Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Now Offering: Reed Subscriptions

I'm excited to announce that Sarah Parker Oboe Reeds is now offering monthly Reed Subscriptions. I had been thinking about offering them for a while and when a new customer requested them, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and list them. This is a great way to take some of the worry away from your playing, because your reeds will arrive around the same time each month without you having to think about re-ordering them.

Oboe Reed Subscription, 12 months, 2 reeds, Free Shipping

I'm offering these subscriptions for 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months; purchasing a 12 months subscription gets you free shipping, which saves you about $70.00! You can get 2 or 3 reeds each month and I'm offering them in both the student and professional reeds. The subscription and shipping are paid up front, and the reeds are shipped by the 15th of every month. Check out the new Reed Subscriptions, here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

32 Metronomes...

I can't believe I just spent 4 minutes watching metronomes. Actually, I watched it twice, so I guess I spent 8 minutes watching metronomes. This video is crazy! My favorite is the red one on the far right that holds out until 2:40.

It works because they are on a flexible surface. Now you can say you spent 4 minutes watching metronomes too!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Liang Wang is an oboe god...

Just a quick video today, as I have to go do some folder stuffing and music taping at the symphony office. Liang Wang is the principal oboist of the NY Phil, and he's awesome, so enjoy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Business Cards

Well, Sarah Parker Oboe Reeds has been up and running on Etsy for a little over two weeks, and I have learned a ton about online marketing in that time period. On Monday, I had my first sale! A nice lady bought three reeds from me, and I've been hard at work getting them finished. I really wanted to have business cards that matched the shop, blog, and facebook themes to go out in the packaging with the reeds, so I turned again to the lovely Christin at Christin Thomas Design. I really can't recommend her enough, she's very easy to work with, talented and incredibly quick. This time I ordered her custom font logo design and her custom business card design.

new business card front

That's the front of the card, and I love how simple it is. The back is really fun, and I'm very excited about it, because I'm also going to be able to use it as a magnet.

new business card back

She also designed the logo in blue for me, so I can use it on white paper or on whatever I want really. I've got an idea for getting it on the reed tubes that I think will work. I'll probably do a post next week on how all the packaging works out.

new custom logo

If you're a professional musician, I can't stress to you enough how important it is to have professional looking business cards. You can use templates online or hire an affordable design professional like I did, but you need to have them. They don't have to be boring; we're in a creative industry and people appreciate seeing your personality come across on your business card. The other thing about business cards is to make sure you always have them with you (I'm frequently guilty of this). You never know when you're going to meet someone who could be a beneficial contact. You should have them in your instrument case, your purse or wallet, or heck, even in the diaper bag! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

3 Reasons Why I Love the Yamaha Oboe (for Students and Band Programs)

Frequently I'm asked what type of instrument a band program or student should buy; my answer is almost always " BUY A YAMAHA OBOE!!!" Well, maybe not quite that emphatic, but close. I'm talking about their intermediate model: YOB-441 and all that jazz. You might wonder why I choose to promote them so much when I play a Loree oboe myself. Well, there are 3 really good reasons.

Yamaha Oboe Love

1. Four words: Plastic Lined Top Joint

Yamaha has a ton of different options when it comes to their oboes: wood, plastic, wood with a plastic lined top joint. Now, I happen to think that their plastic oboes are pretty great, especially for school-owned instruments. I can't tell you how many severely cracked school instruments I've seen that were purchased because "wood is better," that had been left in a closet for 2-10 years, and cracked almost as soon as somebody starts playing them. Yamaha offers the best of both worlds; their plastic lined model has the warmth of wood with less risk of cracks. It's also great, because students frequently don't have enough patience to fully break in a wooden instrument. If your child "accidentally" practices for an hour in the first few weeks (wooden oboes need to be played frequently for small increments of time during their break in period), all is not lost, and the instrument can probably take it.

2. French Adjustment Screws

The Yamaha oboe has tapered french adjustment screws just like my big-girl Loree oboe. This doesn't seem like such a big deal until you've had the joy of adjusting 2 or 3 Selmer oboes in the same week. Most student model oboes have straight adjustment screws, that start wiggling their way out of place almost as soon as they get put into adjustment. What does that mean? It means that the oboe is hardly ever in good working order, which equals frustrated students and band directors. Tapered adjustment screws "lock" in place, which helps keep the adjustment set for a longer period of time. If more manufacturers used them, french adjustment screws could seriously take the oboe off of the endangered instrument list.

3. They are AFFORDABLE

I love these instruments because they have a great sound and all the keys we need for a great price. When you're looking for an instrument, you want it to have either a full-conservatory or modified conservatory system. In lay-man's terms, this means the oboe has all the keys you need, like a low Bb and a left F. Yamaha YOB-441's have a modified conservatory system and can be consistently found in the $2000-3000 range, which is practically a bargain when it comes to oboes.

Do I love my Loree oboe? Yes, absolutely. Are there other instruments out there that are great for students and band programs? Yes, of course. Am I affliated in any way with Yamaha? Nope. For me the Yamaha oboe is just a great, low-maintenance, affordable option. If you're in the market for a new instrument and would like some more information or guidance, please get in touch with me. I'd love to help!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Richard Woodhams testing reeds

Just a quick video today! Richard Woodhams is one of my very favorite oboists, so I really liked seeing him test his reeds. I particularly like his expression after he plays the one that's "just right." That's how I feel too!

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