Caring for your instrument:
- Your instrument is like a person. It can’t be in places that are extremely hot or extremely cold without getting hurt. The varnish might melt in extreme heat, and the wood can crack in extreme cold. Keep it at a nice moderate temperature. If you are uncomfortable, it is uncomfortable.
- Your instrument is too valuable for any risky behavior! When you open the case, make sure it is sitting, right-side-up, on a stable surface like a table. Any time you close the case, always, always latch and zip it so that you never risk picking it up by the handle and having the lid fly open and your instrument fall on the floor. Always clean your instrument and put it back in the case when you aren’t using it, and be sure to clean and loosen the bow when you put it up. Never, ever leave it in the car (temperature and theft!). You and your parents are really the only ones who need to hold your instrument. If your parents want to use their discretion in allowing someone else to hold it, that is fine, but don’t pass it around among your friends and siblings without their permission.
- Your instrument will remember you! Everyone has oil and a little dirt on their fingers and hands. Make sure your hands are clean before you play your instrument. It has beautiful varnish that will very easily pick up fingerprints, so only take it up by the neck and be sure to wipe it off with a soft cloth before you put it up. Likewise, the hair on your bow has to stay clean to be able to make a sound. Don’t touch it! Keep the fingers of your bow hand on the frog.