Private Oboe and Bassoon Instruction with Zach Millwood

Private oboe and bassoon instruction with Tiger Reeds’s teacher and reedmaker, Zach Millwood.

Hear Tiger Reeds in action and meet the teacher!

Wonder what to ask a teacher when evaluating him?  Here’s a comprehensive list of questions:  How do I select the best private music teacher?

Looking for consistent, professional reeds?  Purchase and view the options on the Bassoon and Oboe Reeds page.

Zach Millwood was the best double reed instructor I have had in my 20 years of middle school band directing. Zach is not just a fantastic player but a very motivational teacher as well. My students always looked forward to their lessons and improved their musical skills consistently while working with him. Zach was always professional, reliable and a great people person. He was able to relate to and teach students of all ability levels. He also provided us with the best handmade reeds we could find!

Melissa Danforth, head band director, Highland Middle School, Fort Worth, Texas

Zach Millwood’s students have done incredibly well in our region of Texas.  They are noticeably more prepared and have more developed tone than the majority of students with which they compete.

David Rollins, Henderson State University, Director of Bands (Retired)

Zach’s enthusiasm for teaching and for music is extraordinary.  His excitement is contagious, and his students succeed at a high level because of that.  His professionalism is outstanding.  He has a work ethic that is amazing, and his students feed off it and strive to be the best they can be because of it.

Scott McClean, band director, Creekview Middle School, Fort Worth, Texas

Zach Millwood is an incredibly talented double reed instructor. My oboes and bassoons were excited to go to their lessons every week and showed consistent improvement under his direction. His reed making skills are fantastic and Zach’s dedication to the music profession and helping others is obvious! I would highly recommend Zach Millwood to anyone interested in double reed lessons.

Melissa Danforth, head band director, Highland Middle School, Fort Worth, Texas

Zach Millwood displays determination, passion, and a desire to grow to the highest extent in every way possible.  Mr. Millwood was determined to inspire and educate my students to not only be fantastic musicians, but overall better individuals. His passion for music and seeing students learn is contagious.  The energy he brings to the classroom, paired with his vast knowledge is what any director searches for in a lesson teacher, but rarely finds.  He strives to be better in everything he does each day, and never settles for “good enough.”

Hannah Harvey, Assistant Band Director, Chisholm Ridge High School, Fort Worth, Texas

Typical students experience:

  • Success at Region/Area/clinic band auditions — many students have achieved the top band with ease, and all current students have progressed to their states’ Solo & Ensemble contests.
  • A deep love of music, performing, and learning — my #1 priority
  • Comfort simultaneously handling details and “the big picture”
  • The excitement and confidence to tackle very difficult music

Learning to play the oboe or bassoon requires a lot of help. Fingerings are complex (bassoon is the only instrument aside from the piano to use all ten fingers, and the oboe’s fingerings are challenging to play quickly).  Reeds change drastically.  Learning to use your air well and even assembling the instrument correctly require a good teacher. Not surprisingly, “The only thing worse than having no oboe or bassoon is having a bad one.” Patient, knowledgeable help is hard to find.

I produce handmade reeds in house. For the best results, start out with an excellent handmade reed.  Check out Tiger Reeds — they’re not ‘cheap’; they’re excellent value. Avoid machine-made, mass produced 2×4, buzzy monstrosities — check out the reed options and try one.  Visit the Reeds page to purchase. Still unsure?  Don’t take my word for it; read the glowing Reviews.

My teaching experience: From 1998 to present I have instructed approximately 150 private bassoon, oboe, and flute students in Knoxville, TN, Cincinnati, OH, and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. I deeply love teaching, and my hardest-working students achieve incredible feats and win great rewards for their investments. Don’t take my word for it; read the testimonials from fellow teachers and contest judges at the top of the page. My students not only play incredibly in their own right; they win top chairs at Region/Area and Junior/Senior clinic bands, receive I’s at Solo and Ensemble contests, and have attended the Booker T. Washington School for the Arts (Dallas), the University of North Texas, Texas Christian University, the University of Tennessee, and have earned scholarships for college study.

Local instruction: In the Knoxville, Maryville, and Alcoa, Tennessee areas. Convenient, easy to find, and more relaxing than in a strange new environment.  I enjoy the flexibility, and you enjoy the lessons more.  Talk to your band director about having lessons at your school, and contact me via the Contact page.

A typical lesson: 1-5 minutes: Check-in, mentally engage 15 minutes: Scale gamuts, technique warmup 15-30 minutes: Etudes, sightreading 15-30 minutes: Solos, new music 5 minutes left: Questions, repeat assignment, have a good week!

Students study:

  • Scale gamuts (you will be given these)
  • Technical/musical etude
    • Oboe – Gekeler/Barrett, Ferling, Vade Mecum
    • Bassoon – Weissenborn, Milde, Orefici
  • Sightreading game (composed weekly) — a challenging sightreading etude featuring a hidden familiar melody; play the music correctly and identify the tune
  • Solo material
  • Orchestral excerpts (beautiful/technical solos from major orchestra pieces)

Price/payment: My rates are very reasonable for the focus and attention you will receive both during the lesson and throughout the week.  In addition to your lesson time slot, I am available anytime during the week for questions and advice via text, email, or phone. Slots of 45 and 60 minutes are available.  My most successful students by far have consistently studied at the 60-minute length. Lessons are paid monthly — no long-term contract. Most students study all 12 months.  Shorter schedules are an option.

Further information?  Contact me via the Contact page.

Looking for reeds?  Purchase and view the options on the Bassoon and Oboe Reeds page (or click the reeds below).

American scrape oboe reed windows   Tiger Reeds handmade bassoon reed