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Woodwind players use all eight fingers and both thumbs, so fingers dexterity is important.  A child with any problem or difficulty in controlling and coordination the fingers will not be happy playing a woodwind instrument.  Holding a woodwind instrument is a matter of balance therefore thumbs must be strong.  Children with uncontrollable double-jointed fingers, especially thumbs, should avoid playing woodwinds.  Fingers must move independently, and a number of tests can be given to determine that independence.


 Flute  Oboe  Bassoon  Clarinet  Saxophone

Brass instruments, those shiny powerful sounding instruments, appeal to a large number of children.  A child who can sing or whistle a tune from memory can learn to play a brass instrument.  Playing a brass instrument uses only three fingers of the right hand (except for French horn), unlike the woodwind instruments which requires precise coordination of all ten fingers.  Because brass playing requires such physical strength and stamina, athletically inclined children often do well on these instruments.  Lips must be free of scar tissue, and the size of the lips generally indicates the size of the mouthpiece. For example, a child with thick lips would be better off to choose trombone, euphonium or tuba instead of trumpet.  Children with orthodontic braces progress at a slower rate on trumpet and French horn, because of the mouthpiece placement.

Trumpet French Horn Trombone