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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oboe for Everyone--Oboe lessons and resources for all

FYI, this post is duplicated from my other blog,

"But history will judge you, and as the years pass, you will ultimately judge yourself, in the extent to which you have used your gifts and talents to lighten and enrich the lives of your fellow men. In your hands lies the future of your world and the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit"

-Robert F. Kennedy (speech at Berkeley, 1966)


Oboists,  let's make our world a little better (and smaller) starting today.

Service to our communities and the world can come in so many beautiful forms.  Over the years I have volunteered at the local homeless shelter, given as generously to the food banks as my professor salary allows, support environmental causes, etc, etc.  These are things that most people in my community have the skill set to do as time and generosity allows. But when I considered how I might use my specialized skill set (including a doctorate in oboe performance and pedagogy and 12 years teaching at the college level) to serve others in the world, my brain started spinning with this question:

What if EVERY OBOIST who wanted to take oboe lessons with an oboe specialist had the opportunity to do so,  regardless of location in the world or ability to pay ?

I often take on students for reduced rates to serve my community. It's a small action on my part but I believe it is really important to the students and families I can serve. Currently this blog reaches readers from over 60 different countries, many of whom do not have access to oboe lessons in their communities. But proximity to a teacher is no longer an issue with the use of free online video communication tools such as Skype ,  ooVoo , or Google Chat , for online lessons.

So my question to you is this:

Would you like to take oboe lessons but either don't know how to find a teacher or can't afford the usual lesson fees?  Or can you think of someone who might be able to benefit from this service? Or maybe you'd like a lesson or two to work with a topic I've written about? 

If so,  I am here to help.  I am willing to provide 2 online lessons (30 minutes each) to you on a "pay as you are able scale."  My usual rate is $30 per lesson, but please know that I am willing to teach you at a price that accommodates your budget, including free lessons.  After those two lessons,  we will either continue lessons or find a teacher (either near where you live or online) who can best match your needs.  For those interested in virtual lessons who are able to pay a fair rate for lessons, I ask that you please do so--this will provide the resources to support teaching those who cannot.

contact me at: for more information

This brings me to the second question:

Can I facilitate a network of oboe teachers, reed makers,  repair specialists, etc. who might be interested in sharing their specialized skill set to those with limited financial resources?

Oboe teachers--would you be willing to take on a student either in person or online for a reduced rate in order to serve your community and profession? If so, I'd love to meet you!

contact me at for more information

College oboe majors--would you like to gain experience teaching beginning players? Fantastic!  Let's connect:

contact me at for more information

Reedmakers--can I use your name/contact information to give to oboists looking for reeds? Or a link to your website? What are your rates? Would be be willing to occasionally produce reeds for a reduced rate for those who cannot afford your full price reeds? Let's begin a conversation:

contact me at for more information

To current oboe instructors:

First and foremost,  please know I have no intention of taking students away from their current teachers by undercutting the price of lessons. Many musicians make their living by the amazing work they do as lesson teachers, and in no way do I want to steal students away from their teachers.  It is my desire to provide the opportunity for lessons to those who, because of financial resources or current location, are unable to do so.  For those interested in lessons who are able to pay a fair rate for lessons, I ask that you please do so. It is my hope that this network will assist in pairing qualified teachers with students either in their communities or online.  

Let's do all that we can to connect with others to share our love of music and our oboe skills. And please forward this post to anyone else you think might be interested. Who's game?

"How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can start now, start slowly changing the world!"    --Anne Frank (diary entry, 1944)

Oboe and out,

Dr. G

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New website for you

Hi all!

I encourage you to check out the website that I just put together. It has links for some of my live recital recordings, a teaching demonstration and other assorted info.

Hope you enjoy!

Dr. G

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

An interesting read for college bound students

Here's an interesting link that I hope you enjoy reading. Your choice of school will have a huge impact on your life. Choose wisely and thoughtfully, my friends, and make the most of those years!

