Tips For Buying a Piano in 2022

Tips For Buying a Piano in 2022

Want to play the piano this year? It starts by buying a piano perfect to suit your needs. 

But with so many different choices, where do you begin? What are the most important qualities to look for when buying a piano? We can narrow it down to three things:

  • A full 88-key keyboard
  • Weighted keys
  • High quality tonal sound

Whether you focus on purchasing an upright, grand, or digital piano, there are several things you should ensure your piano has. 

A full keyboard

When you first sit down and touch a few keys, having a full 88-key keyboard may seem intimidating. You’ll use the full range sooner than you think. Not having a full keyboard can hinder your progress. Depending on what genres of music you move towards will open up how many keys you use. It’s better to have the proper equipment in place as you start, to ensure you have the equipment necessary when you need it. 

Weighted keys

The more you grow as a musician, the more you may want to transfer your skills to different settings. Want to sit down at a piano in a friend’s home, a local church, or play for a small audience? Pianos are designed with some resistance to increase playability. Learning on weighted keys gives your fingers practice in transferring your skills to any piano you sit down at. Practicing on a piano with weighted keys ensures your skills will last a lifetime. 

High quality sound

If you’ve ever heard the tinny sound that comes from a toy piano, you know not all sound is created equal. Because every piano is built differently, you’ll notice a different sound from each instrument you play. Playing the piano is about making music. If you don’t like the sound you hear, you’ll never fully enjoy playing the piano. Sit down before you purchase a new piano. Do you like the way it sounds?

While many focus on price as their starting point for purchasing a piano, finding one you’ll be excited to play for years to come should be your top priority. 

If you have questions about buying the right piano to suit your needs, we can help you out. Stop by today and see our complete selection of pianos, and discover which is the right one to suit your needs. 

The Benefits of Teaching Your Kids to Love Music

The Benefits of Teaching Your Kids to Love Music

Music has a big impact on each of our lives. Think back over time – chances are you can associate music with different points in your life. 

  • The first song you remember on the radio
  • The first song you danced to
  • The song you fell in love to
  • The song that pulled you out of a slump

Throughout history, music has been an important part of the human experience. It’s a language that holds us together as a culture. 

For kids, it does even more. 

Teaching kids to love music benefits them in many ways:

  • Playing an instrument significantly increases higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12
  • Improves SAT scores
  • Increases both attendance rates and graduation rates throughout school
  • Lowers current and lifetime substance abuse
  • Teaches self-discipline
  • Shows as higher creativity throughout life

The benefits are many. 

Want to give your child the gift of making music?

Participate

The first step is making it a big part of your lives. Make it something you do together as a family. Introduce music in different ways – place a piano in your living space, listen to music together, or sing together in the car. Kids learn best when it’s a family affair. No need to worry if you sing slightly off-key. 

Expand

The good news is music is a huge part of our culture, and there are many ways to participate. You’ll find free concerts in your local park in the summer. Or go big and attend a show by your favorite musician. Move across genres, too – when was the last time you heard your local symphony? Check out a musical at your local theater. You may just find you fall in love with a music type you’ve never considered before. 

Together

The wonderful thing about music is that you can participate no matter your age. Sing together. Take piano lessons together. Attend concerts and musicals together. As a family, it gives you something to talk about. It brings you closer because of the way you learn and grow together. 

Chances are you remember music from your life, from when you were a small child to today. It’s impacted you in a big way. 

With all the benefits music can bring, why not expand music in your lives together, to give your child a huge leap of knowledge that will help them throughout their lives. 

When You Find a Good Teacher For Learning To Play The Piano

When You Find a Good Teacher For Learning To Play The Piano

Want your child to fall in love with playing the piano? It starts by finding a good teacher who shows them the path of wanting to play. 

When you decide to give your child the gift of music, you buy a piano, find a piano teacher, and hope they play and appreciate playing. 

As parents, we often think about the gifts a piano teacher gives our kids. But have you ever stopped to think about what gifts your child is giving a teacher? There is a difference between an average and great piano teacher. Spending your time searching for a great one can be worth their weight in gold. 

As you start lessons for the very first time, a piano teacher begins with the basics. They have a specific formula for getting a child excited about playing. 

  • Learn the keys
  • Start reading music
  • hand/eye coordination skills
  • Create a recognizable song

Yet it goes beyond all of that. 

An average piano teacher may follow the formula, selecting a teaching path and sticking with the guidelines. Your child will learn skills in one level of training before moving to the next. 

