I wrote Breakdown Blues to use on an inter-schools orchestral playing day. The pupils were all primary school age and it was a large group (around 60) with a good balance of instruments. The piece seemed to go down well with the pupils and the performance was met with enthusiastic applause!
This 12 bar blues can be used to introduce young players to the idea of a repeating musical structure, in this case a commonly used jazz form. The piece will work as long as you have enough players to cover the tune throughout (flute 1, clarinet 1 or violin 1) and the piano, although obviously a larger group with a variety of instruments will give more interesting results, and it is better with at least a couple of woodwind brass, percussion and stringed instruments. It caters for some very elementary players, but you will need some more intermediate players who can cope with higher registers on their instruments. Fingerings / slide positions are given in some of the brass parts. Some instruments are doubled ‒ it should be easy enough to spot which ‒ and therefore not all parts appear in the full score. Guitar tab parts are provided for non-readers, but reading from standard notation is strongly encouraged! Chord symbols / diagrams are given for most of the piece, but there are some sections where unison single notes are required. Percussion instruments are specified in the score, but this should not be regarded as fixed; other percussion instruments can be used.