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Private Lessons - Oboe & English Horn

From conservatory training at The Boston Conservatory to earning a Master's Degree at Smith College, Amy's education is broad-sweeping and complete. She takes a holistic approach to lessons. You will learn theory and music history as it pertains to the music you are learning, all in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Typical oboe lessons include warm-up scales and exercises, etudes, and repertoire. Often we play duets to work on sight reading, listening skills and intonation.

English horn lessons will focus first on getting a good, full sound on the horn, then we will explore repertoire and reed making. Because my English horn teacher was the well-known, long-time Boston Symphony English hornist, Louis Speyer, I have unique insights into performing much of the English horn repertoire which I share with my students.

Some FAQ's about the Oboe

How young can I start?

I recommend starting as young as 5th or 6th grade, depending upon having strong enough and big enough hands to handle the instrument and reach the keys, and responsible enough to care for the instrument and not break too many reeds!

How much does an oboe cost to purchase or should I rent one?

Professional oboes can cost up to $8000, but you can get a pretty good student model for about $1200, new. There are often really great deals on Ebay for instruments, but you should consult your teacher before taking the chance on something. It's probably a good idea to rent an instrument at first in case you decide it's not for you.

Reeds - where do I buy them and how much do they cost? How long do they last?

Local music shops sometimes have reeds available for up to $15.00 each, but often they are not very good. In my links section I have some recommended sources for good student and professional reeds. I also sell oboe reeds to my students at a discount. Reeds can last around a month depending upon how much you are playing. Professionals who play a lot are always making reeds as theirs only last a couple of weeks at most.

How important is the reed? Can I just get a plastic/fibercane one from the local music shop?

Yes you can, if you want to sound like a dying duck! Those plastic reeds last indefinately, but you really don't want to waste your money. You're probably playing the oboe because you like the sound. The sound is totally dependent upon the reed. The reed is VERY IMPORTANT!

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