Cory Barger

Cory B.

Signal Hill, CA
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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I've been teaching the bassoon for over ten years, and I love it. It is my main instrument as a performer, and in the last few years I've specialized in helping students switch to the bassoon from other instruments. Whether you've never seen a bassoon or you're preparing for a professional audition, I can help you with the intricacies of this wonderful instrument.
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Cory teaches



Cory delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 9+

Teaching since:
March 2003

I am a classically trained bassoonist with a Master's degree from London's Royal College of Music. I love finding each student's own learning style to tailor the experience, and I encourage my students to make their own decisions about musical expression (with plenty of guidance, of course!).

In my work as a performer I have played with orchestras all over the world, from the South London Sinfonia to the Bombay Chamber Orchestra. My musical life is full of variety, and I think that the experiences I've had as a musician make me a creative and thoughtful teacher.

*** Lesson Details ***
I wouldn't call myself strict, but I do have high standards. I expect my students to put in the work at home, so that we can get the most out of lesson time, but I think that my expectations are realistic. After all, we all have busy lives, and even if you haven't had time to prepare we can always have a productive lesson.

We will learn simple tunes in the very first lesson, and I will always balance technical exercises with fun. (Though I do think a lot of exercises are fun too!) After a few months we will have a solid foundation of music theory and will have developed your music reading abilities considerably. We will have worked on a great technical foundation of scales and exercises, so that your fingers won't fail you. We will also be delving in to longer and more complex tunes, and considering the possibility of some form of casual public or in-home performance, for you to show your family and friends what you've learned!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect students to have their own instruments and music.

*** Specialties ***

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Double reed instructor
Dec 2013 - Present
Savanna High School

I coach the double reed students at this excellent music program.

Independent music instructor
Jan 2003 - Present
Self employed

Private lessons, specializing in woodwinds and beginning piano.

Woodwind instructor
Oct 2012 - Jun 2014
John North High School

I taught lessons in flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet and saxophone to enrich this high school music program.

Music instructor
Sep 2007 - Jul 2012
Hammersmith Music Service

I taught a variety of instruments (flute, piano, oboe, bassoon) at this music program and assisted with ensemble rehearsals.


Postgraduate Certificate, Performance Health
Sep 2010 - Dec 2011
University of West London
Master of Music, Bassoon performance
Sep 2006 - Jul 2008
Royal College of Music, London
Bachelor of Arts, Music Performance
Sep 2002 - Jun 2006


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Master of Music
Jul 2008
Royal College of Music

Bassoon performance and pedagogy


American Federation of Musicians
Jul 2013

A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

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13 Reviews

Write a Review
Jayesh Nov 29, 2017
Bassoon · Online

Grace J. Feb 17, 2017
Oboe · Online

My daughter looks forward to her lessons and practices willingly.

Arthur W. Oct 28, 2016
Bassoon · In home

I found Cory to be friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. She thoroughly answered questions I had and offered great advice. I am looking forward to my next lesson.

Lam T. Nov 22, 2015
Flute · In studio

Very helpful instructor 😍

Sarah Y. Aug 25, 2015
Flute · In home

She is always prompt and responsible. She seems to be with the pace of the student's ability. My daughter enjoys it. Recommend!

Jason R. Feb 21, 2015
Bassoon · In home

Cory was a great teacher for our son who brought him a deep insight into this difficult instrument. We hope to have her back again. Thanks, Cory!

Ellen M. Nov 3, 2014
Oboe · In home

Cory has been teaching my 11 year old son for only five lessons in Oboe and we couldn't be more than happier! Her calm and patient demeanor works well for my son. Cory is very knowledgeable and instructs my son without making it too overwhelming for him. Few weeks back, we had some company over and our son wanted to play a short piece for our guests. Everyone was so surprised that he only had two lessons and could play a melody (completely Cory's doing)! We feel lucky to have found a great instructor!

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Glen B. Dec 30, 2013
Piano ·

Great teacher.

Cory has been a great teacher. She really understands how to teach. She is very professional and is detailed. Best music teacher that I have had.

Paula V. Dec 10, 2013
Piano ·

Cory is a credit to her industry!

Cory is the most professional, reliable, and patient piano instructor my granddaughters have had. She is not only teaching them the piano, but is providing them with an understanding of music itself. We are very fortunate to have Cory share her vast knowledge of music. She is a fine teacher and a wonderful person.

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Julie S. Dec 3, 2013
Piano ·

Great teacher

Cory is a great teacher! My son is not easy to teach but he loves going to his lessons and trying! He didn't really enjoy his previous teachers. Cory is creative with him when he seems stuck and I think that makes him feel valued as a student.

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Steve G. Nov 24, 2013
Clarinet ·

Have seen steady improvement in my musicality already

It has been more than 40 years since I played clarinet in high school. I did take piano and voice in college and have kept up with my music in community choirs. Now that I am retired I added community band to my schedule. The band is fun, but challenging , and I needed to up my game. With Cory's help I have been able to make measured improvements and find band rehearsals, lessons, and practice both enjoyable and rewarding. From the very beginning Cory recognized my fundamental weakness, breath support, and we work on it in a variety of ways each lesson. I enjoy exploring clarinet literature and bring a large sample of styles to each lesson. She is up to the task of finding what needs to be refined whether it is tonality, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, or pitch. Cory's vast music knowledge from her experiences has been helpful for me and should be helpful for you as well.

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Samadi Y. Nov 14, 2013
Flute ·

Cory is so helpful!

I am one of those people who have consistently said their whole life, "I want to learn how to play ______(this or that instrument) someday! Maybe when I have more time..." Well in my case I decided to go with flute and finally went for it. At first I wasn't sure how long I would be able to stick with trying to learn an instrument but with Cory's help and guidance I feel a great sense of fulfillment and accomplishment after every lesson. I am always a little nervous since I have had no prior experience in music let alone flute, but I am always impressed with Cory's patience. Her teaching style is very hands on and she provides you with many useful tips and tricks to help you learn not only how to handle and play your instrument but also explains the applicable music theory as you go along. One of the best things about her lessons is that when I have a particular problem with playing the flute she will help me find the root cause of the problem and gives advice to help address and fix what I may be doing wrong. It's always been super helpful. I never feel discouraged with her as an instructor. She is also very flexible with scheduling which really helps since my job sometimes can inhibit my ability to attend lessons. I highly recommend Cory as an instructor.

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Manny T. Apr 29, 2013
Bassoon ·

Excellent!!!!! First time Bassoon Lessons

OK,..first of all, I have not touch an instrument in years. I was not expecting much out of my first lesson because i didn't remember one thing about music. I new Cory, my instructor, would have her work cut out or her...To my amazement!!!! It was hands on training from the get go..... Instead of telling how to put it together, she made me put the instrument together, showing me how, so I could be able to do it right the first time.... I have never touched a bassoon up to today....Then help me make my first noise..... Fantastic..... it was so exciting. I am so glad I got an instructor who guided me to actually help me make sound come out or the first time.....I Highly recommend Cory, and I look forward to my next lesson. Thanks Cory.

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