orchestralbassoon.com – A Review

Once in a while I find a resource that is excellent in every way. Orchestralbassoon.com is one of those resources. It contains performance scores, autograph scores, audio examples, historical notes, harmonic analyses–and the list goes on. It is a clean, thorough, and intuitive website that I return to again and again. I always learn something new. Read More …

Highlighter Tape – My New Favorite Office Supply

Over the past year I attended a few masterclasses that focused on teaching students how to practice. Most of the techniques I learned involved writing on, highlighting, and basically destroying the student’s music. I saw teachers using everything from sharpies to erasable highlighters. I myself used the erasable highlighters for a year, but now I Read More …

Bartering and the Bassoon Teacher

Bartering is a common and accepted way for you to receive compensation for teaching lessons. It’s so mainstream that even the IRS provides a space for you to report bartering transactions on your taxes. So how do you know if a bartering arrangement is right for you? Figure out what your needs really are Don’t Read More …

College Auditions

From Barrick Stees (Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Institute of Music): Read the rest of this article at steesbassoon.com. Don’t miss the sections for bassoon teachers and parents at the end.

Teaching Bassoon Embouchure

A correct bassoon embouchure is not something that students figure out on their own. While there are multiple acceptable embouchures (dependent upon teacher, country, reed style, bassoon setup, etc.), the embouchure most beginning bassoonists default to is incorrect. A thin, wide, lips around teeth, biting embouchure is never appropriate. I guarantee that you will have Read More …

Rejection: Summer Festivals

From Rob Knopper, percussionist with the Met Orchestra. Link to the rest at robknopper.com. Also check out his FREE audition cheat sheet.

Managing a Music Lending Library

There is a way to loan music to students without saying goodbye to it forever. I use a combination of a personalized stamp, personalized stickers, and a very handy app (Who Has What 2) to keep track of my stuff. I also have a built-in reimbursement program should my items never return. More about that Read More …

How to Plan a Recital

Recitals are a lot of work, I admit. But they are necessary if we hope to train future performers. A violinist friend of mine has written a very helpful post about planning a recital. Check out her website for the full rundown and even a free downloadable recital planning checklist. Her post covers finding a venue, hiring Read More …

Rhythm Lab – App Review

I am often amazed at how poorly my students count music. I had one student in particular who had been playing the bassoon for three years before he started lessons with me. The rhythms he played came out almost right, but when I asked him to count something out loud, he had no clue! He Read More …

Simplify Your Studio – Charge a Materials Fee

Do your students buy their own music? Do you wait weeks for them to actually order it? Do you buy it for them? Do you wait weeks for them to pay you back? Are you frustrated with the time and energy this takes from you? The two best policy changes I ever made were moving Read More …