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LFP 073 How to play the Flute With Braces or No Teeth | Learn Flute Online Video Podcast

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Welcome to episode number seventy three! I’m Rebecca Fuller the flute expert at Learn
Flute Online, today we’re going to take a detailed look at the answer to questions
I get all the time. How to play flute with braces or no teeth
at all? Sound like something you might want to know
about? Well, I think you’re gonna like this- so
stick around- be right back. Hello and welcome back to another audio episode
of the Learn Flute Podcast. There is so much knowledge to share with you
online students. You can enjoy these audios and make the information
about music learning part of your life in not only an educational way, but in other
positive ways that impacts you, your family and friends. You’ll want to keep it around forever and
ever. Nuf said. Let’s get going on today’s subject. I have students in all stages of life. And, when I say all stages.. I really mean that. My youngest student I have ever taught was
almost three years old. The bulk of my young studio begins around
age four, and goes on up through the of the different ages all the way to the wisest of
them who are in their nineties. Yes. I am serious. This instrument spans all ages and stages. It’s awesome! Throughout these stages I have the opportunity
of watching the students as they develop- right in front of my eyes – literally. There are parts of development that you possibly
hadn’t even thought of. For example, the subject for today is all
about those teeth and how they affect flute-playing. When I begin a student at a very young age,
they have all of their cute little baby teeth,.. Then as they turn about seven or eight years
old- those teeth begin falling out, and we have to adjust our playing style just slightly
to accommodate for having a lot of empty spaces in the mouth. It’s a whole new ball game for a few minutes
when your tongue has no teeth to touch – especially those front ones. Think about it- the lips literally lay on
your face and mouth area depending on the position of those teeth, and especially the
front ones. If they are gone, the embouchure and aperture
that are so delicately vital to tone production are changed even moved just a little. So, as the progression of teeth growing in
and falling out happens, so does the evolving of the abilities of the player to adjust to
what is happening every few weeks even. Let me move on- once the child is around 9
years old, suddenly they have really large front teeth, and most of them time they aren’t
even straight. They come in all crazy directions sometimes
as well as the other teeth surrounding. And, this stage spurs on the next one which
is braces – or brackets as they are called in some countries. Think of what happens during the process of
straightening one’s teeth with braces. It is really come now days.  The lips lay further out from the face than
they used to, so that’s usually the biggest thought we take when we approach playing the
flute. I have to teach the students to stretch their
lips farther over to accommodate for the extra distance their teeth are out from their gums. Haha, I’ve actually had to get quite scientific
about this. Playing with braces is something many youngsters
face in the beginning band years, and unless someone teaches them the tricks to still being
able to sound good, then it can be a very frustrating process. But, no worries- it’s totally possible,
and it’s all about the top lip and getting it all the way over that metal and down past
the bottom of the front teeth. Then all is well. You just have to remember to do it, every
time you play. You might be wondering if once the braces
come off if there are any of the same issues of fuzzy and hard to control tone. And, the answer is- usually not. I don’t think even once in the history of
me teaching hundreds of students with braces have we ever had problems getting and keeping
good tone the day the braces are removed. And, this is mostly because we’ve already
been working so hard on learning good tone techniques and where exactly the lips must
be etc. that once the smooth teeth return, all is well- and most of them time, even a
smidge better! So, adult-hood with big-kid teeth lasts a
lot longer than these previous stages… but then the funny thing is that we get to go
right back to the same stage as the youngest as teeth begin to shift in older age, and
some of you listening can attest to the fact that you don’t always play with a whole
deck of pearlies in your later years. And, sometimes you’re faced with learning
how to play with false teeth or dentures even. I have had quite a few people ask me if they
should play with the dentures IN or with them out. Well… this all depends on which type you
own. It’s really hard to play the flute with
a false ‘roof’ of the mouth. It causes all sorts of tone issues. So back in the stage of braces, if you have
an expander in your mouth I usually suggest we just kinda hang with it and don’t worry
about  a lot of flute tone progression during that time because it’s usually very hard
to control and usually a lot of drooling and spitting is happening during that time as
well. But it doesn’t last forever and never more
than three months. It causes all sorts of tone issues. We need that natural, high arch to get good
tone, and if there’s too much going on that exceeds what used to be naturally grown in
your mouth, then it’s going to be super hard to adjust. But, it is possible. Just as the seven year old has to learn how
to play with even 8 of their front teeth missing, it’s also possible for an adult to slowly
adjust and learn as well. It’s just that the adult isn’t quite as
pliable and patient about it. So goes the circle of teeth-life in the days
of a flutist. I’m not quite sure if any other instrument
matters as much in the way of tone production and teeth. I remember my brother complaining that playing
the trumpet was killing him when he had braces — wax and more wax haha. But, the teeth, gums, mouth roof, and lips
of a flutist are super-duper important, and will evolve in the lifetime. So, what take away do we have here today in
this quick discussion about teeth? Well, it’s that no matter what is going
on inside your mouth, you can do it. You can learn how to play the flute. It takes continual effort, good instruction,
and patience. Yup- that’s about it. We’re all different, and the flute doesn’t
discriminate. It sits there all pretty just waiting for
you to get it figured out so it can help be the tool that enhances your life. It’s been a great day for Learn Flute Online. Thanks for being here. I hope that we’ll be able to see you inside
the member’s area soon where you can take a lesson, learn, and enjoy! If you have any questions at all, feel free
to email me from the contact page on Learn Flute Online dot com up in the menu bar. I’m always on the other end cheering you
on. Until next time- I’m Rebecca Fuller signing
off. Reminding you that Learn Flute Online helps
you quickly learn how to play the flute easily and beautifully. Bye now!

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2 thoughts on “LFP 073 How to play the Flute With Braces or No Teeth | Learn Flute Online Video Podcast”

  1. Princess Party Rock says:

    Love this podcast I have just got bracers that is the question I had

  2. Sheila Wooten says:

    I use to play the flute for about 15 yrs , had a stroke about 4 yrs stop playing now for the first time in 4 yrs I trying to play and I just realize I have bottom dentures I can't play the flute any more and i cried the I took them out and still no batter, what can I do are is my playing the flute day is over. 🙁

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