For Bassoon Students
So you want to become a professional bassoonist?
Below are some decisions and sacrifices I made to get where I am today. While I am not proud of everything I've done, I believe this kind of single-mindedness is necessary in a field that is high on supply and very low on demand.
- Stopped listening to popular music in your teen years so you could devote your free time learning the great works of classical music?
- Skipped your spring break (your parents offered to take you with them on a Caribbean cruise) so you could stay at school to practice and make a tape for summer music festivals?
- Ate dinner at 4:30 so you could get back to school to get the best practice room while everyone else was at dinner?
- Tried to associate more with those who were more talented or played better than you?
- Asked your teacher for extra lessons and prepared pieces you were not asked to learn in addition to your regular lesson material?
- Read through most of the Righini in one long practice session?
- Practiced before your 8:00 am class?
- Quit an orchestra job to go to a big city, work in a record store and free-lance instead of submitting to the unacceptable pitch level, low pay and low activity of the orchestra?
- While working in the record store, learned more orchestral repertoire by playing it on the store sound system?
- Taken your bassoon with you on vacation?
- Spent your free time reading about composer's lives, lives of other artists, histories of countries, etc.?
- Transcribed and played works for other instruments or voice on the bassoon to learn how to make the bassoon adopt their qualities?
- Used private teaching as a way to self-knowledge?
- Practiced in the building when it was officially closed?
- Spent many hours in the music library listening to unfamiliar works by Haydn, Bach, etc.?
- Bought orchestral scores from used book stores and studied them?
- Limited your time on the computer so your reed making wouldn't suffer?
- Maxed out your (and your parents') credit cards on audition plane fares, hotel fares, etc.?
- Chosen your part-time work based upon whether or not it allows you sufficient daily time for practice or not?
- During that part-time work memorize the opening phrase to every movement of every Beethoven symphony?
- Studied the methods of great athletes to learn how to focus and perform at your highest level?
- Studied their methods for preparing for games, matches, events so you can apply this to concerts, lessons and auditions?