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written by Metro Music Makers instructor Chelsea Sefzik

One of the most difficult tasks for me as a teacher is finding suitable music for young boys. However, Disney has come out with some fantastic hits over the years, and I want to share with you my top five picks for a young boy’s vocal and character development. (Did you miss Chelsea’s picks for a young female voice? Check it out here!)

1. “Un Poco Loco” from Coco  

This song has so many great points that I can hardly believe it. First off, there is the obvious Spanish language. Learning to sing in another language is a big plus for any song. Second, the song has minor jumps, but it sits in middle voice. For any young male student, solidifying pitches can be hard, and this song makes it a fun task. Lastly, with so many intriguing lyrics, I think this song is one that can be played over and over again. 

Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal - Un Poco Loco (Lyrics from the movie "Coco") - YouTube

2. “The Bear Necessities” from The Jungle Book

Notably, this song has been approved for Federation competition material, and rightly so. “The Bear Necessities” addresses fundamental pitch jumps in a young singer’s voice while providing a bit of character development in the process. Definitely plug this one into your Disney playlist. 

The Bare Necessities (from The Jungle Book) - YouTube

3. “You’re Welcome” from Moana 

If you have a young singer who’s got spunk but lacking in high notes, “You’re Welcome” is going to be the perfect song for you. I placed this song right in the middle of my list because while it doesn’t have a lot of diversity in pitch, it does have a challenging rhythm, and a fun rap section to boot. With a fun, narcissistic character, this song will also be great for character development while performing. 

Dwayne Johnson - You're Welcome (From "Moana") - YouTube

4. “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from Toy Story

Most of the time, vocalists have other musical talents, and if you’ve got a young one who plays guitar, this song is perfect for pairing. While I don’t recommend vocal imitating, this song is a moderate, middle voiced song with a medium tempo. It’s great for beginners, and who doesn’t love Toy Story?!

Toy Story - You've got a friend in me - Randy Newman - Lyrics - YouTube

5. “Go The Distance” from Hercules

“Go The Distance” is such an epic and thrilling song to sing. With a dramatic feel and an invigorating key change, this song takes a young belter to the next level. Not to mention, the last note is held through a dissonant chord structure at the end, making it a difficult but rewarding accomplishment.

Hercules: Go The Distance | Sing-Along | Disney - YouTube

Bonus: Check out this ballad from the NEW Toy Story 4 movie! Dive in to your full country mode and have a lot of fun with this short, quirky song! 

The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy (From "Toy Story 4"/Official Lyric Video) - YouTube

The post Your (son’s) summer vacation Disney playlist appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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Nita McKoy-Hamm began at Metro Music Makers as a piano and voice teacher in January of 2013, and now she takes on the challenging task of keeping our creative staff on the rails. In her role as Office Manager, Nita sets up new customer accounts and coordinates lesson schedules for our instructors. She assists our customers and staff with all questions and communication, as well as any issues that arise. She also helps coordinate our events and staff training.

Nita is accustomed to working behind the scenes at Metro Music Makers, but we convinced her to share a bit of what’s going on in her world outside of Metro Music Makers.

What is your musical background/current musical endeavors?
I was a piano and voice teacher from 2000 to 2016. I have been in several showbands over the years, singing and doing choreography to songs from the 60s and 70s (complete with sequined costumes and crazy wigs from the era!). I’m hoping to get my classic rock band back together this summer, in which I play keys and sing lead.

What was the first album you ever bought?
The first album that I bought was Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and it was a real album, not a CD or a digital download! I’m dating myself a bit with this, because the album came out in 1977. It really wowed me on so many levels — so many amazing melodies and harmonies on every song. It really inspired me to work on vocals and to teach myself how to sing harmony.

Who are you listening to right now? 
Right now, I’m mostly listening to my husband’s collection of 2,000 rock albums! Yep, I said 2,000.

What musical accomplishment are you most proud of?  
Winning a talent show that was held by Rick Springfield!

