John Blanke was a black trumpeter at Hampton Court Palace during the time of King Henry VII and King Henry VIII. John talks us through what it was like to play the trumpet for such noble people.
After viewing the clip, pupils could listen to some modern recordings of Tudor music. They could try playing recorders to a simple setting of 'Greensleeves', said to have been written by Henry VIII himself (though this is unlikely, as the tune probably reached England from Italy in the reign of Henry’s daughter Elizabeth). Non-recorder players could provide a percussion accompaniment. The children could go on to find out more about the life of the minstrel John Blanke, from a range of sources, including books and webpages. The children could paint portraits of John Blanke, using the clip as a source. Ask students what they think it would be like to work for King Henry VIII. Play a selection of trumpet music and ask children to choose their favourite piece and decide which occasions it could be used for.