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Advanced Bassoon pupil – help needed!

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Home Forums Pedagogy Teaching – General: Solutions, Question, Tips Advanced Bassoon pupil – help needed!

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #90009
    rob_bassoon
    Participant

    Hi
    I’m a new member, and have joined the forum in a bid to help my teaching!
    I have a student who gained his Grade 8 bassoon three years ago, and is now in his final year of school. He doesn’t want to do his Diploma, and is not going on to study music after school. I am running out of ideas of things to do in his weekly half-hour lesson. We have covered the standard Mozart/Weber/Hummel concertos and weber andante and Rondo, and have also been though others such as Milde studies and Bourgois Fantasy Pieces. would really appreciate any recommended pieces or technical exercises that I could do with him, as I have exhausted a lot of my own, and don’t want him to get bored. He tends to have a wobbly tone on long high notes, so any tried and tested ideas would be great too!

    Thanks so much!

    #108617
    Kent Moore
    Participant

    Hi Rob:

    Welcome. Does your student like orchestral music. You could have him listen to some of the big bassoon pieces and then he could study those. My students enjoy learning about those like Tchaik 4,5, 6 and RK Scheherezade, Shostakovich 9, Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, Ravel Bolero, Stravinsky Rite and Firebird, etc. Let us know what you decide. Kent

    #108618
    Darlene Vandewater
    Participant

    how about trying to find a few other players like an oboist, flautist,etc that he can hook up with and do small ensemble pieces, like trios or quintet stuff? They could meet on their own, but you could coach him at his lesson – there is so much great repertoire out there, and it would give him a reason to keep playing once he’s out of school. Maybe even get some freelance work.

    #108619
    Tanner Holst
    Participant

    Just a thought, but maybe you could put him on some baroque (Vivaldi, Telemann, Galliard) or even contemporary, like the Hindemith Sonata, to keep him interested. Some of them are pretty technical, and all have incredible interpretation or ornamentation possibilities.

    #108620
    Neville Forsythe
    Participant

    Hi Rob

    I’ve just cut & pasted from the scheme I developed for NZ senior high school students (see Teaching Forum- “Bassoon Scheme Beginner to HS Graduate”) – certainly these pieces are in the grade 8 level and beyond- indeed some are really university level. – Neville

    Hindemith Sonata (2&3) *
    Mozart Concerto (1&3)
    Ozi Adagio & Rondo
    Marcello Sonata
    Boismortier Suite in E minor
    Boismortier Concerto in D major
    Hurlestone Sonata *
    Spohr Adagio *
    Capel Bond Concerto
    Walker Sonatina
    Kelly Lerici Variations *
    various Bassoon Solos *
    various Contemporary French Recital Pieces *
    Pierne Solo de Concert *
    Kozeluch Concerto
    Larsson Concertino *
    Arnold Fantasy *
    Milde Studies
    Lyons Arthritis 3
    Hummel Concerto
    Weber Concerto *
    Weber Andante & Rondo Ungaresca *
    Allard Paganini Variations *
    Weissenborn 50 Studies opus 8 (as appropriate)*
    Elgar Romance

    #108621
    Neville Forsythe
    Participant

    Hi again Rob

    Re-reading your post I saw your comment about “wobbly on long high notes”.

    It is quite possible that such a feature indicates too much focus on bite pressure in relation to breath pressure (I prefer to call it “compression” as it involves more than just blowing firmly). It may seem unusual to conceive of the (relatively thin) cheeks as having outer and inner muscles. Yet I have come to feel that my best control of the cheeks is to imagine I am drawing them inwards perhaps like the strings of a parapont glider can be pulled inwards. i.e I do not think I am tightening the muscles on the outside (like a grimace), but keeping a relatively neutral facial pose (the long solemn jaw-dropped face of he professional mourner / undertaker).
    Inside the mouth however, modification to jaw and tongue (as in whistling) are what achieve the changing air compression as it fires into the reed for high notes or flows more smoothly for lower notes. Of course actual lip placement is a factor (but perhaps surprisingly less than some of us have believed).

    Of course the student may be varying the acoustic (“whistle”) shape during a single note – or varying diaphragm support (which should remain pretty constant over the range of the bassoon). The whistle shape (compression) modulates from aw – oo – eu – eeeu going from lowest to highest and perhaps is the most changing feature out of breath support, bite and compression.

    Hope there are some ideas to explore with your student.

    Do read other posts on Embouchure, Breath Support etc.

    Neville

    #108622
    Christopher Weait
    Participant

    Rob, Here’s a brief list of studies “to keep students from becoming bored”. They are listed in order of difficulty. The Ferling etudes are particularly useful because they can be played in bass clef or tenor clef (using some changes to accidentals):

    Ferling, W 48 Famous Studies for Bassoon, Op.31 arr from the Oboe studies Southern, 1968
    Giampieri, A 16 Studi Giornalieri di Perfezionamento Ricordi
    Lacour, Guy 28 Studies in O. Messiaen’s modes of limited transposition for the bassoon Billaudot

    #108623
    Steven Morgan
    Participant

    I have no idea what a bassoonist who “gained his Grade 8 bassoon three years ago” is capable of. However, I think the Bravura Studies by Orefici are great for advanced students. If you really want to stretch his ability, put the Berio Sequenza XII in front of him. That piece would take me the rest of the school year to learn (if not considerably longer).

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