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Stephanie Patterson: “Figure Out Where You Want to Be, and How Everything You’re Doing Now Is Actually Helping You Get There So That You Can Be Invested in What You’re Doing”


This interview with musician Stephanie Patterson provides a comprehensive exploration of her journey to becoming a musician, a collegiate teacher, and her philosophy on teaching. Patterson traces her musical origins to middle school band, highlighting the importance of finding like-minded individuals and the subsequent realization of the essential role music played in her life during college. The narrative unfolds to reveal her transition into collegiate teaching, emphasizing the significance of student engagement in making the teaching experience enjoyable and fulfilling. Patterson shares insights into her evolving teaching philosophy, emphasizing the importance of understanding students’ aspirations, finding a balance between tradition and innovation, and fostering a collaborative approach.

The interview further delves into Patterson’s diverse teaching experiences, ranging from high school and middle school to undergraduate, graduate, and even adult students. Her enthusiasm for teaching students who genuinely want to learn, irrespective of their background or ability, becomes evident. Patterson discusses her approach to practice techniques, stressing the significance of intentional and error-free practice, along with her favorite warm-up routines and recommended technique books.

The interview extends to Patterson’s philosophy on reed making, emphasizing the need for a reed that works for the individual musician. She shares her recommendations for solo and chamber works, shedding light on relatively unknown pieces that merit inclusion in bassoon lessons and programs. Patterson concludes by offering advice to students and teachers alike, encouraging students to understand the “why” behind their studies and pushing teachers to help students discover their motivation.

In closing, Patterson shares her excitement about ongoing and future projects, including her collaboration with organizations like Meg Quigley and Bassoons Without Borders, her endeavors in music education, and her forthcoming book with accompanying recordings. Overall, the interview provides a multifaceted view of Stephanie Patterson’s musical journey, teaching philosophy, and commitment to fostering a love for music among her students.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music