I am a low brasser who also teaches horn and trumpet lessons. I have run into a student who leaks air pretty badly from her nose while she is playing. When I have her plug her nose the sound does get better. At first I thought it may be an articulation problem, but I'm not sure. I thought I would come here and ask if anyone has come across this issue with one of their students (or on their own) and over come it.
I'd really love to figure this out!
Thanks in Advance,
Re: Air Leaking from nose while playing 22:12 on Saturday, December 02, 2017
I have had some strange air issues with students as well, without being able to figure them out. A common problem with all the beginners that I try to conquer as soon as possible, is an incredible amount of pressure (indicated by puffing cheeks and throat, etc.). All have come from the schools with no instruction on how to play, just a book, a little encouragement, and a prayer. One was using so much pressure that it backed through the nose. I worked on mouthpiece buzzing for 3 or 4 lessons where I was holding the mouthpiece and touching it as lightly to the lips until a buzz started forming. Another was getting a growling sound that all I could figure was air being forced backwards over the vocal cords. I approached this the same way, encouraging a light touch, and then building from there. The strangest though is a student who is humming very quietly at the same time as just shoving the mouthpiece as hard into his lips as possible. He starts each note with a slightly louder hum, continues a quiet hum, and creates the note entirely through lip pressure which can push back so hard he gets nose blow and a growl like described above. He's getting an 8 lesson scholarship for switching from trumpet to horn from the local band boosters. 6 lessons in, he cannot lip buzz, cannot buzz a note lightly, and insists he is not humming, singing, or vocalizing in any way. I have tried to make him aware of the humming, gone over light pressure techniques, use the tongue to articulate with, everything, and I can't get him to stop doing what he does. He plays the trumpet the same way, and all I can figure is that for the 2 years he has played trumpet, no one has showed him anything close to technique. Lots of various situations, but I am convinced these issues come from high-pressure playing. If there are any suggestions on how to address this, I too would love to hear them.