Should I Let My Child Quit Piano Lessons?

Should I Let My Child Quit Piano Lessons?

Starting your child on piano lessons is often the easy part. You invest in a piano, you buy a few music books, you hire a piano teacher. 

But months or even years in, your child isn’t thriving. She doesn’t enjoy it, and it’s more of a chore than a fun activity. You’re tired of forcing the issue. Should you let your child quit piano lessons?

That’s a top many parents struggle with each year. After all, with dozens of activities to choose fro, and an increasingly rigorous school day, is piano worth it? 

Should you let your child quit piano lessons?

Here are a few things to consider as you’re making your decision. 

What is she really learning?

If you talk regularly with her piano teacher, has she noticed a change in behavior? Can they help to change what she’s learning? 

Many kids start out with specific goals in mind. Maybe they want to play the piano like their favorite musician. But when they get into the everyday learning that starts at the beginning, it can be boring and humdrum. 

Talk with the instructor. Would she benefit from changing to a different class? Maybe group lessons would get her excited again. Maybe switching out the songs that she’s playing. 

Especially at the beginning, it’s important to investigate different ways of accomplishing the goal. Is there a way to entice learning in a new way?

Evaluate goals

Sometimes kids get too busy, and they grow tired of having an overstuffed calendar. This may be time to sit down with her and discuss what’s really important. 

Some kids love music. They want to explore it from different angles. But because they are over-scheduled, they lose interest and grow weary. Find out what your child really loves and put other things aside. It may also be time to add other fun activities that surround her interests. 

If she truly does love music, how can you get her involved in other ways? Can she play the piano with a band? Or how about joining a local musical – it’s a great way to show off her talents. Kids often don’t know how they can use their skills. It’s up to you to give them options. 

Talent

This often has to do with self-doubt. If your child wants to quit because she thinks she doesn’t have talent, it might be time to consider what’s going on. Is she a perfectionist? Is she scared of playing in front of people? 

Most musicians aren’t born with talent. Talent comes from years of practice and determination. 

Talent can also be determined by goals. Do you want to be professional? Or do you just want to play music for your own enjoyment? Two different paths. 

For most, the concept of playing the piano is all about self enjoyment. And if you enjoy what you’re doing, what else matters? 

Can A Grand Piano Be Stored On Its Side?

Can A Grand Piano Be Stored On Its Side?

People invest in grand pianos for a variety of reasons. The sound and quality. The beauty of the instrument. For the way it looks in your home. 

You can’t walk into a room with a grand piano and not be aware of its presence. It commands attention. 

Yet for as much as you love your piano, there are times when you’ll have to move it. 

Maybe you’re having new flooring installed, are renovating your home. 

Or maybe you’re moving to a new home, but it will be weeks or months before your piano has a new home. Storing it is the only option. 

But storing a grand piano isn’t an easy task. If only you could prop it up on its side. It would take far less room. 

Can you store a grand piano on its side? 

Moving a piano

Grand pianos are one of the largest items you will ever bring into your home. The only way to get it into your home is to prop it up on its side – it’s the only way it will ever make it through a door. 

What’s more important than turning it onto its side is to ensure it’s safe during the process. 

  • Ensure nothing is inside that could damage the inner workings of the piano – pens, bobby pins, pencils, small toys. Anything that could damage the strings, soundboard, or other equipment. 
  • Protect all edges of the piano during movement. Use blankets and bubble wrap to ensure all edges are safe. 
  • Never roll a piano on rollers. Instead, make sure you have the appropriate workforce available to safely lift the piano throughout the moving process. 

Storing a piano

While it’s okay to move a grand piano on its side, storing it is another manner. When you tip a grand piano sideways, it puts pressure on the inner workings of the piano in a way that isn’t intended. For a short time – while moving it – your piano will adjust and be okay. But for an extended time period, it can start to cause damage. 

Your piano should be stored the right way, and that includes upright instead of on its side. It should also be placed in a temperature controlled space, rather than in a garage or storage unit without heat or air conditioning. It should also be covered to prevent a layer of dust.

And unless you have experience moving a piano, rely on the professionals instead. It’s one of the heaviest and bulkiest pieces inside your home. Despite its size, it’s also one of the most delicate. Leave it to the professionals to ensure your piano is ready to play when you move it back into place.

Why Is A Grand Piano Lid Open?

Why Is A Grand Piano Lid Open?

Grand pianos have a distinct look to them. Picture it now, sitting in the middle of a stage. Long and graceful, the lid propped up, the tonal quality deep and rich. 

That’s what comes to mind in the center of a concert hall. But what if you own a grand piano? Is it wise to keep the lid open all the time? What’s the purpose? 

