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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPedagogy(Moderators: JP, Doug Elliott) Teaching trombone to small children
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Screamin Trombone Playa

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« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2007, 12:25AM »

Well, it's late so I'm not going to read all posts so if this has come up before, sorry. Has anyone thought about starting the kids on soprano trombone? The slide positions corrospond(except the notes ar eone octave higher and slightly further in), and it uses a trumpet mouthpiece. ONe thing I see when switching from a valve instrument to  the slide its the sloppyness, but if you're going to put the kid one trumpet, why not put the kid on the soprano/slide trumpet. I have a Jean Baptiste soprano and it only cost me $160 at the TMEA convention in San Antonio from a booth, all I had to do was align the slide. Jupiter also makes a relatively cheap one that you can find on musiciansfriend.com and thein makes a professional expensive version on their website.

Also, I rea a little about this further up, but contrabass bones and base bones use a handle extension which could be used for a small horn too.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007, 08:34AM by Screamin Trombone Playa » Logged
BGuttman
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« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2007, 07:42AM »

Hi Screamin, and welcome to the Forum.

If you had read far enough in this thread, you'd find the following:

1.  There is a Swedish studio that starts young children on alto trombones and graduates them to tenor when their arms are long enough.

2.  DEG makes a handle you can attach to a tenor trombone to help short arms reach long positions.  There is also a set of directions to make you own in a copy of "The Instrumentalist" from about the 1940's.  It is part of the Brass Compendium if you have a copy.

Big problem I see in moving kids from slide trumpet to slide trombone is acclimation to the mouthpiece.  Probably no worse a problem than the sloppy slide positions (which should improve as their ears start working).
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Screamin Trombone Playa

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« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2007, 08:42AM »

I have no idea why but half my post got caught off. The whole thing with the soprano trombone is the kids still get to learn proper slide technique. If you're going to teach them on trumpet with the same mouthpiece why not let them learn the slide. I have a friend that just switched from trumpet and I realised what I hadn't before, that the biggest challenge is correct slide technique. I remember now that I didn't really start using the proper technique until end of my eighth grade year, and I can only imagine what it would've been like playing only valves before. And big difference between alto tbone and soprano tbone is the alto tbone is only a lttle smallet than the tenor, but the soprano is like 1/4 the size, and solves theproblem with even the 12c mouthpiece being too big.

Even though we have alternatives to these problems, I feel sorry for a director trying to teach a ten year old a big tuba with a mouthpiece that could consume their heads!
« Last Edit: Jun 13, 2007, 09:07AM by Screamin Trombone Playa » Logged
Brisko

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« Reply #23 on: Jun 01, 2007, 12:38PM »

I'm going to have to disagree about the slide trumpet.  The slide positions are really, really close together.  I think it needlessly complicates the learning process, and doesn't really translate well to tenor trombone.

Anyway, a trumpet (valved or slide) sort of defeats the purpose.  One of the reasons I advocate for cornet or baritone (besides size) is that it's much easier to achieve a good sound on them, especially for the beginner.  I agree that slide technique is a hang-up when switching kids to trombone. . . but if the other fundamentals are already developed, it's not such a hindrance.

And to clarify, I'd advocate the cornet for the very young player-- not necessarily the 10 year old beginner, where there's not as much reason not to start them on trombone outright.
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« Reply #24 on: Jul 02, 2007, 02:14PM »

my school starts them at 9 or 10 with a 12c, they kind of avoid seventh position for a year or two, which is fairly easy to do since B naturals arent that common in that early music.  the only thing I recommend is not to teach the kids that 6th position is as far as they can reach.  it causes confusion when they learn seventh and even before that just puts them all in different positions, if some cant reach it, show them where it is and tell them to do there best.
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« Reply #25 on: Jul 02, 2007, 03:21PM »

You should start playing an instrument when you are prepared to commit to it. If you start too early chances are that it is the decision of your parents and not you. Thats why, IMHO, heaps of people are giving up instruments at high school - the novelty wore off and they finally realised that they never wanted to learn it in the first place...
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« Reply #26 on: Jul 02, 2007, 03:31PM »

You should start playing an instrument when you are prepared to commit to it.

That's a good point, well worth its own topic.  I think there may even be a topic about it; I'll check.

What would you suggest if they are prepared to commit to the trombone, but are small?
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« Reply #27 on: Jul 02, 2007, 04:12PM »

Related topic started: Music lessons for kids: to urge, or not to urge
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Brian

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« Reply #28 on: Jul 03, 2007, 12:37AM »

Quote
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You should start playing an instrument when you are prepared to commit to it.

I have to disagree with that, at least to a certain extent,  if no one started until they were completely committed, very few people would ever pick up an instrument.  i know that i wasnt committed until at least middle school, and wasn't totally serious until high school, if i hadnt started out of curiosity then i never would have discovered music.
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« Reply #29 on: Jul 09, 2007, 09:20AM »

Further to the comments in the other posts, I am currently teaching trombone to a 5-year old girl because she was very keen to learn and didn't want to play anything else (this despite the fact her father is a music teacher of saxophone, piano and others).

