciation and Advanced Placement Music Theory at Pojoaque Valley High School in Pojoaque, New Mexico. In addition to her teaching duties, Ms. Minyard is also the AVID Site Coordinator on her campus and is co-coordinator of the Link Crew Freshmen Transition program.

 

Throughout her career, Debra’s musical ensembles have consistently scored Excellent, Superior and Gold Medal ratings. She is a guest teacher at other schools and is active as an adjudicator. Under her direction as AVID Site Coordinator, the AVID program at Pojoaque Valley High School grew from an “uncertified” status to a “Highly Certified” ranking in two years.

 

Debra is honored to be selected as the 2015 New Mexico Teacher of the Year and proudly shares this award with the Pojoaque community and all the amazing teachers of New Mexico.

A CHILD'S BRAIN DEVELOPS FASTER WITH EXPOSURE TO MUSIC EDUCATION

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A two-year study by researchers at the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at the University of Southern California shows that exposure to music and music instruction accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception.

 

https://musiceducationworks.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/a-childs-brain-develops-faster-with-exposure-to-music/?fbclid=IwAR2lmC4p0aNNbHkjmhGwL9Rub3N4LjC-ZmLw9Kvd_WQ49rYiAZufHHPRKdA

The study of 6-7-year-old children began in 2012, when neuroscientists started monitoring a group of 37 children from an underprivileged neighborhood of Los Angeles. Thirteen of them received music instruction through the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles Program where they practiced up to seven hours each week.

Eleven children were enrolled in a community-based soccer program, and another 13 children were not involved in any training program at all.

The researchers compared the three groups by tracking the electrical activity in the brains, conducting behavioral testing and monitored changes using brain scans.

Need An Instrument - Not Much Time to Handle the Details?

-I don’t have time to research instruments or find out what’s best.  I need this taken care of for me but I want to trust that my child is getting a good quality instrument and the things we need to give the best start to this endeavor...

Rent-to-Own with Golden Music has these time saving features:

1.   The best quality instrument - we take time to find the best instruments to offer.  This is our only desire, not the strongest bottom line and sliding in a lower quality instrument.  For band instruments, we only carry Yamaha and Buffet.  For strings, we hand select our workshops and it always ends up being family teams that are trained in the art of building violins, violas, cellos and basses.

2.  Easy to rent the instrument - you can phone us and have it delivered to your house or school.  We also have an online portal to rent and get delivery.  Our store hours are 8 am  to 8 pm Monday through Thursday and 10-5 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  

 

3.  Free delivery for any service you need for the rental - starting the agreement, ending it, a repair, or loaner or instrument change.  We come right to your house or school!   If your instrument needs to be serviced or maintained, just phone or email and we'll bring a loaner to you, fix yours and bring it back.

4.  As your student grows, all of the rent-to-own payments (100% always) goes toward the purchase.  You can buy the instrument for 30% discount off your remaining balance or move the credit to another band or orchestra instrument.  You don't need to spend time, nor will you lose credit if your child changes their mind (some restrictions apply).

Quality Musical Instruments and What They Can Give You!

-A quality instrument costs more but it saves money in the long run and it will make you practice more because the sound and feel of holding it is more pleasurable.

If you’re buying an instrument for a child, you can pick a cheap one but if you want a better sound and more of a chance for the child to want to practice everyday, you want something better. A $150 cheap violin is unlikely to last long and may not sound inspiring.  It might not even play!!  There's usually about $200 of work to bring it up to standards of the teacher and then you have a souped up poor instruments.  And if it breaks down, you will have to buy another one because it's not repairable (basically you will end up spending more money than you would spend buying a quality, better violin).  A $150 clarinet is disposable (can't repair it), probably won't sound at the same pitch as the other students in class, and it will be hard to play.

Really?   You might ask yourself:  "Isn't it okay for my student to have a cheap instrument?  They're just starting out, what does it matter?"

