I am starting my first student, and we hit a slight dead end at our first lesson. I am having trouble explaining oboe embouchure and mouth shape. She has been playing clarinet for 4 years, and I would like to be able to compare things to playing clarinet. I would love any suggestions related to teaching a beginner that people are willing to share.
One of my professors always said the oboe embouchre looks like the south end of a northbound cat. Don’t know if that’s useful, but at the very least, it might make you laugh.
The explanation that worked best for me was a combo of these 2 things: A.) Think of speaking French; everything is down and forward. B.) Use the “walrus tusks” to pull the upper lip down and cover (it does all the work, while the lower lip is the foundation for the reed). It might feel a bit like you’ve lost total control, but it forces you to blow waaay more and focus on your air vs. biting and all the other side-effects of embouchure. Hope that all makes sense/helps!!
act like you’re puckering up to kiss someone, then roll the lips under — and the lips should be used as a pillow for the reed, never to bite or squeeze. I also like to ask them to imagine holding a golf ball in their mouth (to get the jaw down).
Great ideas for bassoon too, great link, thanks!
For people who don’t speak French, listen to a person from India speaking English, then imitate that accent. It comes out to the same thing.