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Ask Adrienne Your Questions

ByTom MillerThe Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

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Q: Donavier Mosley

Hi there! I play the baritone and bassoon. One question how do you play the high notes so well?

A: Adrienne

HA! I never expected anyone would compliment my playing! I consider myself a sturdy second bassoon. I think the high notes are all about airspeed. My teacher taught me to “sizzle” the air passed the embouchure. The more you listen to bassoon the better you’ll know what you want your sound to be. Getting to that sound is the hard part because there are so many factors… never underestimate the importance of the reed!

Q: Sid Halsband

Your most important mission (my thoughts) is to get out in schools to help inspire young minds what can be possible for anyone who has the desire, and the courage to make not only their lives better but also all our lives better.

A: Adrienne

Sid-you’ll be happy to know that I do regularly volunteer in school and other groups like the girl scouts. Right now, I spend one day a week teaching statistics to high school students at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem. This week, they will be combining what they’ve learned about linear regression and standard deviation in a lesson that has them looking for significantly bright spots under the ice sheet– i.e. places where there may be water!! I get questions about how many years you have to be in school to become a doctor and getting a master’s degree…. It is great to see these students are thinking that far ahead. If there were 8 days a week, I’d spend 2 of them in schools! Best ~Adrienne

Q: fjdbassplayer

How do you keep your lips from freezing ??

A: Adrienne

This is a relevant question even if not playing bassoon in East Antarctica!! Even when it is -27 deg F, your biggest enemy is the wind. Add to that, you have your nose constantly dumping moisture on your upper lip. I wore a neck cozy all the time that I would pull up over my lips. There were times at South Pole I didn’t need my parka… just a fleece and the neck cozy. Very essential!

Q: Heather

Hi, Adrienne, I grew up in Canton/Massillon, and I’m finishing my DMA in bassoon at Eastman. I remember you from various Ohio State bassoon things. Hi! Congratulations on all your accomplishments! Nice to see a fellow bassoonist and Ohioan, and I appreciate that sense of wonderment you mention.

A: Adrienne

Hi Heather! Thanks!