Do you often wonder at the level of coordination shown by French horn players in an orchestra? The French horn, simply called the horn is one of the key instruments in classical music, jazz, and marching bands. It is a bit rare to find a person with a horn as a personal instrument.
If you are a fan of these music styles, you will appreciate the distinct sound that the horn contributes to the rhythms and melodies of these music genres. If you are interested in joining an orchestra or a town marching band, you could make a useful member by learning to play the horn.
The rarity of personal horns translates to few horn teachers, and indeed, you will mostly find good horn players who double as teachers in music schools, orchestras, and school or college marching bands. This is a bit inconveniencing if you want to learn the horn as an adult.
You will have to look for free time that fits the music school schedule. This can be disruptive to your career and family time, which is a big hindrance to many people who want to learn to play the horn or any other musical instruments. But you can more flexibility with online lessons, which offer self-paced learning.
Here are some French horn lessons you can check out.
6 Best French Horn Lessons for Adults Review
1) ArtistWorks - French Horn with William Caballero
This is a foundational course for beginners in playing the horn but also acts as a useful reference for more advanced players. The lessons are heavily based on classical music, with loads of etudes and repertoires borrowing from Maxime Alphonse, Bach, Reynold, Galley, and Kopprasch.
There are orchestral as well as solo excerpts to teach you how to play in bands as well as solo. Some of the foundational skills you will learn in this course are;
· How to breathe and Air Stream
· Buzzing Lips and Mouthpiece
· Introduction to tonal Centering
· Hand Positioning
· How to Tune the Horn
· How to work with a Drone
· Forehead Movement
The course will also teach you best practices to make you a good horn player, for example;
· Warming Up with Air Attacks and Tonal Centering
· Sustaining and dynamic Exercises
· Interval Exercises for Legato Playing
· Understanding Bandwidths of Pieces, You Are Preparing
· Habitually Recording Yourself
· Practice durations
· Improving Sight Reading
· How to prepare for auditions
This course is taught by William Caballero.
2) Udemy - Learn to Play French Horn
This French horn course is offered under the MusicProfessor curriculum series which has been used in more than 100 schools in the US. This course is for the absolute beginners, both children, and adults. You will learn how to assemble, clean and care for a horn.
You will also learn how to form a good embouchure for the horn, how to read and interpret music, and how to play in major scales. The course will also make you competent in playing melodies, as well as help you recognize and play different notes.
This course contains;
· More than 130 lessons in HD video
· Sheet music you can download
· Recommendations for French horn gear
· Tips and advice on troubleshooting horn problems
· Familiar melodies and tunes for practice
· Exercises for technique building
· Basics in music theory
This comprehensive course consists of 137 lectures recorded in approximately 11 hours of video content. The course is taught by Heather Test, who has performed in The Dallas Opera Orchestra as acting 3rd horn in the past, and a substitute for the 2nd horn in the Allen Philharmonic.
3) Udemy - Master the French Horn: Intermediate Instruction Made Simple
This is a build-up course on the beginners’ course by the same author, also on the MusicProfessor series. This course assumes that you have mastered basic music theory and notation. It takes you a level higher by teaching you;
· How to master the high and low registers
· How to use strength-building exercises to play for longer without fatigue
· How to interpret the dynamic marking
· How to play the full range of the horn
· How to play with complex phrasing and dynamics
· How to read complex rhythms and meters
This is a comprehensive intermediate course. There are 17 lessons made up of 126 lectures lasting almost 12 hours. The course includes;
· More than 120 lessons in HD video
· Downloadable sheet music
· Recommendations for buying French horns and gear
· Tips on troubleshooting French horn problems
· Familiar songs and tunes for practice
· Exercises for perfecting techniques
· Warm-up techniques for playing the horn
This course is taught by Heather Test, an accomplished French Horn player who has played with the Dallas Opera Orchestra, and the Allan Philharmonic. It is done in the MusicProfessor Online Music Lessons Curriculum.
4) Udemy - Horn Pro Series - You're going to love playing French Horn by MusicProfessor
This course is for learners who have been playing the horn for some time, and have intermediate knowledge of music theory and notation. This course will improve your French horn playing by teaching you;
· How to shape your concept of sound
· How to form a good and strong embouchure
· How to work on rhythm and style
· How to improve dexterity and range for better technique
· How to execute good control over dynamics and phrasing
· How to play all 12 major scales competently forwards and backward
· How to sight read
· How to improve articulation abilities
· How to play in play comfortably in unique time signatures
· How to play in bands and ensembles
This course is designed in the Pro Series curriculum in 3-phases;
· Pro Series French Horn Toolkit
· Phase 1 - Core Sound and Fundamental Technique
· Phase 2 - Advanced Articulation and Ensemble Musicianship
· Phase 3 - Advanced Sight Reading
You get loads of study content including;
· 8 hours of video content
· Sheet music for each lesson
· Exercises for technique building
· Basics in music theory
· Tips on maintaining and troubleshooting horn problems
· Exercises in major and minor scales
5) French horn lessons with Erika Wilsen
These horn lessons are taught by Erika Wilsen, a professional performer, and teacher based in Los Angeles, California. She teaches one-on-one lessons to beginners through advanced levels. Her lessons are offered on video conferencing apps including Skype, Facetime and Google hangouts.
The lessons are 30, 45 or 60 minutes depending on the level of the student and goals in learning. If you are a beginner, you are advised to start with the easier 30-minute lessons so as not to get overwhelmed with information. More advanced players can extend time and lessons up to 5 times a week.
The time flexibility depends on the students’ wishes. You set up your preferred time upon registration. From then on, you initiate the lesson when you are available. You can give a notice of 48 hours if you need to reschedule your lessons.
She has set up a resources site where students can get the learning aids, they need including fingering charts, blank music sheets, and a free online metronome. Erika also writes a blog where students can read up on horn related subjects including taking care of the horn, practice tips, and orchestra events.
6) How to play French horn with Katherine Leisener
This is a course that is designed to take you from an absolute beginner to a fairly competent French horn player of intermediate skills. It covers much ground from assembling your French horn to playing slurs and other orchestral music. You will also get tips on how to maintain your horn in working order. The lessons include;
· How to get started on the French horn
· Holding the French horn
· Using mouth pressure on the horn
· How to Use Embouchure
· Playing the French Horn with Complex Fingerings
· Adjusting French Horn Intonation with Slides
· How to hand stop bell
· How to adjust the tone with hand in the bell
· How to Stop and Mute on a French Horn
· How to Play Staccato, accenting and Glissando Notes on a French Horn
· How to Empty the Spit Valve on a French Horn
· Oiling the Valves on a French Horn
· How to Grease the Slides on a Horn
· How to Play the French Horn while Standing
· Practical French horn practice tips
These lessons are offered on recorded videos that you can download. The lessons are taught by Katherine Liesener who has played French horn for 15 years with Opera Illinois, and the Danville Symphony Orchestra.
Choosing the Best French Horn Lessons for Adults
Learning how to play the French horn as an adult is not difficult if you are determined to see it through, and have a good teacher, and good learning resources. If you have been dreaming of playing in an orchestra or being part of the marching band during the town fair, the French horn is a good musical instrument to learn.
This is a personal challenge that has immense opportunities for good French horn players seeing they are not as many as say piano or guitar players. If you have been looking to learn but find that free time is hard to come by, some of these online lessons offer you the perfect self-paced learning opportunity to achieve your musical dream.