Thursday, September 26, 2013

The New Piano

If you have ever moved an old piano, you know it is an ordeal.  That's why most old pianos are free to whomever has the brawn to handle them.  Our new piano came to us as an offer we couldn't refuse, but the whole process was fraught with problems.

My husband and I bought our gorgeous old Schiller cabinet grand piano for $25 early in our marriage.  It had to be tuned to itself which wasn't a problem until we cajoled the renters after us into keeping the piano for six months until we could move it into the house we'd bought.  The guy was a guitarist, so it was very annoying to him that the piano was a whole step flat. Oh.

  When it was time to move the Schiller, it had to be turned on end to get it through the front door of our new house.  Then, my husband's best friend, a professional musician, warned us that we were ruining our children's pitch, and the piano tuner said it couldn't be tuned again. 

So, when my uncle called in August and said he was getting rid of his piano, we gritted our teeth and said yes.

The Schiller being turned on end to leave.

We had to off-load our beautiful, but not very musical, old Schiller piano.  We tried in various ways (and my husband discovered that our piano, restored, was valued around $9000).  Finally, the night before the new piano was coming, he disassembled the Schiller into its parts for wood, metal, and beautiful bric-a-brac.  I helpfully stayed out of the dining room.

The new piano is now here - less majestic, less mellifluous, but eminently paintable when we have the time.  And yes, it can be tuned.  Notice how I skipped the trying details of the move? I fed everybody pancakes, bacon, and coffee. That was helpful.

 Piano lessons got scrambled in the process (this was the beginning of August - I'm trying to catch up with my life), but Genevieve and I got started again once we got the homework-beast tamed.

Now, the problem is that Genevieve is struggling with this phase of piano lessons and I can't work out a new way to explain things, so she's very reluctant to practice her songs.  She is still at the pinao, though, because she has just figured out all by herself how to sound out some simple melodies she loves.  So I'm taking that as a sign of progress, and hoping we creep along with our thin patience until she can actually read music.

 I proposed to my husband that we paint the piano dark, deep, bottle-green.  But I'm not looking for projects right now, so I think the piano looks just fine.


Jennifer Jo said...

My husband (as a boy) once saw some guys drop a piano off a truck. It landed on its end and was never the same again.

jenny_o said...

What a great story!

How many strong men did it take to move it?

... and ... did you have a tear or two ... because I know I would, if I had to part with our huge old heavy behemoth, even with its cracked sounding board :)

Unknown said...

We don't have a piano - for all the reasons you mentioned..but my son is taking lessons from Grammie, so we're looking into the whole piano thing again. The biggest problem is we don't have room for one..

Hazel said...

We reluctantly got rid of our lovely but pretty worthless turn-of-last-century piano and upgraded to a boring but superior modern shiny black one last year.

I knew when we bought it 10 years ago (£60/$95 because our next door neighbour worked for a removal company and we could move it ourselves) that it was only any good up to Grade 2 (not sure if that equates to the US?) so when eldest daughter started on her Grade 3 and a man in the village was selling you, it was too good an opportunity to miss. (We pushed it from his house to ours!)

Margo said...

Jenny_o, there were 4 strong guys to move it. I didn't shed a literal tear, but I'm a little cold to the newcomer.

Hazel, we don't have grades in music lessons that I know about. We also pushed our piano up the street when we had to move it from our apartment to house! It was funny.

Meryl said...

I think that making bacon is a perfectly respectable contribution to a move! ;)

We got a piano (which still isn't painted, but someday!) just after the Kid was born. Sweet Husband's two best friends still teasingly remind me how heavy it was every time they're over.

M E 2 said...

Who in their (NOT) right mind paints a piano???????????? Sacre Bleu!

Unknown said...

Wholesome piano, I think their has nothing to change it. That was perfectly done around the books. Good choice.

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