Saturday, May 05, 2007

IBA Clinic

I'm giving a clinic at the Iowa Bandmasters' Association's conference next week. I've been writing out what I want to say and compiling some hand-outs. Just out of curiosity (and just in case I missed something obvious!)...question to oboists:

If you had the undivided attention of 30-50 band teachers (am I optimistic in thinking that many will choose my clinic over several others offered at the same time?) for 45 minutes (1 hour including questions), what crucial information would you offer about starting young oboists successfully in band?


oboeinsight2 said...

Jill, I can't imagine you'd miss any of this ... but off the top of my head ...

INSTRUMENTS! They are almost always bad, almost always missing the left F, and are a pain to deal with.

TEACHERS: They need private instruction. Period.

REEDS: No plastic reeds. Find a good dealer.

BOOKS: Many books are old enough they don't list left F and they show forked F with the E-flat key.

EMBOUCHURE: So many students bite. So many think we are supposed to press that reed to death.

SWABS: So many students get swabs stuck in oboes. So many band directors think they can be heroes and, instead, destroy the bore.

ADJUSTMENTS: Ditto on that -- directors turning screws is a huge no-no!

(Can you tell I get frustrated with some band directors.)

VIBRATO: Please don't tell a beginning oboist to learn vibrato. Pretty please?

MARCHING BAND: Most directors know they don't march, but they like to put oboes in what they now call the "Pit". They need to know that this is bad for wood instruments and if they want it, they should proive a good plastic instrument. (I told my student who was to do this to simply refuse to take her Loree out there.)

I'm sure I have more ... this is just quick and, like I said, I can't imagine you missing any of this kind of stuff.

C.J. said...

1. Correct air support.
2. The difference between "good reeds" and "bad reeds", and how to plan some kind of band booster to raise money for kids to afford the "good" reeds.
3. Embouchure: not biting, and open.
4. Unlike flute, clarinet, or other instruments that are quite as tedious in all of the above areas, I think oboes need more 1 to 1 private lessons. There's really no good way for a band teacher to teach an oboist a good embouchure in my opinion. It takes another oboist to teach it.