but we don’t want their reeds to grow anything.
A friend shared a shot of her student’s bassoon reed. Can you imagine putting that into your mouth? Students do this. I’m always rather shocked!
Never store your reeds in a case that doesn’t allow them to dry out! Those plastic things they are shipped in should be tossed immediately. Brush your teeth before you play. If you are in school and don’t have time to do that, at least rinse your mouth out!
And if a reed looks like this? DUMP IT!
I had a student whose reeds grew pink junk on them. They grew it even if he only put the reed in his mouth once. We never did figure out what was up, but it had to have something to do with his particular mouth. It was so odd, and I always wanted him to send a reed to a lab to figure out what it was, but he never did. I doubt he plays any more, but I should write him sometime to ask. If he does, I wonder if that junk is still growing on his reeds!
I no longer play students’ reeds. Reed sharing is something we double reed players have done a lot of. I didn’t even think about what I was doing, to be honest! But now? No more sharing. I analyze by crow. If I can’t figure out what the issue is, so be it. I simply refuse to share any more. Some oboe instructors will think I’m ridiculous, but I really don’t care. I won’t share a toothbrush either.