What’s the latest in your world outside of music?
I’m so happy that I got married about a year ago, and he’s a musician! (software engineer by day)

When you’re not at work or performing, what are you doing? 
Spending time with my teenage stepchildren, traveling, and watching my fave team, the Atlanta Braves!

What’s the latest in your own music world?
I am hoping to do some recording with my husband in our home studio. He’s written lots of music, so we’ll start there.

The post Staff Spotlight: Nita McKoy-Hamm appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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written by Metro Music Makers instructor Chelsea Sefzik

It’s no surprise that summer is the time most of us head to Florida with Disney on our minds, but what about that Disney playlist? I’ve put together a list of my top five Disney hits that can take any young girl from just singing in the car to practicing in the car. 

1. “When Will My Life Begin?” from Tangled 

Hands down, this is my number one pick! Mandy Moore nails the natural vocal connection in this song with ease, and while I don’t encourage imitation, this is one I wouldn’t mind any young singer imitating. The song provides a balance of singing in chest voice, which includes a lot of complex text to boot, with an equally challenging head voice section at the end. If your young singer is working through tonality and jumps in her voice, this song is a perfect choice to be sung over and over again. 

Tangled-When will my life begin - YouTube

2. Reflection” from Mulan

Most of the time, young girls aren’t singing enough in their head voice. “Reflection” is a great song that packs a punch for head voice development. I often use this song for older students who come to me with less developed head voices. Not only is this great for singing multiple times in the car, it carries a dramatic text that makes any singer feel like she’s singing her heart out. 

Disney's Mulan - Reflection (Original and Full Version) - YouTube

3. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid

If you need a song that is focused on a characteristic belt and a LOT of acting, this is your golden ticket. With an incredibly descriptive text and a character worth developing, this song has definitely made my top five, and I consistently love using it. Besides character development in the acting, it also provides opportunity to characterize the singing text with different interpretations. For dramatics and hilarity, plug this one into that playlist. 

The Little Mermaid | Poor Unfortunate Souls | Disney Sing-Along - YouTube

4. Almost There” from The Princess and The Frog

I will forever love this song specifically for its style development.  With stylistic runs (coloratura passages) and a strong middle voiced tessitura, any developing belter would do well to sing this multiple times until you’re “almost there.”

Princess and the Frog | Almost There | Disney Sing-Along - YouTube

5. How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

With its challenging belt, this song is guaranteed to work a young singer’s total support. The vocal range doesn’t generally exceed a C# and barely grabs a D5 a total of two times, making it exhilarating to sing, and not detrimental. The slow vocal rise of the song makes it acceptable for a younger to sing and undoubtedly so much fun.

Auli'i Cravalho - How Far I'll Go (Official "Moana" Sing-Along) - YouTube

Bonus: Check out this Princess Power Medley sung by some of my favorite Broadway singers for your car ride! Can you guess where each song is from? 

Laura Osnes, Taylor Louderman, Desi Oakley - "The Princess Power Medley" (Broadway Princess Party) - YouTube

The post Your (daughter’s) summer vacation Disney playlist appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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1. What do you teach at Metro Music Makers?
What would you like to learn?

2. What is your first musical memory?
Partying to early 90s hiphop with my mom in the living room.

3. What was the first album you bought?
My brother and I went in on a 2-for-1 special and got Linkin Park and Backstreet Boys. I also bought Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.

4. Who are you listening to right now?
Lots of bands. I try to find a new band or track every week. My staples are always worship bands like Hillsong United. I love Snarky Puppy, Vulfpeck, The Roots and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Also anything Motown.

5. Why do you love teaching?
It’s a chance to leave a lasting impact on a student’s life. Not just through the skills of music, but also through the character and life skills it takes to be successful at music.

6. What’s the latest in your world outside of music?
I’ve been writing like crazy with a few different artist groups. Our band Cross Worship released our first single at the end of last year, and we’ve got a few more coming this year. I’m also working on projects with other artists as well. Lots of creating!

