Brian G. McKee, D.M.A.
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Like many life decisions, there are a variety of factors in considering a music teacher to study with, such as proximity to your home or school, weekly availability, financial considerations, and ability to commit to the work you are putting in. My goal as a teacher is for each of my students to play to the best of their abilities, exploring both familiar and unfamiliar musical territory to their full potential under my guidance. I hope that my students will find studying the bassoon as rewarding as I do teaching it. As long as we stay continually committed, engaged, and passionate about our playing, we will undoubtedly enjoy our time together.
Above all else, I am a student advocate, and the success and wellbeing of every student is my first priority. All students need an advocate who recognizes their worth and humanity, and I continue to make this my mission in my work every day. My teaching philosophy is founded on a variety of pedagogical ideals, including historical development of the bassoon, technical fundamentals, tone quality and intonation, musicality, and reed making.
I achieve this by assigning a variety of materials to play both in lessons and for students to explore independently. My curriculum focuses on repertoire and related studies from the pre-Baroque era to the present, and I emphasize learning such music from all around the world.
Cultural awareness of musical context is a central focus of my teaching and artistic understanding, as is language relevance and comprehension. I feel that music must be experienced on multiple levels between playing and listening, teaching and learning, and active collaboration. Rather than just a profession or a hobby, music is a lifestyle that requires consistent study habits and dedication. The idea of the “whole musician,” which involves sufficient promotional, interpersonal, organizational, and other skills related to performing, is extremely relevant in today’s artistic environment. This is my philosophy on developing a musical identity, as I contribute to my artistic growth by learning something new every day. I encourage my students to do the same in their daily practice and musical exploration.
Lesson Location and Payment
I am now based in Denton, Texas, part of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. I will travel a reasonable distance from Denton (to be discussed while arranging lessons) to your home or school for lessons or group coachings. Payment is acceptable by money transfer app, check, or cash. At this time, all lessons are to take place via Zoom or other virtual format due to COVID-19 educational restrictions.
$40.00 for 1 hour of instruction.
Late and Cancellation Policy
If I am traveling to a lesson and I am late for any reason, I will either make up my lost time during that lesson, or at the following lesson at your convenience. If I must cancel your lesson, I will propose a list of available times that I can make it up, or we will schedule a make-up lesson at your convenience. If you must cancel your lesson, I require at least twenty-four (24) hours prior notice, or that fee will be applied to the next lesson.
Initially, I require my students to own several methods/studies that will help in students? technical development, including The New Weissenborn Method for Bassoon (Douglas Spaniol, Hal Leonard Edition), as well as 25 Studies in Scales and Chords, op. 24 and 50 Concert Studies, op. 26, both by Ludwig Milde (International or Fischer Edition). I also recommend Weissenborn's 50 Studies in All Keys in addition to his method book for bassoon. We will also work from different technical methods of my choice, as well as solo materials, orchestral excerpts, chamber music, and other material relevant to students' musical development.
Reeds and Reed Making
I prefer for students to bring at least 2 functional reeds to each lesson. We spend some time getting to know how the reed works, its properties, as well as proper care and maintenance. For my more advanced students, we spend some time on actual reed construction. Required tools for this are a forming mandrel, holding mandrel, a plaque, a reed knife, reed pliers, a small file, and 400-grit sandpaper. I will provide the rest of the materials. Contact me regarding specific tools and where to purchase reeds and materials.
Thank you again for choosing to study with me. I know we will find great joy and reward from making music a central focus of our lives, and I very much look forward to our time together.
Booking and Contact
For performance inquiries, availability, and additional studio information, please contact Brian at brgmckee[at]gmail[dot]com. Thank you for your interest!