Postcards from Camp: Instrument Maintenance Workshop

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Yaira and I finally got to knock something off our bucket list the other day, learning how to do some simple maintenance for our fleet of Music Haven student instruments! The wonderful Kevin Chapin of Chapin Violins - a generous partner and friend of Music Haven, and a neighbor at Erector Square - took the time to teach Yaira and I some simple maintenance techniques, including setting and adjusting sound posts on violins, violas, and cellos. With a long, slender, spoon shaped tool, Yaira and I each learned and then practiced the careful art of trying to stand up the small wooden dowel (or sound post) inside the body of the instrument, with little room to navigate and even less room for error! The subtle adjustments to where the sound post is placed inside the violin can have a huge effect on the sound of an instrument, giving it more projection and a clearer sound. A Sound post falling over is also one of the most frequently occurring accidents student instruments suffer, since all it takes is a inadvertent bump in the car, school bus, or sibling to knock it loose.

We look forward to learning more about general instrument repairs, and thank you again to Kevin for his time and generosity and to the FJ Foundation for making this all possible!

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