Topic: Flat bassoon student
I have been a band director for 35 years, and just when I thought I had seen everything, this situation comes along.
I have a girl who was in the 6th grade last year. She was a pretty decent clarinet player and a good bright kid. The only problem, was that she played very flat. She appeared to have a solid embrochure and used plenty of air. She got a very nice tone and had good facility, it was just VERY flat. We went so far as to have her clarinet barrel cut down, which helped a bit. She expressed an interest in bassoon and I thought that in addition to being a good candidate to switch, this would be a solution to the flat clarinet as we could start over. We got her lessons from a local bassoonist - a Julliard grad and a good teacher. She quickly fell in love with the bassoon and developed well. She gets a good, centered tone, appears to have a good embrochure and uses good air, BUT, once again, she is very flat. This is totally baffling to me as it is to my colleagues with whom I have shared this situation.
I am thinking, that for whatever reason (e.g. odd formation of the inside of her mouth, ???) that she just plays flat and we should look for the shortest bocal possible and go with it, but I'm totally open to other thoughts or suggestions.