08. June 2020 · 2 comments · Categories: Teaching

I have now taught my students online for a few months. There are positives and negatives to online teaching, but it is definitely better than no lessons at all!

The negatives are obvious: I am not in the same room with students. I can’t adjust their reeds and I can’t fix their oboes. I can’t see everything clearly sometimes, and oh the sound … it can be awful! But not always. Sometimes the sound is just fine. It depends upon the student’s setup and I suspect it also depends upon the time of day (if too many people are online I think it glitches more). Teaching online takes me more time for preparation, and I have learned that I must have 15 minutes between each student so I can send the latest student the assignment sheet, charge my AirPods, get up, move around, and just regroup. Honestly, online teaching is incredibly taxing, and if I felt it was fair I’d actually charge more for them. But I won’t.

The positives? Well, first of all, I get to see my students! I miss them when I don’t get to teach them. I think it encourages the students to continue to practice. (Some, in fact, are practicing more than usual!) Some seem more comfortable, and I wonder if being home just makes them relax a bit. One student even managed to teach himself to make reeds!

I have yet to have any new students ask for lessons. I have decided I’d be willing to try and teach new students if they’ve already been playing. I am not able to take beginners, as it is so very important to try their oboes and we really need to be “hands on” for their starting lessons.

Interested in studying with me? Need oboe lessons? Feel free to leave a comment here with your contact info, or email me.


  1. Agreed on the pros and cons. In addition, I find it tough to gauge a student’s tone, dynamics, and phrasing, and I too need more setup time than in-person lessons. About half of my students have not been taking lessons since the outbreak…I’m guessing that in most cases, the parents’ income stream was compromised.

    I actually started a new student that I didn’t have any room in my schedule for before…I’m looking forward to meeting her in person.

  2. SO true, Dane: I wrote my little blog entry so quickly I didn’t list all this issues. But oh it is exhausting, frustrating, difficult … yet necessary! The students need these lessons. I need them too! 🙂