It’s Time To Get Your Piano Ready For Winter

It’s Time To Get Your Piano Ready For Winter

Winter is a time for many things – skiing, ice skating, playing in the snow. The days grow colder and shorter, meaning you can spend more time at home snuggled under a blanket with a good book. Or gathering around the piano, and practicing your favorite songs. 

While you might love the idea of slowing down and spending more time at home, the changing seasons can impact your piano in many ways. Pianos are a huge investment. Maintaining it is part of ownership, to ensure the craftsmanship is maintained throughout its life. 

When winter sets in and the temperatures dip, changes occur both inside and outside your home. To avoid damage to the internal components, here are a few tips to keep in mind. 

Create a constant humidity level

When the temperatures begin to drop, and you notice a chill inside, it’s only natural to turn up the heat and warm it up to a comfortable level. But with heat circulating throughout your home, it also makes the air drier in the process. Ever noticed you need a little more moisturizer in the winter? That’s because moisture slips from the air. While that dryness may leave you with a stuffy nose and cracked, dry hands, it can also dry out wood and cause piano strings to lose tension. Adding a humidifier to your home will ensure that moisture levels remain constant throughout the year. 

Pay attention to where you place your piano

While humidity levels in your home matter for keeping the wood and strings in good shape, it isn’t the only thing that can dry your piano out. If you place your piano in the wrong place, it can be subjected to sunlight, heat sources, and other things that can damage it. Avoid placing your piano near:

  • Open doors or windows where it receives constant bursts of cold air
  • Near vents 
  • Near a heater
  • Next to a humidifier
  • In direct sunlight

Maintaining your piano throughout the year

Owning a piano means performing small maintenance tasks throughout the year to ensure a long life, and that it sounds great no matter when you sit down to play. That includes:

  • Dusting the piano weekly
  • Covering the keys
  • Playing regularly
  • Tuning your piano
  • Making your piano a junk-free zone
  • Keeping liquids away

With just a little work, your piano will be ready for winter, waiting for you to play more often, or gather around with friends for a few hours of fun. 


Creative Ways To Surprise Your Family With A Piano Under The Tree

Creative Ways To Surprise Your Family With A Piano Under The Tree

Want to surprise your family with a piano for the holidays? Here are some creative ways to surprise your family with a piano under the tree. 

Every year, you load gifts under the tree in hopes of creating the perfect surprise. Some gifts are forgotten almost as quickly as they are received. Many are returned. More are used for a bit before given away. 

If you’re looking for the perfect gift you’ll keep on using for years to come, why not wrap up a piano this holiday season? 

Yet we realize how difficult it can be to bring home a piano and tuck it under the tree. Still, what could be more fun than giving the gift that keeps on giving? We have some creative ways to give a piano under the tree and surprise your loved one on Christmas morning. 

Wrap The Box

Pianos come in a very large box. However, you don’t usually see it because you purchase a piano directly off our showroom floor. When we deliver it, it’s set up and ready to go. But we do keep a few cardboard boxes in the back – just ask, and we’re happy to tuck one into your truck for you to take home and wrap. It’ll be the perfect way to keep your recipient guessing all season long. 

Wrap The Piano Lid Key

Almost every acoustic piano comes with a key that locks the lid over the piano keys. Wrap up this key in a tiny box and decorate it with pretty paper. You can include a photo or a letter describing what it’s for. If your piano is already in place in another part of your home, create a scavenger hunt for the recipient to find it. 

Wrap A Piano Ornament

If you do a little searching, you can find a Christmas ornament shaped like a piano. Wrap it up with a special note about how they’ll be able to create their own music with their own piano – delivered right after the holidays!

Sheet Music

Instead of wrapping the piano, buy a selection of sheet music and place that in the box. Make sure it’s an appropriate skill level for whoever will be playing the piano. 

Piano Lessons

Will the recipient need piano lessons too? Provide a gift card and wrap that up. This gives them a chance to get started playing right after the holidays. 

Wrap The Bench

Instead of wrapping the entire piano, wrap the bench instead. You can keep it in the box, or wrap it out of the box to keep them guessing. You can include a photo of the piano too if it’ll be delivered after the holidays. 

Why Is A Piano So Expensive?

Why Is A Piano So Expensive?

Why is a piano so expensive? One look at this complex instrument, and you should know you’re dealing with an ordinary product. 

