Many times when parents are looking at starting their children in piano lessons they explore the option of buying a “used” piano. One of these concerns they have is “I don’t want to spend the money on a new piano if my child doesn’t stick with it?” If this is you, please keep these following tips in mind.
1. BUYING CERTAIN THINGS ONLINE IS GREAT, AS IT CAN SAVE TIME AND MONEY. A PIANO IS NOT TYPICALLY ONE OF THOSE THINGS
Buyers are very emotional people. We tend to see something that “looks good” or “beautiful” and we get excited because we can visualize it in our homes; picture the kids playing on it, etc. Not everything you read is true. When you are selling something, do you ever describe your item as “in poor condition”, “doesn’t work”, or “good luck with buying this”? I’m guessing not. Here’s the thing: Pianos can look amazing from the outside, but there are 12,000 parts in a piano…..over 5,000 of those parts move. You have to be cautious when buying a piano online if that’s truly the path you decide to take. If you find something you like, hire a piano technician to take a look at the piano and help determine if it’s truly a “good used piano” . If not, you will end up with a piano that isn’t functional and then you are stuck with an expensive and “amazing” piece of furniture.
2. MAKE SURE WHATEVER PIANO YOU’RE LOOKING AT HAS A RECORD OF SERVICE AND HAS BEEN KEPT TUNED
Just because a piano hasn’t been played doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be serviced. We still go through our humid summers and dry winters, and that affects the wood and materials that make up the piano. Tuning a piano once a year is okay, but pianos really should be tuned at least twice a year. Not tuning a piano can dramatically shorten the life of your piano and cost you thousands in repairs.
3. SHOP LOCAL IF YOU CAN
Find a local piano dealer(s) in your area and pay them a visit. They are going to have the expertise and knowledge for you to make an educated decision on what to purchase for your family. They will also have used inventory on hand that has been “checked out” by a technician, along with providing the service to the piano after you purchase. A good store will guide you in the buying process, but remember: It is YOUR piano, so make sure you don’t feel pressured. Make the process a fun one. Have the whole family along. If the children are involved in buying the piano, they will take ownership of their lessons
Piano is something your kids will have with them for the rest of their lives. One of the keys to their success in piano is “quality of the instrument”. Happy shopping!!!
Jay Tripp - Co-owner of Schoppert's Piano Gallery