Oboebasics.com A Modern Method for Oboe Embouchure
Muehrcke, Jennifer Elise
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University of Washington Abstract Oboebasics.com A Modern Method for Oboe Embouchure Jennifer Elise Muehrcke Chair of the Supervisory Committee: Professor Steven Morrison Music This dissertation presents a method for teaching oboe embouchure aimed specifically at the beginner oboe student, using video instruction via the Internet. This is a two-tiered project involving the creation of the website www.oboebasics.com and a document which explains the project's origins and development. The website includes instruction and videos that address embouchure, breath control, posture, hand position, articulation, pitch, and tone quality. The website's materials are also relevant to intermediate and advanced students as well as teachers, instructors, and ensemble directors. The curriculum is formatted in a progressive manner with an overall focus on creating the proper embouchure. Chapter one of the dissertation examines past and current teaching methods of oboe embouchure offered in method books, journals, dissertations, CDs, DVDs, and Internet resources. This survey provides an overview of resources available to oboe players. Chapter two then details my approach to teaching oboe embouchure, discussing how to evaluate the embouchure, analyzing problems, and finding solutions. Exercises and practice methods to assist in attaining the proper embouchure are also presented. The second half of the document explains the development and testing of multiple versions of the website, culminating in www.oboebasics.com. Chapter three details the website building process and the technical aspects of script writing, filming, post-production, and the decision-making involved in building this website. Chapter four focuses on the testing of the website, which took place over the course of a year. The testing process included alpha, beta and kappa testing to gain input on the appearance, functionality, and effectiveness of the website as it evolved. The evaluative process aided in the construction of the website and provided a framework for post-doctoral work. The instruction and exercises presented in the website and document were culled from my oboe studies, my teaching experience, and my knowledge of what works for beginner students and oboists in general. The embouchure remains the focus of the website as the cornerstone of all other techniques. It is a vital starting point for any player and the most unique fundamental of oboe playing.
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