Back To School: Instrument Survival Guide

Keep Your Instruments In Peak Condition With Our Handy Guide
Written By: Nick Kudrys
Contributions From: Olivia Dobbs

A new school year is upon us, and for many parents who have little musicians in their life, it means it’s time to head to your local music shop to pick up the instrument your child will carry around for the rest of the year. Countless rehearsals, practice sessions, lessons, and performances can lead to an instrument that — at the end of the year — needs some tender love and care. So how do you avoid those repair costs, keep the instrument in top working condition, and provide an awesome playing experience for your little one? Easy! Our expertly crafted Back To School Instrument Survival Guide.

Maintenance Accessories

Paying a little more up front for a couple inexpensive accessories that can maintain your instrument is always a good idea. Having a cleaning cloth, some extra cork grease, and a bottle of cleaning solution definitely goes a long way. It’s always a great idea to talk with the band director to get an idea of what care and maintenance your instrument needs. Having your little musician get into the habit of using these accessories to clean and maintain the instrument after each play session is going to teach them the importance of maintenance, but also save you the hassle of having to bring it in for repairs later down the line.

Instruments are designed to have our mouths and hands put all over them. The other upside to using a cleaning product like Sterisol: fighting germs! The band season conveniently falls right around the same time as flu season. Keeping your instruments germ free keeps your family germ free!


Think about how active your child lifestyle is. They are likely running and jumping all over the place. Now imagine the $500+ instrument also running and jumping with your child. Having an excellent case that protects the instrument, rental or otherwise is a no brainer. Ask your band director or local music shop what case they would recommend for the instrument you’re using. Investing more in a case up front is a really good idea especially if the instrument is going to be a permanent part of your life. Gator makes excellent cases for all instruments, we recommend checking them out!

Playing Accessories

Having good reeds, strings, metronomes, and mouthpieces will make for a better playing experience. Buying these accessories in bulk will save you money in the long run. Talk to your band director about what brand accessories they prefer, and which ones to stay away from. For reeds we always recommend Rico. Having a Metronome in the instrument case is a great idea to keep your little one in time during practice sessions, although it’s not necessarily a requirement. We recommend the Boss DB-60. If your child is playing a string instrument, having some rosin to keep your bow gripping strong will be very helpful.

Warranties and Damage Protection

Our last nugget of advice is in regards to warranties and damage protection. Most rental instruments will come with some sort of manufacturer warranty, which means if the instrument breaks in a way that the manufacturer is liable, they will replace or fix it. It won’t cover a broken string, or a missing pad. Talking with your band director and searching how to maintain your instrument on google can save you a bit of money on damage protection warranty costs. Some music stores will likely do minor repairs at no cost! It always pays to get to know the fantastic employees at your local store.

Those are our tips to help you, and your instrument survive the school year, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow us for more music news!

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About the Author

Nick is the content coordinator for Cascio Music, a musician for 14+ years, anti-bread, pro-meat, and a really loud typer.