On top of a grand piano is a wooden cover called the lid. It’s hinged at the spine, and has the ability to raise and lower depending on the discretion of the piano player. 

In order to raise the lid, a grand piano has a wooden stick called a lid prop. Most pianos also come with a smaller stick called a half prop. These sticks give you the ability to control the way your piano sounds as you play. 

A raised lid serves as a reflecting device for the way sound waves move from the depth of the piano outward into the room. The waves come off the internal soundboard and are reflected outward to the audience. 

Lid props also have the important job of being able to hold the weight of the piano lid. The larger the piano, the heavier the lid, the more weight the lid prop will have to take. 

While most grand pianos have two lid props, you will find some even have three. The different sizes will each have an appropriate cup holder on the underside of the lid. It’s essential to use the right cup with each lid prop, as the lid won’t be properly supported otherwise, and could lead to a dangerous situation. If it falls, it can severely damage the inner working of your piano. And if you or a family member is anywhere near, it can cause severe injury. 

Should I Buy a Piano or a Keyboard?

Keyword: piano or keyboard

Summary: If your child has expressed an interest in learning to play the piano, the first place to start is by investing in a new instrument. Piano or keyboard, which should you choose? 

As a parent, you want your kids to try many things. And it doesn’t take a lot of looking to realize you can quickly fill up their days with plenty of things for them to do. Sports? A painting class? Music?

While sports keep their bodies physically active and helps build team spirit, music builds self esteem and improves everything from coordination to comprehension. If you want them to perform better in their STEM classes, music is the way to go. 

Once you decide to enroll your child in music, piano lessons are one of the best instruments they can learn to play. No other instrument is as versatile as a piano. Melody or harmony, playing alone or with a group, there’s something for everyone when learning to play the piano. 

But if you’re ready to enroll your child in piano lessons, they have to have a piano to practice. Piano or keyboard? Which should you invest in if you don’t already own one? 

What’s your price range?

For an acoustic piano, you have lots of options. You can select a good used piano, or go with a new piano if you know it’s going to be in your life for years to come. Acoustic gives you the ability for classic training, while keyboards offer extras to help budding artists digitize their work. With both pianos and keyboards, there is something for everyone. Consider your choices wisely. 

How mobile do you want to be?

With an acoustic piano, your practice will be limited to the location of your instrument. With a keyboard, you can pack it up and take it with you. Mobility can be especially good for teens that wish to be part of a band, or take their instruments to college. But for classic training, having a great acoustic piano to play will give them added benefits to their play. 

How will you play? 

Keyboards offer the ability to plugin and play without anyone having to hear it. But don’t discount acoustics if you desire this feature – many can have this ability implemented, making it easier to practice in busy households. 

Are you prepared for upkeep? 

With an acoustic piano, it will need tuning regularly. And depending on where you purchase it from, it might need repair work. Keyboards don’t require the same upkeep with tunings, but they can require upgrades as your child grows and changes in ability. 

No matter what your preference is for selecting the right equipment for your needs, the best place to start is with learning about your options. We’re happy to share our knowledge and love of pianos with you anytime. Just stop by. 

A Guide To The Different Types Of Pianos

A Guide To The Different Types Of Pianos

Pianos come in many different styles, designs, shapes, and sizes. How do you know which one is best for you?

Start right here with our guide to the different types of pianos. It depends on many things, like:

  • Size of your home
  • How often you play
  • Your decor taste
  • How much you choose to invest

Overall, acoustic pianos fall into one of two categories: vertical or horizontal. Verticals are uprights. Horizontals are grands.  

You’ll find verticals or uprights are the most popular category as they fit into many different spaces. It’s also one of the most affordable instruments you can purchase. 

The soundboard is vertical, so the strings and dampers run downward across the board. As a note is played, the hammers strike outward, and take a bit longer to return to resting position. That causes a slight delay. 

But don’t think every grand is superior in performance to an upright; it isn’t true. Both verticals and horizontals can be high quality investments that will provide you with years of enjoyment. 

In each category, you might run across different names. 

Vertical:

Spinet – 33 to 35 inches high, the smallest of the pianos. It’s a popular choice for small spaces, but will have less power and accuracy than other models. 

Console – 40 to 43 inches high, it produces a more enhanced tonal quality, and comes in a variety of styles and finishes. 

Studio – 45 to 48 inches high, you’ll find this in schools and training center. It’s durable and has a high quality sound. 

Full – 48 to 60 inches high, this is the tallest of the uprights. You’ll probably find this in your grandparents’ home, and maintains its sound over time. 

Grand:

Petite – 4’ 5” to 4’11” is the smallest of the grands. 

Baby – 4’11” to 5’6” is one of the most popular because of its aesthetics, sound, and affordability.

