What is Care and Maintenance?
Just like cars, string instruments require 6 and 12 month service maintenance to ensure they continue working and moving efficiently and effectively. In conjunction with regular daily care, such as wiping strings after playing or using a humidifier when needed, instrument servicing and health checks are integral to your program’s success.
If correct maintenance is carried out on a short and long-term basis, instrument tone will be pleasant and open whilst ensuring the structural integrity of the instrument, not to mention the cost overall is often less than replacing an instrument on a long-term scale, and will likely have a higher resale value.
Curriculum for Care and Maintenance Across Australia:
We have devised our Care and Maintenance servicing workshops in line with the Education Queensland Instrumental Music Curriculum, and this Curriculum is a perfect guide for Australian schools across all states and territories.
The Queensland Curriculum spans 10 levels over 10 years, generally from Year 3 to Year 12 during school.
Each level of the Curriculum outlines specific requirements for instrument care and maintenance.
Level 1 (generally Year 3) of the Curriculum states that students must “Name and identify parts of the instrument. Simple procedures in care of the instrument”. The below points are suitable for 8 - 9 year olds whose fine motor skills are still developing, such as identifying the parts of the instrument and brain-storming their purpose, how to use a dry microfibre cloth to clean the instrument effectively, and knowing signs of when strings needing replacing.
Heading forward, Level 4 (generally Year 6) of the Curriculum states that students must “Perform simple maintenance and identify when repairs are needed.” The skills learnt in this level are appropriate for students in late primary school/early secondary school after developing their fine motor skills along with general independence established.
Examples include oiling the machine heads and fine tunes, releasing and tightening the pegs, how to re-string a peg correctly, and how to press around the holes on the belly to locate cracks.
For more details on the Curriculum, you can access it here: https://education.qld.gov.au/curriculums/Documents/instrumental-music-curriculum.pdf
Annual Care and Maintenance Workshops in Schools Australia-Wide:
We highly recommend having us visit your school annually, anywhere in Australia, for us to host Care and Maintenance servicing workshops with your students.
Each year, we empower students by undertaking these workshops, learning new skills whilst cementing skills previously learnt, so year on year, students gain more confidence and independence with their instrument maintenance.
How does this assist you as a teacher? In many ways!
Firstly, your instrument inventory will always have little helpers identifying potential structural issues before they become large ones, your students learn things that a lot of us as adults haven’t been taught in our learning, and you are following a Curriculum step by step, approved by QCAA and relevant for our varying heat and humidity conditions in Australia.
But mostly, we like to promote independence and confidence in all players - confidence in playing, performing, and maintenance.Contact our Education Sales & Services team today via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how the Education team can assist with school and education group workshops Australia wide.