7. What’s the latest in your world outside of music?
Enjoying time with my wife and two kids! Asher is 5, and Noel is 1 year old. I love being a dad!

The post Teacher Spotlight: J.T. Lee appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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written by Michael Pagel, Metro Music Makers instructor

When I was a child, my father worked for a company that cleaned out old office spaces after the businesses had moved out. This meant he was always bringing home old telephones, printers, keyboards, and any other electronics commonly found in a 1990s office. Not all of the items he brought home worked, and those that didn’t work were given to me. Once in my hands, these electronics were opened by any means necessary. Sometimes it was by screwdriver, other times it was by hammer; either way, they were opened and with their circuit boards exposed, I would spend hours cutting off all of the parts that once made it function. These resistors, capacitors, chips and wires were collected and recycled by my father.

Opening up these electronics and seeing the circuit board with all of its components fascinated me. Although I did not understand how any of these components functioned at that age, the wonder that I gained at that age for technology and electronics has stayed with me my entire life.

This fascination of electronics, combined with my passion for music, has recently led me to a new hobby: circuit bending. This is the process of opening up virtually any electronic that makes noise and soldering new components onto the circuit board. By adding different components and switches and short-circuiting different connections, new sounds are created that were never meant to be heard. Sometimes they are heavily distorted; other times they are crazy and glitchy sounding. Circuit bending creates new instruments and sounds that have never been heard before.

My most recent and successful victim instrument was this Wiggles guitar I found at my local thrift store:

This was an absolutely amazing find and I was extremely excited to begin circuit bending it. For comparison, here is a video I found demonstrating how the guitar originally sounded:

The wiggle-guitar - YouTube

To begin, I took out the multiple screws in the back to expose the circuit board:

With the power on, I began probing the exposed solder points. I ended up finding out that if I bridged the two connections circled in red, the pitch of the guitar would increase:

 Through my research, I discovered that if I soldered two pins from a potentiometer to these points and one to the battery area’s negative terminal, I would have a knob that would alter the pitch. The potentiometer works by adjusting the amount of voltage getting through the circuit when the knob is turned. When more voltage is allowed through the circuit, the pitch goes up. When less voltage is allowed, the pitch goes down. I drilled a hole in the front of the guitar’s case, mounted the potentiometer, and soldered the wires from the potentiometer to the circuit board points:

I also added a mono ¼ inch audio jack like you would find on a real guitar. This was easily accomplished by soldering the two prongs on the jack to the two speaker terminals. I drilled a hole toward the bottom of the guitar, and mounted the jack.

Although there were certainly more bends to be discovered, I was satisfied for the time being. Once everything was in its place, the case was screwed back together. Here is a short video showcasing some of the sounds that this guitar can now make:

Wiggles Guitar Demo - YouTube

Overall, I think this turned out to be an awesome instrument, and I was very happy with the results. The over all cost for everything, including the guitar was about four dollars.

Here is a general disclaimer if you decided to try circuit bending for yourself:

1) Do not try this process on anything that plugs into the wall. Use only battery powered toys or keyboards, or else it can be dangerous. With battery powered devices, there is no risk of electric shock.

2) The older the electronic device the better. Everything past about 2005 uses extremely small components that are difficult to bend.

3) Do not attempt this on anything you are not willing to destroy. Often times during circuit bending causes the device will crash but  can be brought back to life simply by turning it off and on again. However, sometimes the components do get fried, and the device gets destroyed. This is why I only use cheap things found at thrift stores.

I hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit about the art of circuit bending. I will continue to create new instruments as I find them at the thrift store. My future projects will be more in depth, as I have only scratched the surface of what is possible.

The post The secret sounds of circuit bending appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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written by J.T. Lee, Metro Music Makers instructor

This week, I was talking to a teenage student about trying something new. He seemed pretty apprehensive about pursing a particular path in musical growth, and it got me wondering: Why? Why do so many musicians fight growth in ways that may not be the most comfortable? I think it might be because of what I like to call “the fear of me.”

