Braces! I never had them as a kid (so my lower teeth look like a derailed freight train from the air) and can only empathize what it must be like to have to try to play horn. Pressing that hunk of metal against your lips with that razor wire decorating your front teeth slicing your lip from the other side. Ow. Ow. Ow!
My 7th grader, N, just got braces and is in that situation. I told him that there are products (like Braceguard) that provide something of a cushion on the brace metal for brass players. He says it doesn’t hurt and doesn’t think he needs it. But it’s clear that his range has clearly suffered. Playing a third space C might as well be a high C. He loves to play the horn, but is very much limited. What to do? How do you keep a young player busy until the braces come off in a year and a half? Continue reading