Hello and Welcome back!
I started writing this blog during the Pandemic, which was very helpful and productive for both me and my students. I stopped blogging the summer before I started my Doctorate in Trumpet Performance at Michigan State University!
Well, I'm two years done with my DMA. The coursework is done, and the real fun begins (more on that later!)
I'm bringing back the blog because I've learned a lot, so there's more to write about.
I decided in October 2022 to get rid of the gap between my teeth
Was it a risk? Yes, it was.
Was it terrifying?
It wasn't until it was. Everything was fine until the gap was fully closed and then just like that- I couldn't play above or below the staff, and the loudest I could play was a mezzo forte. This just happened to happen the first week of my last semester (January 2023).
Why'd you do it?
I have always missed a lot of notes and played with a wide sound. I wanted to know if I closed the gap between my teeth and if that would change my playing for the better. (Disclaimer: I've done five years of fundamental work specifically to help change these aspects of my playing. I was blaming myself, but didn't know if it actually was me.)
Did it work?
I went through an embouchure change to facilitate the change in teeth. It's been a HARD semester, but things are finally back and better. And I do miss fewer notes, so I was right about that for myself!
What was the hardest part?
The hardest part HANDS DOWN was how nice everyone was about this - How supportive everyone was. My ego has been severely bruised through this process because even though I was in a safe place, as a second-year DMA student and a teacher at two colleges, the expectation is high.
How are things now?
Things are coming back at a very fast rate now, but the confidence is coming back a little slower.
It's been a very tiring semester. But my motto for this degree has been:
Now is not the time to be comfortable
And it definitely hasn't been.
I'm curious, how many of you have had to deal with this?
Please take this poll and feel free to leave a comment below about your teeth/trumpet experience. I actively stayed away from braces as a kid because I didn't want them to mess up trumpet playing...
Thanks for reading and if there are subjects you would like me to write about this summer. Please let me know and welcome to my summer of productivity!