Middle School Band » Instrument Care

Instrument Care

Woodwinds - Woodwinds should either use a swab (cloth with a string or large “fuzzy” that fits inside the instrument) to remove any moisture after playing.  Clarinets and saxophones should have cork grease to keep their corks easy to move. It is common for corks to wear thin after two years of playing, so, if that is the case, the instrument may need to be taken to the music store for cork replacement.  Flutes should never use any type of grease to make it easier to connect the pieces of their flute.  If it is difficult to attach the headjoint, students should carefully clean the ends with a soft, clean cloth and rubbing alcohol.


Brass - Trumpets and baritones should have valve oil and use it before playing. Trombones need some type of slide grease and should also use it before playing (you should never hear a metal against metal sound). Horns should use rotor oil on their instrument.  All slides on the brass instruments should move freely. If not, please see Mr. Cohen for slide grease.  If a tuning slide is completely stuck, then the instrument should be taken to a music store for repair.  Students should give their brass instruments a “bath” about once a month to remove any leftover particles in the instrument.  Students should take special care not to do anything that would cause a dent or ding in the instrument (especially school-owned horns) and never drop their mouthpiece, which can also dent badly.


Percussion - Percussion students must acquire a pair of Innovative Percussion IP-KW concert snare drum sticks for use in class.  Students may also opt to get a stick bag to hold their concert snare drum sticks and any other mallets that they may get in the future.  While students do not need to bring a percussion kit (drum pad and bells) to class each day, it is recommended that students retain their percussion kits in order to practice at home.



* While band teachers can perform some minor instrument repairs, most repairs must be done by a trained professional at a music store.  In order to avoid major repairs, students are encouraged to take their instruments to the music store for regular maintenance.