Your Search for a Bassoon Teacher is Finally Over!
Suffering from a boring, mediocre bassoon teacher?
Does your current bassoon teacher confuse you with faux-scientific reed-making mythology?
How many bassoon teachers have you had that just don't make you feel like a rockstar the way every bassoonist should?
Does this sound like you?
"I love my bassoon teacher, but he's been teaching me to play the clarinet. I'll never get a full college scholarship playing such a common instrument!"
"My bassoon teacher refuses to work with me unless I spend a fortune on reeds and instruments, plus she says I have to quit the cheerleading squad AND the AV club so that I can practice 5 hours a day?! No Thank you!"
"When my reeds are really difficult to play, my bassoon teacher shrugs instead of fixing them. OMG, like WTF dude?!"
"If only there was a bassoon teacher that could teach me how to actually ENJOY practicing, and practice effectively! "
Wait just a minute there, that bassoon teacher is here!
Hi, I'm Scott Blakley and I teach bassoon to students of all ages in the San Francisco Bay Area. Several of my students in recent years have have won auditions for All-State band, and orchestra, as well as top-rate conservatories , universities, and summer festivals. I also have adult students who play in community orchestras and chamber ensembles. In addition to my advanced students, I'm very proud to have several students for whom bassoon is not the center of the universe, but enjoy playing and practicing as they make considerable progress.
The bassoon is an incredibly difficult instrument. With literally hundreds of different fingerings and a delicate double reed that needs frequent adjustment, the instrument is extremely difficult to learn to play, and impossible to master, without regular private instruction.
Bassoon can also be a incredibly rewarding. With its exceptionally large range and unique tone color, there is a plethora of excellent solo and orchestral repertoire for the instrument. Vital to every orchestra, bassoonists are often in demand, contrary to the intense competition among oversaturated pools of violinists, pianists, clarinetists, etc. Playing bassoon will help you get into college and receive generous scholarships.
My teaching philosophy emphasizes thoughtful practice techniques, meaning I don't feel is simply enough to explain how to play something. I focus instead on how to practice, and practice efficiently. I use a variety of methods including, re-articulation, singing, conducting, movement, and memorization. I also include theory, solfege, and music history in my lessons. I believe this approach enables students to envision their own ability to master difficult repertoire while keeping stress and frustration in check. Above all, I teach love of music. My goal is to inspire students not only enjoy music, but also derive a stronger sense of self, confidence and community from it.
All lessons are 1 hour or longer so that we can spend the first 5-20 minutes working on the reed. Bassoon reeds are extremely sensitive and if not adjusted properly, can be similar to trying to sing with a bad cold; it won't stop you completely, but makes things a lot more difficult and no fun at all. Regular lessons help me make sure the students’ reeds are working properly and not making things any more difficult than they have to be. This also helps the student to learn how to adjust their own reeds and even make them. Since reeds are relatively expensive, being able to adjust and make reeds can save a significant amount of money.
Most of my lessons take place at my home studio in Oakland or, when possible, during band/orchestra classes at your school. Depending on schedules, I am sometimes able to offer lessons in the student's home.