I am a huge fan of Tom Hooten's playing, teaching, philosophies, and recordings, so when I saw that he was endorsing a new teaching tool called the Wind-O, I quickly rushed to the website to order one. Three months later, after pondering whether this little device made of simple plastic parts could really be worth $120, I bit the bullet and ordered one. I am very glad that I did! This little device really works, and let me tell you how.
To play in the upper register on the trumpet (or clarinet as most testimonials on https://www.thewind-o.com will tell you), the player must balance forces of corner strength and air flow while limiting the amount of pressure in the center of the lips. The Wind-O is a simple yet ingenious device that allows two of these three fundamentals to be addressed at once.
When you place the Wind-O between your lips, the wings on each side press against your corners. Using corner muscles (you can also use your fingers to check if the winds are squeezed), the trumpet player must squeeze the spring-loaded wings toward the center. When this occurs to the maximum extent allowed by the device, a small hole lines up in the center of the device allowing a free flow of air to be expelled. With the small tube attached to a balloon on the other side of the device, students are now free to blow up the balloon using a strong flow of air, thus encouraging a "corners in air out" feel. After performing two or three breaths on the Wind-O and moving back to the instrument, one can immediately feel the difference in support, airflow, and focused, solid sound in the upper register.
I have used this device personally in practice sessions almost daily as well as in lessons, and the results are immediate and obvious. Students from beginners to advanced players hear and feel a difference immediately.
The Wind-O comes with various levels of rubber band tensions but I have no messed with that too much. Putting the bands into the device is tricky at first, and since the results with the middle tension worked for me, I stuck with it. The wings on each side of the device are adjustable, though, and this was import to alter.
Though expensive, the Wind-O is a very useful tool that does what it claims and then some. Try it out!
To order: https://www.thewind-o.com