Hi, folks. I'd really appreciate any advice the experienced teachers out there can give me.
I'm a 31-yr sax veteran, and my 6th grader is just starting on alto. I worked with her some over the summer, and now she is getting lessons through the her school. Her teacher wants her (and the other kids) to start with a Rico 3 reed. This seems to me to be pretty hard for kids who are just starting out.
Questions: Has there been some major change in embouchure pedagogy between when I started and now? (I started on 1-1/2, went pretty quickly to 2, then gradually worked my way up.) Are there benefits to this "start hard" approach that I just don't know about yet?
I have a few concerns about this. First, if it's such hard work just to get a sound, how are they going to enjoy making music? Will this lead to a higher drop-out rate? Second, when I play a reed that is too strong for me (on my particular mouthpiece), I have to compensate by doing improper things with my embouchure. How can they learn a correct embouchure if they're having to play something that is too hard for their poor little beginner chops? I don't want my daughter to learn an incorrect embouchure and then have trouble progressing later. There are other concerns, but these are the biggies.
So, what about that reed strength? Oh, and the teacher is primarily a clarinet player. Are there things I should watch for that a clarinetist might incorrectly carry over to saxophone?