Date: Mon, 16 Feb 1998 12:05:54 +0000
Subject: Re: A player's age and their range

Hello Rich, and All,

Once again, one of my favorite subjects - dealing with very young players (4th through 6th grade) wrote:
> << There is probably a correlation between age and a couple of factors
> that >  contribute to high range.  >>
> Interesting thread. I have noticed several interesting things with
> people I teach.  I have students from 6th grade up through professionals.
> Some of them have a great range while others are struggling with a
> high c. One student in particular had me amazed.  I would give him exercises
> to do and he would do them,, no questions asked.  This kid is in 6th grade by
> the way.
> cut/cut
> I finally sat down with this student and asked him how he was doing
> this. He said that he was following my directions and doing the exercises.  It
> finally dawned on me that no one ever told him that it was difficult.  Just my
> two cents...

The more you are able to keep the children occupied with the business of "learning to play the instrument",  (as opposed to "playing in the band") the better off they will be. And at this tender age, before they know more about it than you do (grin), they try their best to do exactly what you ask of them.

Here are some favorite phrases, which I use to constantly remind my beginning players.

   "Children - remember, you are playing a wind instrument!! Fill-up clear down to your toes - the amount of air you use to 'stay alive' isn't nearly enough"!!

    "Remember, boys and girls - if we can't play our scales, what can we play??"

Take a stopwatch to class and "time" their long tones.  Believe me, each child will remember his time, and be waiting  for you the following week - to see how much he has "improved".

VERY SOON - you need to get those neophyte players OUT of the C - G range - they should be able to play long tones, chromatically,  down to the low F#.

"Fill up with air- make them 'sing'!"

As these tones "enlarge" in strength and volume, notice how the tones above third space C will also begin to blossom.

Please don't talk about "high notes" and "low notes" with your students.

My teacher,  Mr. William Best , always said that TONE (vibrato) and STYLE are the last things to develop - but they CANNOT develop if the student has not been given a THOROUGH grounding in the technical aspects of brass playing.

Thanks for listening!

Clyde Hunt