Basic Maintenance for Orchestral Instruments

New workshop for 2020!

Keeping Orchestral Stringed Instruments in good playing condition and in the hands of young musicians keeps students practicing and participating in every-day instruction and rehearsals. After taking this course, you will be able to pass along these strategies to students who often learn instrument care and maintenance only from their teachers. Orchestral Music Educators, Department Chairs & District VAPA Coordinators will benefit by helping keep their students' stringed instruments healthy by learning, teaching and practicing the basic maintenance and preventative care outlined in this one-day workshop.

In this class, you will learn how to:
- learn all the parts/components to the instrument
- properly clean instruments
- lubricate friction areas
- keep the bridge in the right position and the right place
- check the sound post
- properly install strings
- care for your bow
- how to select strings that are best suited for your instruments
- how to help identify quality from the VSO's (Violin-Shaped-Objects!)
- and identify and prevent issues that may keep instruments out of a musician’s hands

Teaching and practicing these skills will help keep your class and ensemble on track and sounding their best, as well as to help your student musicians develop good habits, develop pride of "ownership" of caring for an instrument that will last a lifetime.

Instructor Bios


Basic Maintenance for Orchestral Instruments

  • Charles Wolf

    Mr. Charles Wolf is a retired Music Educator from California, after 35 years teaching Instrumental Music San Diego County, Orange County, and the Los Angeles City public schools. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in both Music Education and Music Performance, Master of Music Degree, a Clear-Life California Teaching Credential and a Tier 1 Administrative Credential. Charlie found that his passion for teaching music to students quickly called him to service, and the rewards of his students’ success are many, including his ensembles being invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall in Chicago, the Hawaiian Invitation and many more. Having been honored with Teacher of the Year 3 times in his respective school districts, been honored by the City of Chula Vista (California) 3 consecutive years and having been named “Orchestral Director of the Year” and twice Band Educator of the Year in San Diego County, Charlie’s awards are representative for his devotion to the Music Education of his students. Charlie was Administrator for the Summer Arts Academy in San Diego County. For 10 years, he brought together 8 individual Visual & Performing Arts components for an intensive & comprehensive session for top Honor students within the Visual & Performing Arts with some of the highest-rated VAPA Educators in San Diego County.


    Now, Charlie enjoys conducting Honor Bands & Orchestras as a means of helping young musicians receive another perspective and higher-level skills within an honor ensemble. He is a “Head Judge” in the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association where his critiques of Festivals & Marching Band Field Tournaments allow him to coach and assist other Music Educators.


    While still in High School, Charlie became the stringed instrument & bow repair technician for one of the largest music stores in Orange County, California. The store serviced many of the surrounding schools and school districts and Charlie soon became proficient in expedient and quality repairs; one specialty he enjoyed (& still does) was to re-hair bows.


    Always wanting to return to one of his first passions, Charlie owns and operates a highly successful Orchestral String Repair & Sales business called “All Four Strings”: Selling & repairing Violins, Violas, Cellos and Double Basses, along with their bows & accessories. He is a student of Lynn Armour Hannings, George Rubino, Francis Morris, Paul Wiessmeyer, Jay VandeKopple, Chuck Sazone, Mike Dadonna & Robert McIntosh and returns each summer to UNH to further is depth of understanding & techniques with repairs and restorations from the amazing teaching staff. Charlie is often invited to schools, school districts and Conferences to help Music Educators understand how to maintain a healthy orchestral instrument, and to identify when there are issues that should be addressed for repair. He also enjoys woodworking projects at home and has his beautiful wife Magdalena to thank for her love, understanding & constant support.




09:00am - 04:00pm
Durham Campus - Putnam Hall
Charles Wolf
169.00 PDT - Violin Institute