Student embouchure question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet1Ohio, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Trumpet1Ohio

    Trumpet1Ohio Piano User

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    Jun 22, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I have taught privately for 5-6 yrs and just ran into a situation I don't know how to handle. I thought I'd run it by you all and see if we can come up with a few ideas. My student is in 8th grade. She has a pretty severe overbite and the 2 front upper teeth are large w/ the bottom edge of them significantly lower than the other top teeth. She plays with the horn tilted up and probably 2/3rds of the mpc is on the upper lip. She has terrible tone, mediocre range, good technique and a great desire to play the horn. Also, she has fairly large.full lips and plays on a Bach 3C.

    My theory is that she can't play downstream as much as her overbite would require. I think she's placed the mouthpiece in a spot that the rim straddles the top and bottom of the top center teeth and then tries to tip the horn up to attempt to blow into the mpc. Unfortuneately I think she's blowing the airstream at the bottom edge of the cup causing her poor tone.

    It's sad, because she's pretty decent player...1st chair in her 8th grade band. All you hear when she plays is her bad sound.I tried to get her play with the mpc lower...even alittle bit but she can't do it. Any opinions? Has anyone else dealt with this?

    Thanks for any help you may be able to offer. :?:
     
  2. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

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    I'm not familiar with what the bent mouthpieces are designed to overcome, but for those that are, would this be a case in which a bent mouthpiece would allow her to get the instrument up and equally distribute mouthpiece pressure on both lips?

    Edit: Here's a picture, via the Warburton website (not me!), of what a bent mouthpiece looks like. Also, Patrick Hession on the Maynard Ferguson band uses a bent piece.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

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    Clarksville, Tennessee, U
    It's really hard to say without seeing and hearing the child. I can speak in generalities, though. It has been my experience that most people with underbites play with the horn tilted up and most with overbites play with the horn tilted down. There are of course people who do the opposite and play great, but generally... With an extreme overbite (upper teeth in front of lower teeth, right?) I don't see how she can even play that way. I'd probably try to get her to tilt the horn down. It will probably be a battle.
     
  4. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    I'm having understanding that dichotomy. By pretty decent player are just referring to her ability to get around the horn?

    Why can't she just play baritone for a couple of years until she gets some orthodontic work done?

    ML
     
  5. DonJuanTrompeta

    DonJuanTrompeta New Friend

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    Apr 12, 2005
    Maybe she should play clarinet, my cousin had that problem with her teeth and switched from cornet to clarinet and is really happy with it.

    :?: Just a suggestion...
     
  6. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

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    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    I would bet these are related. Students that can get around on the horn but have poor sound and range usualy have an ear problem. Can she match pitch with her voice?

    I am a firm believer that range and technique are a by-product of a good sound. It seems as if this student is going in the wrong direction.

    I would forget all that upstream/downstream stuff and I would ignore the teeth. As a matter of fact I would leave all physical alone and concentate on sound. Just have her copy you. It may take a long time.

    If you need help the best guy I know in Columbus is Jim Reed.
     
  7. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    ...or Jim Stokes at Capitol.
     
  8. Trumpet1Ohio

    Trumpet1Ohio Piano User

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    Jun 22, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Manny- yes, she gets around the horn fairly well, but I think she's coming to a dead end with the setup she's using. I've suggested and tried making embouchure changes but her playing is so negatively affected that she won't do it. I mentioned orthodontic work to her parents and the mother basically said he wasn't going to happen. They didn't have the financial ability to handle it. As to the baritone option, she loves the trumpet and she and her parents think it's her "thing" as they put it.

    I think I might suggest she go see one of the trumpet teachers mentioned in the other posts to get their input.

    Thanks for all the responses.
     
  9. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    With all that you said, it just sounds to me like should just leave her be.

    The description you gave sounded rather extreme but if she enjoys the horn just let her enjoy what she's doing the way she does it. After all, she's still first chair in her band. That's pretty good, says I. The only other thing you can do is lend/give her a couple of Mendez recordings and see what that does to her ear.

    ML
     
  10. Trumpet1Ohio

    Trumpet1Ohio Piano User

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    Jun 22, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I think I'll just have a "sit-down" with her parents and give them the option on how to proceed.
     

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