18. May 2012 · Comments Off on Frustration · Categories: Read Online

I just read this online:

How do I fix my oboe?
There are five keys on my oboe that when I press them down they don’t come back up. I don’t think the pads are sticking, I think it is a problem with the screws. This oboe hasn’t been played in a while so I think it is in pretty sorry shape. I can’t afford to pay to fix it and the school (I am renting the oboe through my band teacher) doesn’t have any money left, plus it is the end of the school year. Is there any way I can fix the oboe myself?

How does one even begin to answer this? Odds are it’s a rotten school instrument. Odds are there are multiple things that are wrong with it. And the student is renting the instrument? Sigh.

When I started to get back into teaching in a serious way some years ago I had a lot of students come in with horrendous instruments. I dealt with them as best I could. I no longer do that. If they refuse to get an instrument that works I turn them away. It’s just too much of a struggle. One way to try and convince parents about instruments is to show them how their child sounds on my instrument or, if the student isn’t yet capable of really playing yet, I play on his or her wreck of an oboe. Parents either will hear that their child sounds better on my instrument, or they’ll hear me sound pretty darn rotten (okay, so maybe I make a point of not trying to sound good!) on theirs. That can help.

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