Teaching Theory to Your Bassoon Students

We can’t leave it up to the piano teachers and public school teachers anymore. We need to be teaching theory to our bassoon students. When students understand the structure and elements of what they are practicing, their practice becomes much more effective. When they can look at a scale and say “Oh, that’s just a Read More …

Reproducible Theory Materials with Tenor Clef!

I’ve been teaching bassoon for over 15 years and have only recently added theory to my curriculum. I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t see teaching theory as my responsibility. I have had a complete change of heart! The following is a review of the theory materials I am using with many of my Read More …

Free Intro to Music Theory Course at Coursera.org

I absolutely love the music theory and history courses offered by coursera.org. All courses are free and are offered by some of the biggest names in music education. The Berklee School of Music offers a six week course called Developing Your Musicianship that was originally designed for incoming freshmen that have no music theory background. It is great Read More …

MusicandtheBassoon.org – A Review

Kristen Wolfe Jensen and her team have done the bassoon world a HUGE service by creating the website musicandthebassoon.org. I first learned of it when I saw a review of it in The Double Reed (p. 146). The website serves as a beginning to intermediate level bassoon course, perfect for use by band directors with Read More …

Young Bassoon Students Need Recitals

My studio sponsors four student recitals per year. I think that teaching students to perform is just as important as teaching them to play the bassoon. I remember being surprised when many of my music school friends would say, “Oh, I love to play my instrument, but I don’t like to perform.” I didn’t get Read More …

Bassoon Lesson Assignment Sheet – FREE DOWNLOAD

I use a printed assignment sheet with my students. I fill a new one out at each lesson and have the students save the old ones in a binder at home. It serves as a great reference for fingerings, exercises, and pieces they’ve worked on and/or performed. I used to write down weekly assignments in Read More …

Innovative Weekly Group Bassoon Lessons – Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I told you about my innovative way to teach more students in a shorter amount of time. Now let me tell you how it went down. Of the four students originally scheduled for the group class, one never showed up and another dropped out after two months. I had to Read More …

Why Monthly Tuition is the Way to Go

In 2013 I switched from charging a per lesson fee to charging a monthly tuition fee. I am so glad that I did. Here are my favorite things about the monthly tuition system: I can budget based on a fixed monthly amount I can build in paid holidays and sick days if I want to Read More …

Group Reed Finishing Class (and Christmas Party!)

This post is not about leading a group of novice reed makers through the difficult reed finishing process. It is a follow-up to this post where my students formed their own reeds using thin cane* that almost always crows right after you clip the tip. I want my students to have success on their first reed Read More …

Group Reed Forming Classes

I like my students to start making reeds as soon as possible. I find that most don’t really take to it right away, but once in a while a student will fall in love with reed making. I currently have a ninth grade student who makes all of her own reeds. I rarely have to Read More …