Blowing one’s Trumpet…

……or in my case, an Oboe!


The reason I learned the Oboe…… was because I really wanted to play the Flute!

My Sister had just taken up the Bassoon and with one double reed player already in the Family, it figured that the Oboe was more sensible than the Flute and would be better  for me. The teacher had a vacancy and there  were already trillions of school flautists!

I played and played and played. I was hooked from day one. That Oboe became my life. I was also so lucky in the way it taught me how to breathe, how to use my diaphragm and how to exercise every muscle in my respiratory system. That Oboe was the best lung work out I could get when I was growing up…and through school and college. My famous professor at college was himself a severe asthmatic. I never had issues jacking up 10 puffs of Ventolin in my lesson mid way through the 1st movement of the Strauss Concerto!

After playing professionally for many years, I have oh so sadly not managed to blow a note out of the thing since early 2005. This does still break my heart. I am determined that one day I will get my lungs back to being strong enough to cope with those kind of pressures. In some ways I think it may be slightly resemblant of powerful BiPap, but with the power being generated by me, and not mechanically.

So as several people have Tweeted and replied to others of my posts with musical stories, I thought it would be lovely to find out who you  are, what you play, and particularly if you’re a wind player, if you took it up because you had asthma. As I run a Wind Band at school, obviously I have noticed how many of  my young steeds shoot up their inhalers before our rehearsals. Did it or has it helped your breathing problems because you are using a better respiratory technique? I’m interested.

So I’ve provided the topic….

….It’s up to you to provide the answers!



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10 Responses to Blowing one’s Trumpet…

  1. kerri says:

    I played clarinet for five years throughout middle/high school, with a little bit of bass clarinet, bari sax and tenor sax thrown in for fun!
    I played keyboard for five years, but I think I’ve forgotten most of what I learned ;).
    My current focus is guitar. I also have acquired a djembe, some super rad egg shakers and a harmonica in the process :).

  2. wheezyheron says:

    Another clarinet player, for 7 years through high school. Also with a bit of bass clarinet thrown in (my teacher let me borrow his for a while). I also used to play piano, but unfortunately I let both slide when I was at university, being not good enough for the good orchestras, and not bad enough for the bad ones.

    These days I stick with singing, which I really love. I definitely need to work on breath control though…

  3. kerri says:

    Oh! I sing too! Can’t say if I’m any good or not ;).

  4. wheezyheron says:

    I’m impressed, btw, that all your young musicians apparently feel able to shoot up in public, and not hide out in the loo’s. Good on them!

  5. This is great-so we have a bevy of clarinettists, aka sax/djembe/guitar players and singers here. We could form our own cyber Band, with obbligato coughing and wheezing effects.

    We don’t have to be good-it’s the PT that’d help our lungs…..maybe we could hook up a video conference call on skype one day….just imagine the racket!

  6. Becca says:

    I’ve played the violin for about 8-9 years now, though I’ve not played in an orchestra for a couple of years (really miss it, at Uni i shall be joining one!)and only really play in my lessons/ practice.
    I don’t play any wind instruments (unless we’re going to count the recorder ;)!) but I sing a lot, especially in choirs.

    Love the online orchestra comment- coughing and wheezing as the percussion section?!

  7. danielle10 says:

    I love this post! I did play the alto sax at one point, but my high school was too small to keep up a wind band 😦

    I mentioned I play the accordion. Though not a wind instrument, it does involve air! Sometimes, when I miscalculate and run out of air mid-phrase, it feels almost the same as when MY lungs run out of air mid-sentence. And it makes me nervous!

    I so wish I was a singer but alas was not gifted in that department. Oh well!

    Keep it up my musician friends!

  8. Thanks Everybody for your input!

    It has really been interesting finding out about what you play. So many musicians. it’s wonderful that I am blogging to such a knowledgeable audience.

    Remember-knowledge is power-in lungs-in music…..in life!

    Thanks!

  9. patty says:

    I landed here due to your oboe reference. I’m sorry to read your story … but glad to hear you are still doing music even if it can’t be oboe. (But no reeds … now that part I wouldn’t miss.)

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