...enterprising Paula Brusky...plays with conviction and panache...

Fanfare Magazine review by Jeremy Marchant


This site is not updated and is an archive for bassoonists.

I currently perform with Vic Ferrari Symphony on the Rocks and am a business owner. I left university teaching in 2015 to focus on my growing company Aerial Dance which has now expanded to two locations in northeast Wisconsin. My research interests currently focus on strength training in the scapulo-thoracic region and active flexibility training, applying to all my passions: bassoon performance, musician health and wellness, and the aerial arts (pole, hoop, silks, hammock).


Performing with my bassoon is my passion. Everything else I have pursued like teaching, research, and fitness have stemmed from my first love, playing.  There is nothing more fun on this planet than practicing really hard, walking on stage totally prepared, and connecting with an audience.


A lot of planning goes into a performance.  I believe that knowing the background of a piece makes your interpretation and performance stronger.  Therefore, I do research on every piece I perform.  Often this research results in program notes for the audience.

Read reviews of my performances, listen to audio or watch video.


A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education. – Smiley Blanton

The biggest asset I posses is an endless curiosity.  I love to learn.  I want to understand things.  And I’m always willing to follow that curiosity no matter where it leads, which means I’ve been on many exciting journeys and found connections between seemingly unrelated things.  I truly believe we can all learn from each other.  I believe that sharing your knowledge with another makes both of you stronger.  My teaching philosophy is simple, we all learn from each other and curiosity is the catalyst.  Therefore, on this section of my website you’ll find information and ideas I’ve accumulated over the years, I hope something inspires you to ask questions!

Courses – As a college educator I’m always thinking of ways to improve my student’s experience.  Listed here are some courses I’ve designed to enhance conservatory and music school curriculum.  The music field is changing.  The requirements on musicians is changing, we now need a lot of skills above and beyond playing brilliantly.  Our education system needs to adapt to prepare graduated for the new market.

Lectures & Workshops – With tight budgets, many schools cannot afford full courses, but do bring guest speakers in.  I present numerous workshops and lectures a year on injury prevention for musicians.  There are also other topics, like Entrepreneurship and Music Business, that I can speak on when while on a campus.

For ALL Musicians

Practice Tips – We all spend a LOT of time alone in a usually small dimly lite room.  Making the most out of your practice time is essential to avoid injuries and increase your skills.  Here are some things that I do, or wish I had done, to increase the effectiveness of my practice time.  As my days become busier and my practice time shorter, practicing smarter is more essential than ever!

Books – There is so much information out there!  Why not use it to help yourself?  Here are lists of books that I have found helpful, interesting, or not.  But every time you read something, you learn.  I love reading and hope something on this list challenges or intrigues you.

For Bassoonists

Reeds – You can’t play bassoon without that little piece of wood to blow into! Reed making is an important skill for bassoonists to acquire.  I’ve studied reed making with many different teachers.  I’ve made my own reeds since I was 16 and am proficient in two different styles of reed making.

Bassoon Repertoire – What should I play next?  Here are lists of options for solo, chamber, and etudes!  Because of the BCMCC, I have a lot of composer sending me information about their newest works.  If something interests you I’m always happy to put a bassoonist and composer in touch!

Bassoon Maintenance – Take care of your instrument so it takes care of you!  Yes, you need a OUTSTANDING repair-artist to take care of your instrument too.  I particularly respect the work of Marcus Wheeler in Ontario.  But there are a lot of things that you can do yourself to keep your instrument happy between repair trips.

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