Developing range, too high too soon? (another ? for my 5 year old)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by samsplace, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. samsplace

    samsplace New Friend

    Jul 9, 2009
    My son has a teacher and I do plan to ask her this question, but I also wanted to ask it of those that specialize in trumpet. I feel like multiple input is very helpful since I am dealing with a rather unique five year old.

    I have been working through a beginner book with my son. If we come to a song that he has not learned the note for, we stop and learn it. He can play his C scale and down to f#. This week he wanted to learn a song that included high D & E. Is there any harm in me teaching him the fingerings to these higher notes?

    He wants to play America the Beautiful and has managed to play much of it by ear, but was stuck by the notes he has not yet learned. I found a version online, but since it includes high E, I don't want to cause harm if that is possible in him playing too high too soon.

    Any thoughts?
  2. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Give him a fingering chart and let him decide. You don't want to make the mistake of conditioning him that higher notes are harder.

  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Sam,
    Pending your kid is playing the trumpet correctly, give him the music and let him decide. My daughter plays E above the staff and just turned 6. Just be careful of too much too soon.
  4. BenH

    BenH Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, that makes me feel thoroughly inadequate!!!
  5. markquinn

    markquinn New Friend

    Jun 9, 2009
    My feeling is that early on students should work on tonal formation and get the notes they have under their command correctly formed tonally. Pushing the upper register with a poor tonal formation may seem acceptable at the onset with people thinking that the tone will come in time, this is not the case.

    Work on long tones and getting the air moving through the head structure and developed within the embouchure formation so that the tone is correct. You need to address lower jaw contact and the placement of the mouthpiece on the crown tooth so that the playing does not form through the upper lip mucles totally. Working high register too soon will tend to lead to this type of set. Does the sound have lower partials in place?

    If you would like to discuss this further, message me personally.
  6. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    Personally, I think it's okay to shoot for the higher ones as long as the student continues to approach each note with the same intentions of mastering them as they do the lower notes. It is not enough to just learn a note. We have to own it.
  7. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Wow, that's further up than I can play!:roll:

  8. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    It's a difficult thing, this issue of younger players and range. I would sit with the kid and watch him try to play the piece which goes up to the high E and if he can do it without contorting his face and cramming the mouthpiece down his throat, let him do it. The more we pre-condition people to think that high notes are hard and some sort of special territory best moved into only on special occasions, the more difficult we make it for them. A high note is just another note, like a low note, and requires no extra-special work (just like a low note doesn't), it's just there and you play it. The more we can get people to think that way, the easier time they'll have developing their upper register.

    It's all in the breath support and the quality of the air-flow, so as long as your son is doing some long tone work and having fun buzzing easy songs on just the mouthpiece and doing other all-around good trumpet playing, working on higher notes shouldn't be any problem. Just watch out he isn't straining for them.

    I've had beginners (not a lot but more than a couple) who come for lessons and can play from the 3rd space C up to high G very easily and beautifully -- it's trying to get them to play the more ordinary beginning range which took a lot of work.

    As long as there isn't any straining taking place, the specific pitches being played shouldn't be a concern.

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