Well, summer is right around the corner and both students and teachers are taking a big sigh of relief. They’ve made it another year which means lockers are getting cleaned out and everyone’s gearing up for their last band concert of the year.
For those rainy-day instrumentalists, now is a good time to prep your horn for summer storage.
Get a rag and take your horn apart. Wipe down the pistons, swab out the piston casings, and get as much of the spit off the horn as possible. All moisture wants to do is break down the brass. Also, it’s best to store a brass instrument with dry pistons since the valve oil tends to coagulate and make them sticky when left on for a long time. Now, wipe off all the old slide grease and apply new grease. Voila. Now your brass instrument can hibernate for the summer.
For you woodwind players, use that swab and be sure to get all the moisture out of the horn and give it a good wipe-down. It wouldn’t hurt to check your case for moisture too, and if there is some, leave it open and let it dry out. Voila. Now your woodwind can bed down for the summer.
Truth Is. . .
No instrument should sit for long periods of time. It’s gotta get lonely just sitting in the closet or under your bed. I totally understand that summertime has endless possibilities of fun stuff to do, but don’t let that get in the way of a little practicing. Take your instrument to the park, on your camping trip, or to the next barbecue; music can go anywhere. Plus, how cool would it be to show the class or band teacher how much you have improved over the summer! Take the opportunity to learn a new song and blow your friends away when you see them after the summer break.
Go from fourth chair to first.
All it takes is practice.