Instrument Maintenance and Repair

Having an instrument that works is crucial for the success of band and orchestra students. The best way to keep an instrument working is to maintain it as best as you can. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Be careful to never drop or hit your instrument against anything.
  • Always latch your case as soon as you put your instrument in.
  • Orchestra instruments-
    • They are especially fragile because they are made out of wood.
    • They are also more sensitive to heat and cold - please try to keep your instrument at room temperature at all times.
    • Do not turn the tuning pegs at the top of your instrument as you may break a string. (This applies to parents as well!)
    • Do not touch the hairs of the bow (oils and dirt from your hands or other objects cause it to stop working).
  • Band Instruments-
    • For Woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone):
      • it is very easy to bend the keys or the rods that connect them. Be careful to not hit your instrument on anything.
      • It is important that you swab out your instrument every time you play it to help keep germs away and protect the pads (under the keys).
      • It is also very important that you have a good, working reed (except flutes) at all times.
    • For Brass (trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone):
      • The valves and trombone slides are very sensitive. Try your best to keep them clean and free of dents.
      • Do not use too much oil! 1-2 drops is effective, more than that can cause dirt to build up and make it worse.
      • Make sure to empty your "water" key before you put your instrument away.
    • For Percussion:
      • The heads (top and bottom) of the snare drum can be broken. Please be sure to not hit it or drop it. The bottom is especially fragile.
      • Do not tighten any of the lugs or snares yourself.
So - what should you do if your instrument is broken?
    1. Show it to Ms. Green! She has a lot of knowledge of how to fix instruments.
    2. If Ms. Green can't fix it, it will need to be taken to a repair shop. A shop with in-store repair is highly recommended, such as Kolacny Music or Flesher-Hinton. Try your best to explain exactly how it isn't working.
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