School Music Educators

School Music Educators

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Without question, we have all been learning to function in highly unusual circumstances over the past number of months. As you are trying to navigate these uncharted waters, we are always here to help. Planning revised programming around the current constraints can be a daunting task, so reach out and allow us to you assist in finding the right resources and equipment to meet your needs.

Instrument Repair

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School instrument repair is one of Cosmo Music's specialties. Keep your instruments playing in top condition for your students while saving money over the long term. Our expert technicians understand the delicate balance between properly functioning school instruments and the budgets that schools must work within. We want to help you get the most out of your repair budget!

Pick-up service by one of our reps is available through the Greater Toronto Area and extensive surrounding area (alternate options are available for schools out-of-area). To make arrangements for pick up please contact our school order desk.

Keep Your School Instruments in Top Playing Condition

School Music Educators video resources are carefully curated to help keep your school instruments in top playing condition. Here you will find helpful tips on maintaining, cleaning, and troubleshooting instruments in your classroom. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to speak with our school order desk – we're here to help!

Flute Assembly and Maintenance

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

We're going to talk about how to properly assemble a flute, as well as some general maintenance tips. First, we're going to talk about the three parts of the flute. There's the head joint, the body, and the foot joint. First, we're going to attach the head joint to the body by gently twisting it in to the body, being aware to not squeeze the keys. You'll want to line up the embouchure hole with the second key. Next, you're going to want to attach the foot joint to the rest of the body. Now this is on a Yamaha flute so we have two helpful arrows to line up, again being aware of not squeezing other keys, and gently twisting it in. Now on other flutes you may not have these arrows, so a good rule is to line up the rod with the center of this key when disassembling.

Always make sure to do it in a gentle way. You never want to be forceful, because if so you could do damage to the tenons. You're always going to want to swab out the instrument after playing, as moisture in the instrument will cause the pads to deteriorate over time. A flute rod comes with every flute, and you simply insert a cotton cloth or gauze and then put it into the body of the instrument gently, and then pull it out the other side. You'll want to also do this to the foot joint and the head joint, making sure not to push too hard as there is a cork at the top.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Clarinet Assembly and Maintenance

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

We're going to talk about how to properly assemble a clarinet, as well as some general maintenance tips. First, we'll start with the four parts of the clarinet. We have the barrel, the upper joint, the lower joint, and the bell. First we're going to connect the upper and lower joints. You'll want to press down the bridge key on the upper joint and then align it with the bridge key on the lower joint. Never assemble the upper and lower joints in this fashion. As you can see, you are going to be bending the keys. Now we're going to assemble the bell and the barrel. Be aware not to squeeze the keys as you're assembling. Simply twist the bell on and do the same for the barrel again, being aware that you're not squeezing the keys.

To make sure that you've assembled the clarinet correctly, turn it over and make sure that the register key, the thumb ring, and the thumb rest are all in line with one another. If some joints are difficult to assemble, you'll need to apply a little bit of core crease. So simply apply it to the cork, not too much, and then rub it in with your thumb. This shouldn't be done every time you play the instrument. It should only be done when needed. And lastly, after you've finished playing the instrument and disassembled it, you should swab it out. You will drop the weighted end of the swab through the lower joint and then pull it through the other side. Do this for all of the other parts of the clarinet as well.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Saxophone Assembly and Maintenance

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

I'm going to talk about how to properly assemble a saxophone as well as some general maintenance tips. The saxophone is quite a bit more simplistic than the flute and clarinet as all you're really attaching is the neck to the rest of the instrument. When assembling the neck, the best place to grip the saxophone is by the bell to make sure that you're not bending any of the keys, so make sure that the neck screw is loose.

When inserting the neck, grab it by the side and do not apply pressure to the octave key, as it is easily bent. Align the octave key and then tighten the next screw. Never let your saxophone dangle. Always keep a hand on it, because the plastic clip on the strap could break and your instrument could fall to the floor. And lastly, you'll want to swab out your instrument after playing as moisture can cause the pads to deteriorate over time. Simply drop the weighted end of the swab into the bell section of your saxophone.

When packing up your instrument, make sure not to add any music or books into the case, as the case will not close properly and you will do damage to the instrument.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Freeing a Stuck Trumpet (Brass Instrument) Mouthpiece

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

One of the most common issues you will find in the classroom is that of a stuck mouthpiece. I urge you to never take pliers to the mouthpiece or try to remove it with a vice, as you could do further damage to the instrument, resulting in costly repair fees. Instead, I recommend the Bobcat Mouthpiece Puller. It's a tool that I recommend to every single music teacher, and it's one that you will use frequently and you will quickly see that it will pay for itself.

