Teaching Brass to teeny weeny

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by SuperMosh, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

    Hi all

    My 4 year old is showing a heavy interest in playing a brass instrument. He can (and has been able to for 18 months) get a note out of my bass and he wants to play a cornet so he can join our band.

    Now, I am well aware that at 4 years old little uns tend to flit and flat between ideas. However, he has been pretty steady on this for a while and I have thought "why not" and am organising him a spare cornet from our band.

    Whilst I am more than happy for him to blow the thing and get used to having fun with the instrument (after all, this is why we do it anyway!) but if he gets rather good at blowing the thing, I would love to help him along.

    I am not going to push him in anyway but if he shows an interest and has fun, how do I guide him? Any good ideas for helping him to learn? Remember I play Eb Bass and can only get a note of a cornet if I blow down t'other end! :)

    All help appreciated. Possibly not by my neighbours though!
  2. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    I'd wait till all his adult teeth have fully developed, then get him a good peri teacher.
  3. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Yes, that's usually the best. The front teeth are rather critical to brass playing (I know this from personal experience, as mine were damaged when I was about 12 years old).

    But you can definitely begin him on musical endeavours - piano, for instance. He's likely to advance much faster on brass once he gets there if he can already read music and has had some musical experience.
  4. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    I heard of one guy teaching his weeny grades 1-5 theory before he even started an instrument and the kid was phenominal, but havn't heard anything since, might not haave been true but you never know
  5. Ruthless

    Ruthless Member

    You might want to talk to your conductor - find out whether he still does lessons. He is a very good teacher ;) . If not he may know some one who can help.
  6. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    Can't remember if it was on here or on one of the other forums I go to, but this was in the news about a year ago. Not bad for a 4 year old!

    There is a link on there to see but I can't tell if it still works at the moment because it's blocked at work!
  7. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    I'd second that, teach him piano, singing? or recorder, something that can help him understand the notes, keep him blowing the instrument (and having fun playing around on it) to begin to build up his technique, then when he has his full front teeth he can start learning to play the instrument properly with the benefit of knowing how to read music. From 4 to adult teeth, he could be a couple of grades into piano, perhaps even through a couple of theory books.

    I started on piano for about 2 years before I started on trombone for exactly the same reason (and also the option of learning in school wasn't there until I was 9). I hated it at the time but am so grateful to my parents because I feel now I have a much better understanding of music (transpositions, keys, harmonies etc.) and it will help me as I develop as a player, conductor and composer.

    The biggest thing I notice about the kids in the training band I teach at is the ones who do well (and improve quickly) are the ones who get the music and who do their theory, the ones who struggle are the ones who don't.
  8. bigcol

    bigcol Member

    Gotta say recorder is the way to go - I played on one all through primary school before learning cornet and it is certainly an easy way of learning the fundamentals of music. But also it is in the same clef and roughly the same range as BB instruments, so there's a familiarisation aspect to it too.

    The problem with learning piano is that it is like anything else musical a talent, but a different talent to playing wind instruments, so if nipper doesn't have the natural ability to play keyboards it might put him off.
  9. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    I would have thought a recorder was also help with breathing and getting air flow. My youngest daughter is 6 and is pestering her teacher for the school to start giving recorder lessons again, I was quite impressed. My elder daughter gave up the recorder at 7 and then started playing the cornet at 9, I am sure she would be a more advanced player if she had kept on with the recorder.

    Maybe some one should come up with an instrument like a recorder to start on, while teeth develop, but has valves to learn the brass fingering. Or does something already exist?
  10. trumpetplayer

    trumpetplayer New Member

    Oh dear. I started playing when I was 4 - does this mean all my teeth are about to fall out then.
  11. Flutey

    Flutey Active Member

    Get him on flute. Best way to do anything ;) and if you get him a cornet bring it down next time you come over, I wanna have a go!!!
  12. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    It still works.
  13. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Why is everyone saying that it'll make his teeth bad? He'll only have baby teeth at the moment, so they'll fall out anyway!!

    Banding is a dying tradition... if the kid is keen, let him learn! When our training band started last June, we had a little 5 year old join along with her 8 year old sister, she's now turned 6 and is one of the best in the training band! She's picked everything up so well... and also was unable to play for 4 weeks right near the start because she fractured her collar bone, but she remembered everything! The only slight problem is concentration, but thats to be expected!

    When kids are little they pick things up lots faster, for example languages, so as music is a kind of language, surely they'd be able to pick that up just as easy?

    If I were you I'd go for it! Let him just play to start with to get used to the instrument, an teach him basic theory, and get hold of essential elements book 1 trumpet, its the book we use at training band, and the kids love it! Its set out brilliantly and actually follows a nice logical order of learning, which seems to be quite novel for tutor books!

    Good Luck to both of you, and remember to have lots of fun!

    Let us no how you get on aswell!

  14. SuperMosh

    SuperMosh New Member

    Richard was mildly amused to see one of his bass players wandering through the hall with a handbag cornet case. I will never live this down and it shamed me to be seen with a cornet.




    The first lesson went well tonight. I got home from work early and in the time it took me to walk through our door and say hello to Mrs Mosh, Alex had taken the old Sov out of the case, put the mouthpiece in and was raring to go. Daddy patiently explained that we need to do "good sitting to do good playing" (yes I know it is better to stand but he was a little bit excited and I still had my coat on and car keys in my hand), so he sat straight on a chair and with me kneeling by his side and the old labrador sat on my feet, he started to blow the thing.

    I was so proud, he blew the thing straight, had his elbows up, didn't puff his cheeks out and was very proud of playing like daddy's band. I then tried to show him how to hold it better and 5 mintues later, to cut a long story short, was telling me he hated me, wanted to break my glasses and that I had ruined his happy day.

    The problem? Who knows? Obviously a cornet playing diva in the making.

    Thanks for the advice guys, as a good parent with an even better dentist and excellent works health plan which covers policy holder's children, I will continue to let him blow the thing and have fun.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2007
  15. Di

    Di Active Member

    That's one thing we learnt in the early days of kids. If you want 'em taught, let someone else do it!

    It was swimming with us... whatever we told a certain person, it was "can't", "won't" and "I'm doing it but it's not working" etc. Hand her over to a proper teacher where she couldn't answer back and voila ... learn to swim from beginner to deep end in two months!
  16. Flutey

    Flutey Active Member

    I'm the worst at that- ask my dad!!! Not sure how many times Pete has heard me do it, but Dad tries to tell me something and I scream, someone else tells me and I listen!!! I think it's because children don't want to be like their parents and think that listening to them will make them alike?!?!
  17. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    Another section of "Vicki's Life Story", exclusive to tmp, By Diane Reynolds :rolleyes:
  18. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    Nah its just that mummy's (especially!!) and daddy's think they know better than us kid's, which is obviously a load of cobblers!

    Mr Mosh, glad to hear Alex is having fun with his cornet :D see if you can find a beginner's band that will teach him! Then you might not have to replace your specs so often!
  19. Flutey

    Flutey Active Member

    :clap: :clap: :lol::lol:
  20. jingleram

    jingleram Active Member

    Hahaha could sell it as a book I guess!