Warm wishes from our ensemble to yours! #iplayhere
Central Music's Favorite Stocking Stuffers!
It's that time of year again, and we've collected our favorite musical gifts in one convenient list just for you!
French Horn Hand Grip
Do you know a french horn player? A hand grip for the left hand will always keep a good solid grip on the horn. It also keeps the horn from getting sweaty when marathon practice sessions occur. It will also double as a pencil holder so one will always be ready to mark their music and the director will consider them their best friend and an honor music student!
For our aspiring percussionists, a stick bag holds sticks and mallets. Your student will be the envy of all other percussion friends, and the kids in the band will think they're awesome. The teacher will sing praises because your student will be the only one who remembers all his or her gear!
A drummer can never have too many sticks, and our Vic Firth sticks are buy one, get one free this holiday season!
Always be in tune for any rehearsal, or practice session. Your musician's playing ability will increase and all their band friends will stand in awe.
We stock combination tuner and metronomes! If who you're shopping for doesn't have either, this is a great gift!
Making music is fun! It can be even more fun when we put the lesson book down for a minute and just enjoy playing some popular music. A folio of popular jazz, holiday, or movie music can be a nice change of pace in our practice routine. Plus, grandma just loves to hear that Star Wars theme.
REEDS! Reeds chip and degrade over time, if there's one item a woodwind player will always need often, it's reeds.
Hodge Silk Swabs are a great idea for any beginning musician who hasn't gotten one yet. They can be hand washed and reused for many years!
Pad-savers are great for preserving pads after swabbing an instrument out! It gets the extra moisture left behind that the swab missed so the pads stay in good condition for a longer time. Pad-savers are one of the necessities to care for an instrument!
Mutes are wonderful gifts for any brass player (though a tuba mute might not fit in a stocking). Straight mutes are used by most any brass player, but if they already own one, cup mutes, or specialty mutes are also great!
Let's not forget the leader of the band. A nice conductor's baton is a great gift to professional and aspiring conductors alike.
Thank you for sharing why you play, Emma! #whyiplay
Caring for a Wooden Clarinet
By Tim Brennan
As a former music educator, and a parent, I would frequently remind my students that the holidays are a perfect time to make requests for additional "cool" band gear to enhance their musical experience. My students would come back after a birthday or a holiday, excited to show me their new gear. This ranged from music stands, to mutes, and sometimes, a new instrument.
A wooden clarinet is a perfect gift for the advanced clarinet student who is looking for a new challenge. Parents take note, this step will be financially significant, and proper care is vitally important.
Step-up and professional clarinets differ from student clarinets in a number of ways, but the body material of the clarinet between beginning and advanced models is the biggest difference and requires attention. Step-up and professional model clarinets are made with a wooden body, whereas student model clarinets are made with a resin/plastic body. What do we know about wood? Wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. Below we list a few guidelines to follow if you think you or your student is ready to take this step. These points are important to follow so your new wooden clarinet stays in top condition.
1. Never play your wooden clarinet when the instrument is cold. Let it warm up to room temperature before playing. Our breath is warm, if we play our wooden clarinet without letting the wood come to room temperature, the heat from our breath could potentially cause the wood to crack.
2. Never submit your clarinet to extreme temperatures. This includes marching, do not march with your wooden clarinet. (Keep the plastic bodied clarinet you started on, you'll need it for marching band).
3. There will be a break-in period with key steps to follow. Read these steps carefully:
- Play your new instrument only 15 minutes a day for the first week.
- During the second week, you can play the clarinet twice a day for 15 minutes each.
- Gradually increase your playing time until you are at normal practice time.
The longer the break-in time, the less likely your new wooden clarinet will crack.
4. During the winter months, if you live in an area with cold weather, the chance of cracking your wooden clarinet is greater due to the drier air. Purchasing a humidifier to keep in the case will help a great deal. We carry a product called a "Dampit," which is a humidifier made for wooden instruments. The Dampit works to maintain the humidity levels in your instrument case.
5. Be sure to swab your wooden clarinet after each play session, and if you run into a marathon practice session, swab periodically.
Following these simple steps will ensure you have success and are able to enjoy your new instrument to the fullest. It only takes a small amount of care to keep your new instrument looking and sounding it's best for years to come. Your friends and family will be amazed and truly excited to hear your wonderful new sound!
Neural benefits of musical experience continue throughout the lifespan.
- Parbery-Clark A, A.S., Kraus N., 2014