INSTRUMENT CARE AND SAFETY
PREVENT DAMAGE BY FOLLOWING THESE GUIDELINES:
Storing and transporting your instrument to school:
- Place your instrument on the appropriate side, the flat side of the case or on its back away from the bridge. Cellos should be placed on the side not on the back.
- Always hold the instrument by the neck and be sure to hold securely.
- Never bang the neck of the instrument against the wall, the car, a backpack, etc.
- Always put your instrument back in the case when you are finished practicing. Please place your instrument and case in the shade on hot days. Store it at room temperature.
- GUITARS: Always lay your instrument flat on the floor gently or flat on its side in a safe place next to a chair.
- Leave your instrument and case in a safe place out of areas of traffic such as the walkway, chairs, driveways and garages. Place your instrument at school in your assigned cage. Never leave your instrument or bow on a chair or couch where someone could sit on it.
- CELLOS AND BASSES: Always lay the cello or bass on its side with the bridge facing the wall and away from doorways. Never lean the cello or bass standing in the corner or propped up. Do not leave the instrument with endpin out in the middle of the walkway. Always put the endpin back and the cello or bass in its case when you are finished practicing.
- Place your instrument in the trunk or back of the car when being transported. Never leave your instrument in the hot car where the heat can warp the wood.
- Don’t leave the instrument in the car overnight. Freezing temperatures can crack the wood. Always take your instrument out of the car as soon as you have reached your destination. Do NOT temporarily leave your instrument in the garage or near the side of a car.
When using the instrument at home or in class:
- Wash and dry your hands after eating, before playing your instrument.
- To prevent accidents, the instrument should always be played by you, the student, not a friend.
- Do not drop the instrument. Carry the bow with the tip pointing upward if walking or in rest position.
- Place the bow with its tip downward in the case. Be careful not to break the tip when taking it in and out of the case.
- Don’t touch the bow hair (horsehair) since grease on your fingers will make it black, making it unplayable.
- Always keep your instrument in your hand or under your arm when in rest position or when you are not playing. Put your instrument in the case as soon as you are finished.
- Be aware of where your supplies are (your case, rosin cloth, rosin, shoulder rest, book, etc.) when you practice in class.
- Label your instrument with a name tag and put your name on your books, sheet music, and folder, shoulder rest, music stand, rosin, etc.
- Keep your instrument in the case in a safe place NOT in the garage. Find a safe place at home(s) and at school and always keep your violin in the same place.
- Only you and you alone, not a friend, are allowed to carry your instrument to or from class.
- Be careful to strum the guitar lightly when using a pick and to use fingers whenever possible on the nylon stringed classical guitar.
- Don’t touch the violin, viola, or cello pegs. You and your parents will be responsible for replacing any broken strings.
- Don’t touch the hair on the bow. The grease from your fingers will turn the horsehair black so that you can’t get a good sound. It costs $80.00 to re-hair a bow.
- Rosin your bow before playing to get a good sound.
- Always loosen the hair of the bow when you are finished using it. Turn the turning screw away from your stomach to tighten it and toward your stomach to loosen it (Righty tighty lefty loosy).
- The bow is tight when the distance is about one pencil space between the hair and the bow stick (for violins/violas) or one index finger space between the bow stick and the hair for cello.
- Do not over-tighten the bow since that will ruin the bow hair by stretching it too tightly.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe off rosin on the strings after you play with the bow. Rosin build up on the varnish will ruin the instrument. Keep the surface of your instrument shiny and dust- free.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe underneath the bow stick (without touching the horsehair) to prevent rosin buildup on the strings. You can use Murphy’s wood oil soap to clean the wooden body (not the fingerboard).
Procedures for repair:
If a string or instrument is broken, then the student should inform the teacher immediately. If a bow or instrument needs repair, or if you damage your school instrument or bow, then show the music teacher immediately and complete the Needs Repair Form in class.
For rental instruments, parents will need to take the instrument to the music store to get the instrument or bow or strings repaired. Costs to fix damage may range anywhere from $15.00 upwards depending on the extent of the damage.
Please take the instrument to a local store to get the repair quickly done so that you will not fall behind in class.