And your child may learn. They may even develop a love of playing the piano. 

But a great piano teacher pushes a bit harder. They ask different questions. They respond with different activities. 

A great teacher may recognize when a child starts to struggle. Maybe they’ve plateaued, are becoming bored with the process, or simply have other things on their minds. 

That’s when a great piano teacher goes to work. 

They look for other ways to reach out and inspire a child to continue to process. 

They may select different music, connect them with other players. Encourage them to join a band, or maybe sign up for a competition. 

They will read the child’s interests, and help them move to the next level. 

So think about that when you drop your kid off for their next lesson. 

Have you selected an average teacher? Or are you moving them to work with a great instructor? 

What can you do to motivate your child to be all they can be as a piano player?

Change It Up This Summer With These Fun Piano Practicing Tips

Change It Up This Summer With These Fun Piano Practicing Tips

The different seasons give us a break from the normal routine. What sounds fun and exciting in the heart of the winter can feel repetitive and boring as we enter the warmest months of the year. 

That’s why some parents find it difficult to keep their kids practicing the piano all summer long. They get a break from school, so why not from the piano too?

Studies show that taking a break can set back their learning skills enough they might choose not to continue at all. 

Studies also show that by changing the routine, you can give your kids renewed interest in a skill that will last a lifetime. 

Teachers have a host of ideas for keeping your kids motivated and playing all through the summer months. But you can approach them and find options that you know will work for you. 

Maybe your child would benefit from playing with a group? Do they have a friend who loves playing the violin? Or is taking up playing the flute in school? How can you incorporate practice time together? 

Maybe your child needs a change in what they are playing. The school year is all about following a natural rhythm to learn music and comprehension. But the summer is for fun. What kind of music would they like to play?

  • Movie or television themes
  • Broadway show pieces
  • A classic rock song
  • Modern day pop music
  • A favorite country song
  • A jazz piece with a funky beat

You might be surprised at what your child takes an interest in when you introduce them to different options. 

Want to go even deeper? Explore music summer camps. Ask your piano teacher for guidance, or do a search using Google. You might be surprised at the music camps in your local area. For older kids, you might even explore weeklong camps in other parts of the world. They can grow immensely from discovering how music impacts our world. 

And it keeps their love of playing the piano alive and well. 

What activities have you found work well to keep your kids practicing the piano all year long? 

How To Move a Piano and Why You Shouldn’t Do It Yourself

How To Move a Piano and Why You Shouldn’t Do It Yourself

Moving day. You’re excited about moving into a new house. But the move itself is stressful at best. 

How do you fit everything into boxes? How do you pack it all on a truck? 

While it’s easy to throw a box into the backseat of your car, moving a piano isn’t as easy. It’s not an afterthought. It takes careful planning to ensure it makes it safely to its final resting spot. 

Many homeowners choose to move a piano themselves. It may seem like a great way to save money, but it might not be the best way. 

If you choose to move it yourself, know that a piano weighs anywhere from 400 to 700 pounds or more. Its weight distribution isn’t the same as with a mattress or sofa. The delicate parts can break and crack with even the smallest of bumps. 

You’ll have to navigate through doors, hallways, staircases, and more as you move it from one place to another. You can’t just flip it on its side and shove it through the door as you would with other furniture. 

Are you starting to see the benefits of hiring an experienced piano mover? 

They often save you money in the long run. That’s because they’re professional piano movers who understand how to do the job. They avoid damaging the instrument, which can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in costly repairs. They can also save in property damage repair, if a non-experienced mover takes a corner wrong and damages the furnishings. 

Professional piano movers have all of the right tools. Dollies, straps, moving pads, grip gloves – they have it all ready to go. They understand the best way to prepare it for the move. They use the necessary equipment to get it out of the house, into the truck, and to its final resting spot. They take care of it the entire way, ensuring it arrives safely and is ready to play. 

And they won’t face injury from handling bulky equipment. A piano is unlike any other piece of furniture you own. One wrong turn may be bad for the piano, but it could also be bad for you. One wrong move can put feet, knees, back, or shoulders under strain. 

Are you moving to a new home soon? Congratulations! 

It’s time to ensure all of your personal assets arrive safely in your new place. Schedule a piano mover, and ensure it arrives safely, ready to play. 

Should You Take a Summer Break From Piano?

Should You Take a Summer Break From Piano?

June is a time for winding down lessons and practice and getting ready for vacations and relaxation. It’s a time for kids to take a break from busy lifestyles, and change up their daily activities. 

