Why cornet for a beginning student?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by christineka, May 3, 2014.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    At the bottom extreme of youth or the small frame of a 10-11 year old I can support the thesis of providing a cornet. Otherwise, in the U.S. it would be a trumpet I'd select for a student.

    Still, at my advanced old age now, it doesn't make much difference in my enjoyment factor, but just for tricks I've acquired a Holton Collegiate cornet from Ivan that he modified with a trumpet mouthpiece receiver as is mostly my now away from our house practice instrument. The tone of it I know now won't blend with either trumpet or cornet, but I like it, as is all that matters to me.
  2. christineka

    christineka Pianissimo User

    Feb 24, 2010
    The cornet came when the budget was close to zero. That's why my son started on a cornet. I don't mind him keeping up with the cornet. I'd like to hear if he'd be better or worse on a trumpet. (He sounds worse on bugle.) We're just getting a second instrument, so that he and I can both play at the same time and I figure I'd get a trumpet this time, so we have one for orchestra purposes. I know cornet is not usually an orchestral instrument.

    From the discussion, it would seem that whether a child should start on trumpet or cornet is largely based on opinion and not much to do with fact. That's okay. If any of my other children choose to play trumpet/cornet, I will likely start the child on whichever instrument is the most beat up.
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    See, you're a mom of 6 kids! Cornet is rarely used in symphonic situations. I do play in a band when the director decides on what he wants to hear, trumpet or cornet part. Nobody plays the cornet, we all have trumpets. Regardless, I do play cornet parts though. Since you have the cornet, work towards a trumpet.
  4. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    It's funny -- whenever the subject of an adult playing an "American/long model" cornet (or even a short cornet made in the U.S.) on cornet parts, in order to sound like a cornet, comes up, we're told that there's no point: that U.S. cornets are basically short-wrapped trumpets that will never sound like a "real" cornet.

    But when the subject of starting a beginning band student (in the U.S.) on a (U.S.) cornet comes up, suddenly that cornet will be a huge impediment because it will never sound like a trumpet.

    Cornets have been out of vogue in the elementary band scene for a long time now. When I started band as a 10-year-old, 40 years ago, the fresh-out-of-college band director specified that he wanted trumpets, not cornets, in his beginning band. It didn't matter -- the local music store had each aspiring high brass player try both a Conn Director trumpet and a Conn Director cornet, and encouraged the student to choose whatever they preferred. And other students showed up with old cornets their families already had. The section had a mix of trumpets and cornets, and I don't recall noticing any sort of trend that the cornet players struggled to be heard any more than the trumpet players.

    I'm not willing to spend the time finding evidentiary links, but I'm pretty sure I remember seeing an instrument progression in the career of child phenom Geoffrey Gallante. When he was a tiny kid, he played a pocket trumpet. Then he graduated to a short cornet. Now he's playing a trumpet. The instrument progression makes sense to me, and the cornet doesn't seem to have impeded his progress.
  5. Honkie

    Honkie Pianissimo User

    Feb 22, 2013
    This thread kinda makes me love my cornet even more. It's an underdog.
  6. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    Really I think it would be easier for a young kid to play. Your probably wrong
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    To comment a little on Nieuwguyski's post...

    The important thing, really, is that the kid has an instrument to play, whether it's a trumpet or a cornet, new or old, as long as it's in good playing order, that's all that matters. If you already have a trumpet, as my parents did, there's no point in going out to buy a cornet. If you already have a cornet, there's no point in going out to buy a trumpet. High school bands today may be different, but in the band I played in my junior year, I sat second chair to the only guy in the band with a cornet, and the director was fine with that. This same guy played his cornet in both the orchestra and pit orchestra, and that director was fine with it.

    Play what you have is my point here. If your kid can't hold a trumpet by age ten, well, I'm going to say there is something wrong with the kid. I was small for my age and I had a heavy trumpet. If I could do it, I should think most other kids can as well.

  8. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    At this point I'd like to clarify my position. Having been offered a choice between a cornet and a trumpet at age 10, I distinctly remember deciding that the cornet was easier to produce a sound on, but that I preferred the tone of the trumpet. Feel free to second-guess my choice, because I was a 10-year-old making farting sounds on both instruments.

    And then a week later (it was a rent-to-own deal, so my parents didn't have to sell the farm) I decided I wanted to play trombone.

    As far as little kids playing big instruments, trombone kicks the trumpets butt. Seriously, while we debate the finer points of whether children should play trumpet or cornet, countless audiences of helpless parents are being subjected to band concerts featuring kids playing trombone who can't reach sixth or seventh position on the slide. Oh the humanity!

    While I will state, for the record, that I think cornets are probably easier for little kids to play, my experience in the trombone section (that lasted into my 30's) suggests that it all works out in the end.
    tobylou8 likes this.
  9. Malamute

    Malamute Pianissimo User

    Aug 3, 2013
    Sussex, England
    I learned (some, I'm still learning,) at school on a Boosey & Hawkes flugelhorn from the 1930's. it was enormous. I was about 4ft 6 inches tall and weighed 4 stone. I had no trouble holding it and it was a beautiful instrument, on loan from the schools lending scheme. When it went in for repairs I borrowed my teachers cornet which was different but still a lovely instrument. The only thing my teacher said about size, was the trombone was out because it was bigger than me, but if my arms had been long enough I would have had a go!
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Quite amused by this discussion: Short Arm Myth

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