It’s the idea that I’m afraid to not be great at anything I try. I’m afraid of what others will think of me. I’m afraid of how I would look if I failed, of what it would feel like to flop. In essence, I’m afraid of me, and I’m the one holding me back from growth. This is a lifelong battle we all face, and it definitely goes beyond just musical growth.

Creative types seem especially susceptible to “the fear of me.” Since most of what we do tends to be performance-based, we often take it to heart when we get negative reviews. But if we’re not careful, we can allow others’ opinions to dictate our direction in life. So what are some ways that we can overcome this fear and find new ways to push ourselves forward? Here are a few:

1. Succeed in the new simple

In order to grow, we have to try new things. In order to try new things, we have to be uncomfortable. So in order to do that, we may have to build an emotional pain tolerance. This can often be done by trying new, easy things first. Just like when we started playing our instrument, we have to learn the simple stuff first. So if you start to push yourself in a new way, start at the simplest level. If you’ve never played piano, work through a Faber book. If you’re getting into drawing, start with an entry-level class. If you want to get into a new sport, then find a coach that can help you learn the simplest mechanics of the game. Whatever your new avenue for personal growth is, start at the simplest level and find the small wins there. Then grow slowly and consistently. The more you succeed, the more you may want to try! 

2. Build a community that builds you

People may be our biggest fear antagonist, but they can also be one of the greatest aids in overcoming our fear. Having a strong community of people around you can give you a safe outlet to test new things. You may find people that are willing to join you in your new adventure, or others that have experienced it before that can lead you in the right way. You may even have people around you to help correct you when you mess up! Either way, humans weren’t made to do anything alone. Always look to find other people that will support you and encourage you, and don’t be afraid to walk away from those that won’t. Remember, communities grow and shrink, and sometime a smaller, more trusted support group may be what you need.

3. Remember who you do it for

Who are we working so hard for? Is it our audience? Is it our fans? Is it our parents, siblings, or even our boss? No. It’s for us. We grow and strive and fight for us. We work to fulfill a God-given purpose on our lives. We are each unique in our own way, and we each have a unique purpose for which we are to strive. Lean into that, and know that no one can judge you because no one else is you. You’re fighting your fear because you want to. Dig deep, and find the courage, because you deserve to succeed at anything you’re willing to fight for. I’ll never forget why I became a musician: I wanted to. And I’ll never stop, because it’s what I was made to do. I love what I do, and it’s that same conviction that will carry me into any future adventures! 

The post The fear of me: how fear of ourselves might be holding us back appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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written by Mark Grundhoefer, Metro Music Makers instructor

Last December, I was looking for creative ways to market my original music. I needed an angle to get my fans interested and engaged.  I came up with a plan to release new music every month for a whole year. We are five months into 2019 as I write this, and by the end of May, I’ll have released three EPs and two singles with seven months’ worth of new releases on the horizon. My hope is that this challenge, while ambitious, might influence or inspire YOU to write, record and possibly release some of your own music! 

Writing With a Deadline

Since going solo in 2014, I had released two albums, and a few EPs and singles to the major streaming and download services (Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Deezer, GooglePlay, YouTube and Amazon Music). All of that music was written, or at least partially conceived, while playing in different bands and projects over the years. When January of 2019 began, I had literally zero new songs written. This was the most exciting and nerve-wracking part of the challenge. It would force me to buckle down and write. I spent the first week working on a tune with a friend of mine in Norway. We sent music files back and forth with ideas and eventually wrote a song together, recorded our parts separately, mixed/mastered it, and released it immediately. Then the music began to flow. Songs were much easier to write once the floodgate of inspiration was opened. 

