Hi all, I'm a senior in high school, and I've been playing for 6 years, in a way. My trumpet education throughout 6-9th grade was very ineffective, and I didn't even realize it, so I really only started playing seriously since my junior year, or last year, so my skills are most likely not up to par with others my age.
Anyway, school started about 2 months ago, and my playing was the best that it had ever been. My tone was pretty good (nothing special, though), my range seemed to have been improving every few days, I arguably had the best endurance out of the whole section, as well as control and accuracy over my partials, as well as entrances and articulations, which I need all of to successfully play my part, which is 1st. However, ever since that day, I have been playing for around 5-6 hours a day, occasionally reaching up to 7-8, exceptions being Saturday, where I play for 3 hours, and Sunday, where I would either rest completely or play for about 30 minutes; the reason for this being that I have 2 periods of band, I play during lunch, and occasionally I would play during a third period (hence the occasional 7-8 hour days), and then right after I would have band after-school for a few hours, whether it be marching, or symphonic+jazz, depending on the day.
My playing has been getting worse every single day since school started; my tone is suffering dramatically, my easy range has been decreased by around 2 partials, my endurance has been cut by an estimated 75%, I can't seem to articulate properly anymore, and my control, accuracy, and entrances are all unreliable, and I find myself getting extremely nervous before an important entrance, such as coming in on a G right above the staff, delicately, for a solo, which before would have been no trouble for me. I often find that my lip simply does not buzz at times, and that I believe this to be the cause of my trouble articulating, coming in correctly, and just overall playing.
About a week and a half ago, I approached my band directors about this, and my playing schedule was revised so that one of my band periods could be a resting period, and one of the directors, a brass player, told me I should rest completely for a couple days. Over the next few days, I never rested completely, but my playing was reduced down to about 1-2 hours each day, and the next day, I rested completely. On Monday, I came back and played and it seemed that almost everything was nearly back to normal. My tone had improved immensely, almost to where it was before, my range was back, maybe even improved, articulations and entrances were still sloppy, but definitely improved, partial accuracy was near perfect, but my endurance was still pretty much gone, as expected. However, through the course of the week, my lips got weaker, as I was back to playing around 4-6 hours a day, and they're back to the way they used to be again. Just yesterday I was having trouble buzzing on the mouthpiece, and many times notes just aren't coming out at all, and the ones that do, don't sound very good.
Sorry for writing so much, but I wanted to include as much detail as possible. My question is, how do I keep my lips in the best condition to play? All aspects of my playing are suffering due to this. I'm not sure if a complete rest is possible since we have a marching performance in less than a week.