May 6 2005, 05:43 AM
I'm posting this on the General Forum rather than the Teachers' one because I'd like to get as much feedback as possible.
I've just taken on an intermediate-level recorder player; she had her first lesson yesterday. Her mother had warned me that she had a peculiar sort of brace which seemed to make her salivate a lot, so I wasn't totally unprepared, but oh dear, the poor girl - she could hardly play half-a-dozen notes in succession before her recorder got completely clogged up!
I've never come across anything like this before - normally when a recorder gets stuffy one can 'suck back' during the course of a piece and then clear it properly afterwards, but with her there was water constantly dripping from the end of her recorder, and the sucking back seemed to do little or no good.
Underneath all this I think there is a promising recorder player, so I want to sort out this problem as quickly as possible. She's had the brace for several months already, so it's not as if she's still getting used to it - and it won't be coming off for quite some time.
I've searched on another set of forums and come up with a few bits of advice, most of which I knew already (don't eat just before playing, brush teeth before playing, keep head up more). Has anyone here got any other advice? I felt SO sorry for this pupil - and I can't see us making much musical progress while she has such a severe problem with the excessive salivation.
Any tips will be gratefully received!
May 6 2005, 07:36 AM
Difficult problem. I haven't any suggestions I'm afraid as I haven't come across this but I wondered how long she would have a brace for? It might be an idea to concentrate more on theory and aural with a little less time on practical until she loses the brace.
May 6 2005, 08:00 AM
I haven't experienced this particular problem with a brace, but I have found that a brace often shows up an underlying problem rather than causing a problem. It's possible your student produces more saliva than average anyway, and the brace just exacerbates this tendency. So it might be more productive to assuming that clogging might always be a problem with this particular player rather than waiting until the brace comes off and hoping for the best.
Sorry not to be more helpful.
May 6 2005, 11:38 AM
Just done a search on Google for "Excessive Salivation" which brought lots of sites about this. Some offered tablets to control it, some talked about it in pregnancy and in toddlers, some about it caused by lesions in the mouth etc., and some about it resulting from gastrointestinal matters.
The most important advice I got from this is that it's worth them visiting their doctor about this (or a hospital specialist, if the doctor can refer them), so that its cause (if it's not the brace) can be found and dealt with - or if it is the brace, something can then be done to control it.
Hope it works out well.
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