Wednesday, February 27, 2008

pity-poo-party (beware)

Read the title. I warned you.

Okay, for the first time in braces history (the whole five weeks), I'm mad at my braces. I want to take them off now. They're done. I'm done.

I play the clarinet. I love the clarinet. It is an extension of myself, and I play well. The first time I played with braces, it was mildly annoying, but I was encouraged - my tone didn't sound too bad, it wasn't very painful, and I knew it would improve in time.

That's where I was wrong! It hasn't improved! In fact, if anything, it gets worse and worse every time I play. On Monday night, I only played at half of my rehearsal and I barely made it through THAT - no matter how much wax I put on, the one painful bracket poked through. Tuesday night, I was supposed to have an hour and a half of another rehearsal for a musical I've been hired to play in. The rehearsal went almost three hours - I wanted to stop because I felt like my lip was hamburger and I was bleeding, but I was sight reading, I'm getting paid quite a bit, and we only have two rehearsals total before we perform.

Today, I've been slathering on chapstick and I've got so much wax in my lip it looks like I'm using chewing tobacco, but it's still managing to be painful. My own fault, I know.

I just keep thinking back to when I could play for six hours at a time without being too sore. I hate that I sound bad, and it's not my fault. I hate that I have no stamina. I hate that it just doesn't feel right - my clarinet doesn't fit me anymore. I feel like it's a prosthetic limb or something (not to compare my clarinet playing to an amputee victim, but you get the drift).

And while I'm complaining about braces, I am SO TIRED of not being able to enunciate things correctly. My 7th and 8th grade choirs are singing a song with a really fast tongue twister in it, and I'm telling them to speak clearer, think about diction, but I can't do it myself. Or, if I do, I'm spraying my front row of altos with spit.

And I miss almonds. Okay, pity-poo-party over.


Ananda Devika said...

oh, poor girl - it sucks, I know. It'll go fast and before you know it, you'll be playing bare-toothed again and much happier. Just hang in there!

Alli said...

When you think about it, it really IS comparable to a prosthetic limb. You've spent your whole career learning how to play with your mouth the way it is. Now, you're working with a whole new setup--one that keeps changing every day! I can DEFINITELY see how that would be frustrating. Imagine if I had to play with a new pair of hands every day. THAT would be awful!

Maybe you should ask around and take a couple lessons with someone who can help you deal with your changing embouchure, maybe someone who works with young mouths (that often have braces)?

Kiwikaren said...

You poor thing ... you sound miserable!

I recommend you rinse your mouth as often as you can with warm salt water. Put a pinch of salt in about a 1/4 cup of warm tap water and rinse. This usually soothes and heals!

Good luck and here's to your love for your music getting better quickly!

laura said...

I'm sorry ;; How frustrating.

I saw something in the drugstore the other day - a kind of bandaid for canker sores. Haven't tried it and have no idea how it sticks to a wet mouth, but perhaps if you lined your lip with them it would help. It was in the toothpaste etc section.

Michelle said...

I'm sorry your struggling, I really hope you're able to figure it out soon.
I can't imagine trying to play an instrument with my mouth like this, it is always sore without having to use it more.
Good luck!!