Bringing music to the students: Hogsett fifth-grade students learn trumpet, trombone

Published 8:58 am Monday, March 20, 2017

Fifth grade students at Hogsett Elementary School received a unique opportunity thanks to a donation of instruments by Conn-Selmer to the Great American Brass Band Festival.

Thirty pBone instruments — 15 trumpets and 15 trombones — were donated to “create various opportunities for children.” The pBone instruments are made of a sturdy plastic, according to Laura Jack with the Great American Brass Band Festival.

The first was three weekly visits from Conner Kinman, a University of Kentucky graduate, and Destiny Carter, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, who created a curriculum and taught the students how to play.

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“It’s been really fun, to see where they’ve come from,” said Carter. She taught the students to play trombone.

“I’m impressed with how they’ve retained the information and how hard they’ve worked,” said Kinman. He taught them the trumpet. “This age level of students are capable of a lot more than people give them credit for. We’ve asked a lot of them.”

He said he was impressed with how the students had been respectful and willing to listen in class.

The 30 Hogsett students completed their third and final session of the class on Friday, learning “Go Big Blue.” The lesson also coincides with Music In Our Schools month.

Valerie Hildabrand, the music teacher at Hogsett Elementary School, said she was happy to see how many students were excited to learn to play.

“You can tell they’re excited to be here,” she said.

A professional trombone player in her own right, Hildabrand said that was part of why she said yes to the project.

“I’m hoping it motivates them to want to be involved in band next year,” she said.

The students were asked if they would be interested and most all of them said yes, she explained.

Only about 30 were able to participate in the program, but if someone was absent one of the three sessions, another student was selected to sit in for the day. The students got to choose which of the two instruments — trumpet or trombone — that they wanted to play. More of the guys in the class chose trumpet, while more of the girls in the class chose trombone, a largely male-dominated instrument.

Hildabrand said she was excited to see that, too.

Jack said the festival was happy to help bring the music into the schools.

“The feedback has been positive,” she said. “We hope they learn to play and get excited … hopefully, they come out for the Great American Brass Band Festival.”

Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek. 


“It was fun!” -Gilberto Martinez, played the trombone and wants to play it in middle school

“I loved it!” -Lupita Herrera, played the trombone and wants to play it in middle school

“It was great!” – Matthew Spicer, played trombone, wants to learn other instruments in middle school

“It was fun.” -Hannah Rogers, played the trumpet and wants to be in the band in middle school