When I was nine, my mom bought a recording of Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances and I fell madly, deeply, head-over-heels in love with Allan Vogel's gorgeous oboe sound. I did a report on the oboe for a career fair where I learned about all the things oboists do, like make reeds. I even made little reeds out of paper. When I was eleven, it was time to pick an instrument for sixth grade band and I told my mom (she's a band director) I wanted to play percussion (I have no idea why). She told me that it wasn't going to happen in her house so then I told her I wanted to play the oboe. I've never looked back.

In middle and high school, I did all the things that band kids do. In high school I studied with Amy Sandlin of Oboes for Idgets. I went to All-State and All-District bands, I went to band camp, I went to Governor's school and when I was a senior, I decided I wanted to major in music. I started out as a music ed major at East Carolina, where I studied with Bo Newsome, but quickly figured out that it wasn't the right fit and changed to music performance.

ECU Oboe Studio 2007
ECU's oboe studio in 2007. There I am at the bottom left,
 with my best friend Kelly
When I was twenty one I met my husband, Rob Parker. He's the band director at Ashley High School and he's a great teacher, husband, father and friend. He's 6'8 to my 5'3 and he (almost) lets me have as many dogs as I want. When we got engaged, I had to figure out what I was going to do with my performance degree. I had always assumed I would go to grad school and end up performing or teaching at a university, but that wasn't the path that I was on anymore. In 2007 at ECU's annual Oboe Day, I had the opportunity to teach some mini-lessons and it was a pivotal life experience for me. When I taught those lessons I got to fuel a student's passion and watch understanding flare in their eyes. I was completely hooked and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. Teach. Privately.

I started my studio in 2008, and it has been a joyful ride. I've learned so much about myself as a player, teacher and reed maker and I still love how teaching makes me feel. I play English horn and oboe with the Wilmington Symphony and gig a ton around North Carolina. With the birth of my daughter Charlotte, I've come home full time and I recently opened my reed shop, Sarah Parker Oboe Reeds. I'm really excited about taking my reed business to a larger audience. It's a pieced-together portfolio career, but it suits me.

Rob, Charlotte and I
Rob, Charlotte and I
When I started teaching I had some great mentors, but I like to research and there were hardly any resources for private music teachers and only a few sites for band directors and young oboists with questions. Well, I couldn't find what I wanted, so I decided to write it. Thus, If a Duck were a Songbird was born. Please look around and feel free to email me with any questions I haven't answered.


 sarahparkeroboe [at] gmail.com

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...