Old Pianos

Pianos are wonderful instruments. Many of my students learn on pianos that are over 100 years old. If well maintained, these antiques can produce a rich sound that has character unmatched by newer pianos. Sometimes, inside the casings, there are notes from piano tuners or maintainers that give clues about the instrument’s past. One of my students has a beautiful 1902 Gerhart Heintzman “Upright Grand” made in Toronto, old tuner’s notes tell of a life on the prairies prior to coming to the west coast. One can only imagine grandma playing Christmas carols on a Saskatchewan ranch in the depression years.

Local piano tuner/maintainer, Jim Anderson recently replaced the old bass strings and felts and the piano sounds great… likely much as it did in the early 1900’s.

Jim loves the old pianos; and if you’re considering purchasing one, consider having it inspected by an expert maintainer (like Jim) prior to purchase. They can be wonderful instruments, but can also be expensive headaches if you unknowingly get into an instrument that has problems.

Cheers, Ron

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How early can my child start lessons?

I have been asked many times, how early can my child start piano lessons. The answer actually lies not in the child’s age, but in the child’s ability to focus on the lesson and ability to practice. If the child is not able to concentrate on a lesson and practice appropriately for their age, they will not succeed, they will get frustrated and the overall experience will not be as positive as it might be if one waited until they are ready.

A good instructor will evaluate a child’s readiness to take lessons prior to starting out. I have taught children as young as four years old, and have recommended others wait until they are seven. It is important that the child wants to learn piano, has the  ability to focus for 20 minutes on one topic, and (maybe with the aid of parents) is able to practice throughout the week.

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