General Oboe Syllabus

Oboe Studio at Northern Arizona University

Rebecca Kemper Scarnati, Professor of Oboe

picture of oboe

General Oboe Syllabus

(Please note details of the oboe syllabus vary from semester to semester)

Instructor's Studio: Ardrey185, email: Rebecca.Scarnati@nau.edu 

Course Numbers: MUP 118, 218, 318, 418, 518, 618 and MUP 118L, 218L, 318L, 418L, 518L, 618L. 

MUP 118, 318, 518 are offered for one credit hour only: MUP 218, 418, 618 are offered for 2 or 3 credit hours. MUP 518 and 618 are available only to graduate students. One credit hour equals twelve one-half-hour private lessons each semester; 2 or 3 credit hours entitle the student to 12 one-hour weekly private lessons each semester. Reed lab, MUP 118L, 218L, 318L, 418L, 518L, 618L, is for no credit and is required of all oboe students. 

Objectives: Students enrolled in private oboe study will be expected to show regular improvement and growth in the areas of technique, facility, musicality, reed making, knowledge of oboe literature, solo/ensemble performance and pedagogy and pedagogical principles appropriate to the student's level and experience. 

Course Structure: Each enrolling student will receive a minimum of 12 private lessons. 


  1. Each student is required to keep a notebook containing the lesson assignments for each week.
  2. Each student is required to have a properly working oboe and a metronome. Owning a chromatic tuner is strongly recommended.
  3. Students will be expected to purchase music and books deemed necessary by the instructor.
  4. Students are required to have basic reed making equipment such as a knife, plaque, block, string, gouged and shaped cane, and a mandrel.  

Attendance and Requirements: 

All Wind, Brass and Percussion Policies maybe found on line: http://www.symphonicwinds.nau.edu/ 

  1. Lessons: Students will receive 12 lessons per semester. To receive course credit, the student must attend all 12 lessons. Lessons missed for emergencies such as sudden illness or family emergencies will be rescheduled. Other lessons canceled or missed will not be rescheduled. Should a make-up lesson need to be scheduled, it must be done during the current semester and it is the student's responsibility to reschedule missed lessons.
  2. Reed classes: Students must attend weekly reed classes with all reed making equipment and oboes. Students must come with two new scraped reeds each week. Reed class will meet at 11:40 and 4:30 on Tuesday's as needed.
  3. Master classes: All Music Performance, Music Education, and Bachelor of Arts students are required to attend master classes on Tuesday’s at 11:10. Music minors are strongly encouraged to attend.
  4. Recitals: All students are required to attend oboe recitals by their peers and all woodwind faculty recitals as well as NAU-sponsored special oboe recitals, seminars, workshops or other events featuring oboe guest artists. Dates of these performances will be posted on room 185 well in advance of the performances with most at the end of the syllabus. Students unable to attend a required recital or concert should notify the instructor in advance. Music majors are expected as a requirement of the course to attend recitals sponsored by the School of Performing Arts throughout the semester.
  5. Oboe Class Recital: Each semester there is an oboe recital music recital scheduled. All oboe students are required to perform a work on one of these recitals each semester except the semester of a degree recital. Performances must include appropriate accompaniment.
  6. Oboe Repertoire: All students will cover a variety of musical styles and the music of composers form different countries. Oboe students will learn to improvise baroque ornaments, play contemporary music that use improvisatory techniques, and/or learn to write a classical cadenza during their tenure at NAU.  

Failure to comply with the above attendance policy will result in a lowered grade. 

Juries and Recitals 

Degree Recitals: Students are responsible for all details relating to the scheduling of their required recitals. This includes securing the hall for the recital and dress rehearsal, ordering programs, arranging for recital recording and seeing that the event is listed on the School of Music and other appropriate calendars and schedules. At least two weeks prior to the recital, students must play a pre recital jury for the private instructor and two additional instrumental faculty members. Again it is the student's responsibility to schedule this jury.

Juries: Each student will present a performance jury at the conclusion of the semester unless the student has given a pre recital jury or is taking an upper division qualifying jury. Any of the material studied during the semester may be requested in the jury.

Upper division qualifying juries and Exit Juries will be held at the end of each fall and spring semester. It is necessary to have passed this jury in order to register for MUP 318 or 418. First attempts should be made no later than the fourth semester of study. Each jury will be 15 minutes long. The instructor will provide the student with his upper division jury requirements. Sign up for time slots may be done at the office of the wind and percussion jury chairperson two weeks prior to final exams both semesters. Students who take the upper division jury will not be required to take a regular jury that semester. All students must complete an upper division jury or Exit Jury at NAU even if they have passed a similar jury at another institution. Music Performance and Music Education take upper division juries and must demonstrate that they are prepared musically and emotionally to perform in a public recital at an appropriate level, with success of a mature nature, and able to interpret challenging repertoire, yet appropriate in relationship to the degree pursued, with intellectual and expressive understanding. Bachelor of Arts degree students take exit juries and must demonstrate the ability to interpret and successfully perform contrasting movements or pieces from the repertoire expected of end of second semester freshman. These works should represent a minimum level of achievement and will be determined by the studio teacher. Examples are Geminiani Sonata in e minor, Telemann Sonata in a minor, Besozzi Sonatas and Concerti, etc.  

Upper Division Qualifying Juries Basic Requirements for Oboe 

1. Two pieces or movements with contrasting tempos: one demonstrating primarily tone and expression, the other demonstrating primarily technical ability.


2. One longer work containing substantial amounts of both of the above. These works must be performed with accompaniment if appropriate; they need not be memorized. Students must provide music to the members of the jury.

3. Scales are to be played in eighth notes from the lowest tonic to e''' or f'''. All scales should be slurred and may include the following:

  • all major scales
  • all naturalmelodic and harmonic minor scales
  • chromatic scale from bb to f''' whole tone scales beginning on b or bb  


The instructor's necessarily subjective evaluation of progress in meeting course objectives at weekly lessons will determine 75% of the final grade. The jury at the end of the semester will determine the remaining 25% of the final grade. A grade of "C" will be awarded for average work. Average will usually be defined as meeting most of the syllabus and lesson requirements. A grade of "B" will be awarded for above average work. Above average will usually be defined as meeting all of the syllabus and lesson requirements and presenting a majority of well-prepared lessons. A grade of "A" requires exceptional work. To earn an "A," the student must meet all of the syllabus and lesson requirements and at least 90% of the lessons must be very well-prepared. The "A" student will have gone beyond the norm in regular effective practice, will have become knowledgeable about the music being studied and regularly demonstrate through accomplishment a desire to become a fine oboist. A grade of "D" will indicate below average. To earn this grade a student will practice erratically, present few, if any well-prepared lessons, and usually show general disinterest in the subject through words and/or actions. An "F" will reflect regular inadequate preparation and progress, inattention in matters of attendance and meeting syllabus and lesson requirements and the student's low priority for this subject in the overall curriculum 

Failure to meet any of the requirements above such as recital and master class attendance may result in the final grade being reduce 1/2 of a letter grade for each infraction. This is a serious consideration. Two events missed will mean a drop of an entire grade. 

Office hours: The instructor's office hours will be scheduled after all lessons and ensembles have been arranged. They will be posted at PFA 185. 

University Policies: http://www4.nau.edu/stulife/handbook.htm 

Dates to Note and Required Concerets:

(These vary from semester to semester)