plastic allergy

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    Hi All, I am a third year teacher, first year band teacher at a middle school. Trying to make the switch from choir to band!

    I have a very promising clarinet student, but she is dealing with a plastic allergy with her mouthpiece. Are there any affordable fixes for this? It seems reed allergies are the most common as I try to research this, but in her case I don’t think changing reeds will help.

    Any ideas will be appreciated, thank you!


    Hi Susan,
    Plastic allergies can be caused by many things. I am an allergic person and play the clarinet so here are a few ideas. Check with your student to see what kind of soap/disinfectant she is using to clean her mouthpiece and what kind of lip balm or lotions she uses. This might be irritating her lips even if she didn’t have an allergy to them in the past. Many allergic people coat jewelry with clear fingernail polish to act as a barrier. She should try this on an inexpensive mouthpiece if her mouthpiece is pricey. Don’t coat the mouthpiece on the inside.
    The other solution would be a crystal mouthpiece. They are made of glass so they can be fragile but it might be the best solution! Good luck! And welcome to the band world!
    Ellen Kirkbride
    Director of Bands
    Flowing Wells High School Tucson
    NAfME: Western Division Immediate Past President

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