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Top 11 Benefits Of Learning & Playing Trumpet

My New Microphone Top 11 Benefits Of Learning & Playing Trumpet

The trumpet is a well-respected and popular choice in a variety of musical genres, including jazz, funk, classical, marching band, rock and pop. There are a surprising number of benefits associated with learning how to play the trumpet and practicing/playing regularly.

You may be a complete novice, deciding whether to pick up a trumpet for the first time, or perhaps you're a seasoned professional. Either way, I hope to inspire you to continue on your musical journey as you read this article.

There is so much to gain from learning a musical instrument like the trumpet, and I've selected what I believe to be the top 11 best reasons.

The Top 11 Benefits Of Learning And Playing Trumpet Are:

  1. Strengthens Breathing
  2. Improves Memory
  3. Introduces A New Language
  4. Improves Coordination/Dexterity
  5. Improves Discipline & Concentration
  6. Builds Confidence
  7. Provides A Creative Outlet
  8. Enhances The Understanding Of Music
  9. Yields Translatable Skills For Other Brass Instruments
  10. Building Relationships
  11. Therapeutic Benefits

In this article, we'll discuss each of the benefits listed above to understand better how learning and playing the trumpet can improve our lives.

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Learning & Playing Trumpet Strengthens Breathing

Proper breathing is important for success with any instrument, though controlled breathing is directly attributed to the sound of brass instruments like the trumpet. While string and percussion instruments affect our breathing (often by relaxation and/or physical exertion), the trumpet relies on the strength of our breath to produce its sound.

An important part of learning and playing the trumpet is learning the breathing requirements necessary to blow air, vibrate the lips and ultimately produce the intended sound. Like when singing, if the trumpeter runs out of air to blow, the trumpet stops producing sound.

So, we must become skilled with and conscious of our breathing when learning and playing the trumpet.

The diaphragmatic (belly) breathing required for brass instruments helps us improve our overall breathing. Breath control is necessary, ranging from sharp, explosive exhalations to relaxed and open inhalations.

Playing the trumpet properly gives our lungs, diaphragm and abdominals a good workout and strengthens our respiratory system. Furthermore, it may help improve our posture by strengthening our core muscles.

Music therapy, including the learning of brass instruments like the trumpet, has promising effects on improving the overall respiratory health of those living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (source).

Improving the respiratory system and breath control can positively impact our overall health and has benefits beyond music, spanning exercise, meditation, and more.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Improves Memory

Relatively recent advances in brain-scanning technologies have allowed researchers to study how musical instruments can improve memory. Several publications on the topic, including this source, state how listening to and learning music will improve memory.

Our memory can be improved by putting our brains to work (source). The auditory and tactile stimulation and the visual aspect of reading music make learning to play the trumpet a definite brain workout. In particular, learning a musical instrument like the trumpet will stimulate the amygdala and hippocampus, which play a role in emotions and memories (source).

Consider all the factors of learning and playing the trumpet that involve memory:

  • Memorizing songs (with rhythm, harmony, melody, timbre/tone)
  • The notes of the trumpet
  • Chord arpeggio fingerings
  • Theoretical knowledge of music (rhythm, harmony, melody)

Stimulate the hippocampus by playing the trumpet activates neurogenesis, the formation of new neurons. Neurogenesis is linked to improved learning and memory (source).


Learning & Playing Trumpet Introduces A New Language

“Music is the universal language of mankind” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (source). Whether we're learning songs on the trumpet by ear or reading sheet music, playing is very similar to reading and speaking a spoken language.

Music has the ability to tell a story and has been used as a standalone or a supporting art form in storytelling for a long time. Like other musical instruments, the trumpet can invoke emotions and feelings in the player and listener.

The trumpet offers a certain “dialect” of the “musical language” and can expand our understanding of music and the world.

Beyond the trumpet itself, the song arrangement, harmonic movement, rhythm, lead/melodic lines, and the general feel of the music are all part of the language in their own right.

Studies show that learning a musical instrument like the trumpet helps strengthen the same parts of the brain responsible for language processing (source). Therefore, becoming proficient at playing the trumpet introduces not only the language of music but also enhances our brain's ability to learn spoken languages.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Improves Coordination/Dexterity

We've already touched on the importance of breath control when playing the trumpet. While breath control alone (no fingering) can produce “open notes,” including the fundamental Middle C (C4) and its overtones (G4, C5, E5, G5, Bb5, C6), to really get the most notes and music out of a trumpet, we need fingerings.

