What band instrument is right for your child? Is music right for your child?
I love music. It has been a part of my life for my whole life. Both of my grandmothers were piano players as was my mother. My father was the leader of a choir and a member of a barbershop quartet. However my love of music really began when I heard pop songs in the 50’s. There was a song called “Moody River” and one called “the Battle of New Orleans” that caught my ear and captured my heart. It was at that time I decided I wanted to play a musical instrument.
Most schools have a band program that begins in the early years around 4th or 5th grade. A band director of some type will come to a school and speak to the students about various band instruments. He or she will show them what they do and determine what instrument is right for a particular student. Of course that which is right starts with what the student would like to do. No student will master an instrument they do not love. Let’s go back to the question. How do you pick the right instrument?
If a student does not want a specific instrument most often a band director will base the instrument on the student’s mouth or what they call the ombeshure. The size of the mouth, the setting of the teeth and the size of the lips often determine what instruments work for a given student. Also it is valuable to determine the student’s capabilities with respect to rhythm.
If the student has a larger mouth they would probably be asked to use a larger mouth piece which would include a baritone, bass or a trombone; they are larger “brass” instruments. The smaller mouth pieces for brass instrument would include a trumpet, coronet or French horn.
Other ombeshures would indicate the use for a reed instrument which would include saxophones, clarinets and oboes. These are woodwind instruments and they use a reed rather than a mouthpiece.
Good rhythm would indicate a love of percussion which would include drums, both snare and bass. A special ombshure would include the flute which is in its own rite a beautiful instrument. Those are the majority of the band instruments. The basis for the choice is left to the band director and geared to the formation of the mouth.
Usually a school will use instruments from a local music store. The store will usually give them discounts for instruments and give the student’s a discount on new or used instruments. I remember the thrill of getting a new trumpet and being able to play it.
I have linked to some instruments. The Sesame Street link shows a tuba, French horn, baritone and trumpet. I also have linked to string and woodwind sites. Note the action of trumpet and saxophone in John Mayer song.
Academics are important. However music can also play a role in a person’s life forever.
Personal Experience and Knowledge