I play the oboe.  Music is my friend.  I attribute music to therapy – if I am at a rehearsal for any given musical thing it is like two hours of mindlessness and joy.  When playing, music is essentially just concentrate on making a decent sound and playing in tune and not messing up any solos. 

For those that care, the oboe is a double reed instrument that plays in the key of C.  It is about two feet long, has a black body made of wood or plastic, with silver keys.  The oboe takes a double reed that is plugged into the top to make any sort of sound.  Most familiar of all oboe music pieces is the Duck from Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev.  The oboe is NOT like a clarinet.  Clarinets are larger and clunkier, but also with a black body made of wood or plastic and silver keys.  They are both musical instruments, but the oboe is on an entirely different wavelength.

I started oboe in 8th grade.  I was the picture of geekiness – greasy hair, good grades, skin condition, an outcast.  I was the kid that would remind the teacher that they forgot an assignment.  I had outgrown my alto sax, because my band teacher asked me one day if I knew what the oboe was and I said “yes” and the rest is painful and expensive history.

Oboe is expensive.  For a poor kid from a poor family I am shocked at how many oboe reeds I went through. Now that I am old and cheap, I make my own reeds and I buy reeds but buying oboe reeds is expensive and a crap shoot.  I will make a good reed last for well beyond its useable life.  Oboes themselves are expensive as well.  It is not uncommon for a professional oboist to take a second mortgage out on a home to purchase a new oboe, valued over ten thousand dollars.  I play a “cheap” turned plastic professionally keyed oboe.  The oboe pictured below is a Fox 333 oboe that I purchased from selling beadwork.

I also make and scrape and adjust my own oboe reeds.  Making oboe reeds is a whole different series of blog posts.  I do the hobbyist version of reed scraping and making.  I purchase pre shaped cane, soak it, tie it on, soak again, scrape, shape, test and repeat until there is a playable reed. 

My Fox 333 oboe. I sold beadwork to buy this oboe.
Two of my handmade reeds

I take my oboe playing very seriously. This is part of my creativity.  Music is an important part of my life and it has gotten me through some difficult times.