To Parents of Brass Players...

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by 5010 Hn, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. 5010 Hn

    5010 Hn New Member

    I'm just wondering at what age I should start my kids off on a brass instrument? How old we're your kids when you started them, and how did you do it?

    SHould i buy an old cornet off of ebay and put it in the toybox, and learn the David Childs way, or should I do it differently?

    Should I being playing CD's of Phil McCann to them everynight before they go to bed!?!?!?!? :rolleyes:
    Does playing too early affect teeth formation?

    Am i right to expect them to master the Arban by the age of 7? :cool:

    How did YOU get them started, on brass, or on any instrument? (And no 'Yorkshire-men-sketch answers (ie I were playing 36 hours a day while still in my ma's womb!!!) tell the truth!!!)

    My 18 month old daughter can buzz really well, but is scared of any type of brass instrument when i put it near her mouth, and wont do it anymore! (btw, I know 18 months is too early, but dont do any harm to try! ;) )

    I think I started messing around on my dads cornet at about the age of 6, but then he was always playing brass records (particularly SA ones) in the house- so it was kind of natural. Im told I started playing 'tunes' on the piano at about 4.
  2. B'aht a band

    B'aht a band Member

    If this is any help...

    I started playing baritone at 7 or 8, but only used "A Tune A Day" books 1 and 2 for the first year or so. I since ended on BBb Bass and have never touched an arban book, so I couldn't tell you if they are any good (I presume they must be, everyone raves about them). Before anyone who knows me says it, I'll say it myself......Yes I'm still stuck on "Tune A Day" book 2, I can't get past page 14!!!! :oops:

  3. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    It is extremely difficult to play a brass instrument with no front teeth. Starting a child off on brass before the permanent front teeth have come in is pretty much futile, in my opinion. Even if the child is able to learn some things before the milk teeth drop out, they won't be able to play at all for several months while waiting for the permanent teeth to grow in.

    Perhaps the tMP resident dentist could comment on this.

    My daughters started on violin/piano at about 7 and on brass at 9.

    Not to say that you can't start with musical education before then - you can start with piano or a string instrument, so that when the time comes to start on brass they have a leg up in terms of being able to read the notes.
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    The truth..... hubby and are both players and I continued to play ... yes until 2 days after my "due date". Both my kids came with us whenever possible to summer engagements, Vicki was even rocked in her pushchair by the conductor with her spare hand. ;) The same lady who is now her excellent teacher. She would only go to sleep at nights to a tape starting with French Military March and Light Cavalry, no lullaby jinglies for our Vic.:biggrin:

    Vicki started off at 7 on the recorder, learning the basics of music, then came a flute :eek:, and eventually a tenor horn at 9. Tother one went straight for the drums at about 6.5.

    I guess there's no set age at which to start them off, just have let them have a blow on dads cornet now and then and wait for interest to set in. If it doesn't, we can't force it. You never know, you might be raising a world famous violin player. ;)
  5. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    I was a late returnee to brass banding. I started playing at the Royal Hospital School and after leaving school I was with Bedford Town band. Once I got into college I stopped and didn't play again until after I was married and my children were older. When my youngest was 14 I started to play again with Woodbridge Excelsior and it wasn't long before curiosity got the better of her and she started asking to come along to the Training Band. She's now 18 and imminently off to Uni, and I'll miss her sitting alongside me on Woodbridge's back row. I think in her case, not introducing the subject for such a long time led to her being curious enough to put some serious effort into learning. Quite early on I bought her some "play-along" scores, with CDs (Disney tunes etc) and I think that piqued her interest as well.

    So I think a relatively late start has worked in her case and I believe she now has a skill for life that she will work to retain because she has a real interest.

  6. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    My son started on baritone when he was 8 (I think). We're quite fortunate that Buckinghamshire has quite an active music programme in primary schools.

    He's currently having a bit of a fight with playing and having braces on his teeth - in fact he's deciding not to have "train tracks" on his top teeth because they'll interfere so badly. (Comments from the tMp dentist welcome, again!)

    (I was a late starter at 11 when I went to secondary school!)

  7. vonny

    vonny Member

    Both my daughters play instruments. My oldest, was a late learner i think - she was 14, but she did learn to play the piano at about age 9. My youngest daughter started learning the clarinet at age 8. I started learning the cornet when i was 8...
    Generally it is said that the earlier you learn the better because as a youngster the brain is 'quicker'... but that's another issue..

    Yvonne x
  8. Andy Moore

    Andy Moore Member

    Not too early; I started playing when i was about 7, nearly 8, and was never really interested for about 3 years.
  9. Tubafreak

    Tubafreak New Member

    Playing with no front teeth

    Whoever said you can't play a brass instrument without any teeth is way off base (or should I say bass!) I don't have any front teeth and I am the loudest tuba player I know. I can put so much air through the horn that I can set off car alarms. My high range is limited but my low range peels paint.
  10. vonny

    vonny Member

    Hey Tubafreak not one of the replies on this thread has said you cannot play a brass instrument without any teeth. What has been said is that a person who hasn't got any fromt teeth or as a brace etc may experience difficulties.

    Which means NEVER SAY NEVER!

    Yvonne x

    P.S. I'm only having a laugh.. i'm not having a go, honest - because i'm a quiet girl!!! ;)
  11. persins

    persins Member

    I started playing at primary school when I was coming up to 7. It was suggested that one should wait until at least the front 2 adult teeth were in place before playing but not necessarily mandatory.
    The brass teacher at my school did an "open day" type assembly whereby he played everything from Cornet through to bass and then a hose pipe etc and then put up a sign up sheet for lessons.
    I just put my name down and then got a trumpet shoved my way!

    Starting them as young as possible is probably a good plan but be patient! Just because you love playing does not mean that your children will! There is no point forcing it as that will just end up making them enjoy it less not more. They have got to want to do it for them not anyone else.

    If the interest is there, encourage it! The daughter of a couple in SWT Woodfalls was getting proper notes out of the soprano before she could even walk properly!! Some might say that's more than some sop players do after years of playing!!!;)
  12. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Our eldest, Deian, can already knock out a tune on a cornet. He's only 5, and not got his adult teeth yet, so I guess he'll have to take a break shortly! But while he's showing so much interest - first thing he does, every morning now for a couple of months, is take his cornet out of the case for a blow, then there's absolutely no way I'm going to discourage him.

    Poor lad, he's even asked if he an bring his cornet with him on the bus to Harrogate tomorrow! But I'm afraid he'll have to be content with a Deiniolen Band t-shirt!
  13. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    I said it was difficult, not impossible. This is particularly true when dealing with a cornet or tenor horn mouthpiece. (I doubt too many 5-year-olds will be using a tuba).

    I have personal experience with this - my (adult) front teeth were damaged in a freak accident when I was 12 - one of the reasons why I switched from cornet to baritone was because I was not able to play cornet until after the teeth had been capped and repaired. The larger mouthpiece of the baritone was much easier to play on.

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