small hands for oboe solutions

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Home Forums Pedagogy Teaching – General: Solutions, Question, Tips small hands for oboe solutions

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    Rebecca Moore

    Hello! I have several 6th graders this year who are small in stature and have very small hands. Both are extremely convinced that they must play the oboe.

    I have tried
    extra thick thumb rest (Yamaha)
    neck strap

    What suggestions do you have for students in this situation?


    Dean Williams

    Give them bassoons. Then, they will be have to spread their fingers so much that when you give them oboes again, the will be so happy, they will be able to do it, and they will never ever complain again.

    (unless they really like the bassoon and they decide never to go back, which would be highly intelligent on their part.)

    Kidding aside, I have always thought of the oboe as in ideal instrument for the smaller handed musician. Which keys are they having trouble with?

    Trent Jacobs

    Dean, oboe has some weird finger stretches. It’s not very comfortable for me, so I can see how a 6th grader with small hands would have trouble with some of the key spacing. Plateau system oboes exist.

    I will not have a good answer for this question, but I suspect knowing what make and model they are currently playing on, and which specific finger stretches are the issue will be good things for someone else to know in order to help.

    I now leave the oboe area of the forum.


    i play a Howarth S20c that is suitable for smaller hands.


    As a teacher, I am fortunate whenever the “small hand ” issue arises. I just hold up my hands and 99% of the time my hands are smaller than my students. That said, I do use some crutches for my students to help them through the first year. Command strips have become my best friend. I cut them to fit over key holes that cannot yet be covered. The strips stay on and have not affected the finish. The top side will lose its stickiness quickly, but will remain tacky or at least not slippery. This also helps them to feel where their fingers need to go. Let me know what other specific problems that are having and I will try to help

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