Topic: Alternative methods to keep oboe students interested

Hi all,
I have a large private studio - mainly high school students. Every one of them have lost interest in method books after finishing Gekeler with their teacher previous to me. Every one of them has come to despise Gekeler and are not fond of the Rubank adv. volume 1 either.

What alternatives do you all use for upper level high school students who you do not want to put in Barrett? I too, came to hate Gekeler in my oboe upbringing.

All suggestions are appreciated. I want them to enjoy working out of a method book and not look at it as a bore, which is what they all feel right now about method books.


Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe/EH - Youngstown State University
Howland Schools - MS (director of bands); HS (Asst. Dir of Bands, Marching, Symphonic)


Re: Alternative methods to keep oboe students interested

Hi Shawn, I believe far too many oboe instructors teach the way they were taught, and so we (over)use Gekeler, Barret and Ferling etudes in the studio. Current directions in education include learner-centered, constructivist approaches. Ask your students why they chose oboe as an expressive medium and what they most want to play. Include varied literature in your teaching. You may also wish to have students compose or arrange their own music. This may develop other relevant skills and be an engaging exercise.

One recent innovative alternative to standard method books was developed by my former student Linwood "Chip" Zoller as part of his doctoral dissertation requirement at Louisiana State University. He began this line of inquiry when we were both at the University of Georgia (jump in if you read this, Chip.) The monograph is now free online at  It takes 13 fine etudes from under-represented method books written during the period of common practice to develop a new edited compilation.

As Richard Killmer says, share the joy of music!

-best to all,

Last edited by Dwight Manning (2015-03-18 06:38:25)

Dr. Dwight Manning
Teachers College, Columbia University
Box 97 525 West 120th St. New York, NY 10027
212-678-8252  <>