Perfection vs. Emotion

My first solo album took two years to write and record. Mostly because I wanted perfection. I would agonize over a solo, or tweak the mix of a song for months. Now, with a release goal in mind, my music is out there whether it’s perfect or not. Spoiler alert: it’s not perfect. My most popular song of 2019 is a simple slide guitar ballad called “Washed Away.” There is fret noise, wrong notes, hastily mic’d instruments, and it was only mixed for an afternoon. And yet it’s struck a chord with listeners and was even used as the intro/outro music for a podcast. The moral of the story is, most listeners want to hear raw emotion. They don’t care if the song is played on a 1959 Les Paul or a 2019 Fender Squier. If it is real and genuine, the listener will be moved. 



Home Sweet Home

Since the 90s, I’ve been in dozens of bands and played thousands of shows all over the country. Now, I only play live about once a month. Between wanting to spend time with my family, and having a full teaching schedule, the desire to play in a band full-time is gone (for now). My musical outlet is the time I spend writing music. Whether it’s sitting on the back porch playing acoustic guitar, cranking up the amp in my music room, or working on new tracks in the studio, I can scratch that musical itch without leaving the house five very late nights a week. 

You might be jonesing to perform but are too young to play in different concert venues. Writing music at home and recording it can be so rewarding. Not to mention, as you get older, you’ll have already written some great songs your band can use to perform. 

Collaboration in the Cloud . . . or at Home

Since file sharing over the Internet is really easy to do. I’ve managed to collaborate on three of my five releases so far this year with people all over the world. In addition to the release with my friend in Norway, I’ve also released two other songs this year with musicians in Florida and Missouri. You might have a classmate or friend who can come over to your house and work on songs. I could not complete this challenge on my own, and sometimes it’s best to write with a friend. 

I hope this inspires you. Recording and releasing music today is super simple. You have a gift, and the world would love to hear it!

The post My 2019 challenge: ambitious—and hopefully inspiring appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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Sara Longwell has worn many hats at Metro Music Makers in her seven years with our company, and she’s donning quite a few even now. In addition to teaching piano, voice and guitar, she teaches adaptive lessons on the same instruments, provides music therapy services, and serves as both the Director of People & Community and the Music Therapy Supervisor.

We sat down with Sara to get to know her better, and she was gracious to share some of her favorite musical memories and teaching experiences with us, as well as a bit of what’s going on in her world outside of music.

What is your first musical memory? 

My father has a tremendous love of music, which he passed on to me and the earliest musical memories I can conjure involve him teaching me to play a hook from The Beach Boys’ “You Still Believe in Me,” on my first little toy xylophone. I can also remember him singing “In My Room” and Paul McCartney’s “I’m A Bluebird” to put me to sleep at night.

What was the first album you ever bought? Do you still listen to it? 

The first album I ever bought for myself was the soundtrack of The Lion King on cassette tape. Do I still listen to it? In true circle of life fashion, only when I’m watching the movie with my 2-year-old.

Who are you listening to right now? What do you like about it? 

I’m a seasonal listener, and one of the things I love to listen to in the Spring is Paul Simon’s Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints albums. There’s just something ethereal and knowing but also very grounded about them. Something timelessly human. And of course, the incredible beauty of Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s vocal performances on those albums gives me chills and joy and heartache all at once, no matter how many times I hear it. Also, Paul Simon’s wordplay on these albums is so charming and clever.

Why do you love teaching? 

I love teaching because it’s this opportunity to give so many things to my students. I get to share my love and knowledge of music with them, of course, but I also get to share a lot of my life wisdom with them. There were many teachers, mentors and other non-family adults in my life that were so important to me growing up. They were paying attention. They fully accepted me the way I was. They showed me that there were trustworthy and good people in the world, and they helped make me into who I am today. The gift of having that opportunity to be one more drop in that bucket for a child is enormous.

Who inspires you as a musician, and why? 

