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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000051.txt from 2000/07

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] I have a question for those of you out there
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 10:55:16 -0400

On Thu, 29 Jun 2000, Lacy Schroeder wrote:

> Has this ever happened to anybody: You're playing along, minding you
> own business and trying to play in tune as well as possible, and all
> of a sudden, air starts coming out your nose instead of your mouth!!

It took me a little while to find this message, which I wrote several
years ago in reply to a similar question. Perhaps it will help. In your
case, since surgery was seemingly not involved, there might be some other
reason for the fact that the musculature normally used to close the nasal
passages are not satisfactorily performing that function. Nevertheless, I
think that a first step in solving the problem will be to become aware
that muscles are involved.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 21:08:14 -0500 (CDT)
From: Edwin V. Lacy <>
Subject: Re: surgery and the oboe. HELP?!

On Tue, 20 Aug 1996, someone wrote:

> I have a very close friend who was quite good at the clarinet. She had
> her tonsils and addenoids taked out in March. When she was allowed to
> play again, she tried to play. She couldn't! She was physically unable
> to play, and had to quit playing the clarinet!

When I was 12 years old, my tonsils and adenoids were very seriously
enlarged, and had to be removed. When I tried to play again, a couple of
weeks or so after the surgery (it had to be a long period of recuperation,
because I had some complications including hemorraging), I couldn't play,
either. That was because my enlarged adenoids had always automatically
closed my nasal passages, and I had never had to learn how to close them
by using the muscles. However, after a few weeks of trying, I was able to
learn to do that, and I think everybody can. So, without knowing of any
special circumstances concerning your clarinet playing friend, I think she
could have learned to control the air leaking from the nose, and I think
you can, too.

I can't tell you how I learned to control those muscles, but I knew that I
didn't like the results when I was unable to stop the air leaking through
the nose, and I knew I wasn't going to quit playing the instruments that
were the central focus of my life. So, I just kept trying and
experimenting until I learned how to do it. That was, hmmm .... about
40-something years ago, and it has never again been a problem.

Good luck.

Ed Lacy
Dr. Edwin Lacy University of Evansville
Professor of Music 1800 Lincoln Avenue
Evansville, IN 47722 (812)479-2754

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