Monday, March 26, 2007
The PMC Quick Note is a weekly service provided to all area directors. It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the
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1) Move all tuning slides. Most slides become frozen from lack of use. Moving and lubricating them regularly keeps them from getting stuck. Also, stuck slides are a good indication of an instrument that is not being cleaned.
2) Unscrew the valve caps. Again, lack of use will cause them to seize up and is an indication of a dirty instrument.
3) Oil large instrument valves even if the valves move. Older brass instrument valves will often work pretty well even with no oil on them because they fit so loose. Dry, loose valves may work but will leak. Oil not only reduces wear but acts as a gasket to seal air leaks. Air leaks can cause some notes not to center or produce a fuzzy tone. Oiling the valves can often dramatically improve the way a brass instrument plays.
1) Check tenon corks for easy fit. Cork grease wears off tenon corks gradually and kids often don't realize they are using more and more force to assemble their instruments. Once a week they should think about if their instrument is getting hard to put together. If so, a little cork grease will make assembly easier and help preserve the corks.
2) Check flute head corks. Many flute students carry things like pencils inside their head joints when in the case. When the case is jostled around the pencil can tap on the head cork and may move it. Use a flute cleaning rod to check the position of the head cork. If out of position, correct it. If the cork moves easily it should be replaced next time the instrument goes to the shop for adjustment.
1) Check for a clean mouthpiece. Cleaning a mouthpiece at home is a good homework assignment. Be sure to grade the homework.
2) Visual inspection. Give the instrument a good looking over. Look for loose screws, loose braces, loose parts, torn pads, or anything that doesn't look right. It may be best for the student to check with their teacher before tightening any screws because some screws are for adjustment.
3) Clean out the case. Anything loose in the case can get lodged in an instrument or cause dents or bend keys. A quick trip to the trash can reduce the risk of having to send the instrument to the shop.
Of course, many instruments need more extensive care than listed here, but these quick and simple steps can prevent many common problems.
… is worth a pound of cure.
Contact your Palen Music Center Repairperson if you have any repair or maintenance questions.
Jerry Rowden has a bachelor degree in music education from Emporia State University and taught instrumental music in Hanover, Kansas. He graduated from repair school at Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colorado. He has been in instrument repair for the past 17 years. He is an active member of NAPBIRT (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Technicians) and participates in continuing education in the repair field. Jerry has been with Palen Music Center since 2002.
Click here to send Jerry email.
Can we assist you with anything? Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.
|Bob Hopkins and Mike Brown|
|(417) 862-2700||Burl Williams|
|Columbia||(573) 256-5555||Robert Pitts|
|Liberty||(816) 792-8301||Ken Crisp|
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