Let's talk about SOUND:

Sound is made up of the Resonance and Timbre.   Resonance will primarily affect the type and quality of the sound produced.  The Resonance of an instrument comes from the artistry and workmanship built into it.   The artistry and workmanship of Golden Music's quality instruments have over a 200 year history of how they are built/the history of their initial origin is over 2000 years.   

Those cheap instruments are made by workshops without this depth of knowledge or practice, as well as purposefully cutting corners and using cheap materials to make it quicker and less expensive.

Sound "quality" or "timbre" describes those characteristics of sound which allow the ear to distinguish sounds which have the same pitch and loudness.   While a cheap instruments is making the same "note" as the quality instruments, the timbre can be screechy, harsh, not pleasing. 

 

Let's talk about PLAYING IN TUNE:

A big problem is that the cheap instruments can be very hard to make sound at the same pitch as the rest of the class.  This is quite a burden for the young child to try to work with.  Even a seasoned player has to struggle to make these sound on the same pitches as everybody else.

Let's talk about FEELING

How It Feels To Hold It. 

Think about a hobby, work or passion you have and a tool you use for that?  Even gardening, a hand shovel form Walmart costing $3 is un balanced, might bend if you hit a rock, doesn't feel good to use... compared to the $40 one from Ace Hardware...  You can compare this to cars also - the cheap $150 online instruments are cars that don't even run...  our competition's instruments (those the teacher has accepted to come to rental events) are like Pintos - they run, but there's no finesse, no support, no style...  they will get you there - then there's Golden Music's quality instruments.  We give to you the finest student instruments made in the world - Yamaha and Buffet band instruments and strings instruments hand picked by the owners from small family workshops from around the world.  Our instruments are like a very good Honda / Suburu - safe, comfortable, has features you need for a beginner driver...   

                      

 

Described by one seasoned musician from our community...   "as a musician myself, I like to use the words "it feels like butter" - doesn't make a lot of sense, but when I play a good instruments every thing is easier, it feels good to use, it feels smoother, it feels like it's working with me to make the sounds I want to express..."

 

Everlasting Gift of a Music Education - Is It Really Too Expensive?

Invest Your Coffee Money Into Music for Your Kid...

    ...The intangible gain of your child learning to play an instrument comparable to the cost of buying one cup of coffee a week is a no brainer in favor of MUSIC!    Think about how much you spend on a cup of coffee out once a week, $6?  That is enough to give your family a lifetime of music and sound.

 

Golden Music offers a rent-to-own program where you are able to rent-to-own (or just rent) a high-quality instrument for about just $30 a month for most instruments.  You will eventually own the instrument but are never required to keep it. 

The Everlasting Gift of Music - because the music your child learns is a voice of beauty and sound that they can speak through from the first day of class (well not so beautiful to us - but to their own precious hearts - they are speaking) and who's to say?  This is their beautiful child's voice speaking through this instrument of sound.    Many, many schools are providing excellent music education for your child at the school.  Now is the time to focus on giving your child this opportunity.  

Extensive research studies have proven that children display long-term positive results from learning to play a musical instrument.  Here's to mention a few:

   -their confidence levels rise

   -their reasoning skills strengthen

   -helps increase comprehension and math skills, coordination

   -provides better capacity for memory abilities.

So what are you waiting for?!    Get on board with giving the gift of music that will be a permanent gain to your child's future and happiness through our rent-to-own offers. 
PLUS - FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY - FREE PRIVATE LESSON WITH EVERY RENTAL

 

 

 

Violin Around the World - A New Documentary Coming out Soon...
A new documentary film series exploring how the violin has integrated itself in diverse cultures and musical styles worldwide.
Created by Daniel Hoffman
Violin Around the World - A New Documentary Series project video thumbnail

A new documentary film series exploring how the violin has integrated itself in diverse cultures and musical styles worldwide.

