What do you need? Who should play it? How can you help them?
While we often discuss "ideals" in the process of encouraging and equipping new bassoonists, I find only three absolute necessities for beginning bassoon success:
functioning instrument and reed combination
teacher support and ability to assist in locating resources
The document below walks you through the exciting process of beginning new bassoonists in your program as well as lists a few of the previously mentioned "ideals" of student traits. Should your situation meet the above three criteria, I suggest considering the following options to make bassoon a more equitable and positive option in your classroom:
Attach a weight to the seat strap or contact me for suggestions for chest harnesses to assist lighter statured students in holding the instrument.
Provide a small footstool or stack of books to allow those with shorter legs to touch the ground, or invest in multiple heights of chairs to serve all heights of your students.
Approach a woodwind repair technician about adding "short reach" key extensions and plateau keys for students with smaller hands. Remove the right hand crutch and screw mechanism entirely. (My own hands are still technically "not big enough" to play the bassoon, and a crutch would prevent me from playing at all!)
Consider starting two students at once or establishing a "buddy" mentoring system with an older bassoonist in your area to help with the brain-teaser that can be deciphering new fingering charts and to combat the sense of feeling isolated.
Research local or national grants and engage your band boosters to lower the financial burden of reeds - for all woodwind players, not just your oboists and bassoonists.
Invest in an "at school" bassoon for students to use in rehearsals in addition to their home "practice" bassoon to mitigate transportation concerns.