Reply To: Starting on horn in 4th grade–yea or nay?
I think you can make a case for either way. Personally, my thoughts are that I want to make sure I have a solid horn section, which means I like to recruit them from our best/brightest, and make sure they will be sticking with the program. Impossible to do with beginner students since you never know how a kid will turn out or progress. We usually wait a year or so, and pick a kid who is smart, dedicated, and can play the instrument they are on fairly well. Nothing will destroy your horn/baritone/tuba sections faster than taking a terrible trumpet player and switching them. Unless it is embouchure related, there is usually a reason why they are terrible on their beginning instrument….they don’t work at it. I want hard workers in my switch over sections.
Hope that helps. It’s always a crapshoot, but I feel this way, I can control the odds a bit better.