MAINTENANCE

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Instrument Maintenance

MAINTENANCE

1. Use a clean, soft cloth to remove rosin from the strings, instrument top and sides, and stick of the bow, every time before putting away the instrument. Never use a scouring pad or steel wool to clean strings. Never use household polishes such as waxes, lemon oil, linseed oil or other polishes on your instrument

2. Loosen the bow hair until it touches the stick.  Never loosen the bow so much as to allow the frog to come off of the bow stick. Never touch the bow hair to any object except the violin string.

3.  Always remove any sponge or shoulder pad before you put your instrument in the case.

4. Place the instrument and bow in its case when not in use. Cellists should put bow in case after the instrument is in the case. Use the cleaning cloth to cover the instrument and close the case securely. (Cellists should remove the bow first when taking the instrument out of the case.)DO NOT expose your instrument to extreme temperature and or humidity (i.e. car interiors on a sunny day, radiators, air vents, windows, damp basements, direct sunlight, steamy bathrooms).

6. Never leave your instrument in the car, always take it with you when you leave the vehicle.

7. DO NOT tighten the bow so much that it removes the convex curve in the stick when playing.

8. NEVER TOUCH THE BOW HAIR WITH YOUR FINGERS!

9. Make sure there is a right angle from the back of the bridge to the top of the instrument. (The bridge will look like it is tilted slightly towards the tailpiece.) If the bridge tilts towards the fingerboard, it can result in damage to both the bridge and the instrument.

10. Fine Tuners should NOT be turned all the way down. If the Fine Tuner is turned all the way down, it may scratch or gouge the top of the violin.  Ask your teacher to loosen the screws on the fine tuners and re-tune your instrument every time the season changes.

11. Never loosen all of the strings or let your instrument become extremely out of tune. Loss of tension on you instrument can cause your bridge on your instrument and or sound post inside the instrument to fall down.  If this happens take your instrument to a qualified repair person or the shop were you purchased or rented the instrument.

12.  NEVER put music, assignments, extra paper, notes, letters, food, or shoulder rests in your case with your instrument.

THINGS TO AVOID

1. Never hit the instrument sharply, even while it is in its case.  (No matter how much you want to use it as a baseball bat.)

2. Never touch the hair of the bow, or allow anything to come into contact with the hair, with the exception of rosin.

3. Do not put anything in the case with the instrument. This means no music under the instrument, no shoulder rests over the scroll, no rock-stops under the tailpiece. (Except cases which are designed to carry music, and some violin and viola cases designed to hold shoulder rests.)

4. Do not allow the instrument to get too hot or too cold. DO NOT EVER LEAVE THE INSTRUMENT IN A CLOSED AUTOMOBILE which is subject to the rays of the sun, or near an air conditioner/ vent.  Heat may cause your instrument to completely unglued!

5. No one but the string student, parent and teacher should handle the instrument, bow and case. Brothers and sisters should NOT be allowed to handle the instrument at any time.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Everyone should have a name tag attached to the outside of their instrument case. The tag should include name, address, phone number of the parent.  This way if it is lost the caller (a stranger) will be asking for Mom or Dad rather than your child.

2. Bus riders should request to sit in the front seat or in first few seats of the bus with their instrument.  Cellists should never ride the bus because they are usually unable to clearly see the steps of the bus while carrying an instrument and a book bag.

3. Insure your instrument as a separately scheduled item for all perils with no deductible on your homeowners insurance.   

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CARE OF YOUR INSTRUMENT, PLEASE ASK YOUR TEACHER OR CHECK WITH A VIOLIN SHOP IN YOUR AREA.