Young child beginner

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jcheze, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. jcheze

    jcheze New Friend

    Jul 9, 2011
    Goldsby, OK
    Is it ok to start a child at the age of 6? And if so, would it be better to limit lessons to just once every two weeks?

    Thanks for your input.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I prefer to wait until the permanent teeth come in. I had a six year-old student, and he did great until he started losing his baby teeth--then he started "forcing" and never broke that habit.
  3. Gary Schutza

    Gary Schutza Pianissimo User

    Apr 6, 2007
    Kansas City
    I agree with Vulgano Brother. At 6 the teeth are still shifting around just when you need them to be really solid. Plus, the "baby" teeth are usually not the same size as the permanent teeth. When the first teeth come out they leave a gap for a bit. The young player will change their embouchure to adjust for this, then have to constantly re-adjust as their permanent teeth grow in. They never have the consistent teeth formation that it takes to build a good embouchure on.

    If the child really wants to play something get them onto piano to teach them the basics of music. Then, when they are a bit older (maybe 5th or 6th grade?) they will have a leg up on the other students, as their basic musical knowledge (notes, counting, scales, etc...) will already be far advanced. Just my opinion. You hate to discourage interest in anyone at any age, but it would be best to wait till most of the "teeth" pitfalls are over.
  4. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    My 6-year-old son is learning to play cornet -- and I'm getting him used to playing without pressure from the outset, something I only learned many years after starting. He lost a lower tooth a few months ago and it hasn't seemed to affect him at all. With the busy schedule he has (roller park, painting/drawing, reading, 200 other kids' activities) we only get about 30 minutes a week in, and his range is about low C to middle C using a Wedge 3EC mouthpiece.

    The main thing is fun at this stage, with a little bit of discipline; though in the last couple of weeks with the warmer weather coming he likes to play outside for longer which has affected the cornet slots (i.e. he hasn't played in about 3 weeks now).


    note: playing at all is his own choice

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    I started at 5 and made it through the teeth changes. Don't let him get bad habits right from the start.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    My dad has a picture of me "playing" at three, on a Committee no less. As long as it is fun for your kid and they want to do it, go for it.. I don't know when permanent teeth come in so that is a consideration for sure.
  7. smokin valves

    smokin valves Pianissimo User

    Sep 11, 2011
    I started at 7 and did my grade 3 (English thing) at 8. He should have no problems, especially considering you will be there to ensure that he developes no nasty habits. I got into some awful habits because no one in my family played, and it took ages to get out of them. Just be sure not to push him too quickly, this seems to happen to a lot of kids whose parents teach them or play trumpet.
  8. jcheze

    jcheze New Friend

    Jul 9, 2011
    Goldsby, OK
    Thank you very much to everyone for your thoughts. I had forgotten about the teeth issue, but I think I can keep an eye on potential problems. He seems very enthusiastic about learning to play, though I know at first it will just be fun. Of course the idea is for it to be fun for the rest of his life if he so desires. :-)

    I'll definitely watch myself to not "push". I had an issue with that with my daughter awhile back with the piano. Fortunately, she survived and plays well now.
  9. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    it can be tough for a young kid to hold up a trumpet, cornets are a bit easier for them to hold.
    2 weeks between lessons can be an issue because they can fall into bad habits and it can be harder to correct if you see them less frequently.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    When kids are in the "goo-goo-gah-gah" phase they can produce the sounds used in every language, but those we don't use we forget to make and to hear. I learned that from Jamie Rankin, philology professor at Princeton, who speaks flawless German. I told him I admired that, expressed the wish that I could get rid of my American accent, and told him my mother, at 72, was taking a German class without much success. He explained that he was lucky enough to learn at 16, I started at 32, but by then I had lost some of those abilities and my mother, at 72, didn't stand a chance.

    While awaiting the birth of our first-born, my German wife and I did research on raising bi-lingual children. Turns out kids can learn up to five languages in their first three years, provided that the people speaking those languages remain consistent when speaking to the child. They will, however, use only the language used by the majority of their neighborhood and learn the others passively.

    My concern is that what is fun now, might become frustrating later, and bring about bad habits as a result. Listening to a wide array of trumpet music played well can let music be learned "passively" at an early age. (Why do I say "well played?" Although Al Hirt was an amazing dixieland player, his recording of the Haydn with the Boston Pops has ruined many a young performer's attempt to play that piece.)

    Back to the "goo-goo-gah-gah." I noticed that my kids, in that stage would also buzz their lips sometimes. I would buzz, then play a note on the trumpet, and put the mouthpiece up to their lips and a note would come out. Blew our friends and relatives away! Especially when they tried it. (Heh-heh-heh!)

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