Welcome to Sue Barber's Studio


Welcome to my online bassoon studio.  I am currently the bassoon professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia andduring the summer I am an artist faculty at The Brevard Music Festival in Brevard, North Carolina.  I have been working with young bassoon students for over 25 years and absolutely love it!  I have enjoyed a diverse musical career and draw extensively from my own career experiences in my teaching. My personal teaching philosophy is to meet each student at their current level and work to help them to define and realize their personal musical goals.  My work focuses on a balanced curriculum including developing a strong foundation in fundamental skills including breathing, tone production, articulation, technique, reed making, and practice room problem-solving skills.  Repertoire I use in my teaching encompasses many different musical styles and genres to provide the student with a broad variety of experiences.

Prospective Students

The James Madison University School of Music offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music with a focus in the concentrations of Performance, Music Education, Music Industry, and Theory and Composition.  If you are interested in studying the bassoon at James Madison University please visit the JMU School of Music online for specific application information and audition dates.  I encourage you to visit the campus prior to your audition.  I am happy to meet with you and can arrange for you to "shadow" a current bassoon student through a portion of their day to get a feel for the life of a music major at JMU. 

Requirements for the undergraduate bassoon audition include a minimum of two pieces of contrasting styles, character, and tempo that demonstrate technical and musical abilities and should be drawn from the standard solo literature for the instrument.  Students may include an etude by Weissenborn, Milde, or Jancourt as one of the prepared pieces.  Memorization is not required. Students should be prepared to perform scales and/or arpeggios and sight read. Candidates may bring their own accompanist or perform without accompaniment.

Requirements for graduate degree programs in bassoon include the performance of works representing three different musical style periods and demonstrate mature musical skills and nuance.  Prepared audition repertoire should be a minimum of 20-30 minutes in length.  Students may include an etude by Milde, or Jancourt as one of the prepared pieces.  Memorization is not required. In addition, students should be prepared to perform 3-5 excerpts of their choice selected from the standard bassoon orchestral literature. Candidates may bring their own accompanist or perform without accompaniment. A high-quality video recording may be accepted for conditional admission. The full, personal audition is, however, required by the end of the first semester. Applicants for assistantships in a performance area must complete the personal audition as part of the application for an assistantship.

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the process or the program.  Phone: 540.568.6971 ~ Email: barbersn@jmu.edu