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Betty Johnson: Midwest Pioneer of the Bassoon
Anna Resnick | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
A couple of months after I started beginning band in seventh grade, my director came to me and told me she had asked a very special person to give me lessons at school. This was how I met Betty Johnson (or Ms. J, as her students called her). My director told me she was a legend and known as the “Grandmother of the Bassoon.” Betty was teaching at her longtime position and alma mater of Oklahoma City University (OCU), a school known for its music and theater programs, but she would come to my school once a week and teach me everything about the bassoon. In our lessons, we talked about reed making right from the start, and she was a stickler when it came to posture and breathing. Her friendly and warm personality, combined with humor and spice, made me a believer. I loved her instantly.
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