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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Playing after having tonsils removed in the General forums; I am a band teacher and one of my students recently approached me with a problem and I don't know ...
  1. #1
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    Nov 2006

    Playing after having tonsils removed

    I am a band teacher and one of my students recently approached me with a problem and I don't know how to help her.

    The problem is this: She is a 17 year old HS student who was a fairly good trumpet player. She got her tonsils taken out about a month ago and they used a relatively new method (I think it was freezing them off, but I don't know). About a week ago she started playing again with the doctor's OK and that's when the problems started. She has been working very hard on getting back into playing but she can't seem to get more than about a 4-note range from D at the bottom of the staff to G in the staff. Even the notes she has back are airy and fuzzed. I have tried every exercise I can think of but nothing helps. She seems to be losing air through her soft palate/sinuses while she is playing.

    I would send her to a professional trumpet teacher but we live 100+ miles from the nearest one (and I mean one). I am a tuba player who doubles on trombone and euph and I play bugle calls for the VFW so I am not a complete novice but I am at the end of my experience and I don't want her to lose this battle as music is her life right now.

    Thanks for any help,

  2. #2
    Pianissimo User Bourbon City's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I am no Medical Doctor however I would think any change in the mouth cavity and surrounding soft tissue could effect one's performance on any wind instrument. The shape and volume of the cavity has changed.

    I think since she has the Doctor's permission to start playing again she will just have to be patient and let everything get readjusted.

    I believe she will be fine in six months.

    Good luck.
    Dale Schmidt, P.E.
    Bridges to build and Rivers crossed...

  3. #3
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    Nov 2006
    Thanks for the reply. That's what I hoped for. I know it can be frustrating to have to wait that long but that is sometimes the only thing that you can do. I was just worried that there might be something wrong with the nerves or muscles in there and she would never have success. If there are any excercises or something (other than daily practice on fundamentals) that I can pass along to help speed the process I would appreciate them.

    Thanks again,

  4. #4
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    Aug 2005
    The best advice for her right now is, "do not rush!". And, "do not push". In time she will get used to her new oral cavity and her range will improve. Underlying her difficulties is a hidden advantage. She now has time to polish her technique and tone in the lower ranges like never before. Encourage her to be patient.


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