Cornets and student learners - why are they so disregarded?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by motteatoj, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

    Feb 23, 2013
    Tuckahoe, NY
    A question for all the instructors in the forum....

    Why are cornets not acceptable for learning on.
    Is it just simply that the instrument rental programs don't offer them and therefore band directors/instructors just stick with the trumpet?

    I ask for this reason...
    I buy a lot of old student model trumpets and other brass for donation to high poverty schools (New Orleans and surrounding area).
    Since i see cornets going for much much less money than their trumpet counterparts, I had asked the Tipitina's Foundation if cornets were acceptable.
    They told me they had never received one request for cornets from band directors....ever, and that they also would be able to get instruments in more hands if cornet were used as they also see that cornets are cheaper.
    Really? Even in the city that started Jazz...on a cornet.

    I despise the entire instrument rental programs, when i know that for well under $100 i can find quality instruments made long ago and will outlast much of the crap that folks spend their $100s of dollars of "credit" to buy after years of rentals. At least in New Orleans, the kids appreciate any instrument...shiney or not. Lowering the cost of entry (and upping the credit of exiting if the student decides not to pursue by reselling on ebay, etc) seems much more logical than renting junk and then overpaying for more junk.

    I what gives on the cornets?
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  2. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    I am going to get in trouble for saying this: It's probably the band-director culture.

    I sure love to play on mine, and I see little problem with starting students on them.
  3. harleyt26

    harleyt26 Mezzo Forte User

    Dec 9, 2009
    I started on a Conn 18A Director in 1964 that was supplied by the school rental program. That was in rural Mo.,the horn was eventually purchased and I still play it. Along with 4 other corners 2 trumpets a flugel and A tenor horn.

    Does it really matter what the school or teacher prefers or what the student shows up with?
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I would guess that a beginner who shows up for 6th grade band with a cornet wouldn't get any flak about it. Most student-level cornets will do a nice imitation of a trumpet if you use a C-cup cornet mouthpiece, and that's what most beginners should be starting out on, anyway. A number of years ago, I had a niece who wanted to play trumpet in middle school, and a few years later, a nephew did the same. Both my brothers were going to rent a horn for their kids to use, but I told them to save their money - I could get each of them a good one for about $100. The niece got a nice Olds Ambassador trumpet I found in an antique store, and my nephew got a nice Conn 15A Director cornet I found on eBay. The nephew loved the Conn cornet, and never got any negative comments on it from the band director. He ended up playing first chair in high school, and just now bought a trumpet his junior year.
  5. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    It truly is the rare band director who has the stones to tell a kid's parents that a usable instrument isn't acceptable. I've seen a few who were adamant about the mouthpiece, though I expect a parent could have a little discussion with the director about it if necessary.

  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Mindset has more to do with it than anything else. To the average person, they sound the same. Cornet looks different than a trumpet, UNLESS it's a Conn! ROFL I learned on a Martin Imperial then moved to my Getzen 900H. I sounded equally bad or good on both. Most cornets are easier to hold by small hands so it's kind of got that "beginner's" instrument stigma that is totally unjustified and only held by ignorant folk. My Conn 12A is one of the finest horns I own.
  7. Sterling

    Sterling Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 22, 2007
    Marcellus, NY
    I am a middle school band director, grades 5-7. I tell parents that I look on Craigslist every day and would let them know when a good deal comes up. It could be anything from an Olds Ambassador cornet or trumpet to a Bach Strad. Used is the way to go unless the student or parent insists on new and shiny. I liken it to people who would rather go to McDonalds than try the local diner and take a chance on a good meal. I hope that makes sense!
    tobylou8 likes this.
  8. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    I actually prefer to start young beginers on cornet. I have seen too many youngsters develop poor embouchures due in a large part to the weight and balance of a trumpet and then being allowed to get away with playing with the horn on their chest because school peripatetic teachers haven't the time or inclination to put them right.

    I also believe that in the UK the cornet is largely seen as an amatuer instrument and as educational culture in this country is geared towards proffesional work and nothing else we see a steady diet of Trumpets, Trombones and French Horns being thrust at kids whether they want to play on them or not. I know of at least three kids who have given up almost before they got started because they were given a French Horn when the wanted to play trumpet because "That was all that was left":dontknow::soap:
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  9. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    I've always been on a trumpet, at least until I got my 17A Conn. I've got two young girls to tutor in a while, the second will start out on one of the 17A's I've got here:oops::cool:
  10. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    Some observations:
    - Most middle school band music has "Trumpet" on it and not "Cornet". I know that seems trivial, but it is part of setting the atmosphere, particularly in a society that is becoming dependent on quick, sound-bite types of answers and understanding.
    - Some (most?) band directors at the middle school level have such a tough task ahead of them year-to-year they need to simplify where possible. Too many people would be too confused and have too many questions about trumpet v. cornet and so on.
    - Less adults playing cornet as role models doesn't help. Brass bands are certainly one mechanism which provide opportunities for continued cornet playing.
    - How many of us who have tried to explain the difference to someone have been met with a "whatever" kind of reply to the explanation? The average Joe/Jane Q. Public doesn't really care...another factor which sets up the general thinking for simple answers.

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