But as they step away from the school halls, does that mean taking a summer break from piano is a good thing too?

Summer camps and outside activities may take center stage. But does that mean you should put piano lessons on hiatus? 

There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t. Piano playing isn’t the same as taking tests and studying hard. Piano is a lifelong activity that has many benefits to your lifestyle. 

Certain skills should never be put on hold. That’s why teachers provide reading lists for the summer. It’s a way to keep comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and critical thinking active every single week of the year. 

The same applies to an instrument. If you stop playing the piano, a child can quickly lose interest. Too long of a break can break motivation and reduce skills enough, making starting up again less enjoyable. 

That’s why a change in the summer routine may be a better approach. 

Change up the schedule. During the school year, it may make sense to practice when arriving home from school. During the summer, try a practice schedule in the early morning before the day’s activities set in. 

Use different music. Make it more enjoyable. Is there something your child has wanted to play? Your piano instructor may be filled with ideas for creating an environment filled with fun. You can also find a variety of ideas online to help change up the routine. 

Use this time to create an atmosphere of self-discipline and self-discovery. Music should bring enjoyment and relaxation into your life. Playing the piano is all about stress relief and enjoying the process. 

What can you do to encourage your child to build a stronger love for the process? What will have them enjoy the process of creating music rather than looking at it as a chore?  

Summer break is here. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to step away from the things that bring enjoyment. What works to keep your child active and interested in playing the piano?

Sanitizing Your Piano To Stay Healthy

Sanitizing Your Piano To Stay Healthy

The last two years have changed our approach to cleaning. We are more conscious about what we touch and how germs are spread. 

That makes any item that’s touched regularly more susceptible to spreading germs. It makes us more consistent in our cleaning methods. 

Yet pianos are different from door knobs or desktops. You can’t clean piano keys the way you can a smooth surface. Spray and wipe down a desktop, and you’re ready to go. Spray keys, and you may cause extensive damage to the internal workings of the piano. 

Still, you want the surface area clean, germ-free, and reduce the chances of it becoming a super spreader. 

What should you do?

First, learn what’s safe and what isn’t. 

Hydrogen peroxide is available at any pharmacy, and is safe for piano keys. Simply dampen a cotton pad with hydrogen peroxide and use it to wipe down the keyboard. Wipe from back to front and ensure the pad isn’t saturated, leaving trace amounts of moisture to sit on the surface for long. Follow up with a dry towel to ensure liquids are removed. 

Do not use bleach-based disinfectants or any cleaning product with a citrus base. These will damage the keys over time. 

For the exterior of your piano, it’s quite easy to keep it clean and germ-free. Using a soft cloth, dampen it with plain water to remove any dust or fingerprints that may occur. Never apply any liquid or cleaning product directly. Instead, spray the cloth first to ensure the piano doesn’t receive too much moisture during the cleaning process. 

Do not use solvents or chemicals of any kind. When in doubt, refer directly to the manufacturer to find recommended cleaning and disinfecting products. Or give us a call; as a piano dealer, we can recommend the best ways to keep your piano in good working condition while being germ-free too. 

Avoid dampness at all costs. If moisture is allowed to seep down between the keys, it can cause swelling. This prevents the keys from moving, and hampers the movement as you play. 

You can have a sanitization station near the piano before playing. Before sitting down, use a hand sanitizer, ensuring that it’s thoroughly rubbed in before touching the keys. Keep it and any other liquids away from the piano – vases, drinks, or other liquid products can ruin the finish and the sound. 

Do you practice good hygiene before sitting down to play the piano?

What Can Be Fixed on a Used Piano … And What Can’t

What Can Be Fixed on a Used Piano … And What Can’t

When you’re looking to bring a piano into your home, a used piano can be a good option. However, if you bring home a used piano of poor quality, it can hinder the ability to grow your music talent and enjoy the process. A poor quality instrument will:

  • Cost more in repair work
  • Produce a poor quality sound
  • Reduce playability
  • Make the process of playing no fun

The entire reason to play the piano is to enjoy the sounds and music you create. If a poor quality instrument doesn’t allow you to do that, you’re less likely to play. 

When shopping for a used piano, look at:

Brands – don’t skimp on quality. Choose a recognized and high-quality brand that will stand the test of time. 

Age of the piano – a piano has a reasonable lifespan, just like any other personal asset you may own. A top-quality brand that has been well cared for and well maintained can last anywhere from 20 to 100 years. The more you know about its history, the more assurance you’ll have for longevity. 

