Does your child want to become the next Louis Armstrong?
Before buying them a trumpet, consider if your kid is old enough to start learning the instrument.
Here’s How Early Kids Can Learn Trumpet:
Kids can learn the trumpet as young as eight years old. Along with age, make sure the child is big enough to hold a trumpet well and responsible enough to practice and care for the instrument.
What Is the Recommend Age to Start Playing Trumpet?
Kids can start playing the trumpet as young as eight years old.
Some music programs start in third grade, including the option to play the trumpet. However, other programs might not start until fifth grade, when students are 10 years old.
Younger kids can play the trumpet, but they may face more difficulties. For one, younger kids tend to have shorter attention spans, keeping them from making consistent progress on the trumpet.
Kids less than eight years old might not be physically big enough to handle the instrument. That can affect everything regarding the trumpet, including the child’s interest in playing music.
Do Smaller Kids Use Special Mouthpieces?
The size of the mouthpiece you should use has more to do with the trumpet than the player.
Some trumpets sound better with smaller mouthpieces, while others require larger ones.
If a child is too small to use the mouthpiece with their trumpet, they may want to wait to start playing. An average-sized mouthpiece will help you learn how to produce a sound.
Players can always experiment with smaller and larger mouthpieces later. Starting on a small mouthpiece too early might lead to excess tension in your playing.
Can Trumpet Playing Damage Kids’ Teeth Development?
Playing the trumpet can cause kids and their teeth problems if they aren’t careful. The trumpet can require a lot of pressure on the lips, affecting the teeth.
If your child wants to play the instrument, consult with a teacher and a dentist or orthodontist. That way, you can make sure your child’s teeth can develop as they should.
Consider a couple of things that can happen to your teeth when you play the trumpet, especially as a kid.
Kids can get braces and continue to play the trumpet, but you should plan accordingly. Tell your child’s dentist and the orthodontist about the braces, and talk to their band director or trumpet teacher.
That way, the orthodontist may be able to find ways to shorten the period that your child will need braces. They can discuss wearing a retainer sooner but taking it out to play the trumpet.
It’s also important to talk to the trumpet teacher and band director. Playing higher notes on the trumpet can be difficult or even uncomfortable with braces.
So your child’s teacher can know to assign them lower trumpet parts while they have braces on.
After your child gets their braces off, wear their retainer. They might be able to remove it to play the trumpet, but wearing it outside of that can keep the teeth from reverting to their original position.
Teeth Can Move
Playing the trumpet may cause a small movement in your teeth with or without braces.
Your child will need to be extra careful not to move their teeth out of place as they develop. If this happens, your child can get braces, but that can cause other problems.
Children should avoid practicing for long stretches at a time. Instead of playing for an hour, try two 30-minute or three 20-minute sessions throughout the day.
You may also want to enroll your child in private trumpet lessons. A good instructor can work with your child on positioning their lips to get a good sound without causing their teeth to move a ton.
How Old Should You Be to Carry the Trumpet?
Since many 8 to 10-year-olds are old enough to play the trumpet, that’s a good age for carrying the instrument.
Your child can feel a sense of independence by taking their instrument rather than asking you to carry it.
Eight to 10 years of age is also a good benchmark when carrying the trumpet and holding it for performance. However, age isn’t the only factor to consider.
Your child should be big enough to hold the trumpet and easily reach the valves. If they can’t do that, odds are they’re a bit too young to start playing.
Some younger kids who are taller or have long fingers may start playing the trumpet earlier. On the other hand, a 10-year-old might still be too short to hold the trumpet and play it well.
Yes, there’s the piccolo trumpet, but kids shouldn’t start on it. The smaller instrument isn’t as forgiving as the standard trumpet in Bb, so it can be more difficult to learn.
Focus on Strength
Along with your child’s size, you should consider if they’re strong enough to hold their trumpet. The trumpet isn’t as heavy as other brass instruments, but the weight can compound throughout a practice session.
As you hold it for longer, it can feel like it weighs more than it does. This is another reason to keep practice sessions short until your child is a teen.
So before you have your child learn to play, ask them to hold the trumpet in the playing position. Ask them if it feels comfortable or a bit too heavy.
If it feels heavy, you can have your child work on their arm strength to prepare for when old enough to play the instrument.
Start With Short Practice Sessions
Even if your child is big, strong, and old enough, you may want them to practice in short bursts for a while. This will give your child a chance to learn the proper posture for holding the trumpet.
They can also work on their embouchure and other fundamentals. However, you can make sure they take a break before overworking their muscles.
When your child is still developing, they need to be careful. If they try to play the trumpet for too long, they can damage their lips, even to adults.
Short practice sessions can help your kids progress without sacrificing their progress.
Are Light-Weight Plastic Trumpets Useful for Complete Beginners?
Plastic trumpets can be an excellent tool for complete beginners to start learning the trumpet.
Of course, they don’t weigh as much as metal instruments, so they’re nice for kids whose muscles are still developing.
Other aspects of these trumpets make them suitable for kids and adults learning the basics. Consider why you may want to get a plastic model for your kid or yourself.
When you’re new to playing the trumpet, you can’t know if you’ll stick with it.
That can make it hard to justify spending a lot of money on a metal model, and some of those trumpets cost thousands of dollars.
Fortunately, you can find plastic trumpets for a couple of hundred dollars. That’s a lot more economical if you or your child decides to quit playing after a few months.
And if your child does continue, they can keep learning on a plastic trumpet.
They’ll be able to upgrade to a metal one when you have the money so that buying won’t be such a rush.
Beginner trumpeters can put their instruments through a lot.
Your child might not always hold the trumpet in the best way, and they could knock the trumpet on a music stand or a chair.
While good metal trumpets can survive that, so can most plastic trumpets. That means you shouldn’t have to worry about costly repairs if your child isn’t careful with their instrument.
Plastic models are also suitable for playing outdoors, such as in marching bands. They can withstand heat, cold, and wet conditions.
Easy to Hold
Because of their weight, plastic trumpets may be easier for kids to hold.
They won’t need as much upper body strength to keep their trumpet in the ideal playing position.
If they can keep their trumpet up, they can keep the rest of their body in place. If they tend to let their trumpet droop, they’d need to move their head accordingly to move air properly.
But doing that can also keep you from projecting your sound throughout a performance space. When your child plays on a plastic trumpet, they won’t have to work as hard to keep it up.
At What Age Can Kids Take Care of a Trumpet on Their Own?
Kids can start to take care of their trumpet as soon as they start learning.
However, younger players may have trouble remembering to care for their instruments.
The specific age may depend on the kid’s interest in playing the trumpet. If a child loves their instrument, they may be more likely to use valve oil and clean out the inside.
On the other hand, if a kid doesn’t care about the trumpet, they might not do anything to keep it in good shape. Their maturity level can also affect how well they can take care of the instrument.