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 When to give in to old age
Author: kroboe 
Date:   2018-12-10 19:12

I have played the oboe for most of my adult life, and as old age comes creeping on I am faced with the dilemma of when to lay the instrument down.

Some warn me that there is a health risk to playing the oboe into old age, and inevitably the challenge of playing such a physically demanding instrument as age gets on takes its toll on the end product, namely making music. One should stop before one is told to.

So, elderly oboists are seldom to be seen or heard, and there may be a good reason for that.

All the same, enduring the companionship of this tricky instrument through life takes so much dedication and perseverance that being an oboist gets under your skin and becomes part of you. Then goodby is never easy.

There must be many of you out there facing old age and the same dilemma of when to let go.

So, at the end of this year 2018 I would welcome your thoughts on the subject. What are your prospects? Are you looking forward to getting rid of your tormentor, or would you like to play your horn into eternity? Please share.

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 Re: When to give in to old age
Author: EaubeauHorn 
Date:   2018-12-10 23:06

I'll be 70 in June and I am just getting revved up again. I started in my late 50s, was interrupted twice by severe illness, and I am limited physically, but I can still blow like all get out. Probably you are older than I am. I'm not quitting until I have to; using lighter reeds, not even contemplating playing the first part, and finding groups that are well below my professional level of knowledge but which do not stress me out to play in. I practice for the love of it.

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 Re: When to give in to old age
Author: Hotboy 
Date:   2018-12-11 02:55

I have been playing professionally since 1975 and I have been feeling the march of age since I was 50 years old...poorer visual acuity, slower reflexes, weaker muscle ability. I have stopped playing the very difficult solo repertoire because of reduced endurance.

My solution was to take up another instrument in a different musical genre that relies much less on muscular capability, so I have been playing the Dobro for about 8 years and getting good enough to join a bluegrass band, in which you do not read music but play by ear.



Bay Area, California

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 Re: When to give in to old age
Author: oboist2 
Date:   2018-12-11 02:57

My current teacher is 78 and still able to manage to play the Zelenkas well when we play them in lessons, and still gets asked for different performances around town. I assume that as so long as you still enjoy it, and have your health regularly checked, keep playing as long as you want to. Sometimes playing on softer reeds can help.

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