A couple weeks ago, I went into the music store in the next town to buy reeds and find out why the repair tech had not been answering my texts.
Background, several months ago, I contacted the music store and asked about the possibility of learning instrument repair from their tech. I explained that I’m learning to repair instruments so that I can donate instruments to rural schools (and kids) in my area, and so I can help out the local schools with minor repairs here. The music store owner was more than gracious with his help, and offered to let me come in and talk with their tech for an afternoon. The tech was equally helpful, and gave me number, telling me to text him if I had any questions. Both of them have been incredibly helpful. Then, suddenly the repair tech stopped answering my texts. So I went in to talk to the owner to see if there had been a change of opinion, or something.
It turns out that the repair tech left the music shop for a job in his degree field. He was a recent college graduate, and had worked at the music store while earning his degree. He took a job out of state.
That left the music store without a tech. I offered my services to the owner. After a long conversation, and a bench test, he offered me the opportunity to do instrument repair for the shop. I go in for training on their computer tracking system next Monday. The shop owner is going to talk to the owner of one of the big music stores in the northern part of our state about having me spend some time with their lead tech for intense training.
I can only work on woodwinds, right now, but I’m looking forward to learning brass repair, too — especially since one of the schools I’m working with to donate instruments is in desperate need of low brass.
I’m super excited. Taking on this music store as a client will help me make the contacts, and fill in the gaps of knowledge to help me better serve my local area. And, of course, it will help fund my purchase of tools, supplies, and instruments I can repair and pass on to schools and kids who need them. Up until now, all my tools, supplies, and auction instruments have come from our family budget, and instruments I’ve sold on-line. At this point, I’ve donated 5 instruments, and a good bit of repair work.
I have one director who is very interested in several woodwinds. He needs at least several clarinets, a bass clarinet and maybe an alto clarinet. While the director does have a budget, it’s not a very big one, and so he’s going to buy those from me at my cost. Which works out to be significantly less than 100$ an instrument. That happens in October. Another director needs low brass. And, while I have many… MANY low brass horns from the auction I picked up a month ago, all of them need repair and some need parts. (anybody know where to buy tuba valves??)