Of all the brass instruments, the French horn boasts the largest tonal range. The French horn family features a variety of different instruments. The most common for beginners to learn on is the F single horn, but there’s also a B-flat and double-horn versions available for more skilled players. All types of French horns produce a soft and rich timbre that sits somewhere between the tones of brass instruments and woodwinds. As a result, the French horn blends incredibly well with a variety of instruments.
Their shiny surfaces and complicated tubing might make it hard to believe, but the French horns we play today actually originated and evolved from the animal horns our ancestors used to hollow out and blow into to produce a loud sound used for communicating across vast distances. Horns were regularly used to communicate during hunting expeditions up until as late as the middle of the sixteenth century. When you learn to play French horn today, you not only learn to make beautiful music, but also carry on a timeless human tradition.
Why Learn to Play French Horn?
The French horn has a place in a variety of music genres. It’s prominently used in classical masterpieces for orchestra, jazz bands, brass bands, military bands, concert bands, and marching bands. When you learn to play French horn, you’ll have a variety of opportunities to share your talent and music with others. Once you’re ready to join a music ensemble, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet other musicians and make new friends.
French horn also imparts a variety of health benefits on hornists. Playing the French horn requires abdominal strength, proper posture, and great lung capacity. As you practice and develop your skills, you’ll strengthen your body, improve posture, and increase lung capacity. As a result, your body will enjoy less stress, increased oxygen flow, less back pain, and an improved immune system.
The Best Way to Learn French Horn and What You’ll Study in French Horn Classes
It’s easy to find free French horn classes online, but the best way to learn French horn is with a private teacher. With your teacher’s undivided attention and immediate feedback, you’ll stay motivated and learn quickly. Plus, no two private lessons are exactly alike. For example, French horn lessons for children differ greatly in terms of content and teaching methods from French horn classes for adults. Your private French horn tutor will customize every lesson to meet your individual interests and abilities, as you learn at a pace that’s comfortable for you.
Sample Curriculum for Beginner French Horn Lessons
If you’ve had little or no previous experience playing the French horn, then beginner lessons are for you. In beginner French horn classes, you’ll be introduced to the basic techniques and music theory needed to start your musical journey. In beginner lessons, your French horn teacher might cover the following topics:
- Instrument anatomy and care
- Proper hold, posture, and embouchure
- Playing basic scales and simple melodies
- Reading musical notation
- Introduction to music theory
Sample Curriculum for Intermediate French Horn Classes
If you’ve mastered the basics of French horn, reading musical notation, and music theory, then intermediate lessons are for you! In these classes, you’ll learn more challenging techniques, as you study increasingly complex music. Your private French horn tutor might cover the following topics in intermediate lessons:
- Breathing exercises
- Microtones and multiphonics
- Hand-stopping and muting inside the bell
- Playing the instrument’s full range
Sample Curriculum for Advanced French Horn Lessons
Advanced lessons are perfect for students who’ve already achieved a high level of skill with the French horn. In these lessons, your tutor will help you overcome personal challenges to improve your skill and reach your goals. In advanced lessons, course content depends greatly on the individual student’s interests and goals, but your private French horn teacher might cover some of the following topics:
- Sight reading
- Warm-ups and maintenance exercises
- Perfecting dynamics and playing expressively
- Audition coaching
- Performance preparation
How to Find a French Horn Teacher Near You
If you’re ready to toot the French horn, then you’ll need a teacher. Luckily, finding a French horn tutor on WBI is easy! With a quick search, you can find a long list of highly qualified and experienced teachers who offer French horn lessons near you and online. Before choosing a French horn teacher, we recommend browsing several tutor profiles and reading reviews left by students like you.
The cost of French horn lessons varies, but most instructors base their rates on the length and frequency of lessons. With so many teachers to choose from, you should have no problem finding a teacher who fits into your budget and schedule. Plus, investing in private lessons will pay off greatly when you’re able to pick up new concepts fast and improve your technique after only a few lessons!