To master the trumpet, we must be able to synchronize our breathing, embouchure and fingerings to produce the notes, all at proper volumes and rhythms. Practicing trumpet will inevitably develop coordination between the breath, embouchure and hands.

The development of such dexterity will allow us to perform the notes we want, when we want them, with the timbre and emotionality we want to express.

This dexterity and coordination are further improved as we sight-read sheet music.

Though the trumpet is its own instrument, the dexterity and control learned will apply to other instruments, even beyond the brass family.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Improves Discipline & Concentration

Becoming proficient at playing any musical instrument takes time, dedication and a willingness to improve. Developing a strict practice and playing routine requires the same. In other words, learning and playing trumpet takes discipline and concentration.

These skills (discipline and concentration) can be learned and nurtured with intentional practice. From the mechanics to the in-depth theory, the trumpet offers a fun way to learn music and the instrument while also strengthening discipline and concentration for other areas of our lives.

Learning the basics of trumpet presents a fairly steep learning curve, which requires work to overcome. Mastering the instrument demands unwavering resolve to the craft.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Builds Confidence

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines self-confidence as the “confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities”.

Playing the trumpet gives us immediate auditory feedback. If it sounds the way we're trying to make it sound, we build self-confidence! As we continuously improve our technical and creative prowess with the instrument, we become more assured.

In addition to building confidence on the instrument itself, learning how to play the trumpet can give us the confidence to learn other skills as well. Knowing deep down that you can learn what you put your mind to (musical instruments or otherwise) will surely boost self-esteem.

Furthermore, we can get to a point in our trumpet learning journey where we're in a position to play with and/or for other musicians and audiences. In doing so, playing the trumpet can help us overcome shyness and stage fright.

The trumpet is often given solo opportunities, which allows us to show off our chops and be the centre of attention for a moment. Spend enough time in the spotlight with your trumpet, and you'll develop the confidence to do so in other areas, too.

Developing the confidence to perform in front of friends, family, strangers and even virtually/online will pay dividends in many other areas of our lives.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Provides A Creative Outlet

Human beings are naturally creative, though creativity in music and the arts is perhaps more obvious than other forms of creativity (source). Whether we're musically inclined or not or play other instruments or not, learning the trumpet can give us an outlet for our inherent creativity.

Studies show that learning musical instruments like the trumpet creates connections between the brain's two hemispheres. Learning the trumpet and playing/practicing it regularly can actually grow the corpora callosa in the brain.

The corpora callosa is the bundle of axons that effectively connects the two hemispheres (source). With new neural pathways, we add additional ways of thinking (consciously and subconsciously), which surely improves our ability to create innovative and unique musical ideas.

The trumpet is an excellent instrument for sharing our musical creativity with the world, whether we're playing written songs or writing and/or improvising our own!


Learning & Playing Trumpet Enhances The Understanding Of Music

Trumpets are staples in jazz, funk, big band, marching band, classical, and many other genres of music. The instrument is also relatively historical, being invented well before the medieval period of music (the trumpet was invented circa 1500 BC).

The versatility and deep repertoire of this instrument allow trumpeters to explore pieces/songs/repertoire/standards in a variety of musical styles.

Once we learn the trumpet fundamentals, we can access the many different styles available to expand our musical learning. In doing so, we deepen our understanding of the beautiful art form of music.

It's worth noting, too, that trumpets are monophonic instruments (producing one note at a time). This means that trumpets can't play simultaneous notes in chords, unlike polyphonic instruments like the guitar and piano. Rather, they must arpeggiate chords, playing each chord tone in succession. This “limitation” allows trumpeters to think of melody and harmony differently.

Additionally, since trumpets rely on the breath, their phrases can be considered more “human-like”. While the guitarists, pianists, drummers, etc., can continually play notes, the trumpeter is naturally restricted to more “vocal-like” lines. These limitations help trumpeters develop a certain viewpoint of melody, harmony and phrasing.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Yields Translatable Skills For Other Brass Instruments

The trumpet is the highest-pitched brass instrument. The brass family also includes the French horn, trombone, tuba, euphonium and more.

