April 11, 2022

Sounding good today. Try to take things one or two notes at a time right now - starting oboe is hard, so try not to get frustrated. If things aren't working, take a 30 second break and soak your reed. Re-set your embouchure and try again. When things work well, try to remember what they physically felt like so you can do it again!

Gekeler warm ups Page 3 and 4

  • Write the fingerings in if you are having trouble remembering them!
  • Check that you are sitting or standing up straight and relaxed with your head directly on top of your neck, not leaning forward
  • bring the oboe to you and make sure that it is at a 45 degree angle from your body, not straight down
  • always start with taking a good breath in, and then release your air into the reed, keeping your embouchure firm around it

Gekeler page 6 #10

  • For now, focus on getting a good big sound on each note - take it as slowly as you want
  • Take a breath and consciously set your embouchure to a round shape after every 2 bars you play.
  • If the reed starts to squeak, take a moment and reset your sitting/standing position and embouchure, then try again

April 4, 2022

Fresh reed! When you start to play, take the time to think about how you are forming your embouchure, and make sure you're blowing a steady stream of air on the long whole notes. When it does sound good, stop and try to memorize what you did physically to produce that sound, then try to do it again!

Warm up

  • Gekeler Page 3 - Pick one or two of numbers 4 - 9 to warm up on. 
    • make sure you're only putting enough reed in your mouth to get a sound. You should be able to talk with the reed gently resting on your bottom lip without chipping it on your teeth, then place your lips around it as though you are going to blow bubbles into a glass of water
    • Try to maintain a steady, light seal around the reed 
    • To bring the pitch down, drop your jaw as though you are saing "aaah" keep your air going
    • To bring the pitch up, add more air pressure and shape your mouth in an "eeee" shape
    • Try to make each note as beautiful and loud as possible during your warm up - get the air moving!

Notes, notes, all the notes!

  • Remember that you have a fingering chart
  • pages 3,4 and 5 of the Gekeler book also have fingerings for B, A,G, C, D and E if you want to check there
  • Page 6 - Lightly row - good work on this one - try to keep your embouchure firm but not flat - there needs to be room for the reed to vibrate, and the air needs to increase in pressure as you change notes to keep the sound going.

Shopping links!

March 28, 2022

Good work on reading through the Gekeler pieces. Next week's lesson will be in person.


  • the shape  you want is a slightly rolled in version saying "though" - keep the O sound, roll the lips in slightly and seal around the reed
  • If you find the reed is closing up as you play, soak it for a few seconds in water and then blow the water out before playing again
  • Keep your mouth in the shape of the lower notes when you play higher notes - use your air pressure to bring the pitch up before using your lip muscles whenever possible


  • When you start playing, warm up on the exercises on pages 3, 4 or 5
  • Keep your air stream steady and see how far you can get through each exercise before needing to take a breath
  • See if you can play through more of the exercises on page 6 - we have done #1, 3, 4, 6 and 10 so far

Other repertoire

  • Reminder to make a list of pieces you'd like to try, and maybe we can look at the piece you mentioned you had during our in person lesson.

March 21, 2022

Great work on your embouchure and tonguing today.

Gekeler book 1:

  • pg 3 #4 through 9 are a good way to warm up when you start playing
    • before starting each time, think about your embouchure - place the reed on your lower lip, put your lips like you're going to blow through a straw, and then close around the reed by forming the shape "mmm"
    • Try to think of the syllable "Ah" and keep your air stream steady as you play through the line.
    • See if you can make it to the end of an exercise in one breath! 
  • pg 5 #11 - remind yourself of the fingerings before starting
  • pg 6 #1 - keep your airstream steady as you lightly interrupt the air for the repeated notes
  • pg 6 - try any of the other exercises to improve your sight reading and fingering memory

Other repertoire

  • If you have music you'd like to play, try to make a list of it so I can look for pieces you'd enjoy playing - they can be popular or classical pieces
  • If you have any music you want to try, send me a photo of it so I can see how we can start to work towards playing it

March 14, 2022

Very nice to meet you! We will meet online next week, and I will send you a link where you can join via Google meet. 

We worked on:

  • Putting the oboe together
  • fingerings for A, G, F#,
  • Gekeler book 1 (remember it has a fingering chart if you forget a fingering)

Things you need to keep your oboe happy:

  • A swab (pull through cloth to clean out condensation from the inside of the oboe) You can get this at most music stores that have band sections like Long & McQuade or Tom Lee music
  • a reed case - these might be available at Long & McQuade, but you can also get many of them online if you search "oboe reed case" I recommend the ones that have slots for the reeds to lay on similar to this one, not the ones where the reeds side onto a peg of some sort.