How Young is too young?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by EIBB_Ray, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. EIBB_Ray

    EIBB_Ray Member

    Okay, please retrieve your minds from the gutter.

    Here in the states, it's somewhat the norm not to start wind instrument lessons with kids until 4th or 5th grades (9 or 10 years old.) I have a son who's one year old tomorrow and he's been helping practice (by pushing down the third valve for me so I can play G-A, G-A over and over for hours, and by reaching for the bell to see where the sound comes from.) Anyway, the question is how young did you start playing brass and how young would you start a child? Any thoughts on better instruments to start with? Any do's/don'ts for young kids?
  2. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    You use the alternative fingering? 3 as opposed to 1+2?

    I started when i was still at first school, at the age of about 6. on trumpet, before progressing to cornet and then bass.

    I think all kids should learn recorder at first cos its easy to pick up and teaches the basics well
  3. Back in my first band, they wouldn't let kids start until their front teeth grew through properly, which malkes sense really. This is normally age 7 :) well in my case it was!
  4. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    hi ther do you read minds i was just thinking of startinfg a similar thread bcose i would like my daughter to start playing, shes been comming to band with me since she weas 6 mths!!!
    she seems to enjoy her self so was thinking of giving her a mouthpiece to use., just to get her used to blowing. any way ill b keepin an i out on this for ideas
    cheers dude :lol:
  5. Hi Super Sop

    :idea: When you give her the mouthpiece, put it in a mute so she has something else to hold on to, a stonelined one works best for little hands, good luck, :D
  6. Sarahjo

    Sarahjo New Member

    My four year old daughter is dying to learn, but we are waiting untill her frount teeth are through properly. She does have a cornet that she toots on when ever she fancies but we are not seriously teaching her yet.

    Hasn't got the concentration yet anyway!!!! :lol: 8)
  7. picju96

    picju96 Member

    I started when I was 9 in primary school, didn't have a chance then before that, and couldn't have been introduced by any of my family coz none of them play.
  8. YorkshirePudding

    YorkshirePudding New Member

    I honestly beleive that in most cases it is not mutually beneficial for kids or band for kids to start before they are about 10. I know this seems late but hear me out.
    In our training band I have seen 5-7 year olds kids start who have been coming every week for several years and they have made some slow progress but very limited.
    When a 10 - 12 year old starts (or an adult come to that) they seem to rapidly advance. Within 3 months they have overtaken the younger ones who have been there years.
    Aha you say! But after several years the 5 - 7 year olds will be the same age as the 10 - 12 year olds and with their greater experience surely they will be much better and progress quicker. Well in our training bands experience that is not the case. Apart from the odd brilliant exception the youngsters seem to sink into a mediocre level of expectation and performance whereas the ones starting later seem to get excited and are more motivated to better themselves.

    This presents training bands with a huge headache. You get the later starting improvers and adults itching to play proper adult stuff and getting bored of the kiddy stuff. Meanwhile the younger ones are intimidated by the more challenging stuff and dont want to move on. The end result is you get people leaving at either end of the spectrum.

    Our band has a training/training band but you get the same problems there too. We have a very generous policy that we accept anybody and will give tuition no matter what the age. But this does present problems.
    All this could be solved by parents realising that it is sometimes counter productive to push their kids too soon. You will not miss the boat. If they have it in them they will still blossom at a more reasonable age.
  9. Nat

    Nat Member


    i was nearly six when i started playing
  10. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    thats spot on in my book, let them have a toot, then when they want to start properly let them! my son was dying to learn at age 6 so we let him, we just eased off when his teety were coming thru
  11. Brian

    Brian Member

    Take a look at Shirland Training Band, and their Junior Band, they are playing in Solo Contest at 5 and 6 yrs old Brian
  12. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    it hasn't done them any harm has it Brian? :wink: my kids were 6 and 7 when you adjudicated them....... they both got prizes and lovely comments for young kids! :)
  13. Brian

    Brian Member

    Good evening Sharon, O good afternoon....I teach kids in Thailand at 6yrs old in School...All pupils at 7 are taught either woodwind, brass,guitar,percussion or piano, and this is an American International School, so as with full Band rehearsals it's all done during the school day.
    Just finished downloading Coda Finale 2003 into my computer, so my Scores and Parts will be really good,and neat, although I need a midi interface so I can use a keyboard to play it all in...doing it manually is mind bending....
  14. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    Too Young = any younger then your teachers can manage..

    Like most bands, our members volunteer to teach the training classes.. We start them at 8, and are considering dropping it to 7..
    However, if I asked them to take 5 and 6 year olds, I'm not sure we'd be able to manage them (lack of experience - most of us being 20-odd non-parents)

    Three rules in our band:
    1) Keep the kids happy.
    2) Keep the teachers happy.
    3) Keep everyone else happy.

    It's worked so far..
  15. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    My five year old son has just told me he wants to learn to play the cornet. (He already has access to a recorder and lots of percussion, and he 'plays' the piano from time to time). So I've got an old cornet for him to try. They'll be no pressure, only guidance on embouchure and production. It will be interesting to see how he gets on.

    Of course, he really wants to be a conductor.

  16. super_sop

    super_sop Supporting Member

    xcellent idea ill try that 1.
  17. hornblower

    hornblower Member

    I learnt recorder at primary school... but started on the tenor horn at 11, think it depends on when children show an interest and if they come from a musical background....
  18. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    yeah i did a bit of the old recorder in primary school too.
    Started a bit of piano near the end of primary school, but only took horn up about 6 years ago when i was 12/13. So im a bit of a late starter i spose for my age.
    I know many people recommend not starting kids playing instruments until a certain age, but many of the famous players and soloists of today took their instruments up from a very early age (like 2 or 3 years old!)
  19. twigglet

    twigglet Member

    I started piano and recorder at 6 and then stumbled across the now infamous (thanks to Roger) Wem Jubilee Band at the age of 8. I think that is an ideal age to start playing as your teeth have pretty much sorted themselves out by then and plus now it feels as if I grew up in the band, they are pretty much like my second family!

    But I think much younger than 7 is not a good idea because of teeth falling out, learning with one mouth position and then having to change it is a lot of hard work.

  20. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    Ok, I'm just putting on my professional hat on for a sec...

    From my point of view, the best time to start a brass instrument is around the age of eight, once the permanent incisors have fully erupted into the mouth - ie 4 at the top and 4 at the bottom. Give them chance to settle into position then go for it!

    Of course, everyone develops differently and at different times so the age isn't set in stone, but by waiting it gives you less problems on the embouchure front and reduces the need for braces etc in future years which have been covered elsewhere on the forum.

    I started recorder when I was 5 and flute when I was 6, didn't really blow a cornet properly until I was 15!

    Rach x

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