Current and Future Students

Our studio is unique in the fact that we play one of the more difficult instruments out there.  

I hope to give you an idea of the expectations that we have in the studio while also allowing you to understand that this oboe studio maintains a very nurturing and supportive environment.


The oboe…


There are quite a few essentials when it comes to the oboe, much like there are in any sport that you might play.  Imagine playing ice hockey in baseball cleats... it just won't work.  We will call these important tools, equipment.  

Equipment. Necessary items for successful learning.  

One of my favorite sayings is:

"You wouldn't try to play soccer in ice skates, would you?"

As absurd as this may sound, when attempting to play an instrument that doesn't function properly or using a reed that leaks air (or both), a student is likely set up for failure before they even begin.

  • Oboe. This might seems obvious, however, often times students come to me with non-working instruments. Music stores are extremely knowledgable when it comes to (almost) all things music. Unfortunately, they are pretty clueless about the oboe. Lower on this page I will share with you certain locations, vendors and businesses that I support and trust.

  1. Types of oboes. Beginner Oboes: These are the instruments that most schools provide and that most music stores will sell you. They go out of adjustment very frequently, their sound quality is sub par and are typically fairly poor quality instruments. These instruments are not meant to be played long term. Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Oboes: These oboes are my suggestion for any beginner and after a year of "learning" on a beginner oboe, if your student continues on with the oboe, they will be far too frustrated with their beginner oboe. This is the main reason I suggest beginning on a step up from a beginner. There will be much less stress during practicing and it will be much easier for your student to be satisfied with their progress with an instrument that functions properly.

  2. How do you know if you have a functioning oboe? You don't. Your student can't play it well enough yet to tell if it works and more often than not, there is no one at the music store you are purchasing it from that can play the oboe either. Please make sure your teacher plays your instrument before making this important purchase!

  • Reeds. Reeds are equally as important as a functioning oboe. High quality reeds are handmade, however, not ALL handmade reeds are high quality. Susan may occasionally have reeds available for sale ($25.00), however with a very active performance schedule, she often needs to keep her personal reed box full.

  1. What reeds should I get? As an oboe studio, we have been very happy with the results and consistency of Julie Paul reeds, which can be purchased at Midwest Musical Imports. These reeds are often on back order as they are in high demand, so plan ahead if you know you will need reeds soon!

  • Additional Equipment:  

    • Reed Case: These reeds are quite spendy you say? Well then lets protect them!!!

    • Humistat: This is for anyone with a wooden oboe!

      • A humistat will help keep your oboe humidified and will help it stay safe from our dry weather. Make sure you use purified water.

    • Feather: Turkey or Pheasant Feather for cleaning. (Susan usually has an abundant supply)

      • Oboes are delicate creatures. Feathers do a fantastic job wicking away moisture while not scratching the inner bore or pulling water into holes with a swab.

      • If your band director looks at you weird, just tell them that the previous principal oboist of the Minnesota Orchestra and the current principal both clean their oboes with feathers!


Lesson Payment. Susan's schedule has become very full as her studio continues to grow and her performance life expands.

  1. During the school year you will have weekly lesson times. This is your lesson time and it is reserved for you. Please come (at least) 5 minutes early to put your oboe together while the lesson before you is finishing up. Be courteous to the student, but be ready to go when it is time for your lesson. There is no need to knock, if it’s your lesson time please just walk right in!

  2. Missed Lessons: Sometimes we get sick or have the occasional conflict. Please let Susan know at least 48 hours prior to your lesson time if you cannot make it. With advanced notice it will be more likely for an opportunity to make your lesson up within the same week. If it is a last minute change, Susan is not required to make up that time if she cannot fit it into her schedule. Know that your secured lesson time that another student could have used for their lesson. If Susan must move your lesson time, she will typically be much more flexible with the make up time!

        Each semester will have a built in week prior to winter break and summer break for make up                      lessons.  You may use that time as a make-up, a break or you may pay for an additional lesson that            week.  

        In past years, Susan has not been terribly strict with her policies.  She is at a point to where she is              turning potential students away, so it is very important to her that current students take their lesson          times seriously. 

lesson cost

  1. Lesson costs have increased this year (2018-2019). This is something that has rarely happened in our studio, but due to demand, lack of time, and inflation, I have decided to increase my prices. Thank you for understanding and continuing to support our studio! I am now in the mid range of lesson pricing in the Twin Cities (many of my colleagues are charging $60-$85/hour).

    • Hour Lesson: $50

    • 45 Minute Lesson: $45

    • School Lesson: $42

  2. Payments will be made in full at the first lesson of each semester. ie. The 2nd week of September and the week following winter break.

  3. Please reach out if you are unable to make a full payment and we may discuss the option of 2 or 3 payments.

  4. With the number of students in the Chromatic Fusion Oboe Studio currently, it is more important for Susan to focus on lessons and time with students than thinking about getting paid. Susan has a number of strong points; book keeping is not one of those!

Lesson Times

Current Availability: I have moved up my evening lesson times as teaching until 8:30pm 2 days a week was very hard on my daughter last year.  Thank you for understanding! 

Tuesday: 3:45pm-5:15 (Two (2) 45 minute lessons)

Wednesday: 2:30pm-7:30pm (4:30-5:30pm - STILL AVAILABLE)

Thursday: 2:30pm-7:30pm

Reed-making Group Lesson:  10/11, 11/14

  • I will be experimenting with group reed-making classes this year (2018-2019). They will be on Thursday nights when I do not have rehearsals scheduled. Class will be from 7:30pm-8:45pm. Class Price: $25/per class (If there are 5+ students, price will drop to $15/per class). Friends and students who are not in our studio are welcome to attend this class. You must bring your own tools, which can be purchased through Midwest Musical Imports. See list of required reed-making tools.

Please stay tuned for additional information and resources!