You are at rehearsal. Break time has just been called. How long do you think it takes to swab and pack up an oboe? Think about it.

Now think about this: how long do you think it would take for someone to knock that instrument over if it’s not packed up?

Yep. Stuff happens. Pack your instruments up for break. It’s just safer. I confess I used to leave my oboe on my chair. But I will also confess I sat on my oboe once when I did that! (Fortunately I caught myself before my full weight was on the oboe.) I’ve seen people knock over an instrument that was seemingly “safe” on a chair, too. So no more chair-oboe for me. I would never leave it on the stand during breaks either. I see colleagues do that rather frequently. Call me paranoid, but it’s just too easy to knock the darn thing over (and we in California live in earthquake country, so there’s that too!).

The next time I hear a student blame another musician for breaking his or her instrument because the student didn’t pack it up I think I’m going to scream.

Or at least roll my eyes.

They all know how I feel about putting instruments away.

Oh … and put the reeds away too, please! Reeds are tiny little beasts that non-reed players often can’t see. They seem to be invisible to many other musicians. But you all know how they can break. And you all know how a cracked one can ruin a whole day. So just put the darn things in the reed case, and put the reed case somewhere safe (NOT on the stand!). Trust me, it’s worth the time it takes to do that. I know.

I also would strongly recommend you not ask a friend to hold your oboe or your reed for you as you run to do something else. I can’t tell you how many students come in saying a friend broke a reed or messed up an oboe. Again, I blame the oboist. I’m mean that way.

That is all. You’re welcome.

2 Comments

  1. I agree that it’s a very good idea NOT to leave your instrument on a chair, unattended. Too many chances for accidents to happen.

    So how long DOES it take you to pack up your oboe?

    That’s probably why I rarely, if ever, see you during breaks! ;)

  2. I am guessing it takes about 30 seconds, Cameron. Guess I should time it!

    As to not seeing me during breaks … I tend to stay seated the whole time. I’m just lazy that way. :-)