Topic: involuntarily opening of muscles

I am an oboist living in Israel. When playing, of course I breathe out through my mouth and the nose muscles are closed like when we close nose muscles when there's a bad smell.
Occasionally, during playing, these nose ??muscles open involuntarily..first
producing a noise when I continue to play, and shortly thereafter preventing
me from playing at all.
I don't know to whom to turn....it usually happens during a pressurized
performance....  perhaps it's a psychological problem with a bad medical result. I"ve been checked by an ear, nose, throat doctor and they found no visible problem.  I've had this problem on and off for about 20 years..I am now 67 years old and am still playing and performing with the oboe.
Anybody have any experience or knowledge concerning this situation?
Thanks....Brenda

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Re: involuntarily opening of muscles

I bet you're experiencing something very common, if I understand what you describe.  It happens to almost every double reed player I've ever met every once in a while, for some it happens much more often than others.  For me it only happens when I get very fatigued, like on the last piece of a recital when I have to play a slow movement!  Anyway, here's another thread on this forum where this has been discussed, where Neville brought forward some discussions from the old IDRS email list.

http://www.doublereed.org/IDRSBBS/viewtopic.php?id=482

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: involuntarily opening of muscles

There are several posts under subjects such as "air leaking" or "odd noise" that deal with this condition.
Have a look at some of the earlier posts which may be related.

Cheers Neville

Neville Forsythe
Christchurch New Zealand
Bassoonist / Teacher / Conductor

Re: involuntarily opening of muscles

For the forum, I think the problem Brenda is describing relates to a lack of seal between the nose and the back of the throat -- muscles don't close the soft palate completely. This condition is nown medically as velopharyngeal insufficiency. An ear-nose-throat physician is probably the best person to treat the condition. I have seen several articles alluding to specific exercises that can be practised to control the situation, but the ENT person should handle this.
Bill

Dr. Bill Dawson, bassoonist and teacher
IDRS medical consultant
Past President, Performing Arts Medicine Assoc.
Author of "Fit as a Fiddle: The Musician's Guide to Playing Healthy"

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