I'd like some ideas on how to improve my timing when playing music? How can I focus on what I am playing (notes and sound) - I am learning the oboe - and breathing and playing in time...thank you :-)
Play with a metronome. Find some easier songs and get a metronome, set it around 80, and play. Over and over and over. This site has some basic exercises. You might also want to get a DAW with a piano roll so you can analyze your playing (this requires a mic, though if you are just using it for time, it should be OK with a webcam mic or something (if you want to analyze the notes you'll need a better mic)). A piano roll looks like this:
The top bar shows beats and the side bar shows note. The bars in the center are durations of the notes. This might not be ideal for an oboe. Reaper is a free DAW that has a piano roll.
There is also a program called Smart Music. Having used it, it has rhythm exercises that are good for practicing. It shows you if you've hit the note and when you hit it over the actual sheet music.