Advanced student looking to teach younger students.

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Home Forums Pedagogy Teaching – General: Solutions, Question, Tips Advanced student looking to teach younger students.

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    Hunter Brown

    Anyway, I am looking to teach young bassoon students. My main problem though, is I don’t know how I will be able to explain things such as embochure, breath support, and fingerings: things I don’t even think about much while I’m playing. I know this is a very broad question, any tips will be appreciated:) Thanks.

    Kent Moore

    Hi Hunter:

    I would start by doing a search for such things on-line. You can find lots of information. You can also find the information in books such as Popkin’s Bassoon Reed Making (it includes more than just reed making) and Spencer’s The Art of Bassoon Playing. http://www.forrestsmusic.com/bassoon_books.htm

    Good luck. It is a lot of fun and you will be sure to learn lots in the process too.


    Christopher Weait

    Hunter, Don’t hesitate to teach. I agree with Dr. Moore: Helping students solve their problems will prompt you to think carefully about your own playing.

    As unabashed self-promotion, in addition to his recommendations, I urge you to also look at my “Bassoon Strategies for the Next Level” available at music retailers.

    Very best wishes, Christopher Weait

    Lynne Mangan Flegg

    Hi Hunter:

    Like ChrisW said, teaching students prompts an interesting introspective experience. Thinking about “how do I actually form the embouchure”, “how can I describe proper breath support”, and “what do I remember from when this was explained to me” will help you get started. If you can find a local mentor to give you a few lessons on teaching beginner students, you can likely pick up many useful techniques, terms, tools and resources. If you have a current or former teacher who was particularly helpful in explaining concepts to you, that person may be a fantastic resource. Observing other teachers with students is helpful, too. Don’t limit yourself to observing only bassoon lessons – some of the best descriptions & concepts I picked up about teaching breathing came from observing an excellent vocal teacher.

    You might also take a poll of teachers as to what method books they’ve found are helpful. Kent mentioned two of the major bassoon methods in his post, and I’ve also heard that Chris Weait’s book is an invaluable resource. (I’m an oboist, so I don’t have any specific recommendations for you. Perhaps someone has posted a summary of bassoon method books online or in the IDRS. For example, on my website, I’ve posted a summary of the major oboe methods and the ones I choose to use – I wouldn’t be surprised if a bassoon teacher has created something similar). It is a very good idea to visit a music store and/or a library and take a look at the major method books, and decide what the best resource would be for starting someone who has never played bassoon. Note that this may or may not be the same resource(s) you’d use for someone who has played bassoon for a while without any private instruction, or someone who has studied privately with another teacher.

    When I first started teaching students, I really followed what my previous teachers did. This works to a certain point, however, you will soon find students with different issues and problems than you did. You’ll find one student that quickly understands the way you describe and demonstrate embouchure, and another who will take weeks of explanations, demonstrations, and experimentation to learn the same concepts. Keep in mind that there are many different learning styles: some students respond well to broad concepts they can visualize, some are very good at reproducing a sound or style they hear you demonstrate, others may require detailed physical descriptions of what to do. Over time, you’ll develop several ways to describe and demonstrate every major technique.

    As a teacher, you’ll always be learning, often will be challenged, and occasionally be surprised and perplexed by a new issue. These are some of the reasons that makes sharing your art, craft, and knowledge with others such a fantastic experience for you as well as those you teach. Both you and your students will continue to grow throughout the process. Be creative, experiment, and have fun!

    Best regards,
    Lynne Marie Flegg


    I am looking for an oboe teacher in Ontario. London area. I am a beginner and did some playing at New Horizons. Mostly looking for reed making assistance

    Cijo Abraham

    Is your course an Online course?. I would like to learn lots of things from you. I am right now in India.

    Matthew Holzinger

    Hi Hunter, Like you, I’ve only just begun teaching begginner students, and agreeing with the guys on the forum , It will prompt an introspective response, and you’ll find that things will start coming back to you. I was greatly surprised with how much i was picking up on things my student was doing wrong quite quickly. Just take it slow with them and they will quickly prosper and you will benefit too!

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