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LA Unified's backlog of broken musical instruments 'like a war scene'




Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Enrique Beruman, a piano repair technician, tests the action on a piano keyboard.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Enrique Beruman fixes the action of the keys on dismantled piano. He is one of three piano technicians on staff at the Music Repair Shop.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Andrew Palkowitz is one of two brass repair technicians on staff at the Music Repair Shop. He cleans a trumpet after giving it an acid bath in the shop's downtown warehouse.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Michael Dubkin worked in the school district's Music Repair Shop for 17 years. He retired in 2011. Since the district has no woodwind technicians, he takes instruments home and repairs them on a freelance basis.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
A baritone rests on the table of a technician in the early stages of the repair process.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Broken bows rest in a pile on a table at the Music Repair Shop.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Edwin Barer is one of two string instrument repair technicians remaining at Los Angeles Unified School District's Music Repair Shop.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
A tray of floppy disks, one reading "PIANO RECORDS" on the label, sits next to a computer in the main hall of the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Grant Slater/KPCC
Steve Bagmanyan, a piano repair technician tunes a Steinway and Sons piano at the LAUSD Music Repair Shop.
Saxophones broken in other eras hang on the wall near the entrance to the district's downtown Music Repair Shop.
Grant Slater/KPCC


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Getting supplies is a yearly ritual for students heading back to school. For music teachers, that can mean fixing up an old trombone or re-stringing a cello. But as KPCC's Mary Plummer reports, the process hasn't been easy this fall at LA Unified.