We have had an enjoyable and instructive time hosting orchestral workshops. These included a workshop on percussion instruments when we were joined by children from a local primary school. Students were given a masterclass in the wide range of musical instruments available which included the xylophone, marimba, snare drum, tambourine, timpani, cabasa, various shakers, cymbals and a gong. There was a whole lot of shaking, scraping and striking going on as students learnt that a percussionist normally plays a large number of instruments.
This was followed by the brass section where students learnt about brass instruments and how their different sounds are achieved through a mixture valves and pipes and bells. They found out that the trombone is the only brass instrument that can slide between notes, as the slide performs the same job as valves. From piccolo trumpet to tuba it is safe to say that the brass section is able to cover the high and the low notes.
Perhaps the most fun (aside from a rendition of What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor) was the hosepipe horn – especially when the sound was dampened by placing the funnel on the head of audience members!