No matter if you select an upright or a grand piano, there are dozens – hundreds – of parts to make them into the instrument they are. If you open the lid and peer inside, you’ll see they are filled with intricate detail, not something that comes together easily. 

If you slap a piano together quickly on an assembly line, you’d know it at the first touch. The sound wouldn’t be right. Even the feel wouldn’t be as it should. 

Pianos are expensive because …

  • They are made from the very best wood. The wood helps create the sound. And depending on the instrument, the wood has to be moldable to create a one-of-a-kind piano. Have you ever seen a grand piano that lights up the room? Now take a second look at the wood, the way it curves and flows. The way that it glows. 
  • Pianos are not made from a machine. That means every single piano is made by hand. (Just look at the process used to make Steinways.) It takes hours, days, weeks, to make every single part come together and form our modern day pianos. Depending on the size and the brand, a piano will have over 100,000 parts. And when you’re fitting them all into place by hand, ensuring they come together to create a beautiful sound, the price of the final product rises accordingly. 
  • Pianos use a combination of keys, hammers, and strings to create sound. Hundreds of strings are carefully aligned inside the body of the piano, each cut to a precise length. They have to be fitted in the right way, and tuned once they are finalized into place. Not only does this take hours of time, but it also takes skill and knowledge to know what to listen for with every key that is played. 
  • Depending on the piano you select, you’re also buying into the brand. Steinway. Bosendorfer. Chickering. These companies have built up a reputation for having high quality, all of the time. They spend extra time on every piano ensuring it meets certain standards. When you sit down at one of their pianos, you know you’ll make wonderful music, not too bright or mellow, with a full, rich, dynamic range. You have to pay for that. But you’ll also be rewarded with high quality, every time. 
The Best After School Routine Includes Piano

The Best After School Routine Includes Piano

The school bells are ringing once again. And if you’re like every busy household, you’re struggling to fit it all in. 

Teachers seem to be dishing out even more homework every year. And of course, every grade of advancement brings new challenges and opportunities. 

Then there are after school activities. Sometimes it feels like you’re running from place to place, always running a little behind. How will you fit it all in and have a life too?The Best After School Routine Includes Piano

We want our kids to be active. We want to give them every advantage possible, so we sign them up for every fun thing we can find. 

But think back to your own after school routine. Were you flying from activity to activity every single day?

Transition from school back home and to other activities is important. No one can be expected to be active every waking hour. Kids are no exception. If your child is:

Extroverted – she’s exhilarated after a day in the classroom. She needs to tell you all about it. She wants to stay active.

Introverted – she’s exhausted and needs a chance to recover. Only a quiet space will do. 

With this in mind, the sooner you start your after school routine, the more focus your kids will be. But only you can decide what that routine will look like. 

Will they start in on homework immediately? Will practicing the piano be a part of it? 

Or will some things be better pushed a few hours, to make time for other activities? 

If you have several children or an active family, a digital may make your life easier. Instead of trying to find a quiet place for homework while one child practices, simply plug in the headphones and let them go. 

This means one child isn’t separated from the activities of being a part of a family. They’re still in the presence of siblings doing homework, or you and your spouse making dinner. 

Digital pianos are often the solution to trying to find the time and space to fit it all in. 

How do you fit piano practice into your after school routine?

Repair, Recondition, Rebuild – What’s Your Piano?

Repair, Recondition, Rebuild – What’s Your Piano?

Looking to restore your piano? The words repair, recondition and rebuild are often used in conjunction with the process. While there is no precise definition of these jobs, some may contain elements of more than one. It’s therefore very important that you ask questions to determine the type of restoration work done on your piano or the one you are considering for purchase.Repair, Recondition, Rebuild – What’s Your Piano?

Repair usually refers to fixing broken parts, such as a broken hammer, an improperly working pedal, or a broken string. Repair may not involve upgrading the condition of the instrument, rather it fixes a specific part on the piano and brings it back into working condition.

Reconditioning involves upgrading the entire piano, but with as little replacement of parts as possible. To recondition an upright might include resurfacing the hammer felt, and twisting the strings to improve the tone. However, the term reconditioning can vary greatly between technicians. Some would consider partial replacement of hammers, strings or tuning pins to be reconditioning, while others would look at that as a partial rebuild.

