Sunday, April 7, 2013

I'm Back and Feeling Grateful!

Six years studying The Balanced Embouchure.  It just keeps giving me more & more.  The progress never stops unless I stop.  I'm not the greatest horn player in the world, of course.   I'm just a little old lady, come back horn playing grandma with a chronic neurological disease, who plays in community ensembles and gets the occasional paid gig.  But, there are so many things I can do now that I wouldn't have been able to had it not been for BE.  I'm thankful.

Once again, BE has come to the rescue.  I injured my upper lip in an accident December 2nd, driving my front tooth clear through the center of the under side of my upper lip.  Five days later a little blob of dead flesh sloughed off leaving a small hole, then a scar right where the aperture forms.  (It reminded me of the injury Adrew Joy described that prompted him to find help, and eventually BE.)  After taking few weeks off, I found myself with severely limited range and endurance, not to mention horrid tone.  It was definitely a déjà vu experience.  My embouchure function was eerily similar to what it had been 7 years ago before I started studying BE! 

I thought it would be a quick fix, but progress was slow because my lips would swell at the slightest provocation severely limiting practice time.  It took a full four months before I had recovered the range & endurance I had before the accident.  Thanks to BE, I'm back & enjoying playing again.  

Three cheers for Jeff Smiley!     


  1. Good heavens, Valerie! Was it a car crash? That's terrible. I'm so relieved you've recovered.

  2. Oh no! Nothing serious like a car crash. Like an idiot, I bent over in the middle of the night, in the dark to reach for something on the floor. On my way down I collided with the corner of a wooden chest. In medical terms it was a very minor incident, but to a brass player, any injury to the lips is a BIG deal.