Instrument Exploration: Trombone

CN Instrument Thumbnails
Andi Graf/Pixabay

Age Range: Elementary

Learning Objective: Students will learn to identify the trombone by sight and sound.

Free Download: Printable Lesson Plan: Trombone

ENGAGE students

ASK. “What do you know about the trombone? What does it look like? What does it sound like? To which instrument family does it belong?”

EXPLORE sounds

WATCH. “Learn a little about the trombone by watching this video featuring the Minnesota Orchestra player, R. Douglas Wright.”

EXPLAIN. “The trombone is part of the brass family. It is used in many genres, or styles of music, including jazz. A famous trombone player called Trombone Shorty started playing when he was 4. See a picture of him playing early on!

WATCH. Watch a video of Trombone Shorty playing at the White House. He plays a song that includes call and response singing. Try to echo his singing when that part comes up.

EXPLAIN. “The trombone is also part of the orchestra. Composer Gustav Mahler featured trombones in this short section of his second symphony. As you watch, see how many other instruments you can name. You might also pretend to play your air trombone along with the players in the video!”

WATCH. Watch the New York Philharmonic play part of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.

EXTEND learning

Choose one or both of the following activities to extend learning.

REVIEW. Check students’ comprehension by discussing or journaling the following questions:

  • To which instrument family does the trombone belong? 

  • How do trombone players make a sound on their instrument?

  • How do trombone players change the pitch, or the notes, that they play? 

  • How would you describe the sound of the trombone?

LEARN. Continue learning using the Class Notes lesson all about the Brass Family!

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Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

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