Performance & Audition Strategies

Preparation, Mind over Matter, Self-Talk, Adversity Training, Buddy-Up, Ego-Free Zone, Physical Health, Cleansing Breathing, and Positive Affirmations are all strategies to improve your playing skills. Read through the helpful performance & audition strategies below for more details.

Performance & Audition Strategies Page Two

Interview from WFIU – The Soul Of The Orchestra: Bassoonist Kathleen McLean

Associate professor of bassoon at the IU Jacobs School of Music, Kathleen McLean says, “People have always said the bassoon sounds like the human soul.”Listen Now: The Soul Of The Orchestra: Bassoonist Kathleen McLean-4:44

Read the full article here: https://indianapublicmedia.org/arts/kathleen-mclean/

Exercise Based on “Tchaikovsky 6”

This is a technical exercise for bassoon that emphasizes the lower register.

It’s a really great exercise to develop 2nd bassoon playing in an orchestra. There is a lot of left thumb work and this pattern can go all the way up to the highest register as well. You are executing this pattern using all of the keys.

The order of notes can also be shuffled around within a small intervalic space similar to the Hanon Piano exercises (a wonderful resource for developing technique). Simon Kovar’s Bassoon book is also an excellent resource.

Download the exercise here

“The Split” in the three registers of the bassoon

This is a standard warm up for a lot of instruments. I’ve found it really helps build awareness of air flow as intervals increase and expand ascending and descending.

This is a good warm up for legato and sound production and how to negotiate the spin of the air stream.

This piece can also be played along with a drone and also on any starting note.

My Favorite Scale Warmup

This warmup I started on when I was 11 years old and I use it every morning. This is how I start warming up! The reason why I use this is that it condenses all of the scales within a short period of time while shifting chromatically one octave at a time allowing me to work on fluidity and changing keys rapidly.

This warmup I started on when I was 11 years old and I use it every morning. This is how I start warming up! The reason why I use this is because it condenses all of the scales within a short period of time while shiftly chromatically one octave at a time allowing me to work on fluidity and changing keys rapidly.

The document is in major scales but this can also be even more challenging by alternating between major and minor. This allows the musician an opportunity to not only work on the mechanics of playing the instrument but it also gives you a mental challenge so you are never playing “by rote” (playing without thinking). If you know your scales, this is no problem.

There are different levels you can take this exercise to. I like to apply this to my students depending on their level of study. We often do this in group sessions in a circle. Every student of mine will play alternating scales and we keep a circle going. It’s actually very fun!

2019 Tour with the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico

After two weeks spent in Puerto Rico, The International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico (ICOPR) completed 8 concerts, several master classes, and reached out to many students, young children, and adults with disabilities.

The local community we visited appeared fascinated because they had never seen classical music instruments before. At rehearsal breaks the children would be paraded around the orchestra to look at our instruments. It was funny and it was almost as if we were, “animals in a zoo”. They were delighted and in many cases the students came up and touched the instruments. It was sweet!

We also had a chance to see the developments after Hurricane Maria. The people were so kind and warm. We heard stories of people without phone and electricity for seven months! Some people had to sleep in their cars at night. The only thing they had was a car and gas. No phone and no computer for that long! (Maybe that would be good?) The gift of music to the Puerto Rico community was really appreciated.

Throughout the weeks the principal players of the orchestra were giving master classes to the young aspiring musicians of Puerto Rico at each city we performed in.

On the odd off day, we visited beaches throughout the territory of Puerto Rico. There was a gorgeous surfing resort town called Rincón where we saw some super interesting waves. Some of us rented paddle boards, enjoyed the beach, and enjoyed the local dives. The visit inspired me to think I may want to move here for part of the year.

Here are some photos from the trip:

2019 National Youth Orchestra of Canada

The NYO Canada residency will begin on June 18th and will finish in mid-July. As in previous years, our Summer Institute will take place at Wilfrid Laurier University.

national-youth-orchestra-canada

For more than fifty years, NYO Canada has enjoyed an iconic reputation as Canada’s orchestral finishing school, providing the most comprehensive and in-depth training program available to our country’s best young classical musicians.

Here’s a YouTube clip of last year’s performance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vCdxiKRdZ0

Rehearsing with Joseph Petric, concert accordionist for upcoming premiere performance

While in Toronto last week, Joseph and I rehearsed together for the first time for an upcoming  premiere concert in Auer Hall on March 31 for a piece written by Chiel Meijering scored for bassoon, clarinet, accordion and string orchestra titled “Tribulations of Modern Love” James Campbell, clarinet IU faculty member will join us as well as strings from the Jacobs School of Music with David Jang, conducting. Composer, Chiel Meijering will attend the premiere.

Bassoon Day 2018: Faculty/Guest/Student Recital
Bassoon Day 2018: Faculty/Guest/Student Recital
James Campbell, clarinet; William Ludwig, bassoon; Kathleen McLean, bassoon; Chiel Meijering, composer; Joseph Petric, accordion; Bram van Sambeek, bassoon

 

2018 National Youth Orchestra of Canada

The NYO Canada residency will begin on June 17, 2018, and will finish in mid-August. As in previous years, our Summer Institute will take place at Wilfrid Laurier University.

national-youth-orchestra-canada

For more than fifty years, NYO Canada has enjoyed an iconic reputation as Canada’s orchestral finishing school, providing the most comprehensive and in-depth training program available to our country’s best young classical musicians.