Friday, September 16, 2016

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Phil Smith Speaks About Focal Embouchure Dystonia

I've noticed lately a lot of people find my blog by searching for information about whether or not Phil Smith has dystonia. I know this because my blogger stats tell me keywords that people type in search engines that lead them to my blog. I found myself curious whether he has FTSED or not, but was hoping that he didn't.

As many of you know, my twin sister is a trumpet player. I can still remember in 4th grade she had a old cassette recording of Phil Smith that came with a book of duets that she could play along with to the recording. Around 2006(???) our trumpet friend Andrew Grushkin was studying at NEC at the time with Tom Rolfs and mentioned he would see Phil at a masterclass. So Ally (my sister) sent him the duet music that she started learning trumpet on...she wanted to get his autograph. Well apparently the photo on the front cover was dated because Phil said, "Wow. I haven't seen that in a while." He's always been her trumpet god, along with Maurice Murphy who sadly passed away not too long ago. I myself saw Phil give a masterclass in 2010 during my last year of undergraduate studies at the University of Northern Iowa. Anywhoo, my point of all of this is that he's made such a huge impact on a lot of people, and he has tremendous faith too (I know that it gives him strength, as it has to me during my first stages of dealing with it), and it's hard to see someone this magnificent and miraculous facing this disorder.

A couple weeks ago my brother-in-law (my twin sister's husband...also a trumpet player!) sent me this Phil Smith masterclass youtube video (was recorded at the University of Columbia):

He said that Phil Smith speaks a little bit about his recent embouchure dystonia diagnosis. If you watch at 14:43, and also at the end of the video. It was very moving watching him speak about it. I'm glad that he's working on rehabilitating with Jan Kagarice, because she really is the best of the best. Hoping for him to be able to overcome it and wishing him all the best. This great man deserves so much praise and support for the work he's done.

Monthly Research Article: A Video Guide to Diagnosis and Evaluation of Embouchure Dystonia by Dr. Frucht

Sorry I haven't had time to post recently! I've been busy with summer camp ending and starting another school year. I will post more soon. I'm going in for botox injections in my masseter muscle and frontalis this coming month. Wish me luck, because it's the first time I'll be trying botox...not only for my dystonia, but for TMJ. I'm going to see if I can get permission to take photos or record it so I can post it on here. I am also hoping that my research clinic calls soon to fly me in for the upcoming study. It's been delayed but I'm looking forward to whenever it comes time for me to participate. Here's this months article! Check it out....

Sunday, July 31, 2016

New Teaching Website!

I finally published a teaching website for my private lesson studio! I'm very excited for the DPS school year to start, but even more ecstatic to start teaching private lessons again! Last year I solely focused on my in-school and after-school teaching responsibilities, and the year before that I was tied up with graduate school studies. This year since I'm working part-time I'll have more flexibility for private students once again. Here's to hoping for the best outcome!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Milestones: Played Horn in A Group for the First Time in Six Years!

A few months ago I received a message from a former UNI (Iowa) classmate of mine named Michael Conrad. He is the current Graduate Jazz Teaching Assistant at UNC (Colorado)...which is one of the schools I attended in my undergraduate studies. He had asked me to sub for the horn player in the UNC Jazz group he works with. 

At first I was a bit hesitant, but remembered how much I loved playing his compositions in my undergrad. Since then he's gone on to win numerous awards for his compositions. I informed him that I still was coping with dystonia and could play as long as it wasn't anything too crazy. He sent me PDF's of all the music to check and I told him it all looked doable, so I went ahead and took a huge step/leap of faith and drove up to Greeley to rehearse with them. 

I have to say it was one of the best experiences and decisions I've made this year! I was both excited and scared. But if anything, it proved that I have come a long ways with my embouchure dystonia, and that I must not ever give up. Right around the same time I received the news that I was selected as a participant in a research study on FTSED. Going to this rehearsal made me even more ecstatic for the upcoming research. 

I'm grateful to Michael for thinking of me even though I had not played the horn in a group since 2010, and for putting so much trust in my playing...even if it was just a rehearsal...I wanted to put my best foot forward. I also was very happy to see a former classmate at a former school I brought up a lot of memories and nostalgia from my horn playing days. Which is always an amazing feeling to remember!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

PAMA Referral Listing

I am now listed on the PAMA website as a referral. I registered encase anyone needed someone to talk to about FTSED and having trouble finding information on the subject. Again, I'm only doing this for the purpose of leading others to information, research, and/or help with FTSED if they are diagnosed with it and are unsure of where to go/what to do.

Summer Vacation in Washington & 32nd Birthday!

A couple photos from vacation in early June for my birthday! Too many to post on here, but all-in-all it was the best trip taken. Spent a week in Seattle and Olympia visiting family and touring around.
Photo my boyfriend took while on our boat tour!
I met one of the Seattle Symphony tuba players.
Seattle Symphony Orchestra Concert at Benroya Hall where my twin sister use to perform with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra!
Garden of Glass

My boyfriend and I playing guitar and bass as usual.
Seattle Aquarium
While traveling to Bremerton via Ferry
Crab fishing in WestPort
EMP Museum
Watching an old classmate from UNC-Colorado, Robbie perform on trumpet in a jazz group in a Seattle club!