Friday, April 15, 2011

Good Oboe Book


I read a great book this week - Oboemotionsby Stephen Caplan. I was skeptical at first, because the oboe is such a niche market. I buy anything that says OBOE on it, because there is not much, and of course I find a lot of fluff. Because there is so little that is specific to my instrument, I am accustomed to reading sports psychology or marketing manuals and automatically translating the ideas in my mind for my own needs. Having all of the work done for me sort of felt a little cheap - like I wasn't really having to think to learn.

That said, the book was terrific. All about the physicality of playing the oboe, and intelligent ways to think about what is going on inside one's body. There were a few tweaks that I've been thinking about in my own playing - his approach to basic articulation is a little different from my own, for example, and I've been using this Mozart week to experiment - but mostly I was excited to have more ways to approach student problems. A lot of playing issues can be linked to tension, and I appreciate having new postural elements to look at and better words for what I already see.

I am always looking for ways to deepen my understanding of the oboe and to be a better teacher, and this book gave me both. I recommend it highly for oboe teachers and advanced students.

4 comments:

  1. Oboemotions has helped me with unnecessary tensions an unbelieveable amount this year.

    Via request of Earle, I've been 'creeping' on your blog.

    Excellent stuff!

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  2. Oboemotions has helped me so much this year with paying attention to extra tensions and dealing with performance anxiety as well! It's given me a great outlook on everything from articulation to support!

    I'm glad you've found it useful as well!

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  3. Oboemotions has helped me immense amounts this year. The outlook on how the body should be and knowing how it's SUPPOSED to feel when there is not tension has been EXTREMELY helpful.

    The articulation section as well. :)

    I'm happy to know that you've found it useful as well!

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  4. Cassandra, it was great to meet you the other night, and thanks for your comments! Good to know that I'm not alone in my enjoyment of this book.

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