Size Matters; Big Horns, Little Hands

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From the family archive.

A sister-in-law of mine once played French horn as a child. We like to swap stories now and then about her adventures in music.

This old photo of her illustrates the dichotomy between the size of most children and the size of a standard French horn. Fortunately for my sister-in-law, she had fairly long arms as a child and so holding the horn was not too much of an issue.

For most kids though, the horn is a cumbersome thing to hold. Many of them quit simply because they cannot hold onto it comfortably.

This is the time of year when the school year begins and when elementary school band begins. I have written two blog posts geared specifically beginners holding onto their horns.

Over at the Horn Notes Blog, John Ericson has issued a “Horn Dare” — beginners would do better to start on single B-flat horns, or on 3/4 sized horns.

I could not agree more.

University of Horn Matters