This month, I began a new creative project -learning the oboe.
I’ve dabbled in several instruments over the years, but have really taken none of them seriously, except perhaps violin. When I was in elementary and junior high school, I played drums in the school bands, and took some private lessons. It was ok, and mostly I played the big bass drum, not the flashy set that my friend Bobby played.
In late high school and college, I messed around with guitar on a beautiful black and gold Gibson Les Paul Custom that my aunts bought for me. It was a great guitar and for collective purposes I wish I still had it. Lager on, I traded it – stupidly – for a Yamaha bass guitar, and eventually bought a Rickenbacker 12-string.
I had always been fascinated with violin in classical music, especially Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, and really wished I could play it. In 1987 (gosh I’m old..), I bought a violin and found a wonderful teacher in Greenwich Village. This was probably the most serious I had been about learning an instrument. It lasted about three months or so, as I lost my banker’s job in Manhattan and could no longer afford it.
So here we are in 2016, and I’ve begun to realize just how much music really means to me. And, being in Community for two years with weekly choir rehearsals, I’ve developed an even greater appreciation, and love, for music, especially performance. I will always claim that I cannot sing!
But I’ve wished I could play an instrument. Everyone plays guitar or violin, and it’s just my DNA to do different things, hence the oboe. And honestly, I must admit that my choice was somewhat influenced by Blair Tindall and the series “Mozart in the Jungle.” The oboe is a wonderfully sounding instrument, it is a challenge to play, and I especially love challenges.
So, at 53, I got a used Selmer oboe, and have begun taking private lessons with Dr. Melissa Feilhauer, who currently plays for the Dayton Philharmonic and the Anderson Symphony. And I’m loving it!