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Is a curved soprano the best choice as a first sax for kids--say 8-10 years old?
 

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I started on a curved Buescher many years ago when I was 9. It fit my hands quite well at that time. The biggest problem was in the middle school bands, most compositions were not written with a part for soprano, so I would either be given a clarinet part, or, sometimes a trumpet part. Entering high school, the band director said "No sopranos in my band" so I migrated to alto. The transition was very easy.
 

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Ergonomically speaking, no question: this is the best fit for someone that age. You need to be very careful about selection of mouthpiece so that playing (and staying in tune) is not too hard, as that will discourage them too soon.
 

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...go for alto..... better to fit in than be an oddity for starters.....
 

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Thats is a good question. I wish that had been my first instrument instead picking up the clarinet. B
 

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Is a curved soprano the best choice as a first sax for kids--say 8-10 years old?
Unless they're physically ready for the weight and extra air, nothing wrong with soprano. I will also echo the other poster's warning about finding the right mouthpiece though.
 

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Absolutely not. Start on alto. Soprano requires more embouchure strength (chops) and intonation is tricky. There will be no parts in the school band.
 

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Thats is a good question. I wish that had been my first instrument instead picking up the clarinet. B
I'm glad I started on Clarinet... much easier going Clarinet to sax than trying to learn to cover the holes on a clarinet coming to it from Sax I think.

Id be worried about intonation for a kid on a curvy sop? Or an adult, come to think of it:D


Are there any altos made with small child like hands in mind? Ive a vague recollection of reading about an Amati made horn that was suited to smaller hands.. maybe I imagined it. I learned on an Amait (Corton), but then I was maybe 13 by then.
 

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I'd say hold off. You are going to have problems finding things to play in band (if you want to do band). I'd say start on something like clarinet or flute, until the kid is big enough to handle an alto.
 

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I wish I had started out on Soprano some 50 years ago. I think it would have made me a better player sooner. It IS more difficult to learn, but the child doesn't know any different, and will learn better control. He will transition to the other horns in the family in a heartbeat.

JMHO
 

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I started on alto when I was 10. I was average size, but the alto was very doable at that age. I didn't even know there was such a thing as soprano until I was 16.
 

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I say go for it.

I gave a couple of lessons to a 6 year old on a C (Straight) Soprano some years back. He had a very nice sound and really didn't seem to have a problem filling up the horn. He had some slick technique and ears of a champion to top it all off.
 

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My first reaction was "Oh my, Heavens no!", but the more I thought about it, you're trading one set of issues for another. Obviously, pitch can be a big issue on soprano, but on the other hand, it might get the student to actually pay attention to the pitch (he'll have to or it will be horribly out of tune) at a much earlier stage in development - that's a great thing in my book!
 

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Let the kid decide. Let them hold each one, and listen to numerous recordings of each one. Heck, even let them see a flute, oboe, or clarinet. If they like the sound of the soprano, let them pick it up. Conforming to what everyone else does is not always a good thing. Take it from a guy who plays bass clarinet in high school and gets a solo or two every year, more than any trumpet or sax player can say they have in my band.
 

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some good answers here - I had the same dilemma and started my 11 year old girl on a clarinet. She loves the clarinet and is also learning alto sax. Speak to your school band director, no need to get something like a sop right now if they can't play it in band.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for all the comments folks!

Help me out here: my guy turns six this summer. He's had some music classes (Kindermusic and piano), but nothing Mozart-y going on yet. Am I nuts to be even thinking about putting a sax in his hands in the next 2-3 years?
 

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I've got a 5 year old and 8 year old. For now we are focusing on Piano. The younger one is actually in a diverse "Music for Young Children" (MYC) program which is a great foundation, and the 8 year old has been doing piano lessons for about a year. She also plays recorder at school in grade 3. I let them toot on a clarinet mouthpiece from time to time, but actually playing it can wait a few years I think. Piano works for us for now.
 
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