Re: How to split beginner...
Posted by I play Sax (not clarinet) on 5/7/2020, 10:33 am, in reply to "How to split beginner..."
Here’s another vote for Oboe/bassoon/Sax |
I’ve done oboe with flutes and they always just drown out the flute sound (Beginning oboes sure can be loud!)
Flutes are too unique of an instrument to combine with anyone else, especially at the beginning when they need time to develop that golden tone.
Clarinets also need to be by themselves. Not only are they (hopefully) the biggest section, but they arguable have the most to learn in a year of any other instrument. (Tone, covering the holes correctly (The tone hole for Low G is massive! - I never noticed before!), avoiding squeaks, developing range, crossing the break, “pinkies on the front of the instrument please . . .”, you get the idea.
Having a Sax/DblReed class is the only other option. After 14 years teaching beginners, this is what has worked most consistently for us.
Saxes move fast, yes, but with some creativity and in-depth planning, you can balance the needs of the “easy” saxophone (“easiest instrument to play, hardest instrument to make sound good”) with the needs of the double reeds, who tend to be the brighter students anyway and pick up on things quickly.
The Bocal Majority book is great, and with a little bit of work and adjustment to fingering charts, saxes can pretty much read the bassoon parts (and vice-versa). I also think they are working on a Sax companion book for just this situation.
If you have private teachers coming in once or twice a week for your double reeds and can schedule master classes/pullouts with the oboe and bassoon on the same day, that gives you opportunities to have Sax-only days (we use these to work more specific embouchiure stuff / mouthpiece sounds (producing a solid and resonant concert A on the mouthpiece takes time and patience) or work on vibrato.)
We have never had the opportunity to have a double reed class by themselves so I’m not sure how drastic of a change this would be for your program.
Best of luck with whatever route you choose!