I’m a teacher. You likely are as well. This is a topic we’ve covered at great depth on this blog.

CBC 200: Living a Fulfilling Life

Jason in Havana, Cuba just before turning 40

Jason in Havana, Cuba just before turning 40

I’m turning 40 today, the podcast just passed a million downloads, I wrote a chunky blog post that resonated with a lot of people, and I just got back from Cuba.  This is a different kind of episode where I share details on where I’ve been and where I’m headed in many areas of life.

If you haven’t read the above referenced post, check it out and you’ll find links to a lot of what I talk about in this episode.  More “regular” episodes to come later this week.

DCBass deadline is April 1st – apply now to study with Ira Gold and Paul DeNola!

I’m putting the finishing touches on an interview with National Symphony bassist and Peabody Conservatory faculty member Ira Gold.  Ira was one of our very first guests on the podcast (you can year him episodes 15, 18, and 43 of the podcast), and it was great to get a chance to catch up with him and do a “round two” interview.  Ira has been quite busy in the 10 years since I last featured him!

We talked about the three summer camps at which he’ll be teaching:

Applications are open for all of these right now.  The DCBass application deadline is April 1st, so be sure to get in your materials if you’re looking to apply.  Ira and Paul are awesome–highly recommended as a first-class summer experience.

Here are the DCBass details:

DCBass, an intense, informative, and engaging double bass workshop will take place June 12-17, 2016 at American University in Washington, D.C. Bass Faculty are Paul DeNola, National Symphony Orchestra member and faculty at American University, and Ira Gold, National Symphony Orchestra member and faculty at Peabody Conservatory. The faculty are eager to help launch your playing to the next level. Program will include private lessons, technique classes, orchestral repertoire classes, and solo masterclasses. In addition, each participant will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform a duet with one of the bass faculty. Acceptance is by recorded video audition only. Recommended ages 18 and up. Lunch will be provided. No overnight housing provided.

Application: Please email to the following information – name, address, email, current school, age, current and major teachers (last five years). Please provide a short description of your ensemble experience. There is no application fee.

Audition: no more than 10 minutes – include solo of choice and two excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire. Tracks may be separated. Recorded video submission may be emailed directly to or upload your video to Dropbox and email us a link to view.

Application and Audition must be received by April 1, 2016

Tuition: $495 (includes lunch each day) – due by May 1, 2016
Two merit-based full tuition scholarships will be awarded.
Enrollment will be limited to ten students.
Accepted applicants will be notified before May 1, 2016.
Excerpt materials for camp study and chamber music repertoire will be available once applicants have verified his/her acceptance to DCBass. Please email for a list of housing options.

Daily Schedule
9:30 – 11:00 Group Warmup and Technique
11:15 – 12:15 Lessons/Practice
1:00 – 3:00 Orchestral Repertoire Class
3:15 – 4:15 Lessons/Practice
4:30 – 6:00 Solo Masterclass

Visit the American University Katzen Arts Center:

Gaelen McCormick’s wonderful Simandl videos

Rochester Philharmonic bassist Gaelen McCormick (who we will be featuring on Contrabass Conversations this Thursday) has been recording lesson/performance videos of the Simandl 30 Etudes.  We talk about this cool project in our conversation, and I thought that this would be interesting viewing for folks out there.

You can check out these videos below, and be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel to check out this valuable new contribution to bass pedagogy:

CBC 192: Michael Klinghoffer on driving a double bass, how not to hold the bow, and directions in education

Michael Klinghoffer, author of Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?

Michael Klinghoffer, author of Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?

Today’s episode features double bassist, author, conductor, and educator Michael Klinghoffer. Michael is a former Gary Karr student and is the author of the unorthodox and compelling book Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?

Michael is one of the most interesting minds in the world of contemporary double bass. In addition to his book, he has a wealth of articles, videos, and resources on is website pertaining to bass, musicianship, education, and numerous other topics.

We talk about his first encounters with Gary Karr, the impetus behind writing his book, how not to hold the bass and bow, and integrating performance, conducting and composition, and where education is going in the near future. This conversation is a deep philosophical dive into technical and mental aspects of musical practice, thought, and development.

We’ll feature two selections from Michael’s album Mostly Transcriptions Vol. 2. We open the episode with an excerpt from the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Sonata No. 1 in Bb Major, and conclude with the final movement of Strauss’ Sonata in F Major. This album, along with Drive a Double Bass and an interesting solfege book titled The Bottesini Project.

Check out the following links from Michael–they contain a wealth of useful content on a variety of topics):

About Michael:

Michael Klinghoffer (Hebrew: ????? ?????????), Author of Mr. Karr, Would You Teach Me How to Drive a Double Bass?, Dean of Performing Arts and Senior Lecturer of Double Bass at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Israel.

Michael Klinghoffer, double bass performer, conductor and educator studied under Gary Karr at Yale University, where he received Master of Music and at the Hartt School University of Hartford, where he received his Doctor of Musical Arts.

He has been assistant principal bass player in the Israel Symphony Orchestra and in the Israel Sinfonietta.

Currently, he performs solo concerts, recitals and chamber music and conducts master classes in Israel and abroad. His repertoire ranges from contemporary Israel music, (much of it composed for him), to his own arrangements for double bass, which have been published in the U.S. and in Europe and recorded on two compact discs.

He has published articles on Music Education and on Pedagogy in Israel professional periodicals as well as in the U.S. “Music Education in Institutions of Non Formal Education” was published by MATAN in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Education.

Since 1987, he has been on the faculty of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, conducting orchestras, teaching the double bass and other subjects. He was the Head of the String Department, the Dean of Students and he is currently serving as the Dean of Performing Arts and is the Direcor of the Jerusalem Consevatory Chamber Orchetsra.

Along with his academic commitments and performing engagements, and after being Music Director for seven years at MATAN, (Arts and Culture Project for Youth), Dr. Klinghoffer still devotes much time and energy to working with young musicians from diverse backgrounds all over Israel.

CBC 178: Useful Music Apps

Jason demonstrates the MIDI Fighter at the 2015 Illinois ASTA Teacher Enrichment Workshop

Jason demonstrates the MIDI Fighter at the 2015 Illinois ASTA Teacher Enrichment Workshop

Today’s episode is a bit of a departure from the norm for us. This is a recording of a talk I did for the Illinois American String Teachers Association’s Fall Teacher Enrichment Workshop in October of 2015.  I have been involved with this organization for many years and am their current state chapter president.  I have done presentations like this many times in the past (you can find them in the archives of Contrabass Conversations).  I cover all sorts of music apps for iOS and Android that I use in my own practicing and teaching, and I think that listeners will discover some useful tools by listening to this presentation.

I recorded this talk on my iPad, and I actually use the iPad for a few parts of the talk, so you will hear some audio strangeness from time to time as I pick up and manipulate the iPad. I also demo a device called the MIDI Fighter using a piece of software called Ableton Live, and again, you’ll hear me kind of banging away at this device as I talk, so that’s what’s going on at the end of the talk.

Here’s a link to a video of the MIDI Fighter in action–it’s an interesting device!