Rebuilding is considered the most complete of all levels. Rebuilding means putting the piano back to “like new” condition. Restringing the piano, replacing the pinblock, as well as repairing or replacing the soundboard would all be a part of a rebuild. Replacing hammer heads, damper felts, and key bushings would also be a part of a rebuild. It could also include refinishing the wood casing.

There is crossover between the terms all the time. There is no substitute for requesting a detailed description of all work done on a piano before you except work performed.

If you are considering purchasing a rebuilt piano, the rebuilder’s experience should be one of the main deciding factors. Keep in mind that the skills required for rebuilding a soundboard may be different from those installing a new set of hammers. Mastering each skill associated with the internal workings of a piano can take years.

Many rebuilders rely on a variety of technicians to complete a job. They may contract out portions to different people that have special expertise. Collaboration is often the best way to recreate a piano’s original sound from the ground up. But make sure you know whom your are contracting work from and who will be responsible for correcting problems should they arise.

Piano, Pianoforte or Harpsichord

Piano, Pianoforte or Harpsichord

Have you ever looked at the history of a piano? You’ll find a variety of keyboard instruments listed throughout time. But are they all related to the piano?

The harpsichord was a very popular instrument in the 18th century. While a piano uses hammers and dampers to strike the strings and create a sound, a harpsichord performs the function differently. When the keys on a harpsichord are depressed, the strings are plucked rather than struck. Therefore the sound produced will be different than what you hear from a piano.Piano, Pianoforte or Harpsichord

Today, if you purchase a spinet piano, you are purchasing a small harpsichord. Spinets have only one string per note. Because they are smaller, they will have less volume, less harmonics, less sound than a more traditional harpsichord or its piano counterpart.

With the popularity of the harpsichord in the 1700s, changes quickly followed in an attempt to make them even better. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the pianoforte was invented in the early 1700s by artist Bartolomeo Cristofori. He was charged with caring for the harpsichords belonging to the Florentine court of Grand Prince Ferdinando de Medici. While maintaining them and attempting to make them better, he designed a harpsichord with loud and soft capabilities, which eventually came to be known as a pianoforte.

This invention mirrored today’s pianos, a harpsichord with hammers and dampers, two keyboards and a four range octave. They were highly complex instruments that were also very expensive to produce. Over time, pianofortes were reinvented, reincorporated, and redesigned, eventually becoming what we today call the piano.

You will sometimes find pianofortes also described as an antique. In reality, not many pianofortes survive.

Today’s pianos provide a rich sound quality that we’ve come to know and love. Are we still reinventing and redesigning? Yes, all the time. We’re moving into the digital world. Many are relying equally on acoustic and digital pianos to create the desired sounds.

Stop by today to see our entire line of acoustic and digital pianos.

Piano: The One Instrument That Gets Better With Time

Piano: The One Instrument That Gets Better With Time

When parents choose to offer the gift of music to their child, cost is usually one of the top considerations.

If they select a violin, a cello, a viola, or a guitar, they know they will have to select a student instrument, sized correctly for how big their child is. As they grow, new instruments will have to be purchased as they move into better programs, or potentially audition for top schools such as Julliard. While a starting instrument may cost a few hundred dollars in the beginning, it can quickly reach into the tens of thousands of dollars as they perfect their skills and require better sound.Piano: The One Instrument That Gets Better With Time

Parents expect replacing the tools of the trade as their child grows and changes.

But what if a child chooses piano?

Piano is the one instrument that, if chosen correctly, can last a lifetime.

Over the years, manufacturers of pianos have come and gone. Some were good, some, well, not so much. But as the years have rolled by, some of the best continue to be sought after instruments that people are not only proud to play, they are proud to display.

Think Steinway.

Think Baldwin.

Think Yamaha.

And of course many more.

When pianos are built, if they are built with top workmanship from the best materials available, they are built to last. If they are well cared for over time, they will continue to last from generation to generation.

The key is in the maintenance.

A well maintained piano is placed in an environment where temperature and humidity are kept at a relatively consistent basis. It is cleaned on a regular basis. It is tuned on a regular basis. And when necessary, repairs are made.

With just these few things in place, the same piano a child learns on at 5 can be playing well when she reaches 105.

Ready to invest in a quality piano that will last a lifetime? Give us a call or stop by today.