Parlor – 5’7” to 6’4”

Ballroom – 6’5” to 7’5”

Concert – 7’6” and above

The largest of pianos you’ll find in the best music halls around the world. Why? Because they create the best music. 

There are many different types of pianos – how do you know which is best for you? Stop by today and let’s consider your options. We’ll help you find the right piano for your needs. 

Why Every Note On Your Piano Uses Multiple Strings

Why Every Note On Your Piano Uses Multiple Strings

f you’ve ever looked inside your acoustic piano, you’ve noticed a plethora of strings attached to tiny hammers that move every time you press down on a key. 

While it might seem like a piano would have one string attached to every note, that isn’t the case. Depending on the key you strike, the note will be produced with one, two, or even three strings. 

The higher notes on the piano will use three strings to produce a sound. 

The lower notes will use two strings. 

The lowest notes will have a single string. Why Every Note On Your Piano Uses Multiple Strings

What’s more, if you use the damper pedal to create a quieter sound, the strings are impacted by the action as well. When you press the damper pedal, the action is shifted inside the piano so that the hammer strikes fewer strings – it moves down to one or two. 

Head back in time; the piano was originally called piano-forte. Loosely translated, forte means strong, or loud. That’s because when striking the keys, you can produce a loud, full-bodied sound like no other instrument. The strings allow this transfer of energy to occur. 

If you had just one string attached to every key, the higher notes would produce a smaller sound. Those upper notes wouldn’t have the same high-quality tone and volume that you get from the lower notes. Multiple strings provide more tension. Multiple strings give you a more robust sound. 

Multiple strings also provide a tuner a greater chance of producing a quality sound. As a tuner is working to bring each note into tune, she can actually detune the string combinations to change the timbre. As she compares note to note, her goal is to produce a rich, warmer sound. 

The strings on your piano are vitally important to the sound of your piano. If they are out of tune, you’ll hear it every time you press down on a key. 

When was the last time you had your piano tuned?

Finding The Ultimate Worship Piano  

Finding The Ultimate Worship Piano  

Every industry, every field is seeing massive change thanks to technology. The piano industry is no different. 

Churches used to be able to purchase a simple acoustic piano and have it meet all their needs. If you’ve been in the market to upgrade your piano, you know a lot has changed. No longer is your choice limited to an upright or a grand. Instead, you can quickly become overwhelmed by technology, finding pianos that do just about everything you could dream. Finding The Ultimate Worship Piano  

Just as likely is to get overwhelmed and overdazzled with the bells and whistles. If would be nice to be able to add in different instruments, right? Or play different sounds – that would make it a better addition to your events, right?

Very quickly your piano and organ overlap. And you wind up with an instrument you don’t like and can’t use the way it was intended. 

The problems most encountered by well-meaning buyers are they become distracted by purchasing pianos that are:

Too complicated: The WOW buttons may seem like a good thing in the store, but often are things that will never be used. If you’re using your piano for real-time performances, do you really need screens and sampling and workstations that allow editing and mixing?

Don’t sound right: Money doesn’t always equate to a better sound. But if you’re purchasing a piano for a very low price, suffice to say it won’t have a warm sound. And that will echo throughout every performance you have. 

Cheaply made: Worship pianos are usually transferred from room to room, from group to group. They should be rugged to handle a variety of uses. 

Have too many potential distractions: During services, pianists are watching a variety of things to keep everything on track. What if they hit a wrong button and a rhythm sounds across the hall and they can’t turn it off? 

While this is by now means a full list of distractions, your end goal is to find a perfect piano for your needs. And that can be difficult, especially when you have dozens of other things on your mind. 

That’s where we can help. We can help ask the right questions to find out what your needs and goals are, and help you make the right selection for your church. 

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7 Resolutions You Should Keep As A Piano Player This Year

7 Resolutions You Should Keep As A Piano Player This Year

Is one of your goals for the New Year to be an even better piano player? Do you hope to make music an increasingly important part of your life? Then here are a few steps you should take as we move into the next few months. 

1. Hire a professional to tune your piano

Pianos need regular tuning, whether you use them every day or not. On average, pianos should be tuned twice per year. If it’s been awhile, schedule your tuning today. 

2. Practice a new song

Repetition gets old. Instead of starting the new year out with the same old music, invest in something new, something motivating. Great songs from today’s greatest singers can get your fingers snapping again and give you just enough motivation to want to play even more. 7 Resolutions You Should Keep As A Piano Player This Year

3. Practice speed

Some of the most successful piano players achieve greatness because of their ability to speed things up. Those fast-paced tunes capture attention. Pick one up and see what you can do. Even if you have no desire to play professionally, there’s still something satisfying about playing a song at a quick pace. 

