Stories from the Studio: Flute Mystery
I love teaching because it always presents new challenges. This week, I had to put on my detective hat to solve a mystery,
A high school student came to her lesson upset about her flute. She said that she thought she had done something horrible to it and that it needed to go to the repair shop. When the student took her flute out of the case I immediately noticed that the instrument was a different color than it was last week. The flute had a lot of black tarnish all over the flute, including on the top of the keys and entire head joint. Except for the dramatic change in color, the flute was in perfect working order.
I began asking questions:
Q: Do you leave your flute out between practice sessions or do you always put it away in the case?
A: I leave it on the table in the den, assembled during the week.
Q: Do you heat your home with a wood-burning stove or have a fireplace?
I warned her that the questions might get even stranger…
Q: Have you altered your diet this week, perhaps eating more citrus fruit than normal?
A: No. I don’t really like oranges or grapefruit.
Q: Have you made a lot of eggs this week?
A: yes. We hard-boiled two batches this week.
Aha! The sulfur in the air, released by the boiling eggs was to blame. A quick buffing with a soft cloth returned her flute to shiny silver. The tarnish rubbed off remarkably easily.
If only every flute emergency were so easy to fix…
I share this with you because Easter is coming soon. Be sure to put your flute away in its case before boiling the eggs!