- If there is more than one oboe instructor at the school (generally this is at conservatories) find out how you are assigned a teacher.
- Take a lesson from the oboe instructor if you are able to.
- If you can’t take a lesson, at least converse; most instructors have email addresses listed at the college site.
- Listen to the orchestra! Please. If the orchestra is beneath your level, you should think twice before attending the school if you are going to major in oboe. Odds are you are required to be in the orchestra and playing in a poor group can be a bad experience.
- Contact the orchestra conductor and see if you can even sit in on a rehearsal. Some allow that.
- Is the orchestra by audition only? (It should be if you care about quality.)
- See how many performing groups there are at the school, and see how often they perform.
- Do they do opera with full orchestra?
- Is there a reed lab? Not all schools have them, but it sure is a nice thing!
- How large is the department?
I’m sure I’ll think of more things to add to this list.
Right now I have to race out the door to teach!