what do you do when the oboe is broken?

oboe is broken - plan

Knock on wood – this hasn’t been a problem for a while, but we had a couple months where the oboe went in and out of commission on a regular basis. Occasionally we were oboe-less for a whole week.

I didn’t want Opie to lose the practice habit (or at least the little bit that had stuck). I also didn’t want her to think that there was only one way to learn something about music. Here are some of the activities what we came up with for her to do while waiting for a functional oboe. I’d pick some from each topic so that she would work for 20 minutes or so.

Playing:
– crow reeds to rhythm of her piece
– pick out her songs on our electronic keyboard (for her, that meant learning where the notes are)
– figure out a new scale on keyboard that has given sharps or flats (ex: F sharp & C sharp, or that starts on B flat)
– sound out practice pieces on keyboard given first note, then check against music to see if she is correct

Theory:
For these ones I would create a homemade worksheet, using blank sheet music paper.
– write out the scales she had been working on
– for a provided key signature, write the requested scale
– for a provided key signature name, write out the correct sharps or flats
– match key signatures and names
– color the oboe keys used to play a given note (found a blank oboe key chart here on page 7)

Listening:
– listen to Music Minus One pieces
– watch oboe performances on youTube
– listen to two oboe pieces and tell which one was more colorful, or which one you liked better

Because I was running out of theory ideas, I’ve since acquired Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory. We’ve only had to break it out for one week so far, but it could keep her busy for quite a while.

How about you—what do you do when the oboe is broken? Tell me in the comments so I can add to our list!

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