GREAT-GRANDMOTHER PLAYED AS A GIRL”
Our purpose at the Antique Piano Shop is to provide education and create awareness in order to promote restoration and preservation of these heirloom musical instruments for future generations.
By sharing our vast collections, knowledge and experience, we hope that we can give you the tools and information you need in order to make an educated decision about your antique instrument. Most of us will agree that the world is changing every day. Technology is changing. Culture is changing. Values are changing. In this fast-paced world of constant change, we are seeing a welcome trend where folks are trying to get back to a simpler, more meaningful way of life.
REMEMBER YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S PIANO?
Throughout history, the presence of a piano or organ in the home was a symbol of culture and social status. During the 19th and 20th centuries, domestic life revolved around the piano or organ in the home. Since an instrument was the single most expensive piece of furniture in the home (sometimes costing as much as a house itself), families would go to great sacrifice in order to have a good quality instrument for their children to play. Our ancestors enriched their lives by learning to play the family piano or organ, and that skill was almost always handed down through generations.
Although the importance of the piano in the home has remained for 200 years, it seems to have drastically changed with this past generation with the introduction of instant digital music. Having a world of music at our fingertips has turned us and our children into a society which has become dependent on instant gratification. We no longer see children taking music lessons as much as they used to – instead, they have their ears covered with headphones and their eyes glued to a screen. Sadly, so many children today have no concept what it is like to actually learn to play a musical instrument, nor do they experience the basic gratification that comes from the hard work required to learn a skill like playing a musical instrument.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
“Today, we are beginning to see things come full circle. People are getting tired of their dependency on instant gratification and are beginning to desire a more substantive lifestyle. People are beginning to look back at who they are, where they come from, and they are trying to reconnect to their past.
I am continuously amazed to see young children who are able to operate complex computer programs squeal with delight when they see an old-fashioned player piano for the first time in their lives! Even though they live in a world of magic operated by the push of a button, seeing a piano play by itself with the keys moving and the music not coming out of a speaker gives children a moment of sheer delight and amazement like they have never experienced before.
In this age of immense knowledge and information, people are beginning to gain an appreciation for what our grandparents and great-grandparents had. We are being drawn back to a simpler time when values were important and hard work was rewarded. Parents are beginning to encourage their children to take music lessons, and music is slowly making its way back into education. For the first time in a generation, children are putting down their iPads and gaming devices while they take a piano lesson – hopefully a trend which will continue to grow and flourish.
-Michael Stinnett, Founder, Antique Piano Shop, Inc.
RESTORING YOUR HEIRLOOM INSTRUMENT
As things come back full circle, we are seeing a substantial increase in the number of clients who are restoring their family heirloom instrument.
Rather than going out and buying a new piano, families want their children and grandchildren to learn to play the same piano keys that their grandparents and great-grandparents learned to play on. They are discovering that restoring an heirloom instrument is usually a better value, dollar for dollar, than buying a sterile new piano with no soul.
We have clients that visit us with tears in their eyes talking about the memories they have of their loved ones who used to sit beside them on the old piano bench and teach them how to play the simplest melodies by heart. Other clients tell us stories about how grandpa worked 80 hours a week for a season so that he could save up enough money to buy grandmother a used piano for their wedding anniversary during the Great Depression.
Will it cost more to restore my instrument than it will be worth?
How many home renovation or “house-flipping” shows have you seen on TV lately? People all over the country are renovating old homes and buildings so that they can be sold for profit in the end. Much like the real estate industry, restoring a vintage instrument adds real value to the piece, ultimately making the instrument worth more than the cost of restoration in most cases.
These instruments are truly a part of our past, our present, and deserve to be a part of our future.
Chances are likely that you may have grandmother’s piano sitting somewhere in a dusty basement or garage, and chances are likely that you are trying to decide whether to restore it or sell/dispose of it somehow. Once you sell it or dispose of it, the instrument will be gone forever. Even if you can’t restore it now, we encourage you to hold onto it so that one day it might be restored and preserved and passed down to future generations.