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Teachers: How to Store Instruments for Summer

The end of school is a very busy time, we don't need to tell you that! ......concerts, graduation ceremonies, start of band camps, recording grades....summer can't come soon enough!

Before school ends you should:

1. Collect all school owned instruments and double check against your inventory.

2. Assess any fines for student caused damage.

3. Send all instruments that need repairs to your preferred repair shop.

* hint: this will be most instruments, since pads will need to be changed on woodwind

instruments and dents/cleanings on brass instruments. If your instruments are

repaired over the summer they will be in tip-top shape for next school year so you

don't have to send it in once school begins.

4. For instruments that don't need repairs, prepare them for summer storage.

5. Keep in locked, temperature controlled environments.


How to prepare instruments for summer storage


1. Clean out cases. Remove old reeds, oil, trash, sheet music, etc. and vacuum case. If a case smells, take the instrument out then use Febreeze and leave the case open to air out and dry out before putting the instrument back in for storage (suggest leaving smelly cases open and drying for a day or two)

2. Clean mouthpieces with appropriate brass or woodwind mouthpiece brush and soap & water.

3. Clean outside of case. Remove student placed stickers, cut old name tags, include a new case tag inside the case for the fall so the student can put their name and phone number so it doesn't get mixed up with other students or if it gets lost, hopefully the instrument will find it's way home.

4. Remove finger placement stickers on woodwinds and from the fretboard on stringed instruments.


1. Give the brass instruments a bath. If you are unsure of the procedure, visit our webpage where you can print cleaning instructions for each instrument.

2. Fully assemble instrument after a bath. (do not leave valves out of casings) Oil all valves, rotors and hand slides. Grease all tuning slides.

3. Wipe fingerprints off with a clean towel and Pledge furniture polish.


1. Swab the bores or inside of each instrument

2. Use powder paper on any slightly sticky pads

3. If you have invested in Key Leaves, install them on the sax keys to prop open the Eb, C# and G# keys


1. Loosen up the bow hair to prevent the bow from warping under tension

2. De-tune the instrument by loosening the strings a quarter turn.

3. Remove any shoulder rests that are still attached to the instrument. (leave the chin rest on)

4. Use a clean cloth and a string instrument polish to remove fingerprints and protect the varnish.


1. Vacuum inside of resonator boxes.

2. Wipe outside of resonator boxes with Liquid Gold furniture polish.

3. Wipe down xylophone bars with Old English furniture polish and metallophone / glockenspiel bars with Windex

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