Advertising and Web Hosting on Woodwind.Org!

Klarinet Archive - Posting 000703.txt from 2003/10

From: Dan Sutherland <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Starting a youngster
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 00:51:43 -0500

At 02:50 PM 10/26/2003, you wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Dan Sutherland []
> >
>Well, *an* objective in our interactions with our own kids *can* at times be
>that the child learn something - although formal learning (involving
>deliberate teaching for the purpose of producing specific learning) isn't
>the only worthwhile objective in our spending time with our children.
>However, the child's ability to assimilate the learning you're teaching
>toward has a lot to do with determining whether or not that specific
>teaching activity is worthwhile. Whether or not you'll do a 7 year old child
>physical damage by trying to teach her to play the clarinet isn't really the

Sorry, I thought maybe it was.

> It's more an issue of whether or not the child has any realistic
>chance of success *at that particular time* because of physical or cognitive
>My point was that *most* 7 year old children (exceptions are always
>possible - I haven't seen *all* the 7 year olds in the world) in my
>experience (for what it's worth) are not physically able to *play* the
>clarinet well enough to be worthwhile. My point continued that just because
>you eventually get the 7 year old to produce some sort of sound on the
>instrument in no way guarantees that she will be able to hold the instrument
>up or cover the keys to produce more than a very few notes around the
>clarinet's "throat" register. If that's in itself a worthwhile goal to a
>parent, it needs to be respected.

All the left hand holes can be used also.

> But the level of physical and cognitive
>development needed to actually play the instrument will come with time, and
>the impediments that now are real problems will recede to a degree that
>aren't nearly as difficult to surmount. The bottom line is that there is a
>genuine risk of frustrating a 7 year old with this kind of activity to an
>extent that she will not ever want to come back to it later when she is
>older and more developed physically and mentally. That's the risk you take
>in trying this, not the risk that you "could damage their dental or muscular
>structure by having them play clarinet."
> > Or are the kids lives so rich that they can not fit ten minutes
> > of clarinet
> > in per day. [Every character on Spongebob will yell loudly whether they
> > witness it or not.]
> >
>Well, these aren't the only alternatives. There are lots of age-appropriate,
>worthwhile things a parent can do with his/her 7 year old child.

But suppose you are good at teaching clarinet. Would it not be appropriate
to include that in your routine?

> >
> > He could be supporting the instrument with his feet. Who cares?
> > He may be the only kid in his class that can play a tune on an instrument.
> > Self esteem, prestige.
> >
>Is 7 a little early to worry about prestige? This sounds more like a push
>for parental prestige (if that's indeed what comes of it - I have my
Many children grow up without learning much beyond what they take in
school. We like to feel special in some way. Learning clarinet is one way
to feel special. We ought to start sometime. Early is fine. Years slip
away. I have a lot more "wish I had dones" than "wish I had not dones"in
my aspirations file.
> >
> >
> > What is "readiness"? How do you know, if you have not put in a
> > sustained effort trying?
> >
>Some things we just have to decide without trying them first. How do I know
>I probably wouldn't survive going over Niagara Falls?
> The possible
>consequences of failure are greater than I'm willing to risk,
>notwithstanding one man's recent success.

Has this something to do with getting the reed wet? For the youngsters I
prefer to soak the reed under the tap with running water. It prevents
accidental breakage.

> > > Everyone in this thread has had something valuable to say, and I've
> > > enjoyed reading it. thanks, everyone.
> >
> > Well, you may change your mind about that, now.

But I hope not.

>Why? Your belligerence won't have changed the other responses.
> >
> > Dan [who started his and other people's children on clarinet at
> > age 4 and
> > continues to teach his 9 year old and has seen no negative side to the
> > practice]
> >

Thank you.

> Your experience obviously differs from that of many of us.
>I am no more convinced by your son's case

And my other son and my daughter.

> than you have been swayed by any
>of the experience behind anything that has been said to the contrary.

Is the contrary speaking from experience?

It just seems that much energy has been expended trying to talk oneself and
others out of doing something that is at worst not harmful.

Poling the victims. Eric age 9. Asperger Syndrome child. "Musicians are
weird." currently studies clarinet and piano and soccer.
Karen age 12. "It was fun. Did not like
putting it together and taking it apart." currently studies piano, violin
and soccer and ballet and jazz dance.
Ron age 16. " It was good, not much
different from anything else" currently studies piano and hockey.


>Karl Krelove
>Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.

Klarinet is a service of Woodwind.Org, Inc.

     Copyright © Woodwind.Org, Inc. All Rights Reserved    Privacy Policy    Contact