Musicians ask their audience to listen. This is an awesome experience and responsibility. You are communicating powerful ideas and emotions without words. One teacher of mine said that "if you want the audience to really listen, you have to make each note very interesting-both alone and in combination with others". Listening in particular ways stretches our ability to be interesting, and to pick up musical nuances, styles, and interpretations that can be transferred that into our own playing.
Listen to music, all kinds of music. Listen to what tickles your ear. Listen to what soothes you, and what makes you feel nervous or excited. To the extent your training allows you, dig deeper into your analysis. What about tone? What about dynamics? What about inflection? What about vibrato? What about the composition of the group? What about the musical genre? This is fundamental ear training.
Below are some samples of professional oboists in performance. They are each great examples of the glory of oboe, and how smart we are to choose it to enrich our own musical lives.
The ballet begins and ends with this glorious solo. I can't get enough of it.
Gorgeous oboe playing in more European style.
Beautiful, expressive, sonorous.
Alex Klein plays the second movement, demonstrating the American preferred tonal color.
I love the richness of Izotov's playing. For me, he combines the best of the American and European styles.
An oboe is not a tuba, but you will find that it is a strenuous instrument and has its own challenges. This section requires a lifetime of dedication.
Scales and arpeggios are boring, but they are building blocks. Rhythms, dynamics, articulations. It all has to be at your fingertips, and part of your DNA.
Master your instrument one step at a time. A hour or more a day is preferred but not always practical. It is better to really focus for 30-45 minutes than to be haphazard for 2 hours. It is also much better to practice every day, on a schedule, than to cram for your lesson the day before, or not at all.
Learn how to play in a group. Listen to others. Build skills. Don't worry whether you are first or second chair. There is something to be learned in either place, and it doesn't define you.