Keeping one's instrument in optimum condition should be one of the top priorities for both professional musicians and music students. With our diligent practicing and playing schedule (hopefully...), our instruments' mechanism can only withstand so much. Keys will bend, pads will wear out, screws will become loose, and various debris will collect even with regular cleaning and maintenance. For younger students who do not take proper care of their instruments, the problems are often exacerbated. To give a few examples:
- the instrument's performance will be drastically reduced
- lead to far serious issues such as crack, etc.
- difficulties in execution and inconsistent intonation
- unsanitary and disturbing accumulation of things you don't want to see
- frustration and much hinderance to expressing one's artistic vision
- bad habits will form by struggling with instruments that are not finely tuned
We already have enough to worry about aside from the mechanical issues of our instruments. Therefore, It is highly recommended that everyone should take his/her instruments to a professional repairperson (hopefully a specialist) at least once or twice a year. It can be challenging to find a time to send off the instrument for repair or overhaul. The costs associated with repair/adjustment also can be a reason that some people (especially students) put it off.
Since few years ago, I have partnered with Onks Woodwind Specialist in Smyrna, TN to provide my studio a bit easier access to a skilled repairman. Jonathan Copepland, the company's clarinet specialist visit TTU each semester to work on various adjustment and minor repair works for our students. After signing up for time slots, students can drop off their instruments to Jonathan who works on them throughout the day in our music building. He also gives each students personalized advices and helps them to schedule a full overhaul if necessary. Since we bundle this together, students can enjoy the streamlined repair service and relatively affordable costs (most works are done in around 30 minutes, and their instruments play far better in the end).
Many thanks to Jonathan for his visit, and we all look forward to seeing him again in April!