Alex Toenniges (she/they)
Alex Toenniges (she/they)
Alex teaches private lessons, plays with local orchestras, and coaches chamber music. Her teaching style is heavily influenced by her understanding of learning and neuroplasticity, as well as body awareness and human performance, from the Feldenkrais Method. She lets the student’s own curiosity and interest drive the learning and provides an environment where they can experiment and find what works for them. Alex empowers students to sense and hear themselves so they can improve on their own, foster their love for music, and develop life skills applicable both personally and professionally.
Alex has been playing bassoon for 20 years and teaching bassoon for 15 years. She holds a Master of Music in Bassoon Performance from Ball State University, where she studied bassoon and contrabassoon with Dr. Keith Sweger, taught as a Graduate Assistant, and played in the BSU Graduate Woodwind Quintet. Alex earned her Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance (with a minor in German) from Arizona State University, studying with Dr. Albie Micklich. She spent two summers studying at Bay View Music Festival in northern Michigan with Jill Marderness and playing in the Woodwind Quintet and opera orchestra. Growing up, Alex spent six years playing with the Detroit Symphony’s Civic Youth Orchestras and studied with principal bassoonist Bob Williams.
Contact Alex about lessons or performing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download Alex's article from The Double Reed journal: "Creating Optimal Learning Conditions: A Practical Application of the Feldenkrais Method® in Music"
I was so lucky to have found Alex as a bassoon tutor for my 13 year old daughter. She loves her lessons with Alex and looks forward to playing and learning with her. Alex is extremely patient and has a great report with kids. She's a very talented bassoonist and we're lucky to have her teaching a younger generation of musicians."
- Aimee, parent of 7th grade student
Alex has helped me improve a lot of things, fixing/making reeds, improving my sound, range and volume to name a few. I think she is a great tutor as she can help with almost anything related to bassoon. Alex has helped me as a bassoonist and I am so grateful she was there to help me."
I appreciate your enthusiasm!! I am glad to be learning under someone who is not apathetic in their approach. You're a great teacher, and I have a feeling I am going to learn a lot in a short time with you guiding me along the way.”
I hired Alex to teach my daughter music lessons. My daughter absolutely could not wait until her lesson day to be with Alex. Alex was a total professional and helped my daughter to love her instrument and music. I will always appreciate what she was able to give my daughter in her talent, love of music and joy of learning."
- Katie, parent of elementary school bassoon student
You helped our quartet to experiment with various musical choices in our rehearsals, which allowed us to grow in our ability to play together as an ensemble and to make good, artistic, musical decisions. I think one of the elements of your coaching that really helped us was giving us that flexibility to grow. You didn't dictate what we should do like a conductor would. I like that you always had multiple suggestions for how we could approach various lines or problems, which gave us direction to figure out what would work best for us. Your openness to try new methods to accomplish a certain task with our group helped each of us to accomplish the same goals, even with different learning styles. I liked that you were very patient with us, even when we were all exhausted and our music was falling apart. I think you gave our group the support and instruction that we needed to improve while still allowing us to make the music that we played our own. Also, you helped us each to grow as players by helping us learn to cue each other and communicate with each other. In addition to being a great coach, I just really enjoyed working with you as a person!"
- Harriet, undergraduate bassoon student
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”