Click to visit the Palen Music Center websitePalen Music Center Quick Note

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


The PMC Quick Note is a weekly service provided to all area directors.  It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest.  The weekly Quick Note will contain helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.

Oboes For Idgets by Amy Hinson

PMC would like to thank Amy Hinson for giving us permission to include her oboe information in our Quick Note. Her website contains many solutions to common oboe problems. Check out the forward to her site and then view the links:


I began playing the oboe in the eighth grade. My band director, wonderful as he was, just didn't know much about the oboe (unless you're an oboe player, you're just not going to get all the information you need from your "Double Reeds Methods Class" that you had to take in college!). And since I never had the opportunity to take private lessons, I had acquired a multitude of bad habits . I spent my entire freshman year trying my teacher's patience while breaking these bad habits. In my years teaching private lessons, I have seen these same bad habits in young players. It really is no one's fault. The oboe is just a finicky instrument!

In addition to bad habits, one of the most common problems I find is that the oboes are not working properly . Again-- no one's fault. The oboe has a very intricate adjustment system, and it doesn't take much for it to get out of quack-- I mean whack. In the repairs section, I will tell you the most common problems I have encountered.

And last, but most certainly not least, are reed and embouchure problems. If a student has a bad reed, that's the end of the story-- no matter how good a player (s)he is, or how good an instrument (s)he has, they still won't sound very good! In the reeds section, I will give you tips on how to select a reed.

Hopefully this page will address some of those concerns. If, however, there are questions you have that are not answered here, please send me an email!

Amy's website highlights:

Online Woodwind Fingering Charts
A wonderful resource for woodwind fingering charts, trill charts, and alternate fingerings is from The Woodwind Fingering Guide. The site contains clear graphics and easy to read charts for piccolo, flute, oboe and english horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, and the saxophone family. What if you need charts for tin whistle, fife, or shakuhachi? No problem! They are included here as well. Check out all of the possibilities on their website at

Check Out Back Issues of the PMC Quick Note

Be sure to visit our catalog of past issues of the Palen Music Center Quick Note.

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center

Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


(417) 882-7000
Bob Hopkins and Mike Brown
Springfield North (417) 862-2700 Martin Probstfield
Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts
Moberly (660) 263-0109 Joe Brown
Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades
Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp


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