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Ottawa Symphony Orchestra

Beginner French Horn

Introductory | Strings | Winds | Harp | Percussion
Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra | Ottawa Youth Orchestra

french horn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: The horn is a brass instrument consisting of about 12 feet (3.7 m) of tubing wrapped into a coil with a flared bell. It is descended from the natural horn and is informally known as the French horn. Horns have valves, operated with the left hand, to route the air into extra tubing to change the pitch. Most horns have lever-operated rotary valves, but some horns like the Vienna horn use piston valves (similar to trumpet valves). A horn without valves is known as a natural horn, changing pitch along the natural harmonics of the instrument (similar to a bugle), but with a wide range of notes due to the long tubing. Three valves control the flow of air in the single horn, which is tuned to F or less commonly, B-flat. ... A musician who plays the horn is called a horn player (or less frequently, a hornist). The International Horn Society has recommended since 1971 that the instrument itself be properly referred to solely as the horn.

horn close up

The OYOA offers Beginner French Horn students instruction on the horn and in the basic music theory essential to this challenging instrument. Classes are small - limited to six students, age 10 - 14.

The French Horn:

Students in this course may borrow a horn for the OYOA school year for their personal use (see the OYOA instrument loan policy).


The Academy provides a high-quality instrument at no cost for each student through our instrument loan program (see OYOA loan policy). To ensure that students have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of the instrument, in addition to the group lesson each week, the Academy subsidizes 25 mandatory private, half-hour lessons. 25 lessons would normally cost $750, but under this program, the cost is only $450, paid in two equal installments of $225 by post-dated cheque at the first meeting (the cost of these private lessons is in addition to the tuition for the group lessons.)


All classes are held at the Ottawa Technical Secondary School, at 485 Donald St., Ottawa.

Performance Opportunities:

Each year, the Beginner French Horn class performs in free concerts at the OYOA. As well, other performance opportunities occasionally arise.

junior brass

Where Can I Go From Here?

After a year in Beginner French Horn, many students progress to the Junior Brass Ensemble, where they perform with other brass instruments such as trumpet and trombone. Qualified horn players are an important asset to many chamber groups and symphony orchestras.


Audition Requirements:

There are no audition requirements for this ensemble. It is assumed that participants are new to the instrument, and new to reading music.

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