Take Two for October 1, 2013

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

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.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

Enrique Beruman, a piano repair technician, tests the action on a piano keyboard.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

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.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

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.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

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.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

A baritone rests on the table of a technician in the early stages of the repair process.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

Broken bows rest in a pile on a table at the Music Repair Shop.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

Edwin Barer is one of two string instrument repair technicians remaining at Los Angeles Unified School District's Music Repair Shop.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

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.

LAUSD Music Repair Shop

Grant Slater/KPCC

Saxophones broken in other eras hang on the wall near the entrance to the district's downtown Music Repair Shop.


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.


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