Beyond the stage

 . . . building community connections through chamber music 


Since its conception, Rascal Bassoons has considered education an essential component of its mission.  The ensemble seeks to serve as a resource by making high quality chamber music accessible and available to audiences outside the concert hall.  Working side-by-side with educators and community leaders, Rascal Bassoons has developed many several successful and unique programs. 



Mentorship: The Next Generation 

Rascal Bassoons is passionately committed to inspiring the next generation of music lovers through highly entertaining educational programs of uncompromising musicality.  Four accomplished teachers in their own right, the members of Rascal Bassoons have worked with students of all ages.  Since it is rare for a young musician to have the opportunity to collaborate with a professional chamber ensemble, Rascal Bassoons tries to create such opportunities with young artists whenever possible. 



Outreach: Bringing Chamber Music to the Community 

Education is key to instilling a love of music into the next generation of listeners and musicians.  Rascal Bassoons work to bring an eclectic mix of classical, world, and popular music into schools and communities that would not otherwise have the resources to experience a live chamber music concert.  They bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and insight to the forefront of education, demonstrating an innate ability to connect with students of all ages in a friendly, welcoming, entertaining, and inspiring way.  Rascal Bassoons also works to bring chamber music to other underserved communities including nursing homes, centers for disabled adults, and correctional facilities. 

Members of this ensemble have led masterclasses and performed at the following institutions: University of Florida, University of Texas-Austin, State University of New York-Fredonia, Banff Centre, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst-Frankfurt, Brigham Young University, Florida State University, Chulalongkorn University-Bangkok, Arizona State University, Missouri State University, New York University, University of New Mexico, Catholic University, University of Southern California, University of Arizona, University of Montana, Ohio State University, University of North Carolina-Grensboro, Towson State University, Eastern New Mexico University, Butler University, Rider University, University of Oklahoma, Silpakorn University-Bangkok, University of Colorado-Boulder, Northwest University of Wisconsin-Madison, Southern Illinois University, Missouri State University, Ohio University, University of Kentucky, and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. 

Tailored to the individual needs of each music program, Rascal Bassoons offers assemblies, master classes, ensemble coaching, and discussions about careers in music.  Students learn techniques to improve their performance and listening abilities, as well as chamber music skills and musical interpretation of a wide variety of styles. 



EDUCATIONAL CONCERTS 

Fascinating Music  

Age Group: non-music elementary
 and middle school students

Length of Program: 50 minutes


Description:
An interactive program to introduce young students to music.  Rascal Bassoons will perform musical excerpts to demonstrate melody, harmony, rhythm, tempo, timbre, and other basic fundamentals of music.  For example, a familiar tune such as Frere Jacques is played to demonstrate its relation to fugues and improvisation. The presentation includes a musical journey of changing styles through the eras.  This session includes a question-and-answer component so that participants may have individual questions addressed. 
 

Bassoon-O-Rama

Age Group: non-music
and music students (all ages)

Length of Program: 50 minutes

 

Description:
A bassoon-oriented program featuring a dynamic variety of contrasting selections showing the instrument's versatility of timbre, style, and technique.  The program includes discussion and demonstration of basic acoustic principles, the bassoon family, and historical development.  This session includes a question-and-answer component so that participants may have individual questions addressed. 
 

Rascal Bassoons On Stage

 Age Group: high school music students
and high school non-music students

Length of Program: 50-60 minutes

 

Description:
A formal concert presentation similar to those presented by Rascal Bassoons at concert halls throughout the United States.  This program includes a lively discussion regarding concert etiquette that is intended to educate as well as entertain. 


 

WORKSHOP AND MASTERCLASSES
 

Practice and Rehearsal Techniques
 
Age Group: high school
and college-level music students

Length of Program: 60-90 minutes
 

Description:
Students will learn about techniques for efficient individual practice, time management, using your brain when it’s most stimulated, and how to learn a passage correctly the first time.  They will also be exposed to effective chamber music rehearsal techniques, how to create reasonable goals for the rehearsal, how to work out an ensemble problem using minimal rehearsal time, how to listen to and follow a musical line, and the art of considering others viewpoints.  This session includes a question-and-answer component so that participants may have individual questions addressed. 

 

Chamber Music Coaching 

 Age Group: high school
and college-level music students

Length of Program: 90-120+ minutes
 

Description:
We meet with formed chamber ensembles of any type to coach them on their works in progress.  We help the student ensemble latch on to its group chemistry and provide strategies for rehearsing effectively, managing time, playing as a cohesive unit, and interpreting music as a singular entity. 

 

Demystifying Intonation

 Age Group: high school
and college-level music students

Length of Program: 60 minutes
 

Description:
This workshop will help participants learn how to develop an awareness of sound and pitch, and thereby improve their listening abilities.  Students will learn about just intonation and equal temperament but in a very understandable way.  They will then learn how to eliminate “beats” using audible drones, and how to voice chords in an ensemble. 

 

Rascal Bassoons Open Rehearsal:
Watch How Professional Musicians
Work Together and Rehearse

Age Group: high school
and college-level music students
 

Length of Program: 60 minutes


Description:
Rascal Bassoons opens the door to our rehearsal studio.  Students will be able to observe the demands, challenges, beauty, and passion of group collaboration in molding a piece into a work of art.  We bring to this session a work that is unrehearsed or in-progress. Students learn the process of refined rehearsal techniques including molding phrases, blending tone qualities, matching pitch, tailoring dynamics, and presenting ideas in a constructive professional manner.  This session includes a question-and-answer component so that participants may have individual questions addressed. 
 