Oboe and out,

Dr. G

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Studying Oboe at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Are you considering studying oboe in college?

There are still a few audition dates left for anyone interested in studying music at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire beginning Fall 2013:

Thursday, January 17th, 2013
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
Saturday, March 9th, 2013

For more information,  click on the link below:

 UWEC Audition Application

 As a faculty member at UWEC, I'd like to tell you a little more about our program. While I am very interested in having you join the UWEC Oboe Studio next fall, myprimary goal is to help you find the right school for YOU.

The University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire is an internationally recognized university of about 11,000 students overall and the music program is the largest is the state, with 375 undergraduates. We do not have a graduate program,  and there is a wealth of performance opportunities for all oboe majors including orchestra, two bands,  and numerous chamber music ensembles. We have a select group of 9 oboe students at UWEC and while the studio is large,  it is a very supportive group of fun, talented, and creative people! In addition to weekly lessons,  there is also a weekly studio class and reed making class for all oboe majors. Because I am a full-time faculty member,  I am always here to answer questions and help with last-minute reed and instrument fixes as needed. We also have a reed room where oboists/bassoonists can make reeds (and they seem to enjoy hanging out there too!). The reed room was outfitted with over $10,000 of reed making equipment several years ago,  so students have access to a number of shaper tips, a gouging machine, etc, etc for reed making.  We also regularly bring in guest artists for masterclasses,  and arrange trips to the Twin Cities for concert experiences as opportunities arise. In addition, I encourage students to take opportunities to study abroad and explore the world during their time in college. Recent students have studied abroad in Sweden, Austria, Italy, and Scotland.

Several years ago a former UWEC graduate donated 3 Loree oboes to the studio. This allows students in need of purchasing a new oboe to have a professional model oboe to play while they save up money. Or, if your own oboe is in the shop for repairs,  there's an instrument to use in the meantime. We also have several English horns available for student use as well.

Recent success stories of current oboe students include 3 students collaborating with me on an article that was published this fall in the International Double Reed Society Journal, and  2 oboists chosen for last year's UWEC Orchestra Concerto Competition performances  (performing the Mozart and Strauss Oboe Concertos, respectively).  A student was just selected to participate in the Walt Disney internship program in Orlando, FL. UWEC oboe graduates are successful performers and teachers throughout the region and internationally in China and Hong Kong. Some have also gone on to graduate studies in both performance and education. My students work hard,  but they achieve great goals and enjoy the process along the way. 

I maintain a very active performance schedule both on an off campus to promote oboe playing and to demonstrate what I teach.  I perform solo recitals each year on campus, present performances on campus with the UWEC Faculty Wind Quintet, perform in the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra, the Chippewa Valley Symphony,  and perform as a member of the Virtualosity Duo. I continue to perform on the national and international level to build recognition of the program at UWEC and to foster relationships with musicians and audiences around the globe. I'm also currently developing an oboe method for beginning oboists and have a great interest in oboe pedagogy (the study of teaching the oboe). If you are interested, you can find sound excerpts of my playing can be found at:  (scroll to the bottom of the page to find the sound links). 

The music education program at UWEC is an absolute standout in the state and Midwest region. Our graduates are HIGHLY sought after and our placement rate for recent graduates is still close to 100% (even in this tough economy). A large percentage of music majors at UWEC are seeking music education degrees and our department highly values the special needs of education majors and seeks to foster an inclusive yet challenging environment. Our graduates also hold prominent positions in the WMEA (Wisconsin Music Education Association) and are outstanding leaders in the field. 

If you are considering UWEC,  I highly encourage you to visit campus during the week when classes are in session.  You could observe a music theory class, sit in with one of the bands and have a lesson with me to get a feel for what the department is like.  Or,  if travel is prohibitive,  contact me for a Skype meeting/lesson. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can assist you with your college decisions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Warmest regards,

Dr. Christa Garvey