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"Help! There's an oboe player in my band!"

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"Help! There's an oboe player in my band!" is a 90-minute tutorial for school band directors and instructors who are teaching oboe players in beginning wind classes or in their school bands.

I've taught woodwinds at all levels from beginners through doctoral students preparing to launch their own studios.  BY FAR, teaching beginning oboe players requires more skill and knowledge than any other teaching I do. The oboe isn’t difficult – but it’s different.


In this session I share many of the explanations and techniques that I use to help beginning students sound like oboe players within five or six weeks.  Because many of the band directors teaching elementary winds are flute, clarinet, or sax players, I specifically address the embouchure, articulation, and instrument position differences for the oboe. 

During the last 30 minutes of the session, I teach the band director as a beginning student or will work with one of their students,  switching a clarinet or flute player to oboe or starting a new student from the beginning.


Specific topics include:

  • Explaining oboe embouchure (NOT like a flute, clarinet, or saxophone)

  • Explaining articulation (NOT like a flute)

  • Holding the oboe (NOT like a clarinet)

  • Preparing the reed (NOT like a clarinet or saxophone)

  • Hand position and why it's so important for beginning oboe players

  • Alternate F fingerings (absolutely necessary for elementary band music in B flat) and why many of the fingering charts in band books are wrong

  • Breath management and air focus (NOT like a flute)

  • Teaching oboe students to play oboe softly.  (It can be done!)

  • Reeds, Reeds, Reeds: techniques for adjusting store-bought reeds

  • And anything else you'd like to know about teaching the oboe.

The tutorial can be done online or in-person.  The fee for the 90-minute session is $95. While an oboe isn't absolutely necessary, it would be helpful to have a reed to work on embouchure formation.    

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