Studying with Dr. Drewes

Most importantly: You will need to practice! The teacher is there to guide and instruct, but they can't practice for you. 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.

Philosophy: Through consistent and progressive work on the fundamentals of music, one can develop the skills to move beyond technical limitations, to performing with confidence and unlimited creativity. Among other concepts, sound quality, air, embouchure, posture, balance, intonation, rhythm, articulation, and dynamics are a few of these essential building blocks. It is also crucial to develop a sense of perspective through life experiences and through the study of history. It is important to gain a useable understanding of music theory and in our particular case, to master the art of reed making and the often neglegted mechanics of the oboe. Playing with others is crucial: duets, chamber music, large ensembles, etc. Take advantage of any performing opportunities you can. There are additionally several skills that everyone, regardless of natural talent, can work on to improve at a quicker rate and that often results in more efficient practicing. These skills are diligence, honest assessment, organization, and maintaining a positive and inquisitive attitude. Frequent listening is another foundational element to my teaching philosophy. From listening to your teacher, to listening to music by attending live concerts, regularly checking out recordings, watching videos, or even tuning into the radio... listening to other professional oboists play and speak (people doing what you want to be doing) only makes sense. YouTube and Instagram provide easy access to the playing and teaching of some of the greatest oboists in the world. 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 music making.

A note about reeds: You need a well balanced reed in order to make a good sound.  As long as you play the oboe, you will always need to have a supply of reeds.  Unfortunately, reeds do not last forever and can break easily, so it is a necessary to have more than one working reed at all times. The better the reed, the better you will sound. Beginners generally purchase reeds from their teacher or other supplier, but eventually oboists should learn to make and play on their own reeds. I am happy to teach reed making to intermediate and advanced students.

Policy: If you cannot make it to your scheduled lesson time, please notify me at least 24 hours in advance. If you do not show up to a scheduled lesson, you will still be charged.

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 UMD 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

Essential etude books

Additional etude & excerpt books

Important solos to know

Standard Concertos