If you play the piccolo, you may wonder, “can you leave your piccolo unattended?” There’s nothing stopping you, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your piccolo somewhere.
A lot of bad things can happen, such as it getting stolen or damaged. Read on to learn more about the risks and how to keep your piccolo safe.
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What Counts as Unattended?
Before we talk about if you can leave your piccolo unattended, let’s consider what that means. I’m talking about any situation in which your eyes and/or hands are not on the piccolo or whatever the piccolo is in.
Now, you can usually safely leave it in a locker at school or in your home as long as you lock the doors. Those scenarios technically count as “unattended,” but they’re very different from when you’re in public and your piccolo isn’t secure.
Why Not Leave Your Piccolo Unattended
You can leave your piccolo unattended, but that doesn’t mean you should do so. There are a lot of risks that come along with leaving your piccolo somewhere without anyone to watch it.
Consider the following scenarios that could happen if you don’t keep your piccolo with you or have someone you trust to watch it.
You Could Lose It
Of course, one thing that can happen is that you forget where you left your piccolo. Then, you may search high and low for the instrument, and you could waste a lot of time looking for it.
Sure, you may luck out and find it right away. But there’s no guarantee your piccolo will be where you think it is, so it’s not worth the risk of leaving it somewhere.
Someone Could Steal It
Maybe you know exactly where you left your piccolo, so you head straight there. A thief could have taken your instrument by the time you get back to where you put it.
As much as we don’t want to think about people stealing, it happens. And if someone sees your piccolo and thinks it could be worth a lot of money, they’ll take it.
Unless you or someone you trust is watching the piccolo, there’s nothing to stop someone from grabbing your instrument. And since the piccolo is so small, it’s an easy swipe.
It Could Get Damaged
Maybe you’re lucky enough to leave your piccolo somewhere without any thieves. That still doesn’t mean you should leave your piccolo unattended.
For one, you could leave it somewhere with extreme high or low humidity, or the temperature could change. When that happens, your piccolo can crack, especially if you have a wood model.
Or maybe you leave your piccolo on a chair or worse, on your music stand. The piccolo could get knocked off and fall to the ground, and that could cause a small leak or require a more significant repair.
It’s Super Small
I can understand why a tuba or bass player may want to leave their instrument unattended. Both instruments are massive, so it’s not always practical to take them with you.
However, the piccolo is super small. I’ve had purses that my piccolo fits in, so there’s no good reason not to keep it with you when you’re at school, at rehearsals, or when you’re traveling.
Even if it won’t fit in the bag you’re currently using, you can easily hand carry the piccolo. You can bring it into the bathroom stall with you, and you can take it to most places.
No Exceptions to Leaving Your Piccolo
I wouldn’t leave my piccolo unattended even for a second. Not for a quick water break, not to use the restroom, and not even to grab something from a nearby room.
Unless there’s someone I trust who can watch the piccolo for me, I’ll take it with me. It’s just not worth the risk of it getting lost, stolen, or damaged.
Instrument Insurance for a Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Piccolo
If you haven’t already, I’d recommend insuring your piccolo with instrument insurance. You can add it to your homeowner’s policy, but that may not be enough coverage for a professional piccolo.
I use Anderson insurance because I get a discount as a National Flute Association (NFA) member. But there are other companies out there that you can look into as well.
That way, you can make sure your piccolo has the protection it needs in case someone steals it. Now, that doesn’t mean you can leave your piccolo unattended, but it at least gives you extra peace of mind.
How to Keep Your Piccolo Safe
You can’t leave your piccolo unattended. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave it at home all of the time either.
If you need or want to take your piccolo to rehearsals or on a trip, you can do so. Keep the following tips in mind to make sure your piccolo stays as safe as possible.
Keep It in a Bag
As I mentioned, the piccolo is small enough to fit in most bags, purses, and backpacks. I’d recommend putting your instrument in a bag when you can to help conceal that you’re carrying something expensive.
If possible, hold the bag to your front so that you always have an eye on where your piccolo is. When using a backpack, make sure your piccolo is in the interior slot, and try to put things above it so that it’s not easy for a pickpocket to grab.
You can even add a lock to the zipper of your backpack. That way, you can make sure your instrument is secure when it’s in your bag.
Consider a Less Obvious Bag
I love a good bag, like the Fluterscooter Bag, but you may not want to use it. The thing with flute bags is that they show off that you’re carrying an instrument.
So pickpockets and thieves may pay more attention to what you do and if you set your bag down. I think it’s better to use a more generic backpack or something.
People may still try to steal the bag, so you shouldn’t just leave it somewhere. But it won’t be as obvious to the general public that you might have something expensive on you.
Always Have Your Eyes on It
If you must set your piccolo bag down, keep your eyes on it at all times. For example, I’ll bring my bag into the bathroom stall with me if I need to use the restroom in public.
Sure, you can usually set the bag on a shelf somewhere, at least in the womens’ room. However, someone could steal the bag and be out of the room before you finish up and go to wash your hands.
As you wash your hands, be sure the bag is somewhere that you can see. If you need to set it on a shelf at that time, that’s fine because you can keep it within your field of vision.
Add a Luggage Tag
You could do everything right, and someone may still manage to take your piccolo. Or you might simply be in a hurry and so you leave your piccolo when you don’t plan on it.
In case something like that happens, your piccolo case should have a luggage tag on it. That way, if someone finds it, they can contact you and return the piccolo.
Of course, thieves will probably ignore the luggage tag. But if you leave your piccolo somewhere, a responsible person may take it to a lost and found or call you directly.
Take Good Records
Before you take your piccolo anywhere, be sure to take some records. First, when you buy a piccolo, get a copy of the invoice and keep it safe, either in a drawer or on your computer.
You should also make sure you know the serial number of any piccolos and flutes you travel with. Make a note of the serial number as well as the brand, model, and important specs; take some pictures as well.
If you add your piccolo to an insurance policy, you’ll need to provide those details. Then, if you ever have to file a claim, the insurance company can help you.
Travel With a Friend
When possible, travel with at least one other friend, especially when you’re leaving town. Ideally, this would be with someone you trust so that you can leave your piccolo with them if necessary.
That can be nice if you need to use the restroom or something and don’t want to carry your piccolo. Your friend can keep an eye on the instrument so that you don’t have to leave it unattended.
You can leave your piccolo unattended, but it’s generally not a good idea. The only place I’d ever do that is at home with locked doors or in a locked locker at school.
When you’re traveling, even just across town to a rehearsal, keep your piccolo with you. It’s not worth the risk of losing your instrument.
Need to learn how to play a new note on your piccolo? Check out this piccolo fingering chart!