 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danielhoffman/violin-around-the-world-a-new-documentary-series

Besides the human voice, there is no musical instrument as flexible and adaptable as the violin. Countries as far afield as Egypt and the USA, Sweden and India, Turkey and Ireland use the violin (or fiddle, or keman, or geige, etc…) in their traditional music as if it were a native instrument. Classical traditions from Europe, the Middle-East, North Africa, Central Asia, and India have adopted it as well.

What is it about this quirky little Italian box with strings? Having reached its present form in the 19th Century, this documentary series will explore the violin's uncanny ability to speak so intimately to such a wide variety of cultures.

I invite you to travel with me as I journey with my violin to a new region in each episode as I study the local style with the masters. Through my studies and personal connection with a celebrated local teacher/performer, we'll discover together what is unique, what is shared among different styles, and how the violin manages to speak so many languages without an accent. And most importantly, we'll enjoy the feast of sound that is a violin in the hands of a master musician.

Using the violin lesson as a point of departure, we'll visit historic sites, dance groups, musicologists, and experts in folklore and history. A short segment on the history of each country or region and its people will also be interwoven into the story line. Each episode will culminate in a filmed concert by one of these artists and his or her band, including my own participation in part of the performance.

Music Education and Brain Development

 

Over the past two decades, music training has been associated with better than average language and mathematical skills and higher IQ, while differences between musicians and nonmusicians have been found in brain areas related to hearing and movement, among others. What is the mechanism behind such differences? One important goal of our program is to understand the effects of music training on brain development, investigated in terms of psychological (emotional, cognitive, social) and actual neural functions.

The only way to correctly assess the effects of music training on child development is to study children before they start any music training and to follow them systematically thereafter, to establish how their brain and behavior change in relation to their training. Beginning in 2012, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and their youth orchestra program (YOLA) and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), we have been investigating the effects of group-based music training in 80 children between the ages of six and seven. We have continued to follow them, to document the effects of such training on their development, using neural, emotional, cognitive, and social development measures.

The study is currently in its fourth year and has so far provided support for the positive impact of music training on development of auditory processes as evidenced by greater ability for pitch perception and production and enhanced maturation of the auditory pathway as shown by more developed sensory auditory evoked potentials. In addition, the findings have provided support for a positive association between music training and improvements in cognitive skills including working memory and inhibitory function and as evidence by greater brain activation in brain’s prefrontal circuitry during tasks engaging executive function skills.

We hope that the findings from this study will not only lead to a better understanding of the benefits of musical training in general but provide further insights into the social and psychological merits of childhood music education.

The BCI Brain and Music Program is supported not only by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, but by a generous grant from GRoW@Annenberg.

The only way to correctly assess the effects of music training on child development is to study children before they start any music training and to follow them systematically thereafter, to establish how their brain and behavior change in relation to their training. Beginning in 2012, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and their youth orchestra program (YOLA) and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), we have been investigating the effects of group-based music training in 80 children between the ages of six and seven. We have continued to follow them, to document the effects of such training on their development, using neural, emotional, cognitive, and social development measures.

The study is currently in its fourth year and has so far provided support for the positive impact of music training on development of auditory processes as evidenced by greater ability for pitch perception and production and enhanced maturation of the auditory pathway as shown by more developed sensory auditory evoked potentials. In addition, the findings have provided support for a positive association between music training and improvements in cognitive skills including working memory and inhibitory function and as evidence by greater brain activation in brain’s prefrontal circuitry during tasks engaging executive function skills.

Why Music Is Important... From the Kids

These are Great Quotes!  They are all from 7th and 8th graders at Madison Middle School and other nearby schools in Appleton, Wisconsin.  The kids say things so clearly - seem better than the quotes from famous people.

“Music lifts up your soul and releases it.” – K. D.

“Music is what moves everyone, and without it, life would be pointless.” – D. D.

