As a performer or a music educator, the number of years it took for you to become proficient, let alone exceptional at playing a musical instrument, is considerable. Private lessons and, the thousands of hours of investment you have made practicing your instrument, both required for you to realize your abilities to express yourself at an exceptional level.
And yet, why is it that in our development to become an exceptional musician, little to none of our education is around learning how to address basic mechanical aspects of the instrument we choose to deeply invest our time and money into? What do you know about the mechanics of your instrument?
As a student at Northwestern and before, I studied with some of the absolute best teachers available but not a one of them offered me a way to learn what to do if I was playing a gig and had a pad fall out, a pad was sticking, or a spring popped out of place. The consequences to my professional pursuits—my career—if any of these things had occurred and I was unable to fix them on the spot, could have been devastating to me. Why leave them the chance and luck?
Truly, as a committed musician or educator, it makes little to no sense.
One of the reasons we developed a level 1 class for clarinet, flute and saxophone is because every single performance major and education major should have enough knowledge mechanically about their instrument to be able to overcome a basic mechanical problem on the job or for a student in a private lesson.
Designed for private lesson teachers, musicians who want to learn more about the care and maintenance of their instruments, and also the first step for those interested in exploring if becoming a master repair technician is a career option, all of our classes include 3 components typically. Live class time, private lessons and what we call work along so students can work alongside a tech online.
Our classes are online, can be completed on your schedule, and include 4 live classes, 2 private lessons, and 4 work along sessions, which you can schedule online.
Following successful completion of Level 1 Clarinet, Saxophone or Flute Repair, participants will be able to:
- Describe the basic construction and terminology of the family of instruments
- Select and use appropriate tools and materials for repairing their instrument
- Diagnose and troubleshoot repair needs using evaluation practices
- Disassemble and reassemble their instrument
- Replace pads using cork, bladder, or synthetic pads
- Apply best practices for cleaning the body and keys
- Develop accuracy and skill in working on their instrument
- Gain awareness of common problems and troubleshoot repair
Level 1 is a 3-month course; however, we allow you up to 6 months to complete it. If you dedicate yourself for 3-6 months to learning mechanically about your instrument, your investment will produce a lifetime of basic abilities that will ensure you never find yourself in a situation you can’t manage on the job or in the classroom to be able to successfully perform.