I have been playing trumpet for 30+ years and teaching band in public schools for 18. I almost hate to admit this, but I feel I need to ask a question about trumpet technique. Actually, I'm happy to ask because I feel we can and should always be learning.
I have run into a couple occaisions where my trumpet students simply can't produce any sound at all, just air. I try to duplicate what they could be doing, but really can't. I tell them to use less mouthpiece pressure, wet their lips, tighten corners, pull corners back a little to stretch the lips thinner across the mouthpiece...anything I can think of. This morning I had a student literally in tears as he is preparing his solo for contest because he couldn't get a sound out. He was sweating like a dog, he was embarrassed, stressed, and frustrated. He probably should have just packed it in and called it good for today. I told him "we all have bad days once in a while. Athletes will have days where their game just isn't "on", too" to try to help him relax. Trouble is, he had the same sound yesterday in a lesson.
This same thing has happened to a couple other players of mine, and I'm looking for some ideas on how to possibly fix this and what may be causing it. Am I leading them in the wrong direction with what I am telling them?
I realize it's very difficult to tell from explanations on a message board, but at this point, any help will be welcome.