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Learning to Play the Oboe for an 11 year old Girl
I am working with a student who wants to learn to play the oboe. She
is an 11 year old girl who can read music and play the piano at a
beginning to early intermediate level.
In middle school she wants to learn to play a different instrument -
she specifically wants a reed instrument. She stands a better chance
being included in orchestra if she does not play the flute, clarinet,
saxophone or trumpet.
Since an oboe is a double reed instrument is it more difficult to
learn to play? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Does anyone
know who teaches oboe to children? What about renting an oboe? What is
the difference between a single reed and a double reed other than one
or two reeds?
Any help will be appreciated.
Friend of an Oboist in the Making
Ah, the oboe, such a great choice of instruments-kudos for your student. I
played the clarinet from age nine through the end of college and loved when
I was able to play the oboe in high school. I'm not sure what you mean by
having a better chance to play in an orchestra since there are typically more
spots for clarinet, flutes, etc. Usually there is one oboe and one bassoon,
which is more competitive in my mind. I think it also depends on if she is
planning to play in school or in a private youth orchestra/symphony. The
oboe is very similar to flute fingering (same key), so if she didn't have
immediate access to an oboe, she could start with flute. I personally
preferred the lower sounding instruments, like clarinet. The double reed
thing is only a concern because it's easier to break and more expensive to
buy. Plus it sounds like a duck when you are just learning to play it.
Although, come to think of it, the clarinet sounded bird-
like too in the beginning, like a squeaky bird that gets stepped on. I have
been out of the music loop for a while now, but we used to get our supplies
in downtown Berkeley on Shattuck, but now I think you have to go to Oakland
to rent an instrument. Best Music was the place to go back in the day, 1716
Broadway Oakland, CA 94612-2106 (510) 832-
2024 In high school I borrowed my oboe from the music department but owned
my clarinet. Good luck! oboe lover
My son's piano teacher is primarily an oboe player and
teacher. She has a wonderful studio in El Cerrito and is
fantastic with kids of all kinds of learning levels and
styles. She also teaches at Harding Elementary and I think
at St Mary's as well. I'll bet she could answer your
questions about the difficulty of learning, of where to
rent, etc. Moira Little 841-2608
Good for this student! The oboe is a beautiful instrument but yes, the double
reed is challenging. My primary instrument was piano but I missed the
ensemble experience. I was a bit older (just starting HS) when I took up
oboe. I got right into the band because we were only 3 oboists in the school
(a LARGE urban public high school). Rebecca
If my tutor from my high school years was still living
locally, I would recommend her in a heartbeat, but instead
I'll send you to a place to find someone similar.
I would suggest stopping by or contacting Forrests Music on
University Ave. http://www.forrestsmusic.com/ When I was
still playing oboe and English horn, that was where we all
went for information, music, reeds, reed-making supplies,
and to find tutors.
Best of luck!
Oboe is probably more difficult than other woodwinds and
yes, less competition as far as being included in an
orchestra. An excellent teacher is Moira Little, 525-3498.
My daughter has been taking lessons with her for years.
Oboe teacher in the South Bay or SF?
My niece, who lives on the Peninsula, is looking for an oboe teacher.
Does anyone have recommendations for a good beginning teacher either
in the South Bay or San Francisco area?
Amanda Croft, tel. 650.269.8111, in Mountain View. She might
also teach another wind instrument and her husband teaches
If you are looking for an oboe teacher I would suggest that you
check with the SF Conservatory of Music. I know James Moore
gives lessons. You can also call the SF symphony and ask for
Ruth Stuart Burroughs is a very experienced oboe player and teacher.
She has a studio upstairs at Forest Music on University Avenue. She's a
personal friend of mine who's been giving my daughter some one-on-one
tutoring with clarinet this year, so I've actually observed her
teaching. I can say without reservation that she's terrific! She can be
reached at 510-332-9080.
Moira Little in El Cerrito is fantabulous! She also teaches piano. I wish she
taught adults because she is so warm and great with kids that it makes me want to
learn to play!
I am sorry for the belated response to the inquiry about an oboe
teacher. But I have a great teacher to recommend. Her name is
Moira Little and she is a fine performer and teacher, and works
extensively with kids of all ages and adults. She teaches in her El
Cerrito studio and also at Holy Names in Oakland, so there are two
locations to consider. I can't recommend her highly enough! Her
number is 847-2608.
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