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 Bassoon Dad in Search of German
Author: MitchGR 
Date:   2007-06-10 22:44

Hello Everyone--

I am the father of a high school bassoonist in Michigan. I am not altogether a neophyte as I have a Music Ed. degree with Clarinet performance so I can help my son with many different things. He has a great teacher who is principal of a major orchestra and is in a couple youth orchestras and university programs. He attends Interlochen Summer camp in Northern Michigan each summer and is a student member of IDRS.

He is looking to spend the year after high school (2008-2009) in Germany as a foreign exchange student "13th Year in Germany" and then return to his freshman year in college or conservatory afterwards. I'm just hoping he'll be able to be placed in a city that offers great teachers and the ability to play in a quality orchestra while he studies and learns the culture. He will have four years of German language instruction in school at graduation. Does anyone know the ins and outs of bassoon life in Germany?

Placement in homes is not up to the student but perhaps someone knows a good teacher who would be willing to take my son on and then we can find the family, home and school once that is done. Or maybe someone knows the perfect musical family who would like an American brother for a year.

Just some ideas of where to look would be great!

Best teachers for bassoon? Best cities for youth orchestras? Any special gymnasium schools for musical instruction? What level of playing ability and competition is he likely to find?

I'll be back with more questions if someone is gracious enough to share.


Post Edited (2007-06-10 22:45)

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 Re: Bassoon Dad in Search of German
Author: vgellin 
Date:   2007-06-18 17:46

The very best are Klaus Thunemann (Berlin), Dag Jensen (Hanover or Hamburg) and Turkovic (If he is still teaching in Vienna) in my opinion. The German system is completely different from the American approach and they can be somewhat difident to "Auslanders". You best bet would be to contact these people and ask them their opinion.The level is VERY high in Europe.

Vincent Ellin

Vincent Ellin
Bassoon Soloist

Post Edited (2007-06-18 17:47)

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 Re: Bassoon Dad in Search of German
Author: MitchGR 
Date:   2007-06-18 18:39


Thank you very much for this information. I believe we can reach these teacher's email addresses through IDRS. (Do they read English or should we prepare our email in Deutch?) Are there websites where we could explore some German schools that have orchestras? Are there separate art schools were students with musical talent attend rather than gymnasium? I believe my son needs to study theory, ear training and perhaps even keyboard.

Maybe he doesn't need one of the best teachers, but perhaps a well-qualified individual who would open his heart to an American kid who wants to learn from a good teacher.

Another problem. He just took delivery of a brand new Fox 601 bassoon. I know that the German standard is Heckel. Does this present a problem with all teachers in Germany?

Thanks in advance for your information.

Mitch Green
Bassoon Dad
Brighton, Michigan USA

Reply To Message
 Re: Bassoon Dad in Search of German
Author: Ian White 
Date:   2007-06-23 20:42

I'm sure it is an overstatement to say that the 'standard' bassoon in Germany is the Heckel - just as it is in USA. Maybe it is the most common among professionals but there undoubtedly many players who choose to use Puchner, Moosmann, Walter, Fox & other makes.
In my view, provided the instrument is of a good quality & in good condition, there should not be any problem - it is up to the player to choose which instrument suits him best within his budget. Would you insist on every clarinet pupil playing a particular brand of instrument?


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