Oboe Reed Making or Adjustment

Course overview | Adam offers three types of course with Cambridge Woodwind Makers: Oboe Reed Making, Oboe Reed Adjustment and a combination of the two; all are offered separately for modern, baroque and cor-anglais reeds.

Making | Participants will learn the steps and skills needed to make  their own oboe, English horn (Cor Anglais), or baroque oboe reeds. Each participant will have the opportunity to practice each step and receive guidance from the instructor. Attendees will also have the opportunity to try out the latest profiling and gouging machines from Reeds n’ Stuff, RDG, and the Rieger companies. Each participant will leave the workshop with several finished reeds.

Adjustment | Learn how to fine tune your reeds to suit your sound. In this workshop you will learn the fine details of scraping and adjusting reeds for modern or baroque oboe. Attendees will have the opportunity to finish and adjust at least five semi-finished reeds made by Adam. We will use a well defined, step by step approach to adjusting the reeds, so you can understand exactly the effect of each adjustment technique. You will also be provided with a copy of Adam’s new reed adjusting guide to take home. In addition, we will adjust some popular “store bought” profiled reeds to learn the techniques for making these playable.

Course options | Courses available include the following:

  • Modern Oboe Reed Adjustment
  • Modern Oboe Reed Making
  • Modern Oboe Reed Making & Adjustment
  • Baroque Oboe Reed Adjustment (includes cor-anglais)
  • Baroque Oboe Reed Making (includes cor-anglais)
  • Barqoue Oboe Reed Making & Adjustment (includes cor-anglais)

Please make sure you select the appropriate option for you.


Or sign up to on the waiting list at the bottom of this page.

Tutor Adam Shapiro

A seasoned performer on modern as well as baroque oboe. He has performed with the Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New Jersey Symphony and the New World Symphony orchestras, as well as with the American Bach Soloists. Adam is also a member of the Seattle 5th Avenue and Village Theater pit orchestras. Adam earned his DMA in Performance Practice from Rutgers University. As a teacher, Adam is a lecturer at the University of Washington, and maintains an active studio. He makes all his own reeds and teaches the art of reed making.

“Just a message of thanks for everyone involved in the brilliant course this weekend. It was exactly what I had hoped for. As a complete novice I wanted to make sure I started off with a good foundation to build on. Adam’s clear explanations and relaxed and generous teaching style provided just that. Making reeds seems like a black art to those of us that have never tried and now it seems possible that I might with practice actually manage to keep myself in playable reeds. It was a great weekend in lovely surroundings. Thank you.”

Oboe Reed Making with Adam Shapiro, 2016

“I really enjoyed the reed course with Adam Shapiro last weekend. I learned a great deal and enjoyed it very much – plus the spring sunshine. The classic car gathering on the Sunday was also a very interesting aside.”

Oboe Reed Making with Adam Shapiro, 2016

“Many thanks once again for giving us the opportunity of a splendid, instructional couple of days in company with Adam.”

Oboe Reed Making with Adam Shapiro, 2016

” Adam was superb, both as a teacher and a technician, and, yes, he must come back as often as he will. In the yearly world of oboe reed making two or three intensely focused w/ends are so much more beneficial than the odd half day… ”

Oboe Reed Making with Adam Shapiro, 2015

“Just a note to repeat my thanks for your outstanding reed-making course. Your encyclopaedic knowledge of all things oboe combined with your teaching skills and enthusiasm made it a most enjoyable and valuable couple of days that far exceeded my expectations. Not only did you manage simultaneously to demonstrate modern and baroque reed-making, but you also managed to give each of us 1:1 time tailored to our individual needs. I now have a clear ‘recipe’ to make reeds for my particular baroque oboe, a couple of reeds to use as inspiration and several staple suggestions to try for myself. Fantastic!….In the meantime, thanks +++ for giving so generously of your time and expertise.”

Oboe Reed Making with Adam Shapiro, 2015

Paul van der Linden, describes Adam as an experienced baroque oboe player who has researched reed making extensively and is very dedicated to the occupation. Adam inspired Paul to change his own way of making reeds, now making reeds playable in a day or two.

Oboe Reed Making with Adam Shapiro, Paul van der Linden - Baroque Oboe Maker and tutor

“Many thanks for organising the oboe reed making workshop last weekend. Adam is clearly an experienced reed maker and teacher and pitched the level of the course expertly. I went home and finished one of the reeds that we had worked on and managed to make it work reasonably well! I was absolutely delighted as I had resigned myself to finding reeds a mystery for the rest of my playing career.”

Modern Oboe Reed Making & Adjustment, April 2019

The course fee covers all the materials, use of tools and expert tuition. It also includes light refreshments and lunch.

Cost | Varies between £100 and £200 depending on the specific course.

Course duration | 1 to 2 days depending on the course variant.

Times | 10.00am – 4.00pm

Abilities | Suitable for adults and students over 16 years old; musicians, artisans and craftspeople. Particularly suitable for oboists who already do some of their own reed adjustment.

Questions | if you have any questions or comments please email us on [email protected]

What to bring | Please bring your instrument. For adjustment-only courses we suggest you bring some of your own reeds. Please also bring any reed making tools you might have; ideally a reed knife, cutting blocks, plaque and mandrel. If you don’t own these please email us and we will help you source them. You are also welcome to bring any semi-finished reeds or blanks they have made to work on together.

You will need to wear workshop appropriate clothing. Aprons and overalls are available. Remember glasses if you need them, the work involves looking at small details. If you have any tools of your own, then please bring, making sure they are marked or labelled.

Please specify whether you wish to make modern, cor anglais or baroque reeds  when booking, so we can supply the appropriate materials and tools.

Location | 6 Lintech Court, Linton, Cambridgeshire, CB21 4XN, ENGLAND

Transport | The workshop is a few miles south of Cambridge city and can be reached by the route 13 buses. Follow signs to Linton Zoo and we are on the industrial estate next door.

Accommodation |  If you are not local to Cambridge you will need to arrange your own accommodation for the duration of the course. View our accommodation page for ideas.

Participant Guidelines | Please read our participant guidelines which can be found here along with our covid-19 guidelines which are here: Cambridge Makers covid-19 guidelines - Cambridge Makers.

Booking | Your reservation on a course is not complete until payment has been received.

Photos | We may take pictures during classes which may be used on our social media feeds and later in publicity. If you wish not to be in photographs please let the tutor and staff know at the start of the class.

Insurance | We have pubic liability insurance, however personal accident insurance is obligatory for non EU participants.

Deposits | Any course with a fee of £200 or more includes a non-refundable deposit of £200.

Alternative Dates | If the dates available do not suit you it may be possible to arrange a date that does. However, we can only run an instrument making course with a minimum of two people and a Repair & Care with a minimum of three.

Upcoming Related Courses


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Waiting list - Oboe Reed Making & Adjustment
£ 0.00