Thursday, June 29, 2017

K. David Van Hoesen - Teaching, Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts about the teaching of K. David Van Hoesen (1926-2015). He was the bassoon teacher at the Eastman School of Music from the mid-1950's through the 1980's. Former students of his populate the major orchestras of the United States and the faculties of many music schools across the country.

Van Hoesen passed on his teaching orally in lessons and master classes. Therefore, there's not a lot of written material to be had covering his teaching. However, I've collected a few things and his son-in-law, oboist Jim Gorton has shared some material with me.

The following must have been a set of notes he used for a class. He mentions the Saint-Sans Bassoon Sonata and must have taught that in the class. These are maxims we heard in our lessons on a regular basis.

Perhaps a few of these maxims require a bit of explanation. #4 and #5, "Slow notes go fast, fast notes go slow" doesn't mean to rush longer value notes and drag shorter value notes.

The idea here is to create motion during long notes so the phrase doesn't die. With faster notes, the idea is to make sure they take up all the space they're allowed so they are expressive, voiced with the same care as a long note and don't get compressed.

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