Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Learn to Make Reeds this Summer!

Calling all oboe students, teachers, and parents!

Is anyone else frustrated with reed-making?  It seems as though there is never enough time during oboe lessons to really get a handle on this difficult skill, and during the busy season it's hard to make time to practice it, too. You can read and analyze as much as you want, but there’s really no substitute for practical experience making dozens of reeds under the watchful eye of a teacher.

This summer I will once again run my Oboe Reed Boot Camp.  I will assemble a group of oboists - beginners as well as advancing reedmakers - and really take the time to start off right.  We will do a full twelve hours of reed drills, games, and competitions, and have everyone turning out playable, finished reeds by the end.

Sometimes you may hesitate to scrape because you dread ruining an expensive piece of cane -  I supply all of the cane, thread, and staples, to maximize your courage.

This year I’m excited to add another layer of value to the Boot Camp experience - a session with a Guest Master Reedmaker! Gabriel Renteria is the principal oboist with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, and teaches oboe at Western Michigan University. He creates OUTSTANDING reeds, open and projecting, which are balanced quite differently from mine. Like me, he has a comfortable, no-nonsense, non-magical way of talking about them. Those participants ready to look at a different perspective will enjoy working one on one with Gabe during his workshop, while anyone still struggling with basic construction and finishing steps can have me all to themselves at that time.

Finally, I’ve found that one of the peak learning experiences at Oboe Reed Boot Camp has been the opportunity to work with other colleagues.  When you try to diagnose or finish someone else’s reed, it can give you marvelous insight about your own. And, of course, as our pioneer ancestors knew, work is more fun with a group. Think quilting bees and barn raisings! This Spring I have been inspired to hold a series of monthly reed get-togethers, henceforward to be called Reeding Circles. Boot Camp participants will be entitled to free admission to these evening events for a full year!

I am offering two sessions this summer - Friday through Sunday, June 12-14 and July 24-26 from 1-5 each day. The first session will be in South Bend and the second at Valparaiso University.   Further information and open registration are available at my website: http://jennetingle.com/oboe-reed-boot-camp/. I am also offering an early registration discount until 30 days before each session begins.

I encourage you to let your colleagues, students, teachers, and friends know of this opportunity, and to contact me with any questions.

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