Eric Wallace is a doctoral student at the University of North Texas, and a researcher with the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health. As part of his dissertation, he is conducting a survey to investigate a performance problem that is experienced by some brass instrumentalists. You can find more information about him, and his previous research on this and other topics, at the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health.
Several influential brass instrument teachers have noted working with students who experience a freezing sensation when starting a note on a wind instrument. Arnold Jacobs used the term “Valsalva maneuver” when discussing this problem, saying it is not uncommon among his students. Jacobs described this problem as an increase in internal air pressure, closure in the throat, and a choking sensation. Other academic articles reported wind players who experienced “musical stuttering,” which they described as a perceived tightening of the chest and throat muscles, a sense of “locking up,” and subsequent delayed, explosive, or rapidly repeated first note. However, little is actually known about this problem, how it is experienced by brass musicians, or if there are other ways in which this problem manifests.
The purpose of this survey is to define and characterise this problem in brass players. If you know any brass instrumental musicians, teachers, or students over 18 years who have experienced this problem, please send them this link and announcement. Eric would also appreciate sending this information to anyone who could help this survey reach as many impacted musicians as possible.
This survey will ask questions about your musical background, musical habits, musical experiences, and health history. No personal data will be collected by this survey. Please allow approximately 20 minutes for completion. Feel free to contact Eric at the email address below with any questions at any time.
Eric Wallace, MM
Click here to participate in the survey.