todays young learners

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by musicmaker01, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. musicmaker01

    musicmaker01 New Member

    What do you think guys!
    Why arnt the youngsters picking up a instrument now and if they do its always the higher intruments wheres the low brass etc.:confused:
  2. Lewis Chris

    Lewis Chris Member

    It's the old problem of trumpets and cornets are cheaper for schools to buy. We have 6 trumpets in our cupboard and out on loan but no other brass as it's too expensive and would "blow the schools budget".

    Luckily there are 3 training bands in our area, Boxted, Colchester and Harwich and between them I'd say there is a healthy mix. In fact at Boxted last night we had a new Bass Player. It's the middle brass we have problems with, as peri's (apologies to any one who is) down here are orchestral players (mainly) and positively discourage any one playing Horn/Baritone as they aren't versatile and only used in (to quote a pupil) "A brass band...and they're all dying".

    Thankfully there are a hardcore few who help run various training bands here that are starting to turn attitudes around. I've even managed to secure funding for a brass group at school for another year. :biggrin:
  3. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Then you are very lucky. Down in our part of the South West it is very difficult to try to get any learners. Maybe it's because it's a long term commitment, and with no overnight success? Kids today seem to be into instant results, through computer gaming etc. and so anything that takes a lot of effort gets ignored.
  4. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    As it was not that long ago that I began learning (ok-10 years, but still, I can remember being 8!), the reason most of us went for cornet is because it was smaller and far easier to hold. The only exception to that rule was a couple of the more excitable kids went for trombone because it looked cool.

    They just need to be educated!

    I chose cornet because it was small, easy to hold and wouldn't be too heavy to cart around with me. Also, my teacher said it's 'kinda like a trumpet'....and I knew what a trumpet was, so I stuck with that.

    Kids go for what they know-we've all heard of trombones and trumpets, so that's what they'll want to play. Who the hell has heard of a euphonium or a baritone?! I certainly hadn't. Once you get the kids into the bandroom, it won't be long until they move of the cornets and realise they actually want to play Bass or Euph............I think the real problem is getting them in a bandroom!!


    We have a junior band of about 25 now and 3 of those are bass players! 2 started on smaller instruments but have really found their feet now they are playing bass and seem much happier on a bass.
  6. Tubby

    Tubby Member

    My Granddad taught me to play. he started me off on Baritone because he said my lips and mouth were to big to go on anything smaller. From there I progressed to Euphonium then at 14 went onto BBb playing a Besson Imperial and stayed on there until 18 months ago when I was moved onto Eb.

    My father played BBb and I always wanted to play it, I have a 3 year boy who is desperate to play Tuba just like Daddy and can make a pretty go sound on it.

    I think there are so many different activities both in and out of school that "banding" is just sort of forgotten about in favour of Ballet or Tap dancing or "Computers" for example.
  7. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    1. Mummy and daddy just want to pay for lessons in instruments with 'cachet'
    2. There are too many other distractions
    3. Brass instruments simply aren't loud enough
    4. Schools do not have brass bands of their own
    5. Schools in my day had a full set of band instruments (and more) for children to play on
    6. Learning any instrument takes guts and staying power - neither of which young children are encouraged to have, these days.
  8. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    7. Because it isn't 'cool'
  9. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member

    Ah, how true.
    But I know better.
    I am the coolest bean in the banding box. : )
  10. Daisy Duck

    Daisy Duck Member

    Or Brass instruments are simply too loud! Remember Sonia learning the trumpet in EastEnders? The idea of Mum and Dad or the neighbours complaining about the noise isn't going to encourage kids to stick at it.

    At the primary school I used to work at, the headteacher wouldn't allow brass lessons because they were too loud.

    I totally agree with what everyone is saying about children nowadays not having the staying power to stick at something and work hard. They want instant success and will give up if they don't get it.
  11. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Now let's be a bit more positive, as part of the three band set up that my band is in the middle of, there is a thriving junior band. A reasonably good musically based school in my local town which, surprise surprise the head of the music department plays in the senior band, his wife plays in ours, as well as his, I think, youngest son. Loads of encouragement for our local children exists in most of the towns schools. Add to that I also know of several younger people in bands or training bands across a large area of this northern Lancashire territory, not to mention Yorkshire, which is also doing well in encouraging the youngsters into banding. Not much doom and gloom round here.
  12. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Yes, but would that happen if they were playing, for example, electric guitar? I have battles several times a term with my HoD, because she encourages the children to play in their rock bands at what, to me, is a dangerous level of volume in our small studio and our slightly bigger classrooms. Despite our quite efficient soundproofing, I can sometimes not concentrate when I.m teaching becuse of the noise pollution coming through the walls.:mad:
  13. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    Have you ever seen an 8-year-old trying to play a bass?! Actually it's quite funny and should be encouraged.
  14. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    Like was said before its often about money, smaller instruments = cheaper. That and it depends on the age that they start at, the practicalities of a 10 year old tuba player, although amusing, can't be lost on people? When I started playing most started on cornet and headed south until they found one they could sustain a decent sound and range on. Our junior band tends to work like this unless kids express a particular interest in a certain instrument. They have a go but can head upwards if a bigger instrument doesn't work for them.

    I disagree that banding isn't cool. A local training band near us is inundated with kids wanting to join..... the bottom line is they need sufficient parental support, because unfortunately gone are the days of kids doing stuff without a dozen consent letters signed in triplicate, notarised and laminated, kept in a locked filing cabinet and re-signed on a weekly basis in the presence of a judge!:roll:
  15. iRyan

    iRyan Member

    Haven't they introduced that WOP thing starting now with the county music service where it takes a class of 30 kids and gives them a brass instrument for free for a year at primary schools, and if theyve enjoyed the first year they can start properly. The scheme apparantly funds for all the instruments aswell.
  16. shaunbasstrom

    shaunbasstrom Member

    I work for Stoke on Trent music service and we have just started doing the wider opps scheme with a year 4 class who all enjoy playing together. Its great to be involved in this sort of scheme as it helps to fight the cause for getting more brass players. Even the class teacher is learning to play, which helps the pupils as they have a role model in the school. Myself and the other 2 members of staff delivering the scheme in the school really enjoy it. Hopefully it will go a long way in fixing the problem of fewer players.

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