Happy Monday! The garbage bag sale ends this week with orders due by the end of school Wednesday(or the next day if weather happens along). You still have time to grab those last minute orders! Remember that for every case sold, the student earns $1 to help with band fees. More information can be located on the garbage bag sale letter. Also there is a letter coming home today. It is for solo and ensemble which is a great opportunity for all students. It is flu season. Please keep instruments clean to help keep germs away. There are guidelines for cleaning each instrument in student handbooks. Jazz band has begun. Any 7th-12th grade student may participate. Rehearsals are Tuesdays from 3:15-4:15 at DCHS.
This week we will focus on valve oil, key oil, slide grease, and cork grease. Please note that for each instrument discussed, they must have these materials to keep their instrument working correctly. All are very affordable and last a very long time. We have oil and grease for sale for $3 at the school. You can also purchase online or in stores elsewhere. Weather, frequency of use(playing a lot or not), and spit are key players in how often these will be used.
Clarinets and Saxophones use cork grease. Cork grease typically comes in chap-stick style tubes. A very small amount should be applied to the cork and then smoothed in. This should be done sparingly only when the cork has dried out enough that the joints(or mouthpiece) do not connect well. Grease naturally breaks down cork, so overuse will cause the cork to crumble. Saxophones may use a tiny amount to connect the neck to the body of the saxophone similar to what brass use slide grease for.
Key oil is used on woodwinds. We typically do not recommend our students to use it without being shown how to use it properly. Pads should never come in contact with any excess moisture(spit happens) and because of this, key oil must be applied carefully.
All brass use slide grease. Slide grease comes in a chap-stick style tube. A very small amount should be applied to the slide and gently worked in. Wipe off any excess. Slides should be checked weekly for smooth movement, but that does not mean it will need grease. Only grease as needed. Trombones will use slide grease more than others because they are constantly using their slides. They may also consider slide cream.
All brass also use valve oil. A small amount should be placed on the valve and then worked in. Too much will cause build up. With regular use, an instrument may not need to be oiled for a long time, up to two weeks.
With proper use, these materials will help keep the instrument performing at its best. But, remember, just like you should have regular car oil changes, you need to give the instrument a bath occasionally to help clean out the dirty oil(spit happens). Even with regular cleanings, a tube of grease or bottle of oil should last a long time. Minimum a year or longer. It's not unusual for a container of oil to last years.