10 year old with nose problem.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Fishgun, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Fishgun

    Fishgun Pianissimo User

    Sep 26, 2009
    My son is 10 (nearly 11). He has been playing for one year and has been doing very well. He has just encountered a problem that he has never had before. As he plays air escapes through his nose. He is not experiencing any sinus related problems and he seems to be doing everything normally.

    I've played for many years so I can affirm that he is not making any obvious mistakes. The problem is happening at the back of his throat. I am at a total loss as how to help him overcome this. He is very frustrated.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    As the old saying goes:
    Don't pick your nose, let Wison Pickett
    But seriously,
    I had the same problem when my tonsils were removed back when I was 9.
    How did I overcome this situation? My music teacher told me to "lock off the nasal area when I play".
    Here's what he did:
    He had me to sing a single note until I ran out of breath.
    He then told me to talk, "say anything".
    He then asked, "Did you notice any air coming out of your nose when you sang or talked?" Naturally my answer was "No".
    He then had me to blow through the horn like I was singing.
    That pretty much fixed it.
    I wish all my bad habits were this easy to fix.
    It appears that your son has gotten in the habit of playing and letting air leak out of the nose.
    This is fairly easy to break by using talking, singing, or any other verbalization to get the point across that air doesn't leak out the nose unless he wants it to. You can also remind him that air didn't leak out of his nose last year.
    Of course if your kid is experiencing any dicomfort in the throat or your gut says "something's just not right", without hesitation, have your kid checked out by a physician.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  3. vntgbrslvr

    vntgbrslvr Piano User

    Oct 10, 2008
    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    I could see how it would be difficult to address this problem.

    First off....I am not a doctor....I'm just giving you a suggestion on what I would try in this situation.

    I would liken the action needed to how the nasal passage is closed off when drinking water, or swallowing food. It's the same action when playing a wind instrument.

    Have him close his mouth and exhale through his nose....then stop the passage of air as a way to practice. Another way to practice would be to have him close his mouth and puff his cheeks up. This really requires a good seal to blow them up fully.

    This action then needs to be applied to the playing process.....Probably easier said than done.

    The soft palate tissue (connected to the uvula) at the back of the throat needs to close off the nasal cavity to keep the leakage from happening. If this is impossible for him, it might be worth having a doctor have a look at his nose and throat to be sure there are no physical problems that might be causing this.

    Hope this helps,

  4. Fishgun

    Fishgun Pianissimo User

    Sep 26, 2009
    Thanks for the advice. He seems to be working this out on his own but I'm still having him do the exercises that you suggested.
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    This is good news! There will be more questions as he gets better on the trumpet. Feel free to hit us with the questions when they arise.

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