Embouchure changes

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by euph77, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. euph77

    euph77 Member


    I'm after some advice on embouchure changes for one of my students. He is 11 years old and has just gained grade 5. He has recently been to an audition for a scholarship for secondary school and the panel felt that he was experiencing some technical problems with his embouchure and that he would need to have a strong technical foundation if he were to be awarded a scholarship at 13+ level.

    When I started teaching him a year and a half ago, his embouchure was already poor but as he had been playing for a few years he was rather set in his ways. He plays from the side of his mouth rather than the middle. His tone is secure and round and his pitch range not bad (the high notes are a little weak, but I think that is more lack of support from the diaphragm than embouchure).

    I have experienced the frustrations of a complete change of embouchure personally (all be it for the best) but at the time I was 18 and able to understand completely the reasons and the effort and practise required.

    Should I try and change the position of his mouthpiece and spend time rebuilding the strength; how should I go about any changes and can anyone recommend any resource to help me and him?

    Thank you in advance,

    Philip :confused:
  2. tromwinst

    tromwinst Member

    I used to teach at the JRNCM and as hard as it is I changed it straight away no matter the age. It's only going to make it hard for them and hard for you.

    A few weeks with his/her mouthpiece in front of the mirror! Harsh, I know, but it works!

    Having said that after playing with Orchestras that I have there isn't one person I would say has a perfect embouchure. It depends how bad it is as to whether you need to start them again. Personally I would say the sooner it can be done the better especially if the pupil is serious about doing music. If you don't then if they got in to any of the academies they would do it straight away anyway.
    Difficult tho as you don't want to put them off playing so that they give up. So I understand the concerns you have.
  3. euph77

    euph77 Member

    Thank you, James.

    I suppose I thought that would be the answer, but wanted someone to confirm it for me!

    Many thanks

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