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About Kristen C.
Kristen Cooke is an oboe teacher and performer based in Glasgow. Originally from Canada, she has been teaching the oboe privately for over ten years. Her students have ranged in age from 9 to adult, and she is confident teaching pupils from their first notes to professional audition preparation. Whether you are inspired by the oboe solos in your favourite film score, have dreams of playing in an orchestra, or want to challenge yourself with a new hobby, Kristen will help you to make meaningful progress towards your goals.
Training and Background
Kristen holds a Master of Music degree in oboe performance from Boston University and she is currently in the final stage of her Doctorate of Musical Arts. From 2017-2020, Kristen taught the Oboe Pedagogy course at the University of British Columbia. She formerly worked with the Sistema-based Saint James Music Academy in Vancouver, and is now a peripatetic woodwind teacher in Scottish schools in addition to running a private studio.
Kristen has performed professionally with orchestras including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Opera Victoria. She is a passionate chamber musician who is comfortable engaging with all styles of music, from early Baroque to 21st-century commissions. She particularly enjoys discovering and teaching music by lesser-known or underrepresented composers. Kristen has worked directly with living composers, including as Artist in Residence at Simon Fraser University's School of Contemporary Arts, to create and premiere new compositions for the oboe. As a member of the International Double Reed Society and the British Double Reed Society, Kristen equips her students with the most up-to-date knowledge of oboe technique and repertoire.
Kristen strives to help her students find technical ease while they develop their own musical voice. No matter the level, Kristen creates a friendly and supportive learning environment in which students can thrive musically with confidence and focus.
A typical oboe lesson could include:
-Body and posture awareness, to reduce tension
-Music reading skills
-Repertoire suggestions based on the student's interests
-Technical exercises for finger agility
-Guided improvisation to improve musical imagination
-Exam or performance preparation
-Strategies to combat performance anxiety
-Mechanical tips to help your reed and instrument function
-Help preparing music for outside ensembles, like a youth orchestra or community band
Reed-making and cor anglais lessons are also available for students with at least two years of oboe experience.
Your First Lesson
At your first lesson, Kristen will chat with you about your musical background and goals. For example, have you had any previous musical training? Do you play other instruments? If you are a beginner, what interests you about studying the oboe? There are no wrong answers!
If you are a beginner, Kristen will begin by teaching you how to put the oboe together safely, make a sound, and play a simple tune. If you have already started your oboe journey, she will ask you to play something that you've been working on. You will leave your first lesson with clear practice goals and music recommendations.
*If you have equipment questions, send Kristen a message, and she would be happy to advise.
-An oboe (beginner models are fine- many music shops hire them at monthly rates)
-At least two oboe reeds, in case one breaks
-A small container of water to wet the reeds
-A music stand
-A chair without arms
-A good internet connection, if learning online
Please feel free to send Kristen a message prior to booking a lesson if you have any questions or concerns!