Dr. Noelle Drewes, Assistant Professor of Oboe at Gettysburg College

Studying with Dr. Drewes

Dr. Noelle Drewes is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Oboe at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College. She also teaches from her home studio in Bowie, Maryland, with students consisting of young beginners, high schoolers, and adults. Students from Noelle's studio have been accepted into such institutions as the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, West Virginia University, and SUNY Potsdam among others. If you're interested in studying with her, please reach out via email to ndrewes@gmail.com.

Teaching Philosophy: Becoming a skilled, well rounded and versatile musician is the goal. To get there, you will need to practice! The teacher is there to guide and instruct, but they can't practice for you. Quite simply, the more effort you put in, the more you'll get out. Consistent focused work will pay off over time; don't expect immediate results, but do trust in the process.

By focusing on music fundamentals, you can develop the skills to move beyond technical limitations, to performing any solo, chamber, band, or orchestral repertoire with confidence.

Concepts I teach span from the physical (posture, emouchure, air, injury preventiion, even fitness) to the mental (focus, time management, collaborating with others, handling nerves, general mental wellness) and of course the musical (tone quality, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, intonation, relevant music theory and history) as well as the mechanical (instrument maintenance, oboe adjustements, and basic repairs).

Oboists additionally have the challenge of needing a quality well balanced reed to do just about anything well on the instrument. Reeds do not last forever, in fact they have a very short lifespan, can break easily, and are somewhat tempermental. It is therefore a necessity to understand how reeds work, to know how to make and manipulate them, and to have a supply of multiple working reeds at all times. The art of reed making is an integral part of my teaching. For many, anxiety and mystery surround reed making, and while it's true that no two pieces of cane are identical, and that reeds are most assuredly frustrating, there is nevertheless a science to reed making, in so far as there are specific steps and measurements that can be taken to help produce more consistent results and perhaps help de-mystify the reed making process a bit. I do not sell my reeds to the public, but I do offer beginners in my studio the option to buy reeds from me until they're ready to begin learning how to make their own. I offer reed making lessons to advanced high school students, all of my college students, and to any interested adult students.

Playing music with others and frequent listening are paramount! Take advantage of any performing opportunities you can: duets, chamber music, large ensembles, etc. Listen to your teacher, attend live concerts, follow oboists on social media, and check out recordings. Listening to other professional oboists play and speak as often as possible (people doing what you want to be doing) only makes sense.

I ask students to come to lessons with a positive and inquisitve attitude, to be diligent in their work, and to be both honest and kind. This mindset most often leads to the quickest improvement. You will need to practice a lot, but do not forget to get out of the practice room from time to time as well. Broadening your perspective with a variety of life experiences and interests is healthy, and can only help to enhance the depth of your music. Lastly, I implore my students to regularly record themselves and to keep an "oboe journal" to compile questions and realizations, to help track progress, and to ultimately help them become their own teacher... so that they may enjoy a lifetime of successful and enjoyable music making.

Please contact Noelle via email to inquire about lessons:


Studio Testimonials



Adult amateur, current studio member since 2016

"Noelle is a wonderful teacher. She has been so patient and encouraging while I made the transition from flute to oboe. In addition to helping me learn all aspects of the oboe step by step, she has taught me more efficient and effective practice habits. She also taught me to make reeds, so I can have an endless supply! I enjoy my lessons especially when we play duets."

student name


Current Univerity of Maryland student,
former studio member from 2014-2017

"I'm very glad I started taking lessons with Ms. Drewes. She helped me build a solid foundation for good oboe playing and reed-making. I also discovered my passion for classical music through taking lessons with her. If I didn't start lessons with Ms. Drewes, I wouldn't be where I am today!"



Music teacher and Peabody graduate,
former studio member from 2011-2016

"I would highly recommend taking lessons with Dr. Noelle Drewes. Noelle is dedicated, passionate and knowledgable about all things oboe. When I started taking lessons with Noelle, I knew very little. She gave me a strong foundation in technique and playing, as well as reed making. After studying with Noelle, I went to Peabody Conservatory where I received my Master’s in Oboe Performance under Jane Marvine. Noelle and her husband Zac both actively perform in and around D.C and are well connected to the classical music community. They are also passionate about their health, their city and the environment."


All oboists should own these supplies

Essential etude books

Additional etude & excerpt books

Important solos to know

Standard Concertos