That’s a very long list, but today I’ll say Patti Smith. Not because she has incredible musicianship or technical skill, but because of her fearlessness. I deeply admire the sense she seems to have that she belongs in any creative space she wants to occupy, whether that’s music, poetry, prose or photography. I also admire the way that she expresses herself with so little self-consciousness and is more concerned with exploring and sharing her ideas than with perfection or perception.

What musical accomplishment are you most proud of? 

Just generally, I would say it’s having had the ability to help adaptive students have the opportunity to perform alongside their peers in our recitals. It really fills my heart to give them that space and know that in that moment, the same doors are open to them as are open to any other child their age. Their unique gifts and spirit deserve to be seen, and it means a great deal to me to get to offer them that.

Tell me about one of your best moments as a teacher. 

There have been so many wonderful moments given to me in my time as a teacher. Recently, there have been a couple of times that, due to tough work schedules, I had to bring my toddler with me to a lesson. Seeing him in awe as he watched my students play, being touched by the way that my long-time students and their families were so welcoming and understanding, and just being able to have my family and their families be together was really something special. It made me think of all the times I taught lessons while I was pregnant, and how my son was hearing these same students play before he was even born.

What’s the latest in your own music world? 

I have been consulting with Teller Productions on the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s current season of Music for the Very Young. I have been using my knowledge and training as a music therapist and early childhood music educator to do some amazing work with Scottie Rowell, co-creating the concepts for the MVY shows that he’s been designing to introduce very small children to music experiences in a developmentally appropriate and engaging way. It’s been an absolute pleasure so far, and I’m really looking forward to hopefully continuing to work with him on future seasons.

What’s the latest in your world outside of music? 

We are planning to co-own and care for chickens with our amazing next-door neighbors and friends! The coop will be on their side of the property with a tunnel bridge leading to a free run on our side. Currently we’re hoping to get it all up and running this spring and summer.

The post Teacher Spotlight: Sara Longwell appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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by Metro Music Makers instructor Mark Grundhoefer

Summer is (almost) here!

It’s already been a busy spring, and I know the students, and even teachers, of Metro Music Makers are looking forward to some much needed rest and relaxation. So take some time for yourself, hit the beach, go on a road trip, hike in the mountains, or simply binge watch your favorite show. But don’t take a vacation from your music! Here are four tips to help you get the most out of your summer while still working on your music.

1) Take Lessons
Okay, this one’s obvious. But here’s the perfect opportunity for you to take full advantage of music lessons because you (and your teacher) have more time available. Up your 30 minute lesson to 45. Ask your teacher to spend a full month on songwriting. Learn some digital recording software like GarageBand. Take a few singing lessons. The sky’s the limit! today to modify or add lessons!

2) Online Lessons
If you aren’t already aware, Metro Music Makers offers online lessons. Spending the summer at the beach? Take your guitar and a laptop/tablet and meet with a teacher hundreds of miles away. Flexible hours and availability make this a perfect summer solution. And you’d be surprised how effective face to face online lessons can be.

3) Rock Band Camp
If you’ve ever enjoyed playing a song together with your teacher, imagine doing it with four or five other students in a full band setting. Rock Band Camp puts groups of students together to learn a handful of songs, work on stage presence, play new instruments, and even write songs. Name your band, make a logo, and get ready to put on a full stage show. Register now for Rock Band Camp June 3-7.

4) Musical Theatre Camp
A lot of students learn songs from famous musicals and perform them at recitals. Now it’s time to put your singing AND acting chops together for two weeks of original scripts. You’ll learn music, dialogue, choreography, set design and more in this immersive theater experience. Register now for Musical Theatre Camp July 29-August 2.

If you’re going on vacation for an extended period of time, find a great book on music theory, technique, the music business, or any other musical endeavor you’re interested in. Your teacher would be happy to recommend something. And don’t forget to load up your MP3 player with some new music for the car ride! Happy summer!

The post Take a vacation, but not from your music! appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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written by Michael Pagel, Metro Music Maker instructor

Does your trombone slide feel like it’s covered in gritty sand? Does it make a horrible grinding noise when the slide is moved? Do you have trouble moving the slide quickly and accurately? Is there a funky smell coming out of the bell when you play? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to give your trombone a thorough cleaning.

