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How to Make Sure Your Instrument is Ready for the New School Year

It’s still hot outside, but summer for students is coming to or has already reached its end. A new school year is starting, and if you have a band student (or are a band student) the time to inspect your instrument and take it to your repair shop for any needed maintenance is now. Don’t wait until the last minute- you can be sure many others will and you’ll want to plan accordingly so your instrument is in optimal playing condition when classes begin!

When is the best time to bring in your instrument for repairs? Ideally, you should aim to visit your repair shop in June. This will ensure plenty of time before the beginning-of-school-rush, which can cause a longer turn around for repairs. You’ll also want to consider what type of repairs your instrument needs. If extensive work is required you should expect to bring the instrument sooner than if repairs needed are only minor.

Instrument in perfect working order and doesn’t need any repairs? That’s great! There are still a few things you should do before band class starts back to ensure sound quality and instrument longevity.

  1. Wash any mouthpieces and check for any damage.

  2. Clean all parts of your instrument thoroughly. Check for mold- if any has developed you should strongly consider having it removed at a professional shop with Ultra Sonic Cleaning. If you are in the Middle and North Tennessee, South Kentucky area, you can bring your instrument to Hideaway Woodwind Repair for this service! We will completely disassemble, chemically clean, and sanitize your instrument, as well as polish and grease slides, align and oil valves, replace corks, felts and springs as needed, as well as optional silver polish. Conventional chemical cleaning services are also available.

  3. Don’t forget to clean your instrument’s case! Use a hand-held vacuum to get rid of dust and dirt particles that could damage the instrument that is stored inside it. Also check carefully to make sure that no “pad bugs” (Google these at your own risk!) have gotten into the case. Do this also if you have acquired a used instrument from Ebay/Craigslist/etc. or an instrument that has been stored away in an attic for a lengthy period of time.

  4. If you are unsure whether your instrument needs repairs or not, consider bringing in your instrument for a check-up. Sometimes summer storage and or changes in temperature and humidity can cause warping or hairline cracks along seams.

  5. Lastly, be sure to add the basics of instrument care items to your back-to-school shopping list. (Supplies such as a metronome/tuner and music stand for practice at home, extra strings, drum sticks, cleaning rods, polishing clothes, extra reeds, cork grease, mouthpiece brush, etc.)

Welcome back to school and a new band season….and remember, try not to wait until the last minute if your instrument needs repairs or cleaning!


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