4. Listen to the professionals

When was the last time you were inspired by professionals? Take a trip to your local symphony and listen to the best. Better yet, make it a habit to seek out the best players in the world. How about a trip to New York to see the New York Philharmonic play? Or expand your horizons even further with a trip to Austria and see the homes of Mozart or Strauss. 

5. Learn more about famous composers

Piano playing is more than tapping out a few tunes. Discover the history of the art of piano playing, and it’ll inspire you even more. It may give you new inspiration as you discover what the likes of Bach, Beethoven, or Mahler created. 

6. Play a duet

Instead of playing by yourself, incorporate your music into someone else’s life too. If you work with a teacher, ask to be a part of a group performance. Play with another piano player, or incorporate another instrument into your tunes. It will help you listen differently and play in new ways. 

7. Teach someone to play

Share your knowledge with someone else. You don’t have to become a piano teacher to influence someone else to make music. Even a child with several years of playing can gain excitement about the art of piano by helping someone else realize their dreams in the process. 

Do you have any piano goals for the coming year?

Understanding Polyphony

Understanding Polyphony

Looking to buy a digital piano? A little confused by all the terms you find associated with a digital piano? 

We understand. It’s a lot to take in. And the last thing you want is to end up with a digital piano that doesn’t meet your needs.   

Let’s talk polyphony. 

Polyphony describes how many notes an electronic keyboard can play at any one time. Why would you need more than ten? You only have ten fingers, right? Don’t forget you also have a sustain pedal and the potential for many notes to sound at the same time. Understanding Polyphony

All digital pianos will display this number somewhere in their specifications. It’s one factor that is very important to consider before selecting your instrument. 

For digital pianos, polyphony is one factor that if it isn’t high enough, it can seriously degrade your playing experience. Meaning you or your child will outgrow your instrument in a short period of time. 

A quick scan of digital pianos online will show you that the various manufacturers show numbers ranging from 32 to 128.On a basic level, it’s easy to understand that one with 128 note range will be far more effective than one with a 32 note range. 

What happens if you hit the maximum number of notes while playing? The instrument stops sounding the notes that have already been played. How it does this depends on how it was manufactured. Some drop the earliest played notes. Others calculate which notes cause the least amount of harmonic disruption. 

Generally, higher polyphony is one factor that will push a digital piano up in price. But it isn’t something to skimp on. Particularly if you are planning on getting into complicated pieces of music. 

Polyphony is easy to hear. So don’t overlook this factor when making your final selection. 

How To Clean Piano Keys and Keyboards The Right Way

How To Clean Piano Keys and Keyboards The Right Way

Have you ever sat down to play a piano where the piano keys didn’t feel right? Maybe the color had changed, the keys felt rough or sticky. They felt gritty to the touch. 

The piano keys are the most usable part of the piano. Which makes them the most susceptible part of the piano for becoming dirty. 

There are certain things you can do to ward off potential problems. 

  • Dust the keyboard regularly
  • Wash your hands before you play
  • Keep the keyboard covered when kids or pets are around

How To Clean Piano Keys and Keyboards The Right WayIn time, dust, dirt, debris, and oil from your fingertips settle on top of the keys. It comes with age, from simply being in your home and available to play at any time. 

But the piano keys aren’t something you can clean as if it were an average piece of furniture. Do it the wrong way and your keys may stop working. The wrong way could leave you with a piano that doesn’t work. 

Start with a soft cloth – microfiber works well. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, an old cotton t-shirt works well; cut away any seams or embellishments to ensure you don’t hurt the keys. 

Use an empty spray bottle – you can re-use one from something else. Just ensure there weren’t harmful chemicals in it before you use it. You can pick one up from your favorite big box store for low cost. 

Use a mixture of water and gentle liquid soap – make sure there aren’t any harsh solvents or chemicals in the soap. Castille soap works well.

Use one to two tablespoons of liquid soap per bottle depending on the size. Give a quick shake and you’re ready to clean. 

Never spray the water directly onto the keys. Instead, spray the soft cloth until slightly damp. Then starting at one end of the keyboard, gently slide the cloth from the back of the keytops to the front with gentle pressure. You may have to repeat this several times to remove all of the grime. 

Avoid wiping across the keyboard as that can shove small particles of dust and debris between the keys, which will result in “sticky” keys, those stubborn keys that don’t go up and down when you press them. 

You can clean both the black and white keys in this manner. There is no special treatment for either key. 

Once you clean the tops, you can move to the piano key fronts and clean in the same manner. Slide the cloth from the bottom of the key up to the top, trying to take dust with you as you remove the cloth from the key. 

There is no difference between an acoustic and a digital keyboard. They should be cleaned in similar fashion.