Let's talk tech tips to help keep those instruments in the players hands. I may get a little basic for some of you that have been doing this for a while. So if you already know about these, celebrate your wisdom and bear with me.
Woodwind keys are either held on by hinge rods, which go all the way through a hollowed out tube on the key, or by pivot screws, which have a point (usually conical) that goes into each end of the key. Let's use the analogy of a toilet paper holder for this since I assume everyone is familiar. Some holders have the tube that goes all the way through the roll and some have just the ends that go into the sides of the roll. Ta Da! Hinge rods and pivot screws. Since we don't have the added bonus of a springing motion that a toilet paper holder has, if either of these styles of key attachment become loose, it can cause major playing problems with the instrument.