7 Life Lessons I Learned From Playing The Bassoon

7 Life Lessons I Learned From Playing The Bassoon

Wait, did you say baboon???

300
views

When I started playing the bassoon two years ago, I didn't really know what to expect. I was the first person at my high school to take an interest in the funny-looking instrument in almost five years, so it's not like I knew anyone personally who could help me figure out what I was doing.

1. Bassoon has taught me dedication.

I'll be the first to admit I was never one to practice my instrument much before I switched from clarinet to bassoon. I mean yeah, practicing is good and all, but why would I practice when I'm good enough to know my music? It's hard to find motivation but after I switched I had to motivate myself to practice as much as I could. Having weekly lessons that weren't just a music check meant I had to start actually trying and improving as a musician.

2. Bassoon has given me friendship.

When my bassoon teacher suggested I do a double reed camp at OSU, I was more than a little nervous at first. However, that camp has given me some of the closest friends I have, and I couldn't be more grateful for the weird Snapchats and late night talks. It sucks that most of them live so far away, but every honor band and clinic has been so much more fun because of them.

3. Bassoon has taught me perseverance.

Honestly, when I first started playing bassoon, I wanted to quit about three weeks in. I was so incredibly frustrated with the teacher I was doing lessons with, I couldn't figure out any of the fingerings because they were so similar to my clarinet but just different enough that I was wrong all the time, and I still couldn't read bass clef. I was ready to quit after the first month, but after switching teachers to someone who wasn't just through a music store and focused on getting me to buy as much stuff as I could and more on my improving as a musician.

4. Bassoon has taught me commitment.

Like I said before, I committed to weekly lessons as much as I could, and sometimes I had to give up fun times with my friends to put forth the effort I knew I needed to not suck during lessons. I learned a lot about time management and how to practice effectively, and now when I practice my clarinet too I'm not just mindlessly doing run-throughs of music. I've given up some parties and outings with friends, but I'm glad that I learned discipline and dedication because of it.

5. Bassoon has taught me how to achieve goals.

When I first started playing bassoon, my only goal was to actually read bass clef. Two years later and I've gotten a Superior rating in a Class A solo (which for you non-band people is the best rating in the hardest level), and I auditioned for the All-State Honor Band. I didn't get in, but working on those challenging pieces helped me improve my technique a lot, and I got a lot out of the experience. It also made me realize I can accomplish a lot more than I thought possible when I put my mind to it.

6. Bassoon has taught me that improvement takes time.

As someone who's coasted through school for the most part other than a few classes, (looking at you honors chemistry), I haven't faced a lot of challenges of how to improve at something I'm bad at. Academically I do pretty well, and until I picked up the bassoon I was pretty average at the clarinet. The bassoon is one of those instruments you can't pick up and immediately decide if you're good at it or not. When I first started lessons with my second teacher, I was so frustrated because I couldn't even remember the basic notes and fingerings sometimes, much less play the concert music I had been given for my high school band. It took so much mental strength and practicing to not give up and just go back to what I know, and every day I'm grateful that I stuck with it.

7. Bassoon has taught me that hard work pays off.

I have spent countless hours and days working to learn an instrument that I ultimately will never make a career playing. I wanted for a while to pursue a path in music education along with my English degree, but there are some things that don't work as a double major; music and English is one of those. While it does suck that I can't combine the two things that I love, the fact that I've gone from not being able to even correctly put my instrument together to considering majoring in that same instrument shows that if you put your mind to it, you really can do anything. Bassoon has given me a passion for music I would never have discovered otherwise, and while it sucks I can't apply that to my major, I will always have a love of performing and sharing music with others because of it.

Popular Right Now

An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.
1719
views

It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

I Never Wanted To Go To College

I never wanted to go to college, but I stayed because I learned some things along the way - who knew.

41
views

I went because it's what the family expected from me. It's a step towards a successful career path. And obviously because it's a natural progression from high school. But deep down I never wanted to go because I really found no reason to be there.

In my view if you weren't going into traditional career fields, going to college was an expensive long shot. I was also careful to pay attention to all the people that attended college only to work in fields different from what they originally studied.

I was wary but didn't care so I don't put much thought into it. I applied to a handful of schools and attended the one that was more convenient. Once there I found the whole process disheartening.

I relied heavily on financial aid and felt the interaction and choices I was making were more transactional then enriching. It was just like high school again. Go to class take notes, read the book take the test, rinse and repeat until you get the degree.

That was until I fell into a philosophy class that was really challenging. It was challenging in a way that I hadn't been experienced in a while. I was having trouble understanding the material but desperately wanted to learn it. I read books over and over until the concepts were crystal clear. It also helped that I had a teacher who was passionate about the subject as well.

It kind of changed my whole approach to picking classes. Sure I'd visit the advisors and get their take on how to follow the quickest path to graduation. But I also wanted to be intentional with my course selection and take classes where I would learn as much as I could in topics that interested me.

Whether or not they fit my major. That's the only thing that made going to school worth it. Learning topics that change how I approach life and challenged my thinking. Then I was growing intellectually and not just checking boxes for a degree.

Related Content

Facebook Comments