Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Travelling With Your Violin (or viola!)

Here are a  few little logistical issues if you take your instrument with you on holidays or for other travels. As a violin teacher, I highly recommend making every effort possible to bring your instrument with you on a holiday.  Even if a student only manages to play 10 minutes a day, that little bit will help maintain your skill level. It's very hard to get back into shape after you take a practice break for more than a few days. 
  • When flying with your violin, NEVER  let your instrument go in with the rest of the large luggage.  Higher pressure, altitude, and being tossed around the cargo hold can cause irreparable damage to your instrument. Whatever the gate agent and flight attendants may say, your violin will fit in the overhead compartment. Even on the smaller planes, my violin case always fits. If the overhead compartments are full, ask if they can store your violin in the attendants' locker. Make sure you make arrangements to board the plane early to ensure that there is room in the overhead compartment.   
  • Never leave your violin in a hot car. If you're on a road trip or even just running errands around the neighborhood at home, take the violin into stores, restaurants, and rest stops with you. Heat and humidity are extremely bad for violins.
  • Create a built-in security system. When traveling with your violin, always keep it in physical contact with you. Rest your arm on it as it sits beside you. If it's on the floor, keep it between your feet or have at least one foot next to it. Accustom yourself to always being in contact with your violin, so that if you leave it somewhere or it gets picked up by someone else, you'll realize it immediately and be able to take action.
  • Insure your instrument, if you own it. Musical instrument insurance is available through a number of organizations both in Australia and abroad.

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