Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Over the past few weeks I have been collecting information to write a booklet for young modern bassoonists who are beginning to look at early repertoire for the instrument. I began work on this project when it was recently announced that I would be the historical bassoonist on staff at the Brooke Valley Bassoon Days in Lanark County, Ontario, this August (unfortunately, due to scheduling I wasn't able to get on the poster below...). It will be a great opportunity to talk to young musicians and shape their inquiry into the area of early music without the baggage which comes with learning a new instrument.

With this in mind, I've decided to separate my booklet into two parts: one on context; the other on the nitty-gritty practical subjects which one expects from this sort of pamphlet. In combination with a master class setting, I feel there will be ample opportunity for those interested to get a full introduction to early music performance. 

So far I've concentrated my attention towards the section on context, titled Mindset. Gathering the information has been an enlightening activity. Though I had read much of the material for my own purposes, returning to it now to write for the benefit of others has allowed me to make connections that I didn't quite see before. Furthermore, I've also taken the time to fill out my general knowledge in some areas where I had only some basic principles before. 

When I was in grade school, one of my teachers had a saying, "Read it, write it, teach it." Each was a step in the learning process. Once you could effectively articulate a principle to someone else then you yourself displayed a full understanding of the concept. Although I'm still in the second stage in this process, it won't be long before I will be tested with the third.

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