This page contains answers to common questions of students and parents.

Why does my child's string instrument go out of tune so often?

During the winter season, it's common for string instruments to go out of  tune, especially cellos.  It's a "chain reaction."  As it gets colder outdoors, the heat in your house turns on.  This dries the air in your house, (lowering the humidity.)  This causes the tuning pegs to shrink, resulting in loose strings.

What can I do to prevent my child's string instrument from going out of tune?

You won't be able to prevent this problem entirely, but you can take steps to minimize the problem:
  1. Avoid leaving the instrument in cold places such as a car, closet or next to a cold wall in your house.
  2. Avoid exposure to changes in temperature or humidity as much as possible.
  3. Purchase a humidifier for your house.  Although this won't solve the problem of taking an instrument from the humid air in your house to the dry air at the bus stop, it will help to minimize the problem.  If you have a humidifier, we also recommend purchasing a hygrometer.  Aim to maintain humidity at 40%-45% during the winter months.

What should I do if a string becomes loose?

Bring the instrument to school for a music teach to tune.  Do not attempt to tighten the peg on your own unless you are a trained string player.  You will probably break a string.

I, (my child), broke a string. What should I do?

Bring the instrument to school.  We'll replace the string and ask you to reimburse us for the cost of the string.  We promise not to yell at your child, or you either.

When will my child learn to tune their string instrument on their own?

Tuning instruments requires training of the ear, training of the tuning mechanics as well development of physical strength.  We focus on ear training in the elementary years.  By the time they reach 6th or 7th grade, their physical strength and musical hearing has developed enough to begin teaching them to tune their own instruments.  By the time they reach 9th or 10th grade, they should be able to tune on their own with occasional help from the teacher.  By 11th or 12th grade, most students can tune on their own without any help.  Beginning students can perform basic tuning at home using an electronic tuner; although, instruments with loose strings still need to come school for a music teacher to fix.  See a music teacher for more details.

What should I do if the instrument has a problem over the vacation?

Contact Russo Music Center at 609-888-0620

I found an inexpensive instrument on the internet. Should i buy it?
No.  It will probably be unplayable.