French Horn

French Horn.jpg

Brass Family / Alto Voice

French Horn is a very challenging instrument in the beginning.
It is common to start on another instrument in the Brass family and then switch to French Horn.
Students who thrive on French Horn are often the really high achievers in their year level and have a focused determination to master difficult skills. French Horn also requires strong aural ability to accurately pitch the correct notes.

French Horn is in the Conical / Non-directional Brass Family, along with Euphonium and Tuba. This family provides the warmth and depth in a band sound.

French Horns come in different sizes and keys.
I highly recommend student begin on a Single Bb horn if at all possible. These are smaller, lighter and much easier to accurately hit the higher notes in the first years of playing. 
Single F horn is a good option for students who have learned trumpet for a couple of years and wish to switch to horn. The fingering requires very little adjustment for trumpet players except of being played with the Left hand, which is a surprisingly straight forward adjustment.
A Double Horn is recommended once a student is big enough and are standard at the High School level.

Physical Attributes

  • Lips are thin to medium - thicker lips can make for amazing French Horn players, but dedication to good technique is critical to achiever the higher notes
  • Front 4 adult teeth all present (2 top, 2 bottom)
  • Front teeth are straight and even, closed teeth meet evenly
    Large overbites can work more easily on French Horn than on Trumpet

Academic Attributes

  • Reading skills are above average
  • Focused and patient learner

Character Attributes

  • Strong self-confidence, as the french is often a solo or independent instrument
  • Strong work habits - willing to practice diligently and consistently
  • Does not give up easily
    (The French Horn is a very challenging instrument, which is highly rewarding for dedicated students. The first 6 months on are especially challenging compared to other instruments.
    Progress can feel slow and difficult. Once over this initial learning hump, confidence begins to lift and progress can accelerate swiftly. The required lip control to accurately hit the right notes can take a while to acquire, especially the high notes)
  • Desire to play French Horn is unwavering
  • Parental support is strong 

Blow Test Achievements

  • Demonstrate good lip control with the “flutter” and “fly” exercises
  • Aural - sense of pitch is exceptional
    (They sing beautifully and in tune)

Instrument Progression

Trumpet or Trombone for Jazz Ensembles