Playing A Musical Instrument With Braces: What You Need To Know
As a person who is dedicated to your musical studies and performance, you have perfected the skills that you need to achieve the perfect pitch and sound. When you place your instrument to your mouth, your muscles automatically move into position and your playing is second nature to you. However, when you find out that you need orthodontic work, you may worry how this will affect your playing. After all, once you go to the orthodontist and get your braces installed, the entire structure of your mouth will be altered and changed. In order to handle these changes, there are a few things you need to know and remember about playing your musical instrument with braces.
Practice In The Mirror (Without Your Instrument)
Thanks to muscle memory, you already have a set idea of the embouchure that you need to achieve the right tone and sound from your instrument. With your braces installed, your lip mobility will be obstructed and altered.
Rather than give up your instrument and love of music, you will need to retrain your mouth to attain the sound you need. The first step is to watch yourself do lip exercises in the mirror without your musical instrument. Try to form the same shape with your mouth that you use to play your instrument. Experiment with different variations to get your lips used to forming different shapes and maneuvering around your braces.
Place Wax On Your Braces Before You Play
When you have braces, the likelihood that the soft tissue in your mouth will be irritated by the metal protrusions is likely. This is especially true if you are contorting your mouth to play an instrument. So, before you get started trying to play your instrument again, protect your soft tissue by placing wax on your braces. This will prevent your lips from catching on the metal and will create a smooth surface to stop irritating friction from affecting your playing.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Think back to when you picked up your instrument for the first time and tried to produce sound. Do you remember how challenging that was? Well, luckily, retraining your mouth to play your instrument with braces will not be as difficult as that was, but it will be tricky at first.
In order to regain your tonal quality, you will need to practice more diligently than you ever have before. You will have to learn new mouth positions and shapes that will create the sound quality you want. And then once you find the appropriate shape, you will need to get your mouth used to it. Your muscles will tire quickly and ache as you try to acclimate them to the new art of playing. So, be patient and persistent, and you will be playing at top quality again in no time.
Luckily, braces do not have to put an end to your studies and performances. With a little effort and a lot of tenacity, you will retrain your body to play beautiful music while your orthodontic braces do their work.