50 Units

At the beginning:

  • Spend a number of days on the “Preliminary Exercises” included on video, so you can establish good habits in breathing, embouchure and tonguing, before adding the challenges of holding the instrument and fingering notes.
  • For the first four units, watch the videos and listen to the sound clips, then play the examples by ear so you can concentrate on what you are doing and how you are sounding, without reading music yet.

To get the most out of your work with Music and the Bassoon:

  • Count through, or chant the rhythm on each example until you are consistently correct, before you play it.
  • Sing each tune before you play it to develop your musical ear and to engage your natural sense of expression.
  • Listen to recordings of the melodies from the classical repertoire so you can develop your sense of style and phrasing.
  • Set a small goals before each practice session, so you know you can achieve them. “I am going to play the top part to ‘Home on the Range’ with correct rhythm, a beautiful singing tone, and fluid phrasing. I will first count out the rhythm, then sing the melody, and then play one phrase at a time under tempo, then I will proceed to playing the whole thing under tempo”.
  • As you are practicing, get an idea in your head of how you want to sound, either from listening to the sound clips or from having heard your teacher play. Listen carefully to everything you play and analyze what sounds good and what can be improved. Experiment with ways to make things sound better. Have fun with this experimentation!
  • Practice each example until you can play it with a beautiful tone, in tune, with graceful articulation and musical style. There is no merit in playing difficult music sloppily, so take your time to learn things well before moving on to new material. You will sound beautiful more often, while building good skills for the future.
  • Frequently revisit videos that address habits, and constantly be aware of your own posture, breathing, hand position, embouchure, and tonguing, while maintaining a sense of ease as you play. This awareness helps you establish efficient habits that contribute to beautiful bassoon playing.
  • Keep in mind that the point of playing music is to convey an idea or emotion –often something beautiful, sometimes something funny, and sometimes something angry, etc. Music is much more fun to play and to listen to when it has character.