Though the mouthpieces, embouchure, breath requirements and form factor are different between these brass instruments, the general working principle remains the same.

As we learn how to blow and vibrate our lips to produce sound with a trumpet, we'll also be developing skills translatable to the other brass instruments.

While every instrument has its own particular embouchure, you can learn the other brass instruments more easily if you already know how to play the trumpet. Switching between them becomes an exercise in recalling the particular embouchure and breath control.

The breath control will also come in handy with woodwind instruments, even though they are in a different family of musical instruments.

In terms of fingering, modern valved brass instruments are designed, so their three main valves offer the same relative tuning, though transposed for the particular range of the instrument.

Therefore, learning to play the trumpet will give us a solid foundation for running through scales on other valved instruments. Though the starting “open note” will be different, the intervals will be the same.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Helps Build Relationships

Music brings people together. Thanks to music and being a musician, I've personally built many relationships, including a few trumpeters.

Perhaps the first relationship you'll build when learning the trumpet is with a teacher (if you choose to go down that route of learning). This is true of in-person lessons and one-on-one online lessons.

Once you've developed your skills and knowledge of the trumpet, you can become a teacher and build relationships with your students.

A few online resources for trumpet students and teachers that I recommend are Fiverr, Preply and Upwork.

Beyond the formality of student-teacher relationships, you'll be able to play with other musicians in bands and ensembles if you so choose. Playing the trumpet will allow you to meet and collaborate with other musicians, either professionally or just for fun.

Whether you start a band, join a marching band or orchestra, or simply jam for fun, becoming a skilled trumpeter will get you noticed by other musicians.

Finally, if you've developed the skill and confidence to play live, you'll certainly meet venue owners, music fans and other musicians. Music excels as a social art, and it makes it much easier to meet new people and develop deeper connections.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Has Therapeutic Benefits

Debra Shipman (Ph.D. RN) states, “Learning to play a musical instrument provides a peaceful retreat from the pressures of daily life. Therapeutic outcomes of playing music include better communication skills, improved emotional release and decreased anxiety and agitation. Musical training promotes cognitive function, mental health, and a connection to others.” (source)

Music is being studied thoroughly as a promising tool for therapy for the brain, lungs and heart (source). These health benefits are readily available with regular practice on the trumpet. The American Music Therapy Association lists the following benefits of music therapy:

  • Promote Wellness
  • Manage Stress
  • Alleviate Pain
  • Express Feelings
  • Enhance Memory
  • Improve Communication
  • Promote Physical Rehabilitation

Learning & Playing Trumpet Bonus Benefit 1: Monetizing Your Skills

The first “bonus benefit” is about money.

Once you've become a capable trumpeter, there are many different avenues to monetize your skills. Here are just a few to consider:

  • Performing original music live (at clubs, dinner parties, churches, coffee shops, and even busking)
  • Performing covers live
  • Record streaming royalties from original music
  • Teaching trumpet lessons
  • Recording as a session trumpeter

There are plenty of other opportunities to monetize trumpet-playing skills. Marketable skills (whether they're high-paying and/or capitalized on or not) are undoubtedly a benefit of learning and playing the trumpet.


Learning & Playing Trumpet Bonus Benefit 2: Opportunity To Learn Instrument Upkeep & Construction

Learning and playing trumpet isn't only about the technique, music theory and songs. It's also about the instruments themselves. Leaning the trumpet gives us a great opportunity to learn about the physics of sound and brass instruments more generally.

Furthermore, learning the general upkeep of the trumpet teaches us about plenty of other topics, including:

  • How to disassemble and reassemble trumpet
  • How air vibrates our lips and tubes of air to produce sound
  • The effects of humidity on metal
  • How to clean trumpets for optimal health and performance
  • How to properly oil the valves
  • How to replace the cork on water keys

Leave A Comment!

Have any thoughts, questions or concerns? I invite you to add them to the comment section at the bottom of the page! I'd love to hear your insights and inquiries and will do my best to add to the conversation. Thanks!

This article has been approved in accordance with the My New Microphone Editorial Policy.

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