When to start playing - adult teeth vs milk teeth

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by mxb59307, May 27, 2010.

  1. mxb59307

    mxb59307 Member

    Hi all,

    I know someone who's kid has tried a cornet and is desparate to start playing (youthful enthusiasm, won't last long!!).

    Anyway, being young, the kid only has milk teeth at the front and has been advised to delay playing until two full adult teeth are present, presumably to act as a stop so that the gobiron doesn't disappear down their throat when straining for that first C on the stave!

    So, is this reasonable advice? The worry is that delaying might mean the enthusiasm is lost, going at it too early might cause dental problems? Opinions welcome. Thanks.
  2. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    What age is the child ? My partner still has some on her first teeth and her son is now at University......
    As a player/teacher (NOT AS A DENTAL EXPERT) I would suggest letting any interested young child have an instrument to blow on and giving short lessons. Don't let them use unnecessary pressure and I can't see that it's likely to cause any problems.
    If the parents are in doubt then they should seek the advice of their dentist but having said that it is always a shame to discourage a child.
    I started blowing at about 6 but didn't start "playing" until 10/11.
  3. mxb59307

    mxb59307 Member

    The child is about 6 so there is plenty of time, but like I mentioned they want to capitalise on the initial enthusiasm. Consulting the dentist is probably a good idea, I'll pass that on. Is it possible to play without front teeth? Just think what would happen when the milk teeth fall out and the adult ones are not quite there to replace them.
  4. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    It is possible to play without the front teeth, yes, and it's good to tap into that initial enthusiasm. Saying 'wait until your adult front teeth come through' is as good as saying 'forget it' in my experience.
    Throughout a 28 year teaching career I only held back if the milk teeth were actually in the process of dropping out..it's only a short wait from then. If the milk teeth are likely to be in place for at least some months the child has the chance to gain enough experience to get over the gap (No pun intended). In fact it can be an excellent opportunity to explain and practise soft-tonguing techniques -try and turn a possible negative into a positive.
  5. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    There was some publicity a few years ago about an amazing young girl who'd passed her Grade VIII on cornet at about the age of eight and whilst playing on her milk teeth. Can anyone update her story? Sorry, can't remember her name.
  6. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    I'm teaching about 30 9-10yr olds at the moment and many of them have gaps in their front teeth... Having said that many of them are rubbish (I shouldn't say that..) but they're enjoying themselves and having a go.
  7. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    I'm a bit of a sad case with a memory for names and I think she was called Danielle Audley-Wiltshier - if it's the same one I'm thinking of. She was on a BBC programme called something like 'Classical Star' a few years ago as a teenager. I seem to recall reading in the British Bandsman MANY years ago that she started playing at about 4.
  8. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I started learning when I was nine when I had adult teeth because this was when my class were given a chance to try out some brass instruments.
  9. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    I generally tell parents that they should wait until their kids have their front adult teeth. I'm relatively inexperienced compared to some others here, but I've seen some really struggle with gaps, and others not (although more do.) The problem is, the frustration of not being able to do what they could the hour/day/week before the tooth/teeth fell out and having to take a step back.

    I don't think age matters. Kids develop and grow at very different rates. I teach 2 best friends, one is a good 6 inches taller than the other, even though there is only a couple of months between them, both are 11. Also, I still had some of my back milk teeth at 16 and still don't have all of my wisdom teeth.
  10. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    Thanks K - wish I could remember names like that (getting old now:)). Just done the anorak thing and googled her. Good to see she's still doing well....
  11. Sop_Or_Bass?

    Sop_Or_Bass? Member

    My kids have all started from age 5 and seem fine
  12. subtlevib

    subtlevib Member

    My three kids have all played brass instruments from the age of about 5 too. Their teeth are all fine - very straight, so it hasn't been a problem. They all played with gaps without any issues. I've been a teacher for over 20 years and I have never experienced a child with dental problems due to playing a brass instrument.....a vicious rumour probably started by an organist!!LOL!
  13. Zappa

    Zappa Member

    I started at 7, was fine

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