She can't reach 6th and 7th position, but is playing on a full size tenor trombone, with a 12c mouthpiece and copes with it very well.  She has picked up the first 5 slide positions very quickly and is thoroughly enjoying her playing.  She works hard at her playing and practices on her own two or three times a week.

I would suggest that if you have a child who is traditionally considered too young to play the trombone, let them try.  You may find they can manage quite well!

It won't work for everyone, but it will for some!
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BlueTrombonist
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« Reply #30 on: Jul 24, 2007, 06:18PM »

What about learning the inner positions. Arthur Pryor for example could only get 4 positions on his first horn (cause of slide problems).
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« Reply #31 on: Jul 26, 2007, 09:14AM »

In my opinion, children shouldn't be playing an instrument they can't lift.  I love the Suzuki method for teaching very young students.  If nothing else, it gets children excited about music while developing their ear at a very young age.

As far as ironing out technical problems once the student does have the horn, I think that face time with the instrument is the best education a beginner can get.  With proper instruction (no need to be intensive if a child is only 9 or 10), a student will figure out how to find 6th position on his own. 

When I was around that age, I played euphonium.  I had a very short friend who played trombone.  He compensated by throwing his slide out and catching it with his foot to play low C.  Was it terrible for him to do that, and was he developing frightening techniques?  Of course he was, but his muscles were developing, and by the time he was in middle school, he was a fine trombone player with long enough arms to hit all the positions.
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Brisko

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« Reply #32 on: Jul 26, 2007, 09:24AM »

In my opinion, children shouldn't be playing an instrument they can't lift. 

I guess that rules out piano lessons, then. :D
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« Reply #33 on: Jul 26, 2007, 01:52PM »

Bulls-eye for Brisko  :)  ...got me to chuckle anyway.

I wouldn't have anything else when I started at 8-9 years old. Missing 6th and 7th position doesn't cost nearly as many notes as most kids that age miss on other instruments anyway.

It's not the meat, it's the motion (I haven't heard that song in quite a while, but the title comes up at times like this).  Someone wants to play, they will work with what is available, and probably love it.  I wouldn't recommend a bass bone nor a tuba, but if'n some small person wanted those, I sure wouldn't discourage them.
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« Reply #34 on: Jul 27, 2007, 09:11AM »

I guess that rules out piano lessons, then. :D

Save the piano playing for the marching band field.

Yes, 8 or 9 I think is a good age for a trombonist.  But are we talking about starting a child at that age or even younger?
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Screamin Trombone Playa

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« Reply #35 on: Aug 05, 2007, 12:31AM »

LOL.Piano

Anyways, I don't know if you were referring to this in one of your posts Bguttman, but here it goes.

I know learning the soprano bone might not be the best thing for a little kid, but what about the Quadro Slide? It's a type of trombone where the slide is "folded", like a contrabass, but it's half as long. Tennessee State university used them a couple years ago in their marching band, not sure anymore, but it's a though. Don't know much about them, and obviously the positions are different, but you use the same mpc, same pitch and all. Haven't found alot of info on them but I see a thread here on them, so I'm gonna check it out.
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« Reply #36 on: Aug 17, 2007, 07:14AM »

Hey there everyone

My son is three years old and I bought him an alto trombone for Christmas.  After a little instruction  he is able to hold the horn properly, put it together and return it to the case.  I haven't spent a lot of time on sound production (he is only three!) but man can that boy blow, and blow he does. 

Whenever I am practicing he is right there with me honking away (Eb and G).  Most of the time he does this the throughout the entire session.  He gets so excited to pull the horn out that it has inspired me to practice more, I love it.  I have to admit, though, that practicing soft gentle sections with honk honk honk in the back ground can be annoying. But seeing his enthusiasm is amazing.

Just thought I would pass this on for those of you with small children.  It has been so much fun playing trombone with my boy, and I hope that this can continue for along time.

Matt
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« Reply #37 on: Aug 17, 2007, 07:20AM »

In Switzerland little children are learning the trombone with this trombone: http://www.yamaha.co.jp/english/product/winds/product/spec/brass/trombone/index.htm

Otherwise, many children beginn playing the cornet (in brass bands) and change instruments when they are old enough.
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« Reply #38 on: Aug 18, 2007, 10:22PM »

My taecher taught me, when i couldn't reach 6th, to move your slide OUT and to the  RIGHT. You get more out of your arm that way.
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« Reply #39 on: Aug 18, 2007, 10:38PM »

(Inspired by discussion elsewhere.)
One problem that has been mentioned is short arms.
Can kids just learn on on one of those trombones that has a rotary valve?
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