At whatever age one begins study of the horn, the development of tone is of utmost
importance. Proper breathing technique, posture and hand position, as well as the player's
physical attributes all play an important part in development of tone. As a beginner we
develop habits, good and bad, which determine how far we will be able to progress on the
instrument, so it is important to build good habits right from the start.
Basic technical studies should include tone building, scales, intervals, tonguing and
slurs. As we progress through Level 1 we also develop an understanding for very basic
theoretical aspects: reading notes in the treble clef, key signatures, meters, rhythms,
and dynamics - the basic building blocks of music.
For most beginners, daily practice sessions should probably be fifteen or twenty
minutes. Soon however, as the player progresses, two practice sessions of fifteen minutes
(or more) should be attempted each day.
Though basic technical studies are certainly important in developing good habits,
practice should not be limited solely to long tones and scale exercises. Even at the first
lesson students can be introduced to playing simple melodies. Soon, simple duets with the
teacher should be attempted, and work should begin on basic solos.
During Level 1, the player should:
1) develop range to at least 1 1/2 octaves, and know chromatic fingerings throughout
2) play major scales and arpeggios in C, F, G, B flat, and D in eighth notes at 60
beats per minute;
3) be able to read: treble clef and ledger lines; key signatures; basic time
signatures; rhythms including whole, half, quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes, dotted
rhythms and triplets, all terms and indications used in music at this level;
4) work towards obtaining a full warm sound in all dynamics from piano to forte.
Caldara, Antonio -- Sebben Crudele (from *Selected Songs, Vol. 1, Thomas Bacon, editor)
*The other pieces in this volume will probably be too difficult for a Level
1 player. It is a collection that will serve the student for years and provide pieces for
Schwartz, George -- International Folk Suite
Telemann/Stouffer -- Menuett
Wilder, Alec -- Four Easy Pieces
Levels: Intro | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six