It happens pretty regularly, and understandably so: in the crowded bustle to get instruments put away and get out the door to the next class or to the bus, two classmates accidentally switch cases. It's not that big a deal - the students usually notice as soon as they open their cases at home and correct their mistake in class the next day. But it can be a bit of a nuisance, especially if you were planning on practicing for a big test the next day, or if it happens heading into the weekend. So many cases look exactly alike, even the printed name tags look so similar that you have to take a really good look to see whose is whose.
So do I have any tricks to always being able to tell your case from your neighbor’s? You bet I do!
Tie Something to the Handle
If you’re into making friendship bracelets, that would be perfect. A strip of fabric or a few strands of yarn would also work well.
Color Your Name Tag
Pull the card out of the name tag holder, pick your favorite color(s), and liven up the back of your name tag.
Stick one or two on the top of your case. You can go overboard - I once had a student decide to completely cover her saxophone case in leopard print duct tape. Not recommended. On the up side, she could always tell which instrument was hers!
Whatever you use, remember to make it personal (favorite colors, patterns, etc.) and make it removable. After all, you might not want a leopard print saxophone case in a few years!