Question: Trumpet Lessons For Young Children

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bcrdukes, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. bcrdukes

    bcrdukes New Friend

    Jan 22, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    Hi folks,

    I learned over the weekend that a close family friend's daughter is interested in a trumpet for Christmas.

    Interestingly enough and to our surprise, both the parents and myself play the trumpet (the parents no longer play.) She is a 4 year old and where she got the idea of learning to play the trumpet has bewildered us. I have a spare Old's Ambassador I'm willing to pass on to them since it's just collecting dust.

    What is the recommended age range a child should start learning the trumpet? Do any of you folks have experience to share? We're all curious as we didn't start until we were at least 11/12 years of age. We feel that being a 4 year old might be a bit too early. Thanks!

  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    In my opinion, way too early... though I have seen some four-year olds who acted 10 or 12.

    I started at 10, I think.

  3. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Of course at four you shouldn't expect too much progress at first, but the main thing to remember is to be supportive without pushing her to advance. If it was truly her idea then go with it. Getting comfortable with the idea and the horn in her little hands is a-ok, maybe a pocket trumpet or even a cornet would fit her better. Remember how foreign computers and technology were to us adults and who doesn't have a story of a young relative who saved our bacon when our smartphone outsmarted us? Maybe she's the next Mozart or at the least, she has found something she can enjoy for a lifetime. An early start just gives her a leg up on her classmates when she does get to fourth grade, or whenever they start them these days. Surely the parents who were trumpet players must realize that only good things can happen behind a musical instrument. Best wishes.
  4. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    My son started at 6 years old - and was able to blow nice clear notes on my cornet. The trumpet was a bit long for him to hold. He's now 9 and the trouble is getting him to tear himself away from Minecraft to practise.

    Doc Severinsen started when he was 7 according to wikipedia.

    I saw a youtube video of a young child who was very young playing a trumpet on a stand on a TV show - from Korea I think.

    There are so many aspects to making music which might challenge a 4 year old -- physical ability (holding the trumpet, breathing, endurance), understanding the music itself (can a 4 year old really play the blues, or appreciate what majesty is?), comprehending (even if innately) the physics of the instrument, etc. But if the child sings/hums already, they may be a musical soul seeking expression - but I don't think I ever met somebody who was like that so young that I recall.

    For my son it wasn't all a straight line up -- he went through a phase early on of disliking the buzz on his lips, but did get over that.

  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    If you make it fun with the goal of it being fun, then rudimental information can be presented (not "taught", remember the "fun" part). Trying to establish a regimen will remove the fun part of it. If she wants to make funny noises with it, let her because to her it's fun and funny!
  6. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I second robylou8. Fun is important. Most important. Learning should be very short and embedded within the concept of fun. I really can't picture a 4 year old learning trumpet, but certainly don't want to discourage it. (Teaching is my background.) Please share how it goes and maybe we can learn something. Don't be surprised if she is interested for a while, puts it away, comes back to it in a couple of years, etc.
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I had a five-year old student once in Germany. He was full of enthusiasm and really wanted to learn trumpet. He learned quickly, but when his baby teeth started falling out he became frustrated and moved backwards. He started forcing things, and by the time his permanent teeth came in he had more to unlearn than students who started learning later--his four years of experience wasn't an advantage.

    I would wait until the permanent teeth are in before starting any serious lessons, but there is nothing wrong in letting the young lady goof off some with the trumpet. Don't want her becoming a viola player!
    gmonady and bumblebee like this.
  8. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Fixed that for you.

  9. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    We all go with our gut but I was about 3 when I got hold of a euph mouthpiece and buzzed a bit. I then was given a cornet piece pretty much straight away and a very beaten up family cornet to toot about on. I was about seven or eight when I was given a decent instrument and started going to a small ensemble. What I was also given was a good glockenspiel and always had access to music books and things with written down music so much so that I learned much of the language of music at the same time as learning to read and write English.

    Hope that helps
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    My schoolmate Ian Bousfield - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia started on a tenor trombone when he was 7, and he wasn't a big lad for his age by any means. The guy who taught me - principal cornet in Yorkshire Imps - had his son tootling a mouthpiece at the age of 3. People worry too much about young children 'not being strong enough'. If they start the exercise, the strength comes quickly enough. Though I think there's a strong consensus with VB that serious learning before the permanent teeth have started to come through may not be sound practice.

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