Before you begin, there are a few items you will need in order to ensure your trombone is cleaned safely and thoroughly: three large bath towels and a trombone cleaning kit. The cleaning or maintenance kit usually includes a “snake” cleaner, mouthpiece brush, microfiber cloth, tuning slide grease, trombone slide grease and a spray bottle. These items may be purchased separately or as a kit. I prefer the Alfred Music Publishing care kit, as it includes everything you need plus Superslick Slide Grease, which I prefer. Other widely used trombone slide greases include Trombotine, Slide-o-Mix, and Yamaha slide oil.

Once you have your three towels and all of your cleaning supplies, you are ready to begin the cleaning process:

  1. Lay one of your three towels flat on the bottom of a bathtub. Fill the bathtub about halfway full with lukewarm water, or at least as deep as your trombone bell is wide. Do not add any soap, and use only lukewarm water.
  2. Remove the bell section of your trombone from your case. Carefully pull the tuning slide at the crook of the bell section (at the top) all the way out. Gently submerge both pieces of the bell section in the bathtub, laying them on top of the towel. Be careful not to hit any part of the bell or tuning slide on the bathtub. Be as gentle as possible.
  3. Now remove the slide portion of the trombone, and separate the inner slide from the outer slide. Lay each half of the slide section in the tub next to the bell pieces. Again, be very careful not to hit the slide on the bathtub. Any dent in the slide will make it harder to move and will have to be removed by a professional.
  4. Lay the mouthpiece in the tub next to the other pieces.
  5. Allow the trombone pieces to soak in the bathtub for at least 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes has elapsed, remove the bell section of the trombone and run the snake cleaner through the tube and out of the bell. Do this multiple times to make sure all the gunk is removed. Dry the bell portion with the other towel and gently place on the third towel.
  7. Remove the tuning slide from the bathtub and run the snake cleaner through a few times. Dry this piece with your towel and set it on your third towel.
  8. Now remove the inner part of the slide section of the trombone from the bathtub. Carefully run the snake cleaner through both sides of the inner slide. Do this multiple times to remove all the gunk. Dry and carefully place the inner slide on your third towel.
  9. Repeat the process with the outer slide, but after snaking both sides of the outer slide, rinse it in the bathtub water a few times as well to make sure everything is clean. Dry the outside of the outer slide and place on the third towel.
  10. Lastly, clean the shank of the mouthpiece using the mouthpiece brush, rinsing in the bathtub water if necessary. Lay the mouthpiece on the third towel.

Now that your trombone is nice and clean, it is ready to be reassembled and properly lubricated:

  1. Start by greasing the tuning slide with tuning slide grease (not trombone slide grease) on both sides, and reassemble the tuning slide to the bell section.
  2. Next reassemble the outer and the inner trombone slide pieces. Apply a small amount of trombone slide grease to the bottom of both sides of the inner slide. Rub the grease with one finger over the bottom three inches of the slide. Work the grease into the rest of the slide using the outer slide. Finally, spritz some water from your spray bottle onto the inner slide.
  3. Polish each part of the outer slide and bell section with your microfiber cloth from your cleaning kit.
  4. If you plan on testing out your newly cleaned trombone, assemble the bell section to the slide section and begin practicing, otherwise put the pieces back in their case.

That’s it! Your trombone is now squeaky clean! The deep cleaning process does not need to be performed that often. I usually clean my trombone once every few months, or sooner if my slide builds up any kind of residue. The slide should be lubricated once it stops moving freely and easily when sprayed with water.  I usually lucubrate my slide every few days or more often if it is being played more than usual. Remember: always be careful with your trombone, but be especially careful when cleaning it! Have fun, and happy cleaning!

The post Trombone Cleaning, Care and Maintenance appeared first on Metro Music Makers.

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