Brenda Schuman-Post, Oboe

San Francisco Bay Area-based musician, educator, lecturer, weddings, concerts, oboe lessons

Homage to Ronald Roseman

I was 18 when I began studying with Ronald Roseman. In 7 years of weekly lessons he was my guide, my advisor, my psychologist, my behavioral councilor, my inspiration, my mentor, my role model, my friend. He taught me a really cool way to peel an orange using a paring knife. Sometimes during a lesson he'd be preoccupied with a commitment he'd made to make dinner. He taught me how to make soup.

Oh! And he taught me how to play the oboe.

I was a challenging student. We talked about that. Ronnie believed in me. He said I had a flair for being a soloist. He figured me out well before I did. He was nurturing, positive, and honest, even when I was driving him crazy. If I was troubled in any way, he knew. He'd guide me through emotional obstacles.

Ronald Roseman saved my life.

And he taught me how to play the oboe.

 He bestowed an understanding of the interconnectedness of spirituality, music and reality. He used his influence to get me full scholarships to two different graduate schools - both of which I attended and I earned two separate masters degrees in music.

His was a life in chamber music and he transmitted details with love. Beauty above all - and extended techniques, and baroque music and contemporary music. And everything in between and beyond. When I became interested in branching out musically, in being innovative and daring, he neither questioned my intentions nor expressed surprise. My adventures into American blue grass, improvisation, jazz, ethnic oboes and their music, all were encouraged. It was Ronnie who suggested that I interview audiences to learn how people feel about the sound of the oboe. That was the initial research that ultimately led to a CD and lecture-performance: Oboes of the World. So accepting and embracing was he, that I never really knew that I was doing anything unusual until years later!

He called me "the infamous Brenda Schuman-Post"

And he taught me how to play the oboe.

I was fortunate to study in his home. The living room, where lessons took place, was dominated by a painting by Okkyu Kim-Roseman. I'd study that painting at every opportunity. It offered a soothing, exciting, mysterious resting-place - a wondrous haven for study and escape. That painting had an important influence on both my development as a person and as a musician. Okkyu - your generosity, kindness, tolerance and trust of me - with your home when I lived there briefly one summer, with your children, when I served as your babysitter, and with your general encouragement and friendship, was and is deeply appreciated.

"Rabbi Leib, son of Sarah, who himself would wander the course of rivers in order to enlighten and liberate the people he would meet, said of his teacher the great Maggid of Mezeritch: "I came to study with the Great Maggid, not to learn Torah from him, but to watch him tie and untie his felt shoelaces"

I believe that those of us who studied with Ronnie have always proceeded in our teaching, practice and performance with the attitude of kindness, caring, sensitivity, and positive nurturing, that he exemplified. With his death, I feel that it is time to turn up the dimmer switch. Increase the brightness of the light. Promote on a larger scale the values that he instilled. We can bond together on a psychic level to influence, promote, and nourish the oboe playing community towards a more harmonious and inspired approach to the oboe, to music and to life.