MusicandtheBassoon.org – A Review

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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 their students as well as students studying with traditional bassoon teachers. I once used this website with a student who took lessons with me while she was visiting her grandma for the summer. When she returned home in the fall, there were no bassoon teachers, so she “took lessons” online at musicandthebassoon.org.

Nearly all of my bassoon students started out playing the bassoon without a teacher. Their school music teachers handed them the instrument and after a few tips, basically told them to figure it out on their own. I have yet to see a student who has taught him/herself a correct bassoon embouchure. If this website would just get used by band teachers, so many early issues could be lessened, if not prevented! If you are a band teacher, please use this site!

Here are some of the things I like best about musicandthebassoon.org:

  • The duets are great! There are both bassoon duets and bassoon and piano duets
  • The duet lines are recorded individually so students can practice along while hearing a proper bassoon sound. (Many non-duet excerpts are also recorded)
  • Duets are drawn from many composers, including Weissenborn and Devienne, and there are also arrangements of works by well-known composers like Beethoven and Brahms
  • You can download each lesson as a PDF

I have a handful of students who come to lessons every other week. I tried to talk the students out of it, but it was either every other week or nothing. This next school year I plan to assign my students work from musicandthebassoon.org during their off weeks. I’m tired of seeing them progress half as fast as my every week students. I will write a post to let everyone know how it goes!

Thanks again to Kristen Wolfe Jensen and those others who helped make Music and the Bassoon a reality. It’s a great resource we can all use.

 

 

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