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Oboe/Intermediate oboe player


Hi Geoffrey,

My daughter has been using a Howarth Junior Oboe thanks to your advice on 8/9/2009!  She is now age 10 and has been urged to switch to a full range oboe. She is at Grade 4 level and plays in the school orchestra as well.

As I am still keeping my old Buffet professional oboe which I purchased in 1980, there is high sentimental value and I would hesitate to pass it on to a little girl for daily use.  The oboe itself is in excellent condition but would definitely need an overall maintenance check since it has not been used for the past 20 yrs.  I expect it would be about US250-300 to have it done in Hong Kong.

It is a dilemma on the other hand to spend a large sum of money to purchase another oboe because I really could not expect a little girl to take perfect care of an expensive instrument.

I have been struggling with this issue for the past year. Any thoughts?


Dear Esther
I am sorry to have been a long tie in getting back to you. I have had a nasty virus that has been doing the rounds. Awful!!!

I can see you have a dilemma over this oboe matter. What actually matters most in the end of the day is your relationship with your daughter so...

Letting her borrow your precious instrument though it seems obvious to do so might cause problems later on if it were damaged. On the other hand you admit that you haven't played it for 20 years so that if she did not look after it as well as you would hope by virtue of her age, would it matter hugely if she was careless with it. Oboes are always repairable unless they are very old.  Maybe trusting your daughter with your oboe would assist her to grow up as well. Might be a big moment for her.

Maybe another solution is to let her have the promise of it later on in her playing life and find a good used intermediate model for now. There are some rather good Chinese made instruments which give a lot for the money and I am sure your teacher will advise you here. A good intermediate model has a better market value than expensive professional models these days as there is a big demand for them so your wouldn't lose very much on resale.

A tricky one I admit.

Have a good holiday season and again sorry for being late...



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Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Treasurer/Advertising Manager and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine

LRAM, Cert Ed

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