Facial and Lingual Strength and Endurance in Skilled Trumpet Players

Med Probl Perform Art. 2015 Jun;30(2):90-5. doi: 10.21091/mppa.2015.2015.


Trumpet players produce and manipulate sound through their instrument by articulating the lips, cheeks, and tongue to create a proper airflow. These sustained muscle contractions may result in increased facial and lingual strength and endurance. The purpose of this study was to determine if adult trumpet players who practice at least 6 hrs/wk differed from adult non-trumpet-playing controls in strength and endurance of the lips, cheeks, and tongue.

Methods: This case-control study involved 16 trumpet players, 16 healthy controls balanced for age and sex, and 1 trumpet player 25 years post-Bell's palsy. Strength and endurance of lip, cheek, and tongue muscles were measured using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI Medical, Redmond, WA). Maximum strength was the greatest pressure value of three encouraged trials. Endurance was the length of time the participant was able to sustain 50% of maximum strength.

Results: The findings indicate that trumpet players had greater facial strength and endurance, which was objectively quantified using commercially available equipment. The trumpet players had greater cheek strength and greater lip endurance than controls. Tongue strength and endurance did not differ between the trumpet players and controls. Tongue strength was negatively associated with age, which is consistent with previous studies. The trumpet player with a history of Bell's palsy had decreased cheek strength and endurance on his affected side compared to his unaffected side, although this difference was comparable to the differences between right and left cheek strength in trumpet players without a history of facial nerve damage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bell Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cheek / physiology
  • Face / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lip / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Music*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Tongue / physiology