School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Rebecca Watson


Oboe, Oboe Transition, How to Learn Oboe


Music | Music Education


Young band students are seldom allowed to begin on the oboe, due to the specialized difficulties of the instrument. It is more prevalent for a student to begin on another instrument, such as the flute, and transition to the oboe after some initial experience. Many students switch to oboe from flute, since both instruments have similarities in fingering and wind technique. However, there are significant differences between the two instruments. These differences include embouchure formation, articulation, octave keys and alternate fingerings, intonation adjustment, and double reed care. If a student is not able to receive individualized instruction during this transitional process, damaging habits can form that inhibit student growth, enjoyment, and can cause injury. Presenting accessible oboe exercises and pieces with a focus on specific techniques suitable for the converting flutist will assist in preventing adverse habit formation during the early stages of conversion. This thesis will attempt to provide such information by outlining shared similarities between the flute and oboe, as well as detail nuanced differences between the two instruments that the primary flutist will need to overcome in order to be successful on the oboe.