Trumpet Folk Fill in the Blank
Here it is, trumpet friends! This is something that I’m absolutely certain you’ve probably never seen before because it’s our original idea. The Trumpet Folk Fill in the Blank book started off as a fun activity for two of my youngest students. They enjoyed it so much that I was prompted to write more. Then, ultimately decided to write a full book of these songs.
What Is Trumpet Folk Fill in the Blank?
Trumpet Folk Fill in the Blank is a book that helps newly intermediate students work on advanced musicianship. When they play the songs in this book, it helps them with playing in the different keys. The book covers seven different keys, up to three flats and three sharps. It helps them with the keys in a way that encourages them to use their ears. This, in turn, leads to better sight reading, better improvisation and eventually better transposition.
Here’s how it work:
There are thirty folk songs and/or nursery rhymes in easy keys. The students are supposed to learn the easy version first, so they have the sound of it in their ears. After they’ve learned the easy version of the song, they flip the page to a transposed version of the same song.
But here’s the catch…
Some of the notes are missing in the next version. Question marks take the place where the notes are missing. When the students encounter the question marks, they are to play the notes that sound right to them, hopefully playing the right notes.
I’ve used these Fill in the Blank songs…
with two of my students. They LOVE it!
To the students, even the most difficult of the Fill in the Blank songs is fun for them because they see it as a reward for finishing their other work for their private lessons.
These two students are very young and still technically beginners (in my system). But they have remarkable abilities with anything that has to do with key signatures. We haven’t tried serious transpositions yet, but they are good improvisers and good sight readers. I have to believe that part of their skills comes from doing these Fill in the Blank songs.
The songs are listed in the book in progressive order. The easiest songs are at the beginning. The most difficult songs of the thirty are at the end.
I organized the songs in a spreadsheet before I put them in order. I ranked them according to intervals, range, length and chromaticism. Then, within this order, I was more aggressive with the question marks towards the end of the book.
There are a hundred pages of these songs and the ones towards the end will challenge most intermediate players enough to keep them busy for a while.
Here’s a list of all thirty folk songs and nursery rhymes:
- Lightly Row
- Bile Em Cabbage Down
- Polly Wolly Doodle
- New River Train
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Oh! Susanna
- Sea Chantey
- Ole Mac Donald
- Down in the Valley
- Goober Peas
- Alma Mater
- Amazing Grace
- Three Blind Mice
- Home on the Range
- Johnny Comes Marching Home
- My Bonnie
- Blue Bells of Scotland
- Blue-Tail Fly
- The Crawdad Song
- Long Long Ago
- Billy Boy
- Cluck Old Hen
- Yankee Doodle
- Loch Lomond
- Swanee River
- Buffalo Gals
- Arkansas Traveler
- John Henry
For your students to get the most out of this book, they should have a range up to fourth space E. They also need to have fairly good command of seven keys; C, F, G, D, B flat, E flat, and A.
If your students do not have all of these keys learned yet, then I strongly encourage you to use my Trumpet Tyro Tonalization Studies book to help prepare them for the Trumpet Folk Fill in the Blank book. It’s not that the Fill int he Blank songs are impossible without strong abilities in the first seven keys, but the benefits of doing the Fill in the Blank songs are reduced if they don’t have those prerequisite skills.
The Trumpet Tyro Tonalization Studies are an excellent way to help your students learn the skills of each of the keys up to three flats and three sharps. You can read more about my Tonalization Studies on this website, but this particular book is designed specifically for the Trumpet Tyro level students. It has what I call “scale expansion studies” for the more difficult keys, which help improve their accuracy early in their development.