The following weeks of In-Depth have been going slow. After changing mentors, it took some time to schedule the first meetup. During the time where I was waiting for Massullo Music’s reply, I did some research at my own leisure. I found various instrument maintenance videos blogs that provided repair information.

It was also fun learning the origins and production process of instruments to gain a better understanding of their structures and past stories.

Since it was my first meeting with Sandro on Friday, my goal was to get familiar with the work environment, the other technicians, and the general flow of his workday. When I arrived at the shop, I was happy to recognize some tools and machines that I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t first go to Long & McQuade.

  • Compressed air tool
  • Acid baths
  • Mandrels & metal balls
  • Felt pads
  • Sheets of cork and felt
  • Small gas torches
  • Dent hammers

Although my time at Long & McQuade was short, I was still able to learn a lot.

Unlike Long & McQuade who are known for student rentals and quick fixes, Massullo Music focuses on the maintenance and repairs of professional musician instruments. While at the shop, a symphony orchestra oboe player came in and discussed her instrument’s water collection problem with the technicians. Their conversation was very hard to follow and involved a lot of terminologies I didn’t understand, most of which were about the parts of an oboe (which I do not play). While Sandro was taking apart the instrument, I was told how plastic easily condenses moisture but putting oil helps repel the water. I was also able to watch one of the technicians hammer out dents on a tuba using the dent hammer and various sized metal balls.

Most of Massullo Music’s customer instruments are high quality, professional, treasured, thousand dollar works of pure beauty of which I do not have the experience nor the courage to help work on. So to gain hands-on experience, I will be working on their rentals and possibly some minor repairs on instruments they trust me with. For my next meeting, I will focus on hands-on work and get the chance to consult with Sandro about my flute’s sticky key problem.

Here are the pictures:


Ed de Bono connections:

Through our first meeting, we were able to connect over what it means and the significance of being an instrument repair technician. We talked about the joys of seeing the customer’s face as they receive their fixed instrument and being able to bring the beauty back to a broken instrument. During my LACE interview with my mentor, I asked questions on what made him peruse his career and how he finds gratification in his job. During our meeting, we brought those topics up again and discussed our interests and goals together. I said how people don’t usually think of instrument repair as a career when looking at music-related jobs. One of my goals is to shine light on this profession while acknowledging the pros and cons of other’s opinions.

I look forward to seeing the progression of my In-Depth project.