Kyle Hayes, Editor

Items of interest by and for young horn players. Those interested in contributing to the HornZone should contact Kyle Hayes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Scales, Scales, Scales

by Riley P.

Scales. Some hate them, some love them. I wish to discover why do musicians despise these evil things so much? I think we think they are boring and useless. But they are not useless. After all the scales are learned, musicians can play in different keys much faster and easier. This is why when trying out for a band or another ensemble, the judge wants to hear scales so they know you can read music faster. This year scales became very useful. I made the top regional honor band this year partly because I knew every one of my scales after memorizing them in my private lessons.

By knowing the twelve major scales, your note recognition will improve. Hitting notes while playing music will be easier because of knowing the scales. Also in music, there are little parts of scales put in the music.

Scales, scales, scales. They ARE useful. They are NOT pointless. I would recommend to everyone to learn their scales. Later you will not regret it, even if you do while practicing the scales.


Riley is an 8th grade horn student in west Tennessee

Gaining the Upper Hand

Teaching the Right Hand Position For Hornists
by Dr. Howard Hilliard

What's so difficult about putting the right hand in the horn bell? Plenty, if you are starting a young student. Playing with the wrong hand position in the bell is endemic among young horn players. Of course there are degrees of wrong. After having taught hundreds of beginners as well as having seen various degrees of success and approaches by many band directors, I consider myself in a privileged position to offer suggestions on this topic. There are two main considerations that must be addressed in approaching the right hand in the bell. First, what is the correct position, and second, how best to achieve this for young students?

Read more: Gaining the Upper Hand

Chamber Music: Filling the Hornist’s Toolbox

by John-Morgan Bush

Chamber music provides enormous benefits for horn players. I have recently discovered this truth from participating in a brass quintet at the university level. Benefits include flexibility in playing that carries over into playing in larger ensembles, social networking, career and business experience, financial management, physical and mental endurance, and fun.

Chamber music is a form of musical communication for smaller ensembles in an intimate setting. Ideally, chamber music is enjoyed in a room that holds fewer than 50 listeners, all of whom are seated relatively close to the performers.

Read more: Chamber Music: Filling the Hornist’s Toolbox

Prepare for Success: A College Audition Guide

by Kristy Morrell and Annie Bosler

Your palms are sweating, your heart is pounding, and you can't stop the incessant chatter going on between your ears. Behind the door in front of you is a group of people who don't know you, but who over the next ten minutes will have a hand in shaping the next four years of your life. A performance program like this is one in a million and it is exactly where you want to be. The question is, are you prepared?

Ten horn players have already auditioned, and there are another twenty-two after you. The studio can hold fifteen and they are only accepting two freshman. Maybe you can make the cut, but you need a scholarship to convince your parents to let you attend the school of your dreams. Placing first in All State Band and having your hometown teacher say you are "good enough" suddenly does not seem enough. The question remains, are you prepared?
Here is a program to help you prepare.

Read more: Prepare for Success: A College Audition Guide

Road Trip to Your Future

A Guide to the College Audition Process

by Michael Reedy

Congratulations, you are finally a senior in high school, isn't it great?!?!?! Try not so much for the many of us who are suffering from the ridiculous amount of stress that comes along with the thought of the words: COLLEGE AUDITIONS.  Questions running through your head like what solo should I do? What excerpts? What if I don't like the school? What if I don't like the teacher? What if the teacher doesn't like me??? These are the same questions that every senior thinks of before the actual audition and I am here to tell you that although I am not an expert, I am in the same boat. Over the next couple months, I will be doing a journal-like approach to this article with different topics and tips to make your senior year less hectic while using me and my experiences as the guinea pig.

Read more: Road Trip to Your Future

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