If you are trying to decide on private lessons, the benefits in committing to the additional instruction far outweigh any argument to forgo the extra learning time. A child’s first lesson is usually in a group. It instills a sense of community and partnership that carries into making music in a larger group with other students and eventually a band.

One-on-one instruction allows a teacher and student to work on fundamentals and refine technique. The focus is on the player over the group and what they need to improve. The teacher can individualize the plan for a student’s rate of learning or specific issues. This additional attention can further the fundamental core values of learning an instrument: accountability, commitment, confidence, dedication, discipline, and self-expression.

Learning a musical instrument is not a linear experience. There may be a surge of fast growth followed by a long plateau or vice versa. A private teacher ideally helps to motivate you and minimize the frustration. Establishing good habits through proper technique, reinforcement, repetition, and direction. You can learn at your own pace and not be distracted by the progress of other students. If you have been playing for a while and have already purchased your own instrument, taking an opportunity to learn more offsets the expense of the lessons. The average lesson cost may vary based on your current level, location, and teacher’s experience. Do you take the lesson at home, at school, a music store or teaching studio? These are all things that can influence the cost.

How do you find a private teacher? Check with your band director, group teacher, or local music store. They will be able to recommend a teacher that is familiar with the goals of the program. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Check with other students in the band to see who they use. Knowing expectations and understanding what the lessons are like is helpful to getting off to a good start. An experienced educator is organized and recognizes the unique strengths and areas that need improvement for each student.

A qualified teacher can help you overcome the challenges or difficulties with learning any instrument. It does take effort. You may achieve a higher level of proficiency through a consistent approach and dedication. The right teacher can motivate you to do the work.

Whether you choose to take extra private lessons or not, finding dedicated time every day in your schedule to pick up your instrument and play it is the way to steady improvement. A private teacher can keep you focused and on a good path. Remember, your musical journey can last a lifetime, there is no end. It starts with you.

Are you a beginner? Blessing is a great place to start!

There are several factors that distinguish a professional trumpet from a student or advanced model. Design, materials, build quality, and craftsmanship all help to differentiate a high-level instrument. As a student becomes proficient over time, they will notice limitations with a beginning horn. It is easy to get caught up in instrument specifications, however, the most important thing to consider is what do I sound like?

  1. Can I play through the instrument with a consistent sound and color?
  2. Can I manage the inherent pitch issues easily?
  3. Can I move freely through the partials?
  4. Can I easily match the sound I hear in my head and around me?

ALL OF THESE ARE GREAT QUESTIONS.

MOVING YOUR SOUND

‘Moving your Sound’ is the idea that the player has the flexibility and control to freely make the necessary tonal adjustments to fit into any musical setting. Bell design and construction allow for greater freedom to manipulate the instrument and push the limits in both timbre and dynamics.

  • It is about the freedom to play at the extremes. From very soft to very loud or pianissimo to fortissimo. You remain in control of your sound.
  • It is your ability to connect with the various colors and stylistic demands required of a professional musician. It is the ease in matching someone in your section or another instrument in the ensemble. This includes the ability to play warm and rich to a brilliant ‘shimmer’ that dominates when appropriate. It is a sound with energy that ‘pops’ on demand.
  • You are in control. A professional trumpet increases the size of your ‘tone circle’ to move the sound where it needs to go.

 

CONCLUSION
Your sound is your calling card. The resilience of the highest-level performer is their ability to easily make musical adjustments in the moment. Bell and casing construction are critical but only a part of the sum that makes a professional tier trumpet. Pushing your limitations in dynamics, timbre, and flexibility through the instrument is the path to the highest level of artistry.

The sound and design of a flugelhorn are immediately intriguing for any advanced trumpeter. Noted for its rich, lush, mellow sound, the flugelhorn provides the perfect contrast to the more directional focused brilliance of a trumpet.

Like the standard Bb trumpet, the flugelhorn is also in the key of Bb and uses the same fingering system which makes it immediately accessible. The design of a trumpet is cylindrical versus the larger more conical build of a flugelhorn. The mouthpieces also differ. The flugelhorn mouthpiece has a larger ‘V’ shaped cup which greatly influences the sound color. Also called a ‘flugel’, it is often used in commercial settings as an alternative to the trumpet or as a solo instrument.

Do you need a Flugelhorn? That all depends on if you have ways to plug this unique different sound into any of the groups you play with. There are many opportunities in jazz, pop, or worship settings if you need a dark lyrical sound for a ballad or need to match the harmonic color of another section like horn or trombone.

