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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:34 pm 
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I'll start by telling a cute story...
My 7 year old daughter called me on video chat today after her schoolwork was done. We talked for a little bit and I played her a song on my guitar. When I was done playing, she jumped up and ran away. I asked her mother where she went, she didn't know. Then my daughter comes back with a plastic recorder and a broken toy ukulele. She started playing on her recorder, and honestly the sound was a horrendous screeching, but as a father it still brought me joy to hear her trying to make music like her daddy. She did pretty much everything wrong, as would be expected from a 7 year old, so I taught her a few basics of how to play. How to hold the fipple in her lips, not to blow too hard, etc. after maybe15-20 minutes, I had her making a nice clean tone and even fingering a couple notes. I only had my bamboo flute to demonstrate with, but I got my point across. After our video visit, I thought about it, and decided that a small pennywhistle would probobly be easier for her to learn on than a recorder, as there are only 6 tone holes, rather than the 9 of a recorder, and that the fingering is the same as the flute that I have so I could teach her more easily. Which brings me to my question, is there a very small pennywhistle available that would be suitable for the tiny hands of a 7 year old girl? I'm also trying to keep costs down (I know, whistles are pretty cheap to begin with, but things are pretty tight here), so cheap is good here, also considering that my sons will likely try to destroy it (like they did to the ukulele). Any suggestions are appreciated, thank you.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:53 pm 
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The tiny Generation G or slightly larger F would be easily handled by small hands. They cost around $12.
https://tinyurl.com/y3ga7hwj


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:43 am 
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Whilst the tiny Gens may fit, I'd suggest a Tony Dixon ABS one piece high 'D', not much more than the Gens cost wise, nicer tone, & she will be able to follow any whistle tabs she finds for a 'D' whistle, without getting confused about keys.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:57 am 
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If you get Generation high G for a 7 year old (or anyone for that matter) it might be an idea to get a bulk purchase of earplugs for anyone else in earshot.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:18 pm 
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I bought G whistles for my kids with the same idea, but they didn't end up getting used much. They are pretty shrill. I ended up getting them Sweetones in D, which are very light and mellow with small finger holes. The stretch is about the same, but the holes are smaller. There is a seam that runs up the back that some folks don't like, but I ended up putting a small bit of a "corn doughnut" like you use to cushion corns on your toes on the back anyway. We had those around since teachers put them on violin bows for suzuki lessons. The soft round doughnut gave a place to put the thumb. And gave a bit of a small shelf to keep the whistle from sliding out of their grip.

With a small person and anyone actually, the most important part is to help them find a comfortable spot to place their fingers to close the holes. In the case of a 7 year old you'd likely end up with something like the piper's grip adults use when they play low whistles.

If there are no responses from actual teachers out there, I'd give a shout out to Shannon Heaton. She's on Facebook with a YouTube Channel and teaches. She may have an idea what a 7 year old hands can handle. It's been a long time since I had a 7 year old.

An Eb whistle is a bit smaller, which may be enough without going into the shrill pitches of the G. You'd likely need to get one yourself so you can play together. Generations are OK on Ebs as far as I have heard.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:20 pm 
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Yeah, I think I'm leaning towards the Dixon Sopranno whistle/flute combo (high D), she tried to hold her recorder like my flute at one point, I'll give her the option if she wants to switch. It's going to be a christmas presant, I'm planning on getting all my kids instruments. My younger son is a natural born drummer, that will be even more annoying to their mother and neighbors when he gets a drum (they live in an apartment). My older son is getting my mini-guitar. I just don't know what to get my 14 year old daughter, she likes to sing, maybe a songbook? I love my kids! :love:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:01 pm 
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If I were you, I would probably go with a regular D whistle. Generation does offer F and G keys, but they are not so easy to play at all. Take a look at this article, there is a section about whistles for children. Most well-known brands offer their line of colored models that are great for kids!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 3:22 pm 
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Generation does offer F and G keys, but they are not so easy to play at all.


Not sure where you got that idea, especially the F is a little racehorse. The high pitched G is probably an acquired taste but for small fingers there's no problem playing them.

That said, generations of school children and young learners have taken their first steps into whistling on regular D whistles, I have seen children as young as five or six handling them.

Not sure coloured whistles are more attractive to children, thatstrikes me as a grown up assumption. Perhaps best to let them make the choice of what look they like.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:53 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
Teachers put them on violin bows for suzuki lessons.

Is that a reference to a technique or the brand? When I hear Suzuki, I think of the little 4x4s I always miss out on...

Mr.Gumby wrote:
Not sure coloured whistles are more attractive to children, thatstrikes me as a grown up assumption. Perhaps best to let them make the choice of what look they like.

I would tend to agree, on both points. A colored whistle may appeal to some children, but others might like one that has a shine to it, and others still may like one in PVC. I would show her a few and see what she likes.

As for the elder daughter, how about a microphone?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:20 pm 
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If the kids can handle the reach, the Dixon DX001 is quite nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR3vd3MFfks


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:40 pm 
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Stev0 wrote:
I just don't know what to get my 14 year old daughter, she likes to sing, maybe a songbook? I love my kids! :love:


My 24 year old daughter bought herself a karaoke microphone on a lark last winter and has had great fun with it. They run about $30 and are a self contained amplified device that works with batteries. It is kind of nice to hear yourself amplified.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:47 pm 
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Dan A. wrote:
I would tend to agree, on both points. A colored whistle may appeal to some children, but others might like one that has a shine to it, and others still may like one in PVC. I would show her a few and see what she likes.

As for the elder daughter, how about a microphone?

busterbill wrote:
My 24 year old daughter bought herself a karaoke microphone on a lark last winter and has had great fun with it. They run about $30 and are a self contained amplified device that works with batteries. It is kind of nice to hear yourself amplified.

I'd have to be really sneaky about showing her a bunch of different whistles, It's likely to be a christmas present and I don't want to spoil the surprise.
I don't know why I didn't think about a karaoke mic, that's a great idea! Thanks!

BTW, Dan A. That's a cute kitty you've got there in your avatar, kinda looks a bit like mine. What's his/her name? Mine was named Ubastet (Uba for short) after the Egyptian god of love and fertility.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:29 pm 
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Stev0 wrote:
BTW, Dan A. That's a cute kitty you've got there in your avatar, kinda looks a bit like mine. What's his/her name?

Thanks! His name is Bluegrass. The avatar photo was taken when he was about seven weeks old...he turned two this year.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:27 am 
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I started recorder at 8-- yes, Baroque/English fingering-- and didn't find it a challenge.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:11 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Not sure where you got that idea, especially the F is a little racehorse. The high pitched G is probably an acquired taste but for small fingers there's no problem playing them.


In my opinion, it's not much of a difference with D when it comes to fingering. I was more aiming at breathing requirements, F and G are very sensitive to overblowing.


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