Canby Music Repair Artists Give Instruments of All Varieties a New Lease on Life

While instrument repairs have always been a part of Canby Music‘s repertoire, the instrument and music supply store has in recent years established itself as the premier repair shop in the local area with its team of highly experienced, friendly and professional technicians.

“We’ve built a pretty good repair shop over here, and it’s really been growing and expanding, both in terms of volume and variety,” said Canby Music owner Brian Haines. “We’re doing more and more instruments and, you know, we do everything: brass, woodwinds, orchestral and, of course, guitars and all that stuff.”

That was one of the biggest pluses that came with the store’s crosstown move to a larger location three years ago: an expansive repair workshop upstairs for most instruments, as well as a smaller room on the main floor dedicated to repairing guitars and other string instruments.

Repair wizard Nathan Doty has long been the team’s go-to guru when it came to any variety of instrument fixes and troubleshooting, but recently, Canby Music’s Lana Szenasi was also promoted to oversee the store’s rental fleet.

There are two sides to the store’s repair shop: repairs for privately owned instruments that customers bring to Canby Music, and repairs and maintenance for its fleet of rental instruments, which primarily serves students. (Repairs and maintenance are included in the store’s rental fees.)

Photos by Tyler Francke.
Photos by Tyler Francke.

Szenasi has been enjoying the new role, she said.

“I love working with the students to make sure they have everything they need to be successful,” she said. “We do all of the cleaning, servicing, maintenance and repairs, while also helping educate about how they can take care of their instruments. But mainly, it lets them focus on learning and growing as musicians.”

Doty has also appreciated the backup.

“It’s been very nice, and she’s been doing a great job with our fleet,” he said. “We’ve been doing more rentals than ever before, and that means more repairs. It’s just a really great time to have our rental fleet in good working order.”

Doty laughs when asked for tips for aspiring musicians about how to keep their instruments in tip-top condition.

Photos by Tyler Francke.
Photos by Tyler Francke.

“It should go without saying, but don’t drop your instruments,” he said. “Just be careful with them, you know? We’ve had quite a few instruments come in that kids have accidentally sat on.”

Another thing that should go without saying? The only thing that should go in your brass and woodwind instruments is, well, air. After more than three years working at a busy music store and instrument repair shop, Doty’s has seen and cleaned all manner of debris out of trombones and tubas.

Is there a limit to what the Canby Music repair store can do? According to Doty and Szenasi, not really.

“In general, everything’s repairable,” he explained. “It just matters how much you want to put into it. We do all kinds of repairs here: dent work, acid cleanings, repads, full overhauls, making things play better than they did when they were new.”

The length of repair time depends on the amount of work needed and the team’s current workload, but in general spans no more than one or two weeks. Sometimes, the repairs can be completed in a day or two.

Photos by Tyler Francke.
Photos by Tyler Francke.

“We’re always trying to get students back their instruments as quickly as possible, so they don’t have to miss class,” Doty explained.

Canby Music’s free repairs and servicing make its rental program a great option for parents and students that aren’t ready to commit to an expensive purchase quite yet.

“It’s almost like a no-strings-attached thing,” Szenasi said. “You could bring it in whenever you want and just say, ‘I don’t wanna play this anymore; I’m returning it.’ There are no extra fees or obligations that you would face.”

The other great thing about the store’s rental program is that each month’s rent gets credited toward the final balance of the instrument if the customer does decide to purchase it.

“It’s completely risk-free, for musicians who are just starting out or students who may want to try multiple instruments,” she said. The store also offers early pay-off discounts, she added.

Photos by Tyler Francke.

The store maintains good relationships with more than a dozen school band programs in the area. Doty, Szenasi and other Canby Music employees have been instrumental in shaping the store’s rental program — as most of them are former band students themselves.

“I graduated from Canby High School and was really involved in the band program,” Szenasi said. “I think that’s one reason I like working with the rentals and repairs so much, because I know what it’s like to be a middle school and high school student just starting out and in need of an instrument.”

As the store’s owner, Haines said he couldn’t be happier with how the repair shop has come together over the years.

“I’m just so happy with Nathan and Lana and the job they have been doing with repairs,” he said. “We get them done quickly, we get them done well, and we hardly ever, if ever, have somebody coming back with a problem after we fixed it. It’s just a top-notch operation.”

For more information about repairs or other services offered by Canby Music, call 503-263-2263 or visit Canby Music is located at 590 NW 1st Avenue in Canby.

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