Bassoon students become familiar with the standard repertoire, both solo and orchestral, and are additionally encouraged to explore new and/or unusual works. Chamber music performance is also encouraged. Study of the contrabassoon and its literature is also an option.
Bassoon graduates from CSU will leave as literate musicians, familiar with standard repertoire, orchestral excerpts, reed making, problem-solving skills that allow preparation of a continuingly-growing repertoire. Fundamentals of efficient and healthy finger technique and posture are also emphasized, as are basic musicianship skills such as rhythmic accuracy, phrasing, and applying music theory to performance.
The double reed program at CSU provides students with plentiful opportunities to interact with eminent guest artists. In alternating years, we host OboeRAMa and BassoonaRAMa. This year we will host OboeRAMa with Nancy Ambrose King, oboe professor at the University of Michigan and past president of the International Double Reed Society. In the past four years, our guests have been David Sogg, bassoonist in the Pittsburgh Symphony, Rebecca Henderson, oboe professor at the University of Texas, Austin, Barrick Stees, bassoonist in the Cleveland Orchestra, and Joseph Robinson, retired principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic.
The bassoon student is a thinker first, a musician second, and a bassoon player third. I strive to make skills learned in my studio applicable to all other areas of activity, both musically and in the broader world. My philosophy is to make myself obsolete and give students the critical listening problem-solving, and attention-to-detail skills that will help them become their own lifelong teachers and work toward the next goals in their professional aspirations. Students become familiar with the standard repertoire, and are additionally encouraged to explore new and/or unusual works.
Bassoon students at CSU have access to a well-equipped Reed Room, equipped with gouging and profiling machines, several shapers and all other tools necessary to create reeds starting with tube cane. Reed making is part of the lesson curriculum, and a separate weekly time is also set aside for available reed assistance. Lessons make use of analyzing recordings of student’s playing, with slow-motion playback that enables faster growth of critical listening skills. Other technology is taken advantage of, including slow-motion playalong with professional recordings, virtual accompaniments, and reed analysis under magnification.
Regardless of major, CSU bassoon students are encouraged to grow as thinking, self-evaluative musicians. Our instruments are merely our voice which is controlled by our musical understanding, attention to detail, critical and logical thinking, and a methodical approach to achieving a complex task. This understanding can be applied not only to bassoon, but also to all other areas of musical concentration, and to endeavors beyond the musical realm. Without the joy of making music, it is difficult to stay interested and motivated. I never want my students to go without the wonderful experience of "I understand."
- Two contrasting works
- Scales, all major scales with arpeggios, minor scales in preferably the Harmonic form, and three octave chromatic scale.
- Sight reading
Suggested Etude Books
Milde Concert Studies
Milde Scale Studies
Weissenborn 50 Studies
Suggested Standard Literature
- Telemann Sonata
- Vivaldi Concerto
- Weber Concerto or Andante and Hungarian Rondo
- Saint-Saens Sonata
- Mozart Concerto
- All major and minor scales, full range chromatic scale.
- Sight reading
- Two or three contrasting works or movements displaying prospective student’s abilities. Applicant may select from repertoire suitable for a senior recital. Some examples of appropriate literature include movements from:
- Mozart's Concerto in B-flat
- Weber's Concerto in F
- Hummel's Grand Concerto
- Weber's Andante and Hungarian Rondo
- Milde's Concert Studies
- Three to five standard orchestral excepts may also be used in place of one movement or etude, such as Scheherazade, Bolero, Marriage of Figaro, Symphonie Fantastique, etc.