Maybe you don’t need this list. But maybe your students do!

Things to have in your cello case:

1) spare bow and rosin

2) at least a good spare A (whole set is ideal, but pricey, I know)

3) nail clippers

4) ibuprofen for headaches and sore arms

5) fabric band-aids (plastic rattles against the fingerboard and you can’t feel the instrument as much)

6) rock stop

7) lint-free cloth

8) ear plugs

9) business cards, if you have them

10) a few dollar bills and a dollar in quarters for vending machines, parking meters, and pay phones

11) emergency granola/energy bar for random starvation at foodless places

12) a few mechanical pencils with good erasers on them

There is a sting to each of these points, for, at one point or another, I have been in dire need of an item, and have suffered in its absence. I once even forgot to put my instrument in my case! I was a little kid, but it was mortifying. Same thing with keeping an extra bow parked in there. I know seasoned professionals who have managed to leave their #1 bow behind…it’s easy to do. Being prepared also looks good to the people around you. More than talent or chops, the people who hire us want to know that we are dependable. Even if you’re a middle or high schooler, if you’re a serious musician, surrounded by other serious musicians, the people you play with now will be around for the rest of your career. Make the most of every rehearsal and concert. Each one is an opportunity to make a good impression. Show up on time, or better, early. Then you can relax, have a cup of coffee, and enjoy the fruits of your preparation.