May 8, 2023

Thanks for meeting virtually!  

Sight reading

Good job working through the sight reading on the screen - I know it can be hard to read when the text is small, and notes are even worse! Try to print out this sheet for next time: Zuccini method. 

Getting a good sound while tonguing

When you want to separate the notes, or 'tongue' them, you want your air to keep going - the same way you would keep your air going to speak to someone. If you pause. after. each. word. it. sounds. a. bit. strange! So we want to interrupt the air by touching the reed quickly and lightly with our tongue - right back from the tip of the tongue. Think of saying "tha" or "ta" 

Practice tonguing on one note - for example, on a G:  G-----G----G-----G thinking ThaaaaaaaaaTHaaaaaaaaaaThaaaaaaaThaaaaaaa !

April 4, 2023

Toxic is getting there! Just need to spend some time memorizing fingerings - we'll work on this together

Theory - We've covered:

  • Key signatures
  • The trebel cleff
  • Time signatures (but there's more to it and we'll come back to this over and over again, trust me)
  • How to tell how long to hold a note, and their names (the math exersize of whole, half, eighth, and even sixteenth notes...i bet you can't wait for 32nds and 64ths!)

Feb 14, 2023

Reed destruction! They are very fragile so it's best to keep them in the black three reed case you got at the music store. Even better would be a case that has little spaces for the reeds to lie in like this one: Etsy oboe reed case.

Don't worry too much about how scary the reeds that came with the oboe sound - just see if you can practice your fingering and make a sound at the same time and we'll get you some nicer ones when you return!

What we did:

  • practiced our embouchure on the reed alone
    • Make a Thooooough sound
    • pull the lips in to cover the teeth
    • bring the corners of your mouth in to make a circle around the reed
    • blow through it like a straw while making the shape of a snobby "though"
  • Played G, A, B, C, half hole D, E, F-sharp, AND G with the octave key at the top of the staff
  • worked on going between C (1st finger in left hand and first finger in right hand) and half hole D smoothly

What to practice:

  • See if you can get through the rest of "Three blind mice" for next time I see you
  • I have music for "Toxic" and I've transposed it into a nicer key so it won't be quiiiite as hard, but it'll still be a challenge!

Feb 10, 2023

Sounding good on the purple reed! We'll get you a replacement for the red one that split the next time I see you in person.

What we did:

  • Played G, A, B, C and Half hole D
  • Discovered low D (no half hole) and low F natural

Oops of the day (Beth's):

  • look at the beginning of the "Three blind mice" song. Notice the # on the top line? That's a SHARP! it makes all the notes of the line or space it's on sharp (higher, or half a step between that note and the next highest.)
  • That means all the Fs in this song guessed it... SHARP! But you learned F NATURAL. Oh no! BUT if you look at this fingering chart, you miiiight be able to figure out F# before the next lesson.

To do:

  • Practice playing looooong notes on G, A, B, C and half hole D. Use a stopwatch or metronome or get someone to count to see how long you can go!
  • Look up the fingering for F sharp
  • See if you can play to the end of the first line in "Three blind mice"
  • Think of one pop song you would like to play the melody of (I'll look for it or transcribe it for you if I think it's possible on oboe)

Jan 24, 2023

New reed and new oboe!

What did we do?

  • We played the notes G, A, and B again (sounding easier on the new reed)
  • Learned "half-hole" D and C

What to do while I'm not there?

Technical things
  • If your reed seems to be harder to play on, try soaking it for a few seconds in water to open it back up
  • Make sure you swab out your oboe - and check that there aren't any knots in the swab first!
  • If your hands or fingers or back or anything hurts while you're playing, STOP and see if you can shake it out, then change how you're sitting, or holding the oboe, or, if you've been playing for a while, maybe take a break for a while. Playing the oboe is difficult, but it shouldn't be painful. 
Sound making things
  • Play on the reed first:
    • "Crow" the reed with lips on the thread to remove water after soaking
    • "Chirp" the reed by playing with your lips on the heart of the reed
    • put the reed in your mouth with your lips on the heart and pretend you are blowing through a straw - but keep your face still and porcelain like - this will take some practice! Try not to let your upper lips and cheeks inflate while you play - all that air needs to go through the oboe.
  • Practice going from C to half hole D
  • Play as much as you can of the three blind mice
  • Feel free to look up the fingerings of notes you haven't learned yet

 Jan 17, 2023

So nice to meet you! I've added some things for you to do below!

  • Make a list of your favourite bands and songs!
  • Think of one song you want to try to play first (we can work towards this)
  • Practice the eeeee-yaaaw high low sound on the reed, then the oboe
  • form your lips around the reed as though you are blowing bubbles through a straw, but firm so that your cheeks and lips don't bulge out
  • play with your lips on the heart/tip area of the reed, towards the end of it instead of closer to the thread. this will make it easier to make a bigger sound

© Copyright Elizabeth Brown