What about a Blessing Flugelhorn? Blessing has offered a competitive flugelhorn option for a serious player at any level for over 50 years. The BFH1541RT is our current model and based on its predecessor, the B154 model. Both feature French style vertical valve slide configuration and are designed on trumpet valve block chassis. The 1541 has a more gradual conical design a on a medium large .459” bore valve section. This provides the warm characteristic sound of a flugel with the feel and resistance of a trumpet. It is more familiar to a player new to the flugel. The instrument tends to play with more stability with greater security at the bottom and top of the range where a smaller bore instrument is harder to control. This is particularly ideal for a student player or someone that does not play a lot of flugel and desires a sense of continuity when moving back and forth between two different colors.

Flugelhorns have the reputation for having intonation issues. The more traditional small designs sound wonderful but can be hard to play. The instrument is flexible enough to move the pitch as needed. The BFH1541RT does come with an 3rd valve slide trigger to help lower the low C#/D as needed. Using a proper mouthpiece designed to fit your flugelhorn is also important for both sound and intonation. Blessing offers several flugel mouthpiece sizes that match the instrument well depending on a player’s preferences.

Bottom line. A flugelhorn is fun to play with a fantastic fluffy sound! It can allow a player to really sing. It is a great additional voice to add to your arsenal of colors for many performance opportunities.

BFH1541RT Product PageDownload Product Sheet

Keeping the rotors on your instrument properly lubricated will keep you performing at the highest level and provide a level of confidence in your horn or trombone.

Blessing supplies the necessary oils and grease that will need to keep your instrument working smoothly. If your instrument is new, you should apply Blessing Rotor oil daily for the first month to break it in. Thereafter, you should oil your rotors once a week at minimum even if they feel good. Establishing a routine will keep your instrument feeling great plus prevent wear and corrosion. This only takes a few minutes but will keep your horn always ready to play at the highest level.

OILING THE ROTORS:  Oil the rotors down the slide tubes for each valve. Press the valve levers several times to work in the fresh oil. Depressing each rotor to pull out the slides, one at a time. Drip a few drops of Blessing Rotor Oil down the slide tubes to reach the rotor surface. Press the rotor valve levers several times to work in the fresh oil to coat the rotor and casing. Finally, grease the tuning slides with Blessing Tuning Slide Grease so they move freely.

Part Description
BLROTOR Blessing Rotor Oil, 1oz/30ml
BLTSG Blessing Tuning Slide Grease, 4.25g stick

 

OILING THE BEARINGS. There is a top and bottom shaft that rotates in a hole as you move the valve lever. This rotating shaft is called the bearing or spindle. Remove the valve caps and use the Blessing Bearing Oil to oil one end of this bearing. Remember to oil the other end of the bearing. It is oiled in the small gap in the valve mechanism.

Part Description
BLBEARING Blessing Bearing Oil, 20ml

 

After the bearings are oiled, pull your tuning slides out a few inches without pressing the valve levers. This creates a little suction and pulls some oil into the bearing surfaces. On your F- attachment Tenor Trombone, oil all linkages, key levers, and any other metal-to-metal parts with Blessing Key Oil.

Part Description
BLKEY Blessing Key Oil, 20ml

 

Establish this habit early. Do this daily as soon you take the horn out of the case. Again, a few drops are all you need to keep these moving parts working freely. Following this procedure constantly will allow your horn to play at the highest level for years to come.

 

 

The Blessing Standard Series Winds are designed for beginners allowing for continued development and establishing a solid foundation in sound and technique. Built for the student, they are sturdy and durable without sacrificing ease of play. This allows for early success and builds confidence.

The trumpet is one of the most popular instruments that a child chooses to start with in band. For parents, knowing where to start can be daunting but it does not need to be. To begin, renting a trumpet is an economical option. It allows the student the ability to test out different instruments before committing to one while providing flexibility and convenience for the family.

Parents want some assurance that they are making a good decision. To help safeguard best success with their trumpet, parents should consider the quality of the instrument, the accessories needed, and finding a teacher.

Build construction, materials, ‘fit and finish’ are all important. However, the first consideration is the “sound” and how easy it is to produce a quality sound. The Blessing BTR1287 is designed to be durable in the hands of a beginner without sacrificing playability. It is made of brass and nickel which is both durable but aesthetically pleasing. The valves need to move up and down freely. The BTR1287 features stainless steel pistons which have been machined lapped to exact tolerances. This helps ensure a reliable smooth valve stroke which helps build confidence. Additionally, the valve slides and tuning slides need to move freely. Eventually, a student will learn to use the 1st and 3rd slides to adjust the sound on various notes to match the sound with other players.

