Brass for Beginners – Introducing Ragnar to the UK

John Wallace has been working with the Chicago-based authors of Brass for Beginners® to introduce this innovative, cross-curriculum, early-years music programme to the UK. With a wide appeal and scope to enhance the programme with visiting professional musicians to run staff and student workshops, Brass for Beginners® could be at the heart of the UK’s future brass and general music education for early years.

Bringing Music to Life

Ragnar in early orchestraUsing ‘Ragnar’, a hypothetical first trumpeter, as the central character of a story-driven programme, together with specially designed polymer natural trumpets, the children are engaged in wide reaching topics whilst embracing the fundamentals of playing brass. John Wallace has been working on the scheme with the organisation and believes that by combining the use of natural trumpets with Ragnar’s adventures (and the seamless integration of music, geography, history, philosophy and science curricula) is a recipe for success in championing brass playing and its associated music education in the UK’s primary schools.

“In looking at ways of expanding the US programme to meet and exceed UK educational criteria, it can be seen that there is also wide scope to involve visiting professional musicians to offer essential CPD for staff; positively engage students in a cross-curricula approach; and successfully facilitate the benchmarks for Wider Opportunities within schools.”

Read more about the programme and watch students, past and present, in action. There are also some exciting workshop/exhibition events where you can learn about Brass for Beginners® first hand, including the Music and Drama Education Expo at Olympia London, where John Wallace, Chris Hasselbring and Kirsten Montgomery will be presenting a workshop from 1.40-2.35pm on 9 February 2017.