Improv-101 for the
Classically-Trained Musician

 Age Group: middle school, high school,
college-level music students

Length of Program: 60-90 minutes


Description:
This workshop is intended to demystify the subject of improvisation and allow the classically-trained musician to take initial steps towards finding their inner self of improvisation.  There are as many ways to improvise as there are styles of music in the world.  Improvising doesn’t have to mean diving into quick-changing bebop progressions.  The act of improvising can be exhilarating and gratifying--a way of expressing ideas, emotion, humor and one’s inner quirkiness.  Through very simple improvisational exercises, using call-and-response, and working with audible drones, blues progressions, and simple folk songs, students will be improvising with confidence by the end of this session. 
 

Winning Audition Strategies 

Age Group: high school
and college-level music students

Length of Program: 60-90 minutes


Description:
This session includes tips and tricks to best prepare for auditions ranging from high school ensemble and All-State auditions to college and professional orchestra auditions.  Members of Rascal Bassoons will speak about their experiences and will lead a session discussing the importance of audition preparation.  Excerpt preparation, recording tips, and practice routines will be included in this masterclass.  We will coordinate with the presenter to have a set number of students prepare etudes and/or excerpts in advance so that they can participate in the mock-audition part of this workshop.  This session includes a question-and-answer component so that participants may have individual questions addressed. 

 

The Care and Feeding of a Chamber Ensemble 

Age Group: high school
and college-level music students

Length of Program: 60-90 minutes


Description:
Members of Rascal Bassoons will talk about the daily lives of musicians, how to form and maintain a chamber music ensemble, how to communicate effectively in rehearsals and meetings, how to solve interpersonal conflicts, how to choose and prepare repertoire, how to solve internal conflicts, and how to perform with conviction for an audience.  This session includes a question-and-answer component so that participants may have individual questions addressed.  We will choose a variety of topics: the chamber music concept, repertoire, participants, life as a freelance musician, multitasking, networking, scheduling, special projects (e.g.: making your first recording or commissioning new works), rehearsal process dos and don’ts, taking criticism and being flexible, reaching out to presenters, the value of participating in conferences, finding management, fiscal sponsorship and non-profit status, using social media to increase ensemble exposure, and crowdfunding.  This session includes a question-and-answer component so that participants may have individual questions addressed. 

 

Life as a Freelance Artist 

Age Level: high school
and college-level music students

Length of Program: 60-90 minutes


Description: 
In this masterclass, members of Rascal Bassoons discuss ways to become a successful music performer entrepreneur in the 2010s.  We will discuss topics such as developing income streams, marketing, networking, getting an agent--or going it alone, building a private studio, becoming a traveling teacher, and other practical business skills necessary to carve a career in music.  This session includes a question-and-answer component so that participants may have individual questions addressed.
 

Student Composer Collaboration 

 Age Group: high school 
and college-level music students
 

Length of Program: this is a long-term/
long-distance workshop; it can take place
over the course of one or two semesters


Description:
Rascal Bassoons will interact via email and video conferencing with student composers over a defined period of time.  We will field questions about the instrument, look through draft parts, and then when on campus, work with composers for a specified workshop performance. 
 

Student Composition Readings 

Age Group: high school and college-level musicians
Length of Program: 90-120+ minutes hours


Description:
Each student composer will receive a Rascal Bassoons reading and in-depth discussion of their work.  We will give suggestions for improvements, focusing on bassoon-specific issues and problematic musical situations. 

 

Student Composition Recordings 

Age Group: high school and college-level students 
Length of Program: 90-120+ minutes


Description:
This activity typically follows the Student Composition Readings session.  Rascal Bassoons will perform students’ compositions twice for recording purposes. 

 

Lunch with the Rascals 

Age Group: high school and college-level students 
Length of Program: 60-90 minutes


Description:
An informal forum, where ensemble members will be available to answer students’ questions regarding the professional musician’s life.  We are a diverse ensemble with a multitude of backgrounds, talents, and insights into what it takes to persevere in the highly demanding world of music.  In this Q&A session, the ensemble members will share their personal stories related to the creation of the ensemble as well as other issues concerning music education and performance. 




PRIVATE LESSONS 

In addition to the wealth of educational programs we offer, each member of Rascal Bassoons can offer private instruction in bassoon, flute, and saxophone while we are in residence.  This is a great way for students to learn new techniques on how to approach their instruments. 


 

COMMUNITY CONCERTS 

Our natural, accessible stage presence and interesting repertoire combine with our unique instrumentation for the ideal community outreach programs.  Rascal Bassoons is happy to work with presenters to present unique concerts and uplifting programs in local retirement homes, community centers, board rooms, hospitals....and more. 




CAPPUCCINO CONCERTS 

For Professionals on the Go 

Rascal Bassoons Cappuccino Concerts are an informal lunchtime concert and discussion series aimed at young professionals.  No prior musical knowledge is required.  The walk-in/walk-out concert format is designed to be performed in an office-space, accessible concert hall, or cafe, and lasts about an hour.  Cappuccino Concerts feature the quartet’s eclectic blend of classical, folk, rock, and jazz.  You might hear an Irish reel, an old jazz standard, a Beatles medley, or a wonderful Billy Joel tune.  Throughout the concert we will discuss the music, talk about life on the road, and answer questions. 




PRE-CONCERT/POST-CONCERT
WITH RASCAL BASSOONS


For formal performances, Rascal Bassoons is available for moderated discussions and question-and-answer sessions with the audience prior to the concert.  We are also available for receptions or informal gatherings with audience members or board members following the formal program.