Producing a quality sound starts with the lips buzzing into a mouthpiece. This is unique to brass playing. The body produces the vibration and the instrument amplifies it. Starting out, we demonstrate that the lips start to vibrate. We blow that vibration into the trumpet mouthpiece, which transmits the air and resonance to the trumpet itself. The quality of the mouthpiece makes starting out very important. Every BTR1287 trumpet comes with a quality silver plated Blessing 7C which is a good size and shape to start with.

Whether you rent or buy, the case is also important to look at. It protects the instrument and allows for easy transport and proper storage. The BTR1287 case is ABS plastic and is durable. It can take the knocks and bumps that inevitably happen in the beginning as you learn to take care of your first trumpet.

The trumpet is a great instrument to learn. You can play all different musical styles with it! By taking these factors into account, parents can feel confident in a trumpet that will provide their child with an enjoyable learning experience.

How long have you been learning to play a wind instrument? You just recently started, its’ fun, and you are quickly learning to play more things. Whether you rent or play a ‘hand me down’, you may consider stepping up into an advanced model. 

There is no predetermined time to make this decision. If you are dedicated and committed to practicing often, you will see improvement. This is the first sign that buying a better instrument would be beneficial for your musical development. Owning your first instrument helps build confidence and increases enthusiasm as you pursue learning how to play. 

In general, an advanced model offers a finer build quality and higher quality materials than an entry level model. A ‘step-up’ model often includes professional level features that can help a student expand their sound dynamically. By design, advanced model instruments allow the student to push their tone beyond their current levels of soft and loud.  An advanced instrument gives you the room to further develop your skills beyond what is possible with an entry level model.  

An important consideration is cost. What is your budget? Moving up into a top tier professional model may not be a realistic option. It also does not guarantee success. The student plays the biggest role in their personal musical growth through dedication and a consistent approach. An advanced step-up model may still provide a huge upgrade in playability vs. their entry level instrument while still being affordable. Quicker response, better sound projection, and more sound feedback are all benefits to transitioning to a better instrument.  

A sense of ownership may be one of the biggest motivators in considering an upgrade. Playing on something that is ‘Brand New’ and your very own is exciting and inspiring. It is satisfying to watch your child show greater interest, and noticeable improvement through this experience. 

Now is the time to step-up if you love to make music, plan on sticking with band, and have been playing for a year or more. You need an upgrade when you start feeling that your beginner instrument is holding you back. You can find a fantastic instrument that is accessible and will assist in your improvement without compromising playability. 

Are you ready to go to the next level? Checking with your music teacher, band director, or music dealer will help provide some direction. This is not only an investment in your band career but a potential long term lifetime investment.

The Blessing Standard Series Winds are designed for beginners allowing for continued development and establishing a solid foundation in sound and technique. Built for the student, they are sturdy and durable without sacrificing ease of play. This allows for early success and builds confidence.

As a parent, you want to make sure that your child is getting the best possible start when it comes to learning the flute. Generally, you will rent a flute to begin with. This allows your child to learn the key features and characteristics of the instrument first. This trial period allows everyone to see how it goes. Build quality, materials, and features are all important however to in the beginning the most important thing to consider is what is the sound quality and is it easy to play.

The Blessing BFL1287 flute is built with silver plated nickel silver body, headjoint, and footjoint. This is a durable material that can withstand the bumps and knocks that are evitable in a student’s hands. It has a silver plated headjoint and a hand cut tone hole which helps provide a quicker responsive sound. A beginner flute usually has closed tone holes to allow player early success with sound production and proper hand technique to eventually move to an open hole model. The shortest part of the flute is called footjoint. On most student flutes this is called a C-foot. It has two keys and plays down to the note C.  C-Foot flute is a little easier to play providing a characteristic brilliant sound.

Lasting, the case is important. You need to be able to comfortably transport the instrument from home to school and back. The Blessing BFL1287 flute features a durable ABS Plastic case that will protect the instrument.

Learning to make a quality sound with the ability to move note to note with good intonation is essential for improvement. Additionally, learning how to properly take care and maintain is critical to the life of the instrument. Establishing these habits early helps you make an informed decision when it comes time to purchase your first flute.