History and Information about the Oboe
The oboe is a double-reed instrument that first appeared in the mid-17th century and was directly related to an instrument known as the shawm. Since then, several developments have been made, and the modern oboe is usually made of wood with metal keys. It is the highest member of its family of instruments; other members include the cor anglais (English horn) and the oboe d’amore. It is called a double-reed instrument because there is no mouthpiece, but only two reed segments that vibrate against each other to produce sound. When you take oboe lessons, you will have an extensive selection of classical music to learn, as well as folk, jazz, and pop music.
When to Start on the Oboe
We recommend starting the oboe around age 10 or 11. Younger students may not possess the lung capacity or facial muscles (required for a correct embouchure) for this somewhat difficult instrument, so these students are encouraged to start on a different woodwind instrument, such as clarinet or flute, and then switch to oboe when they are physically able. Additionally, private lessons are HIGHLY recommended when starting the oboe, as producing a quality sound requires some very specific techniques.
Getting an Oboe
Please call us so we can recommend a store from which you can purchase or rent an oboe. For very young students, it is recommended to rent instruments for two reasons: 1) they will most likely grow out of instruments quickly and 2) they may lose interest (although we hope they don’t!).
Purchasing Books and Supplies for Your Oboe
Most books and many supplies such as reeds are available online. Give us a call for local store recommendations. Your instructor can tell you which books and supplies are appropriate or needed.
**Feel free to call us at 631-476-8946 with any questions you may have. We can help provide you with additional resources.