QUOTE(Splog @ Jun 10 2012, 09:27 PM)
I remember a book I read once, called something like How to select the best instrument for your child - which said that the oboe shouldn't really be played by children. Something to do with pressure in the head I think. I'll probably get shouted down here and told that's a load of rubbish, but if mum is looking for an excuse.....
That'll be the one which includes these gems:
"In the hands of an outstanding professional musician?..the oboe can sound exquisite. Played by most children who are learning, the sound is unpleasant and rasping?. If your child is thing about playing the oboe?. there is only one word of advice: Don't"
"The aperture between the two pieces of reed is so tight that the player has to force the breath through. Children may experience headaches from the back pressure which this causes, even a healthy teenager".
"The oboe is not for generous extroverts: determined, tight-lipped, stubborn children do best".All of which is misleading at best and drivel at worst.
The oboe has a reputation for being a very difficult instrument to learn. I suspect it is no harder or easier than many others, they all have their difficulties. I do agree with MrsB though, the oboe does require dedication. It needs playing regularly (ideally every day) especially early on when developing the strength and stamina in the facial muscles required to maintain the embouchure. This early stage is probably enough to sort out whether someone is really sufficiently interested to put in the effort.
The Howarth S10 already mentioned is certainly a fine instrument and the Buffet student model floboe mentions is OK too. Given the cost of oboes I would certainly consider rental initially. Reeds are quite pricey, probably ?10-12 these days for something suitable for a beginner. You would need two or three to rotate the use of them and expect 3 to last 3-6 months in the early stage if well looked after (and they are fragile).
I would consider a specialist oboe teacher to be a must.
Personally I think the recorder is worth while considering as an introduction. It does at least give some indication of what it's like to play something by blowing through it and descant fingering is similar(ish). Of course the recorder is a fine instrument in its own right and your daughter may take to it for its own sake.
So, it's expensive, requires dedication and good tuition. But it's the best