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Sydney Youth Orchestras
An Introduction to


Andrew Barnes
Andrew Barnes

About the course:

Join Andrew Barnes, Senior Lecturer of Bassoon and Coordinator of Chamber Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, as he demonstrates the fundamentals of the bassoon.

Support your students in learning: how to assemble the instrument, posture, breathing, hand positions, articulation and many other key skills as they begin to produce beautiful music. 

About the instrument:

The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the woodwind family, which plays in the tenor and bass ranges. It is composed of six pieces, and is usually made of wood. It is known for its distinctive tone colour, wide range, versatility, and virtuosity. One who plays a bassoon is called a bassoonist.

About your course teacher/s:

Andrew Barnes
Andrew Barnes
Program Leader of Bachelor of Music (Performance)
Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Growing up in Sydney, Andrew studied bassoon with Marion Stanley and John Cran while pursuing degrees of Economics and Law at Macquarie University. Upon graduation he accepted a position with chartered accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick and worked for several years before receiving the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Trust Scholarship and moving to Europe to pursue study of the bassoon in a full time capacity. Lessons with William Waterhouse in London and at the Conservatoire de Geneve with Kim Walker and Roger Birnstingle helped Andrew to win the bassoon section of the Swiss International Performance Competition in Riddes. Andrew subsequently completed studies at Indiana University in the United States, receiving a Performer Diploma. He was also awarded the “Performer Certificate”, the highest performance prize offered by the School of Music.

Returning to Australia in 1995, Andrew won a position with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, where he played full time for 3 years. During this period he was a founding member of the [new] Adelaide Wind Quintet, a finalist in the ABC Young Performers Awards and appeared as soloist with the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

Andrew was appointed to the distinguished faculty of Indiana University School of Music in 1998 where he taught bassoon and coordinated chamber music. He returned to Australia in 2002 to take up the position of Lecturer of Bassoon and Chair of Woodwind at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Since that time Andrew has been regular principal bassoon with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Australia Ensemble and a founding member of the New Sydney Wind Quintet. He has also performed regularly as principal with the Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras and the Queensland Orchestra. Andrew is currently Senior Lecturer of Bassoon and Coordinator of Chamber Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.


Difficulty Level/s:
Principle Teacher:
Andrew Barnes
Course Group:
From Program:
Sydney Youth Orchestras

Program partner:

For instrumental learning, the SYO beginners program provides students and teachers with a clear set of musical goals, set to an objective of assessment standards. Schools have access to two years of world-leading development content, for sixteen orchestral instruments.
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