Thank you ahead of time for any help with my new trumpet's embouchure troubleshooting. FTR I am a fairly new band director, and I play trombone, though I've taken an embouchure workshop with Dr. Turnbull, which was EXTREMELY useful.
My new 5th grader has been playing for about a month now. Here's physically what we've got going on:
- very, very full top and bottom lip, with a pointed center on his top lip.
- moderate overbite
- moderate gap in the front teeth
- Playing on a 7C
- Strong breathing for a beginner
When he first picked up the mouthpiece to buzz, his first pitch was a high C. I was slightly amazed. He was extremely tense, though. I got him to relax a bit and still, he could only buzz the C in the staff. Putting the mouthpiece on the horn, he was stuck between that C and high C.
A month in, we've been able to work his relaxation down to get a G in the staff out. He has to relax so much though, that he's leaking tons of air off the sides of his lips. Poor guy is spitting all over. Of course, beginning band books start off with C-E, so he can't play a thing unless he plays up an octave.
Here's what I've tried so far:
- a flapping buzz to lower the pitch. He got a low C doing this but the air was leaking out more than going in the mouthpiece.
- buzzing the pitch first then adding the mouthpiece, he couldn't keep the buzz up once the mouthpiece was placed
- he tenses up a LOT all over when he's trying to play. I've really tried to get him to relax
- just let him play in his comfortable octave then bring it down later
Here's what I'm considering, but I am open to the ideas of actual trumpet players!
- getting him 1on1 and just cranking out pedal tones and slurs
- a different mouthpiece (looked at a 5CW or 3CW) though that has its own issues/controversy
I'm going to ask mom's permission if I can post a pic of his face (nose down) to see if we can troubleshoot this thing. Thanks all!