Author Archives: Dr. Pierce

Cork grease

I’ve tested a number of different cork grease formulations in the past few years. Only recently I decided to try lanolin cork grease and the results have been amazing. I thoroughly cleaned the cork tenons and sparingly applied some Pro … Continue reading

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My Journey Back to College as an Adult Bassoonist – by Rebecca Koffman (guest blogger)

(I asked Rebecca to write a memoir of sorts–to tell her story about the music in her life. I think her perspective is genuinely inspiring!–ed.) Two years ago, I was asked a very profound question: “What do you most regret … Continue reading

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How to practice effectively

News about effective practicing based on research by Annie Bosler & Don Greene. The link is to a TED ED video that is very compelling. I think the explanation of the biology of how the brain and the nervous system … Continue reading

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Medir bassoon cane

Several years ago I bought six dulcian reeds direct from Medir in Catalonia (Spain). The reeds were so good that since then I’ve been meaning to try some of the modern bassoon cane. Finally took the plunge! I’m play testing … Continue reading

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Glickman-Popkin Bassoon Camp 2017

News about the GLICKMAN-POPKIN BASSOON CAMP – 40th YEAR! 10 Days at Wildacres Retreat, Little Switzerland, North Carolina Monday, May 29 to Thursday, June 8, 2017 Register here: http://bassooncamp.com/2017-info/2017-online-registration/                         … Continue reading

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Looking sharp in the upper register

Playing scale patterns in sharp keys can be challenging, especially in the upper register. In A major, the following fingering pattern emerges: Notice the right-hand cross fingering between e, f-sharp, and g, and the left-hand cross fingering between e and … Continue reading

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Personal etude

We’ve discovered a clever little “personal” etude this week. Here it is: It captures the tricky b/c# interval that can always use more repetitions, crosses the break from e/f# with a touchy half hole, includes top space g for pitch … Continue reading

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Starting the conversation . . .

This week, we’ll be focusing on practice routines. What are your favorite patterns for warm up or technical exercise? Here is a 1990 article by an old friend from grad school: http://www.idrs.org/publications/controlled/DR/DR13.1/DR13.1.Allison.Practice.html I think it is very important to take … Continue reading

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Conditioning: Tuning Long Tones

Practicing long tones with a tuner is a very good way to recondition our wind playing apparatus: embouchure, oral cavity, breath support, and ears. Hardware tuners work very well. Most are adjusted to slightly “average” the pitch produced to make … Continue reading

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Practice makes . . . better

“Why do some people achieve outsize success? Given the competitive nature of the modern world, it’s a question many have spent time thinking about. The usual answer is that success results from some combination of talent, luck, and hard work. … Continue reading

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