Okay, now I'm going to show you how to use the Bobcat Mouthpiece Puller. So the top portion of the mouthpiece puller fits perfectly under the cup of the mouthpiece and the bottom half has two collars, which will tighten against the shaft of the mouthpiece resting just above the lead pipe. So now I'm going to tighten the two collars. Now it is tightened. The two collars are tightened and I can start tightening the top of it. So you'll want to give about a quarter turn evenly on each side of the top of the mouthpiece, and there we go! As simple as that, the mouthpiece is free.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Valve Placement in Trumpet & Euphonium

Hi this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

Okay now I'm going to go over a common problem regarding the valve placement in a trumpet and euphonium. After oiling valves, a student may complain about an airflow blockage in their instrument, where their instrument is not making any sound. This is most likely due to two main issues - either the placement of the valve or an incorrect valve guide placement.

So these are the parts of the valve. We have the valve, piston, the valve guide, the valve spring, the valve stem, the valve felt, the top cap, and finally the finger button. There are two sides to the valve guide - a cut out side and a flat square side. Insert the square side first with the recessed part of the valve guide facing you, then turn the valve guide clockwise 90 degrees and lower into place. Next, insert the valve spring and begin reassembling the upper section of the valve, starting with screwing in the valve stem., the valve felt, the top cap, and then finally the finger button.

Okay now I'm going to go over all of the parts of a Yamaha euphonium valve. So we have the piston, the valve guide, the metal washer, the valve stem, the valve felts, the top cap, and the finger button. While this is a euphonium valve, it will also translate to baritones and tubas. While we're demonstrating on a Yamaha euphonium valve, there may be slight variation depending upon the brand but the principle is still the same.

There are three holes in the euphonium valve piston - the center hole, which the valve stem screws into. To its right is a large hole, and then the smaller hole. The nub on the bottom of the valve guide fits into this smaller hole when placed correctly. The number of the valve in this case, number one, is visible when placed incorrectly. In the larger hole, the valve number is no longer visible.

When inserting the valve back into the valve casing, be sure not to force the valve in as the valve guide has to line up with the groove inside the valve casing. First re-insert the spring, and then line up the valve guide with the correct groove in the valve casing and then tighten the top cap.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Trumpet (Brass Instrument) Assembly & Cleaning

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

Now I'm going to be disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling a brass instrument. Today I'm going to be demonstrating on a trumpet, but these techniques can be applied to any brass instrument. Okay, now I'm going to disassemble the instrument.

We'll start with the slides. Now the bottom caps. And the valves. You'll want to disassemble the valves by unscrewing the valve stem, removing the spring and the valve guide. And the only part you will want to clean is the piston itself.

Okay our next step is cleaning the instrument. So what we'll need is a tub full of warm water a little bit of dishwashing liquid and some tools. We'll need a snake, a valve brush and a mouthpiece brush. Now these are all for a trumpet but they come in various sizes depending upon the instrument. So first of all with the snake we're just going to go in all of the slides. Just pull the push the snake through and then pull it out the other side. And you'll do that for all of the slides. Now we're putting the valve brush through the casings. And finally using the mouthpiece brush for the mouthpiece.

Okay now we're going to reassemble the instrument. Make sure that all parts of the instrument are fully dry before reassembling. What we'll need is a little bit of valve oil and some slide grease. We're going to start by greasing the slides. So all you'll need is a little bit of slide grease. You can apply it with your finger or a Q-Tip if you prefer. I'm going to put it onto the main tuning slide here. You don't need too much, just a little bit. And then the inserts. And just work it in just to make sure the grease is fully distributed. And you'll do that with all the other remaining slides.

When reassembling the valves, it's important to note that each valve has its own number which corresponds to the valve casing. So apply a few drops of valve oil and valve number one going into valve casing number one. Make sure that the number is facing you as if you were playing the instrument. And then tighten the top cap, and then you're good to go. Finally reassemble the bottom caps. Give each of the valves a little twist, ensure that they're locked in place, and then you're ready to play.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Changing and Tuning a Snare Drum Head

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

Now we're going to talk about changing and tuning a new head on a snare. So, we're going to remove the old head. I've pre-loosened the tension rods. Make sure not to rotate the hoop when putting it back onto the table. Now we're going to place the new head on the drum. This is a 14-inch snare drum which is, in general, the most common size you will encounter.