“Music is important because it can describe people, places, movies, or animals that words can’t.  Without music, the world would have a hard time understanding other things.” – B. P.

“Music is important because it helps you express yourself in ways that you can’t with normal talking.”– S. L.

“Music is important to me because it gives me something to look forward to everyday.” – K. K.

“Music is important because it allows people to be creative and it offers more life to people.” – K. B.

“Music is important in my life because it gives me something to do.  I think it is important to the world because it helps people feel better and can give them hope.” – J. K.

“Music is important in my life because I always have something to sing along to and relate to.  It is important to the world as a whole because it brings us together.” – A. G.

“Music is the highlight of my day!  After a rough day, I like to listen to music to lift my spirits.”– M. W.

“Music gives you something to listen to on long drives.” – H. R.

“Life without music would be boring… no background music for movies, and life would sound dull.” – A. Z.

“I think music is important because music is a way that people can express themselves and if people couldn’t express themselves there would be a lot more violence in the world.” – A. S.

“Music, without it there would be silence, less joy, and darker times.” – B. S.

“Music puts the life and excitement into the world.  Music is a part of my everyday life, from the radio in the morning to chorus and band class at school.  Without music, I wouldn’t be who I am today.– S. P.

“I play a lot of video games, so I hear a lot of music with it.  I may not notice, but the music provides more depth to the situation.” – M. M.

“Music is important to my life because it makes dancing and singing a lot easier. It also makes life interesting and hardcore!” – E. C.

“Music is important to people’s lives because it makes things better when things aren’t going right in the world.” – T. M.

“Music isn’t important in my life, it IS my life.  From flute, to piano, to guitar, it pretty much controls my life.  In the case of the world, it unites it with happiness and continues and tells histories of civilization.” – S. P.

“Music is important in my life because music has cool beats, and music is fun and keeps me happy.” – R. M.

“Music is so much a part of my life that I don’t know what I would do if there was none.  The world is greatly changed by music.  People don’t notice, but music changes people’s moods, feelings, and even their actions.” – M. H.

“Music is very important in my life because I worship God when I play at church, and because it takes me away from doing stuff that is bad.” – K. B.

“Without music, there would be nothing to do.  There wouldn’t be video games, TV shows, or concerts to go to.” – M. P.

“When I am feeling bad, it helps me not feel bad.  Music is important in life because you need it for your national anthem.” – A. V.

“Music is important in my life because I listen to it everyday.  It helps me relax.” – M. J.

“Without band, I wouldn’t have met all of my friends here at Madison Middle School.” – J. L.

“Music is important because it is a way to express myself. It shows how someone feels.  It just adds to everything.” – L. H.

“Music is important to me because it expresses feelings and some of the beats get you into the mood of the music.” – E. G.

“I like that I can make people happy doing what I like.” – Z. Z.

“Without music, our life would be very, very boring.  It’s something that every culture has in common, no matter what.” – L. K.

“Music can bring peace, but it can also get me pumped.” – T. W.

“I can’t imagine Christmas without music.” – D. V.

“Music is an outburst of the soul.” – I. B.

“Whenever I am sad, I play my music and it makes me happy.” – K. Y.

“Life without music is like fasting for a teen – boring, painful, and dull.  Every morning I wake up to music filling my dreams until I realize that the wonderful melody is coming from my alarm telling me to get going.  That’s not only where this wonderful gift fits into my day.  Several minutes later, I take a shower with the radio cranked, but unfortunately my voice doesn’t flow to the song as well. In the car ride to school, again music and again I sing (too bad for my neighbors!). To make school worth living, there’s band – a time to let the mind wander, a time to relax and put my music skills to test.  Thankfully I play better than I sing!  Besides my music life, think about yours.  Your cell phone goes off and what do you hear – music. A parade with the melodious sounds, but then it’s taken away and the parade comes to a rest. Without the joy of music, there’s no point in life, unless life to you is no sound at all.” – M. M.

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