The music program is responding in a unique way to the concerns surrounding the spread of infections. The majority of us play wind instruments. Wind instruments are not inherently dangerous when it comes to the spread of infections, but there is an increased possibility from other day-to-day activities simply due to the fact that we breathe hot moist air into our instruments. Our instruments tend to act as a barrier to the spread of illness, but they also collect whatever we breathe into it. So this blog will give you resources on how to clean your instrument.
First - If You Get Sick
Did you know: After you get sick with a respiratory illness like a cold or influenza, you should replace your toothbrush once you're healthy again?
The same is true for anything porous that goes into our mouths. This includes clarinet or saxophone reeds. Drumsticks should also be replaced, as they can carry whatever ended up on your hands. Mouthpieces of all instruments should be washed daily anyway, so that is not likely to be an issue.
Your instrument should be washed in some way on a daily basis. For brass, clarinet and saxophone players, you can simply rinse out your mouthpieces on a daily basis, and that is usually good enough. For clarinets, saxophone and flute players, you should swab your instruments daily as well. Here are a few YouTube videos that can walk you through those processes.
Full, Proper CLeaning
Full, proper cleanings don't need to happen on a weekly basis, but should be somewhat more frequent than an average teenager considers. Considering the most recent events, now is as good of a time as any.
For flutes, clarinets, and saxophones, this process isn't too challenging. You do not bathe the instruments, and rather simply use cloths, but the manner in which you do so is also important, so that while you are cleaning, you don't accidentally cause damage. Here are some videos that can help out with this (the information in the flute video is good for clarinet and saxophone players, the bari sax players get their own video though).
For Brass players, the process is a little more involved. It includes using a bathtub. In my opinion, a reasonable time frame for this type of maintenance on brass instruments is everytime there is a longer school break, such as during Christmas, Teachers' Convention, Easter, and Summer Holidays. I might recommend due to current events, however, that now is a really good time to do this too. The trumpet video also applies well to tubas and baritones.
What If You Don't Have THose Supplies?
The easiest answer: Call Long & McQuade or order online at www.long-mcquade.com. If you call Long & McQuade, you can ask for the Band Department and order your reeds, cleaning supplies, or anything else, and ask them to deliver it either directly to your house (shipping charges may apply) or directly to the school (shipping charges would not apply, but it may take up to 3 weeks). Alternatively, you can order online and have them ship it directly to your house. Either way, you don't have to go into the store, but if you'd rather, I've also provided the address here.
Clean Instruments make for Happy SOunds
Cleaning your instrument actually improves your sound quality, and therefore you sense of success. Properly maintaining your instrument will also help it last longer, and require costly repairs less often. Whether you are concerned about illness or not, a clean instrument is always the best way forward.
Mr. Windsor will provide you with some interesting hints, help, advice, and resources on this page.