A Jar Of Water And Other Piano Myths

A Jar Of Water And Other Piano Myths

As a piano technician, you see it all. People do all kinds of things to their pianos in hopes that they will sound better, play better, and last longer. 

One piano myth continues to come to light in homes that have had a piano stored in a room or a garage for years, and bring it out to give to a friend or sell for a little extra money. They bring it out, dust it off, maybe even have a piano technician do a few simple repairs. When they open it up and take a look inside, they will find a long-forgotten dusty jar of water at the bottom of the piano. 

A Jar Of Water And Other Piano Myths

If you ask you grandmother about it, she’ll tell you that jar is there for a reason. She knew that low humidity is bad for a piano. A piano needs a certain level of humidity in order to keep parts in good working condition and to continue playing at its best throughout the years. 

Once upon a time, houses weren’t conditioned in the manner we are accustomed to today. Homes weren’t properly insulated. Drafts and weather could easily get inside the home and impact the condition of the piano. 

But a lot has changed over the years. It’s the overall environment that matters most. And a jar of water placed inside isn’t going to impact the condition of your piano. A jar of water puts your piano at risk of mildew by spending their life in too damp of an environment. 

The best way to control the ambient conditions is through efficient control over your heating and cooling system. And by keeping the piano in a place where it isn’t at risk of facing certain environmental elements, such as breezes from an open window, vents where air conditioning can have a direct impact, or direct sunlight. 

If a very old piano has been kept in hot, dry environments, it’s quite possible the piano is beyond repair in the first place. 

This is why you should take special care when accepting a “good deal” online when searching for a piano. Or trying to rescue a piano from “a friend” who has stored it for years in a basement or in storage. 

If you don’t know the conditions behind how it was stored, it’s probably not the best piano to have in your home to learn to play. 

A jar of water to help your piano stay in top shape? We think not. There are better ways to ensure the piano you are playing creates quality sound now and well into the future. 


Piano Lesson Myths – Are They For Real?

Piano Lesson Myths – Are They For Real?

We hear it all the time.

“I really want to learn to play the piano (or have my child learn to play the piano). But I’m just not sure how well I’ll do with the lessons. Should I really invest in a piano with so much uncertainty?”

Fear definitely holds us back. Especially when its something out of our comfort zones, like playing the piano. So instead of taking a step forward and doing it, we sit back and worry about the process. In most cases, they are all myths. Have you ever had one of these thoughts hold you back?Piano Lesson Myths – Are They For Real?

“The first few months of lessons are boring, playing notes and chords and classical songs. I don’t know if I can stick with it.”

Most piano teachers today realize their students don’t want to stick with the classical pieces they’ve never heard before. Instead, they concentrate on theory. Yes, you will have to learn the notes and the chords. But when it comes time to choose music, you can find music of all abilities in every genre out there. And in some cases, you’ll learn faster when you recognize the tune instead of picking out the notes simply because they exist on the page. Be sure to talk with a potential teacher before you sign up, and learn their strategies before you make your final selection.

“Children learn faster than adults.”

We hear this all the time from adults that have always wanted to play, but are afraid age will stand in the way. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, kids learn in different ways, and in some cases may seem to pick it up faster. But adults have a lot of advantages too. Adults are more aware of a wide variety of songs, and in some cases find it easier to play because they hear it. Adults also tend to have better aptitude to commit to regular practice. Because they’ve wanted piano in their lives, they are more likely to make it fit into their schedules, rather than be “forced” to practice on a regular basis. Adults can become more easily frustrated, however, and this is something you need to work with as you find a good teacher. Self-judgement and stress can easily come into play if you feel you aren’t picking things up quickly, or if you don’t sound like the concerts you attend at your local symphony. A good teacher will help you put your expectations into perspective, and help keep you on track.

“Piano lessons will be stressful. If I don’t keep up with expectations, my teacher will drop me.”

I think many of us remember the stress of being in school, with daily homework and tests to ensure you were doing things on time. Piano lessons aren’t like that. If you choose a piano teacher that works with adults regularly, they understand that things come up in our lives that prevent us from doing all we had planned. They understand if you don’t pick up things quite as quickly as expected. They adjust. A great piano teacher takes all this into consideration, and helps you through the lesson in a way that will benefit you the most. Maybe you need more work on chords, hand movement or eye position. Maybe you need a couple of weeks mastering the same tune. Piano playing is very personal by nature; a teacher’s job is to ensure you have fun and understand the concepts before moving on, no matter how long that takes.

“I must practice every day.”

Very few things make it into our lives every day. In fact, for many things, a daily routine can not only get monotonous, it can also make it less effective. Think of a workout routine. You would never lift weights in the same way day after day, right? Instead, you create a routine where you use weights several times a week, skipping days in between. You change things up. That’s to help your body recover, and for your mind to be present when you spend the time in the gym. Piano lessons work in a similar way. Rather than rushing in and playing for 10 minutes a day because you have to, if you spend 20 minutes every other day because you have the time and enjoy it, it will be much more meaningful to you. The key is to fit it into your schedule and be present.