Playability – even if you’ve never played the piano before, the human ear is still wired for sound. Sit down and start playing every key, starting at the left of the keyboard, touching every note in order as you move to the right. Listen for variances in tone, and note severely out of tune, or a key that won’t play. Also note any buzzing or rattling noises. 

Inside and outside – while some individual sellers might fix up the cabinet and make it shine, telltale signs can often be discovered by peering inside. Fixing a chipped key is easy. Fixing a broken soundboard is all-encompassing. If you aren’t sure what to look for, having someone with you who can, or working with a reliable dealer can ensure you purchase a used piano that will be a part of your home for years to come. 

Things that may be easily fixed include:

  • Cabinet blemishes
  • Chipped keys
  • Missing strings
  • Loose tuning pins
  • Hammer felt

Things that aren’t easily replaceable or repaired include:

  • Pinblock
  • Piano bridges
  • Hammers

What questions do you have about buying a used piano?

3 Ways To Tell If Your Child Is Ready For Piano Lessons

3 Ways To Tell If Your Child Is Ready For Piano Lessons

Beethoven studied music from an early age, and wrote his first composition at 12 years old. 

While your child might not be the next Beethoven, giving them the gift of music early can help them succeed in life. Playing the piano has been proven to:

  • Improve language skills
  • Improve memory
  • Encourage creativity
  • Improve time management and organization skills
  • Improve math skills
  • Improve reading comprehension
  • Strengthens hand and eye coordination
  • Boosts self-esteem

Start too early, and your child might not be ready for the task of playing the piano. Push too hard, and they might fight you every step of the way. 

Your child may be ready for piano lessons if:

Have a sense of maturity

Kids mature at different rates. When your child has control over their motor skills, and can pay attention to one specific activity for 30 minutes, they may be ready for piano lessons. Assess how they would act with one-on-one coaching for a half-hour, follow instructions, and enjoy the process. 

They are motivated to play

We often recommend introducing the piano to the home before you start lessons. Let them play without pressure. Introduce them to piano apps to play games. Take them to concerts and show them how the piano adds to music. If they’re excited about the process, they are more likely to stick with it. 

Literacy skills are advancing

When a child loves to read and explore words and language, they are ready to explore the language of music. Music theory requires the ability to read and write. If they are familiar with words creating stories and ideas, they’ll be more open to exploring music notation and its relation to a song. 

Is your child ready for piano lessons? 

Let us help you find the perfect piano to suit your needs. 

What Price You Can Expect To Pay for a Used Piano

What Price You Can Expect To Pay for a Used Piano

When you hear the word “used,” it’s easy to be confused by the meaning. 

Used can encompass many different levels of use – gently used, or end-of-life. And for a piano, it can be a little intimidating trying to determine its worth. 

For many new piano players, a used piano is a perfect choice to start with as you discover the joy of playing. But if you begin to look around at the prices of used pianos, it can be a little confusing. 

How can one instrument command such a difference in pricing? 

How much should you really be willing to pay? 

Comparables

When you purchase something like a dishwasher, you select based on brand, features, and personal tastes. A piano isn’t much different. But when you’re new to music, it can be a little confusing comparing pianos. 

There are many different brands and manufacturers available in all levels of pricing. Some target new players, while some cater to professionals. You’ll see a wide variance in pricing, matching the quality of the piano and how it sounds while playing. 

Uprights are typically lower than grand pianos. In each of the styles, you’ll have different levels of quality – average, better, best. 

In the used market, you’ll have gently used pianos, with some instruments having been rebuilt. 

As you find brands you’re interested in, you can do a little investigating to determine the quality of the brand. You may even recognize some, such as Yamaha or Steinway. But don’t let an unknown brand push you away – there are many high-quality pianos on the market today. 

Condition

Brand matters. But the condition of the piano is what will give you playability for months or even years to come. 

There are two things to consider: playability and serviceability. 

When you sit down to play the piano, does it sound good to your ear? Does each of the keys play without sticking? Are they in tune as you move up the keyboard? Even a brand new player can hear when something is off. 

Serviceability also matters. If the piano hasn’t been tuned in years, it might not be able to hold a tuning. This goes beyond appearance. The cabinet may look great, but peering inside can alert you that the piano wasn’t well cared for. 

If you aren’t sure what to look for, trusting a reputable dealer will ensure you get a high-quality instrument. You can also bring along a trained pianist or technician to ensure the piano is truly in good working condition.