Posted by Former Clueless Parent on September 23, 1999 at 05:33:10:
In Reply to: Yet another CLUELESS parent... posted by morris schneider on September 22, 1999 at 15:31:00:
I feel your pain. I was in your shoes about 2 years ago.
If your son is entering high school, my first question would be is it even necessary for you to purchase a horn for him? Doesn't the school have a supply of horns?
Is your child planning a college career? If so, it is advisable to look at CC horns, not B Flats. Virtually all college profs will "require" the CC.
To get a broad sampling of horns, there is no better place than Brasswind in South Bend. They have great prices, and Charlie Krause is very helpful.
RE Tuba Exchange: Vince has far fewer horns to show you, and he "pushes" the St Pete horn really hard. The day we visited, he had a St Pete that had been returned. There was no obvious damage to the horn, but about 25 percent of the silverplating had pealed off the horn. I didn't ask, and he didn't tell, but I was turned off by the sight of this obviously serious defect in a brand new horn.
Finally: Kids tend to have a preference for horns that are less "free blowing" (i.e., are more "resistant"). Talk to a knowledgeable pro or teacher in your area to understand this issue. The most expensive horns, Hirsbrunners for example, are very free blowing. And for this reason, among other reasons, Hirsbrunners and other "free blowing" horns are the preferred horns for professionals. The first time a kid plays a horn like a Hirsbrunner, he may not get the resistant "horn response" he is accustomed to and he will likely say "I don't like it." And you, the paying parent, will breathe a huge sigh of relief that he has turned his nose up at the $14k horn. But this may be one of those times in life that it is truly "penny-wise, pound-foolish" to buy a less expensive horn, or better put, to rely completely on the "judgment" of the child.
Hope this helps.