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Embouchure Dysfunction in Air Force Band Brass Musicians

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Occupational injuries and medical problems in musicians are well described, but relatively less attention has been paid to orofacial and embouchure-related problems in professional brass players. This study addressed embouchure-related problems in Air Force Band members, a population of musicians with an intense practice and performance schedule. METHODS: A survey was developed and distributed via the Air Force Survey Office to 599 active-duty Air Force Band members and 201 Air National Guard members. The survey assessed practice patterns, practice and performance venues, and presence of symptoms suggesting embouchure dysfunction. RESULTS: Responses were obtained from 167 Air Force Band brass players. Of the 157 responding to the question about embouchure dysfunction, 42% reported having experienced an embouchure problem at some point in the past, and 53% of those respondents reported that they were currently experiencing an embouchure problem. Forty-one percent of those with embouchure problems cited practice venues that were not conducive to effective and efficient practice at the time their embouchure problems began, and 48% of those with embouchure problems reported having to overblow in rehearsal at the time their problems began. DISCUSSION: Embouchure disorders were reported in a large proportion of Air Force Band brass survey respondents, and specific concerns related to practice venues and the need to overblow in practice settings suggest factors suitable to remediation and preventive strategies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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  • Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsĀ is the first clinical medical journal devoted to the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of medical and psychological disorders related to the performing arts. Original peer-reviewed research papers cover topics including neurologic disorders, musculoskeletal conditions, voice and hearing disorders, anxieties, stress, substance abuse, and other health issues related to actors, dancers, singers, musicians, and other performers.
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