I really find communicating via email to be the quickest and easiest way to “chat” much of the time. Feel free to email me at pattyoboe [at] me [dot] com any time!
I request that parents and/or students check email at least every other day; I communicate that way, as I am often not able to spend time on the phone. If I send you an email, please reply so I know you’ve received it.
If you are interested in lessons please email me with this information:
PRIVATE LESSONS (this is for students who study with me on a permanent schedule)
30 minute lesson: $55 (for beginning oboists and elementary school-aged students only)
45 minute lesson: $65
60 minute lesson: $75
30 minute lesson: $60 (for beginning oboists and elementary school-aged students only)
45 minute lesson: $70
60 minute lesson: $80
Reed Making Classes:
Groups (mininum of 3 students): at least 3 Sessions (usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours each), $60 per session
Private lessons: $80 per hour
I prefer to be paid by the lesson: checks may be made out to Patty Mitchell.
REQUIREMENTS FOR OBOE STUDENTS:
1. OBOE: In good working condition, with both the left F key and a low B flat key (If you don’t have these keys to begin with I’ll give you a month or so to locate an oboe and we’ll work with what you have for a while. Forrests Music is probably the only place to rent an oboe in this area, I’m sorry to say.)
2. REED CASE (Those plastic containers that reeds are sold in are not adequate!)
3. SWAB (I prefer the soft cotton swab, but a silk pull through is acceptable.)
5. TUNER: These are easy to find, and aren’t necessarily expensive.
6. REEDS: Always have at least 3! Hand made reeds are a necessity, so if you don’t know where to get them contact me.
7. MUSIC BOOK(S): During the first lesson I will assess the student’s abilities and determine which book is best. I usually use Rubank Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Method books, Gekeler Method For Oboe, books One and Two or the Edlefsen series, before moving on to other books. We will also be working in a duet book once the student can play well enough, as well as a solo that is at the student’s level of ability. You will find a number of links to a variety of music here.
Bob Hubbard: (408) 623-2841 (located in San Jose, he can often do quick emergency repairs).
And the best, if you have time to make an appointment and drive to Napa: Mark Chudnow
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Oboe requires practice. I expect students to practice lesson music every day but one (I allow for one “day of rest” a week). The length of practice should equal or surpass the student’s lesson time. (If you take a 30 minute lesson practice at least 30 minutes a day, if you take a 45 minute lesson practice at least 45 minutes a day, etc.) If you do not give the appropriate practice time to your lesson music, I will shorten your lesson appropriately! Legitimate reasons for skipping a lesson are illness, emergencies, scheduling conflicts that can’t be changed (school and medical appointments are most common) and leaving town. Not practicing is not a legitimate reason and I will expect payment if you cancel for that reason.
Please come to lessons prepared, and please come to lessons on time! Whether you are here or not, I’ve been sitting in the studio waiting, and that’s the time for which you are paying! I do not extend lesson times. If you are going to be late it is courteous to call me. Be responsible!
I require 48 hours notice on canceled lessons unless you have to cancel due to sudden illness or emergency. If I have less than 48 hours notice I require payment. If a student has more than 3 missed lessons without the required 48 hour notice I will charge for lessons by the month and require payment in advance.
NOTES ON PARENTS AND LESSONS:
I do not mind parents attending lessons, and I encourage parents to sit through the first lesson so they see how I teach as well as how their child listens and learns. If parents want to sit in on every lesson I will not turn them away, but I do have a nice living room in which you can relax and listen to us … but take your cell phone and live conversations outside please; we can hear you talking! My studio door is never closed, unless I find a parent is too disruptive. While I am teaching I expect no interruptions unless I specifically ask the parent(s) to join in; the lesson is to be between the student and me, and doesn’t include a parent’s comments or questions. You may ask questions before and after the lesson if necessary. I highly recommend that parents not hound children about anything that went wrong during a lesson. Let me be the “bad guy” and you can be the encouragers! That way they can dislike me and love you all the more. ;-)
I also request that parents support the students, and encourage them in their musical endeavors. I expect parents to make sure that their student is practicing, and to monitor the practicing now and then so time isn’t spent goofing off.
…and finally… to both students and parents … don’t get discouraged when things are difficult! Oboe is a challenging instrument for most people. It’s fun, too, but some days are simply more difficult than others. Keep working, and you’ll overcome hurdles you didn’t think you could beat. If you are particularly upset about how things are going tell me! You may email me at pattyoboe [at] me [dot] com any time. If I don’t respond within 24 hours I’m either somewhere with no email access (very rare) or I didn’t receive the message, so try again or call me.
Let’s have fun!
NEED MUSIC? I have an extensive list with links to the music store, or just click the link below.