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A musician with Bell’s Palsy: How I got my sound back

March 26, 2015 by norman lebrecht

5 comments.


Antony Kearns, director of the music publishers Stainer & Bell, woke up one morning in January 2015, paralysed down one side of his face. He was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a condition that causes temporary weakness of the facial muscles. His first concern: could he still play the trumpet?

antony kearns

 

Early attempts were total failures. Over the past three months Antony has charted his progress on video.

He writes: ‘Worried I wouldn’t be able to play the trumpet again, and unable to find any trumpeter-specific stories among all the great ‘recovery diaries’ on YouTube, I set out to make the kind of video I would have found helpful when I was diagnosed. I’m publishing this as encouragement to fellow brass or woodwind players currently suffering with Bell’s Palsy and to show that it is possible to play again.’

He launched the video on Youtube today. Watch a brave, stubborn man get his sound back.


Comments (5)

  1. Sebastian says:

    It is indeed an inspiring story. We carried a similar tale about the recovery by saxophonist Jo Fooks

    HERE

  2. Shalom Rackovsky says:

    The wonderful hornist Stefan de Leval Jezierski of the Berlin Philharmonic also went through this trial some years ago. He tell the story during his Horn Hangout with Sarah Willis, which can be seen here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Waxz-DiET00

  3. Russell Devuyst says:

    Bravo Anthony, I had a similar experience as a trumpet player except is was the Ramsay Hunt syndrome caused by the chicken pox virus (shingles in the ear) causing paralysis of the facial nerves. Similar to Bell’s Palsy in relation to the paralysis.

  4. Alison Fisher says:

    I heard Anthony play last night – Fanfare for the Common man plus a voluntary by Purcell. I would never have known he has gone through all this, and congratulate him on his excellent recovery.

  5. Nancy Sulfridge says:

    I am an amateur clarinet player who developed Bell’s Palsy three weeks ago. I haven’t tried to play yet because I know I don’t have enough control of my lips. The video has encouraged me–maybe I’ll give it a try next week.


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