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Starting Wind Instruments At a Very Young Age

wind instruments children starting an instrument age

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#1 tulip21

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Posted 10 July 2018 - 22:25

Hi everyone, I'm curious about this.
I've been told that starting a wind instrument (except those requiring very little air e.g recorder) is a bad idea because of a lack of lung capacity in order to play with ease and beauty. I am aware of smaller instruments for kids, so body size doesn't worry me. However, I've heard of kids starting flute as young as 3 years old. While getting a sound out of a wind instrument tends to take extra long for a very young kid, is lung capacity a real concern?
Thanks in advance.
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#2 Bagpuss

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 05:47

How bizarre.
Personally, I take anyone who wants to learn recorder or flute so long as they are big enough to pick the thing up! I prefer not to take group recorders before Year 3 but that's nothing to do with "lung capacity".
Where exactly have you picked up this info, Tulip?
End-of-Term Bag xx
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#3 Zixi

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 08:42

I was told that it was hard to play a wind instrument as you got older. However, I started playing on retirement and my teacher complimented me about my breath control; I have to admit it is something I worked on.The descant recorder doesn't require a huge amount of air but the bigger ones require a bit more. I have no idea what the recommendations are for children but what Bagpuss says sounds extremely sensible!


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#4 andante_in_c

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 09:56

I used to find (I'm retired now :D) that it was arm length that determined readiness to play flute. Those who had shorter arms tend to struggle to manage to support the instrument, and too much stretching causes tension in the body which affects everything from finger dexterity to sound.

 

Having said that, when I first started at the school where I used to teach I inherited a very tiny just-eight-year-old, who had proportionately long arms and a huge sound for her size. I remember being amazed when she produced a standard Yamaha with a normal head joint and played it with ease. She was still tiny when she finished lessons at the age of 18. :)


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#5 tulip21

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 16:03

Thanks for your replies, everyone.
Bagpuss: I don't know exactly where I got it from, but I think it came from several places. Maybe I got it from the idea that wind players need relatively strong lungs and young kids don't have that? I don't know exactly.
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#6 Latin pianist

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 16:14

I remember teaching a young child the recorder years ago . She had asthma and the doctor had suggested this would help her lungs.
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#7 zwhe

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Posted 11 July 2018 - 17:35

I have a little one who is asthmatic - he started at 6. Playing the flute has definitely helped, although he still can't manage a semibreve! I think being big enough to hold the instrument correctly without tension is more of an issue, but fortunately you can get instruments designed for small people now, such as the apprentice or nuvo (although I don't like this one!) flutes.


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