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Leigh Muñoz: “We as Teachers Need to Help Our Students Find Their Definition of Success and What They Will Need to Succeed”


Leigh Muñoz, a musician and educator, reflects on her musical journey, rooted in early memories of singing with her father and inspired by her elementary school teacher, Sue Maiello. Transitioning gradually into the professional realm, Muñoz became known as a contrabassoonist during her time at the New England Conservatory. Her teaching career, influenced by mentors like Dr. Eric Stomberg, evolved from adjunct positions to a full-time role at the University of Missouri.

Muñoz’s entrepreneurial spirit emerged through reed making, a venture born out of audition demands. GoBassoon, her reed business, reflects adaptability to market demands and efficient production methods. As an educator, Muñoz emphasizes empowering students to teach themselves, incorporating slow practice and personalized warm-up routines.

Her philosophy on reed making centers on achieving the perfect reed, prioritizing response, resistance, intonation, and tone. Recommending lesser-known works like Reena Esmail’s “Zinfandel” and Stephan Freund’s “Misadventures,” Muñoz advocates for student collaborations with composers.

Muñoz is excited about ongoing projects, including the Kansas City Blazing Bassoon Quartet (KC BBQ) and the commission of “An Orange Tree,” a duet for bassoon and contrabassoon by Jenni Brandon. These endeavors showcase Muñoz’s commitment to collaboration, innovation, and excellence in her multifaceted career.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music