We are still seeing activity on the “Are you interested in your instrument?” discussion.
Rather than hijack that thread I will start a discussion on one of my pet peeves.
But let me apologize up front for the length of this entry: Are musicians being trained to care for their tools?
I have a family member, Masters in Jazz Performance, a keyboard player. A long time ago she asked about borrowing my violin. I evaded the situation. I once loaned her a melodica. When I found it in its open case covered in dust I asked for it back.
She recently borrowed someone’s nice Ukulele. She keeps it in the living room unprotected and ready to be kicked by those going by. I have also seen people borrow a group of recorders and carry them like a bundle of sticks.
I had to use my cane once to block a middle school student from stepping on her friend’s flute, which had been left on the floor in the middle of the band while the owner went to sing with the choir.
A couple more examples; the first year my oldest was in middle school, four years ago, there was a student using a school supplied French Horn. At the end of the day he would meet his friends near a tree. As he approached he would sling and release the horn so that it would fly to the base of the tree.
We have very good classical guitar programs at some of our middle and high schools. I was sitting in the car maybe three years ago watching a kid playing classical guitar. His friends thought it funny to toss a not so small segment of a thick twig into the guitar. The player’s reaction was to turn the guitar face down and shake the guitar. I was maybe 20 yards away and could hear the stick banging on the inside of the instrument. I got out of the car and happened to reach the group just as my son did. I held my hand out as my son said “he’s a player; he knows how to do this.”
I gently slid the stick so it was centered under the sound hole and did a quick flip, allowing the stick to fall out. The kids acted as if they had seen a miracle. Of course a classical guitar player doesn’t have to get picks out his guitar like a folk musician but I would have thought he would have known not to bang a rough object around in his guitar.
Now I not talking about folk musicians like the bass player who kicked my granadilla and ivory one-key flute while pushing between our chairs (we got pushed also). He told me to not worry about it. A flute like that probably can be replaced for $60.
I am talking about trained musicians, instrumentalist and choral, who do not seem to be much concerned when they are around other’s instruments, or their own.
Is this just something I have experienced here in Central Texas or is there a lack of training in instrument care and handling within the music schools?
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