The Lightheaded Oboe Player

January 10, 2022

I call this piece The Lightheaded Oboe Player since that is what I have become today. Sure, I purchased the impish darling some months ago, in the summer of 2021 to be exact…

And at that time, I spent long, fascinated hours reading up on its nature and learning the finger placement for three actual notes. (and I’ve learned four actual notes if you count the open reed’s tone as one of the string).

Today was to be my fully-intentional introduction to this new child. I was respectful as I approached her, sweet as I gathered all the necessary participants in the endeavor: reeds and a shot-glass of water, cork grease and cleaning cloth, and of course J to assemble.

I sat breathing deeply and opened the case.

Yes , the beautiful creature remained waiting for me More faithful than I had been. I caressed the keys with newfound appreciation and awe.

Then I corked each section before assembly. To think that all these mindfully fashioned parts actually give rise to actual mindfully created music.

Meanwhile, the reed which had been soaking in their tiny vessels, were taken up one by one. I placed the edge to my lower lip, kept my mouth pulled down, and blew. I managed a measure of whole notes, then quarter then half. Then I gasped.

Another measure of half then whole then quarter notes.

Another gasp.

Then the lightheadedness started.

With each repetition of measures, my breath seemed more difficult to retrieve, and I was dizzy.

At last I was playing from my chair. No good.

I recovered my breath, stood again. Bent at the waste and breathed deeply. I came up partially, still breathing slowly, stood and continued breathing.

Whole notes, quarter notes, half notes.


Research taught me that this may be due to having too much oxygen in the brain. A smaller stream of air into the instrument usually fixes the problem. Full exhalation is required. Shorter measures an breathing as if you are meditating are also recommended by IDRS (international double reed society) blog.

Who would have thought!

6 thoughts on “The Lightheaded Oboe Player

  1. Hi, Joan–I am so excited to be able to read your blog again. For much too long, I was unable to land on your blogsite. Many thanks for posting your link on the WPL so that I did not miss your impressive adventure into learning to play the oboe. What a goal and endeavor for the new year! Best oboe wishes! Alice and Willow

    1. Oh Alice, how sweet to find you here once more!
      Yes, I hope to play a simple melody by year’s end, and hopefully to be paired with a new canine teammate…so keep your fingers crossed, please!
      *dancing angels**singing stars

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