Reply To: Starting on horn in 4th grade–yea or nay?
As always, I feel the question is highly subjective to the point where it has a lot to do with your students. If a student desires to play an instrument, I’m the last to discourage them from doing so. An ambitious student? That’s fantastic! Get them on the horn because they love the horn so they already have an advantage. Students who took piano, singing, anything lessons in which they have some sort of an ear? Awesome, work with that because partial changes will come easier with use of the ear.
I think back to when I took french horn methods and my professor encourages starting on horn, primarily because not doing so faces the same challenges as you: no one plays it. If you have the students who have the ability and/or desire to start on horn, go for it. Students are a lot smarter and more capable than we often think them to be.