Which Are You Playing? The Oboe or the Music?

Play the music, not the instrument.
– Author Unknown

Boy how true… especially for us oboe players who spend so much time trying to get along with such a finicky instrument.

How often have you spent more time trying to play the oboe than you have trying to play the music through the oboe?

I know I’ve done it many times. And it’s always somewhat comforting to remember what’s really important. It’s not the clicking and clacking of the keys, or this fingering or that fingering… that truly matters.

It’s the music that comes out because of (or even in spite of) those things. It’s the music that matters.

My teacher always said, “You’re not an oboe player. You’re a musician who happens to play the oboe.”

It might sound like those are just words, but they’re not. In fact, understanding and living that phrase is a secret to understanding what being a musician is really about.

What are you going to focus on? Playing the oboe… or making the music?

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