First, align the logo. Then place the hoop over the drum head. Next we are going to want to hand tighten all of the tension rods. Next we are going to tighten each rod with our drum key in a crisscross pattern, making sure that you turn each tension rod the same amount. Unlike the guitar, we're not tuning our snare to a specific note, but it's rather a preference of how we want it to sound. The throw-off either raises or lowers the snare wires. When it's off [hits snare]. When raised [hits snare].

To fine-tune the snare to your preference, you can either tighten or loosen the throw pin. There are different gauges of guitar strings. There are also different kinds of drum heads. For instance, dry heads reduce overtones and control sustain. There are also other products like moon gels, which you can move around your drum until you remove unwanted frequencies.

So there are two kinds of heads on the snare drum. The batter head and the snare side head. Now the snare side head typically will say snare side head on it, and it's a much thinner material in order to accommodate for the snares. This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Stringing and Tuning an Acoustic Guitar

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

We're going to talk about how to install and tune strings on your acoustic guitar. There are a few reasons why you may need to change strings. They may be dirty, they may just be too old and have a dull sound, or you may have broken a string and decide you want to change the whole set. There are three items you'll need when changing the strings on your acoustic guitar - a string winder, wire cutters, and of course, a new set of acoustic strings. If you're unsure whether your acoustic strings are in fact acoustic strings, the bottom four will be wound.

So our first step is we will have to remove the old strings to begin. You will loosen the string at the machine head until it's slack enough to unwind it, and then you will remove the end pin using your string winder. Take out the old string and discard. Now with the strings off, this is a good opportunity to wipe down and clean the neck of the guitar. Now we're ready to restring our guitar. The gauge on these Cosmo strings is .13 to .56. .13 being the high E string and .56 being the low E string. The packaging on these strings is quite helpful, as it tells you just what the number of the string is. So sixth string would be the low E string.

Okay, we're going to insert the butt end of the low R string and guide it in with the end. Next, we're going to want to snip our string. We're probably going to want one and a half machine head lengths so we will snip it right here. After we've snipped the string, we're going to want to insert it into the hole in the machine head with just a little bit of the string sticking out. When winding, we're going to want to start at the top of the peg working our way down, ensuring that we don't overlap our winds.

Okay, now we're ready to tune up the guitar. So the guitar strings are E, A, D, G, B, and E. We'll start with low E. Then A. D. G. B. And then finally high E.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Stringing and Tuning an Electric Guitar

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

Now we're going to talk about how to re-string and tune your electric guitar. Some of the reasons why you may need to change strings on your electric guitar are they are dirty, they're old, and have a dull sound or you've broken a string and want to change the whole set. The items you'll need for changing the strings on your guitar are a string winder, wire cutters, and of course electric guitar strings. First we have to remove the old strings, and just like on the acoustic guitar, we have to loosen at the machine head. The difference from this electric is we have to pull the string through the back of the guitar. Now with all of the strings off, this is a good opportunity to wipe down the fingerboard of the guitar.

The gauge on these electric strings is 10 to 46. 10 being the high E and 46 being the low E. So with the electric guitar, we feed it through the back of the guitar. You're going to want to snip the strings at about two machine heads to ensure a proper wind.

Insert the string through the hole in the top of the machine head with just a little bit of the string sticking out when winding. You're going to want to start at the top, working your way down to the bottom ensuring there's no overlap in the winds.

Okay, now we're ready to tune up the guitar. The guitar strings are as follows - low E, A, D, G, B, and high E. First low E. Then A. Then D. G. B. And finally high E.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

Tuning a Ukulele

Hi, this is Jimmy from Cosmo Music and we're going to be going over some basic instrument maintenance tips for the classroom.

We're going to talk about how to tune soprano, tenor, and baritone ukuleles. Here we have the three ukuleles. The soprano ukulele is the most common ukulele you'll find in the classroom. There's the tenor ukulele and the baritone ukulele. The soprano and tenor are the same tuning. You have the G, C, E, and A strings, and on the baritone, it's D, G, B, and E. First we're going to start with tuning the soprano ukulele. These clip-on tuners come in very handy.

So first we start with the G. Then the C. Then the E. And then finally the A. Now we're going to tune the baritone ukulele, starting with the D. Then the G. The B. And then finally the E.

This is Jimmy from Cosmo Music. If you have any further questions, contact our repair shop or visit us at CosmoMusic.ca.

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