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Saturday, June 11, 2016



Caring For Your Piano

Before you buy your child a piano, here are some things you should know about the basic care and maintenance of a piano.

A piano is made up of mainly of wood, metal, springs and strings. As it has a large expanse of wood, one of the first things you should know is it gets affected by humidity and moisture. In a hot and humid country like Malaysia, you will need a dehumidifier for your piano. You keep this plugged on 24 hours to regulate the humidity. Other methods include having plants or an external dehumidifier nearby. Be sure to ask the dealer about these.

Where To Place Your Piano

It is also important where you place your piano. Don't place it near the window with direct sunlight where you may have extreme changes in temperature and humidity throughout the day. You should also avoid other sources of humidity like the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen also causes oil stains from cooking fumes.

Important!

Do not allow your children to eat or drink near the piano. It is extremely important not to spill any liquids near the piano as it may expand the wood.  Spillage or condensation can be very damaging to your piano requiring expensive repair.



The piano is rather like a huge lego put together. You can easily open up the outer parts to view the inside. In fact, you can open up the top of an upright piano to air it occasionally but make sure that no insects or pests get into it. 

Below is the inside of a piano. See the intricate system of strings and wood. You can check out the Merriam-Webster Visual Online Dictionary to see the names of the different parts of a piano.



Servicing Your Piano

Your piano should be serviced at least 2 times a year. 3-4 times is even better. Don't let too much time go in between services. Otherwise, you may need to do pitch-raising which will cause the technician more trips and higher cost and inconvenience to you. Inconvenience in arranging a time for servicing as a regular service may take hours.

The company you get to come in to service your piano may require you to enter into a contract for a certain number of piano service per year payable in advance. Remember to read the fine print on your contract because in some cases, if you allow the recommended time to lapse, the amount you paid ahead may be forfeited! Don't worry, usually the company will call in advance to remind you when  your service is due. However, do try to keep your appointments.

Wear And Tear

Hinges may be subject to wear and tear. For example, the music rack may not open or close smoothly after a while so do try to avoid putting or leaving too many heavy music books on it.

Recently we had to change one of the hinges for the fallboard ie the piano cover. It cost RM291 to change just one! You can't order just one, you need to order both in order to change just one side. We could not avoid the cost because it caused the cover to grate the sides of the piano which if left alone will create an even greater damage and eventual higher cost. 

You may also find stain marks on the wooden keys after a while like what you see in the above picture but that is ok as long as the wood does not expand. 

Keeping Your Piano Clean

Your piano is not only a piece of musical instrument. It can also serve as a fine furnishing for your home by using it as a focal point for decoration. This pinterest board on 1000 ideas to decorate your room around your piano will give you plenty of ideas. Covering your piano with a cloth, not only keeps it clean but it looks good too. Never put anything directly on your piano without a soft felt pad or cloth underneath to prevent damage. 

For regular care, wiping the dust off your piano with a soft slightly damp cloth (not wet) is good enough. Do not use household cleaners or polish. If you are polishing get your polish from a music shop or dealer and be very careful not to contaminate other parts of your instrument.

A piano is a rather expensive equipment, so do take care of it and teach your kids to treat it with loving care.



Enough words, let's enjoy some lovely piano music. My favourite - First Love by Utada Hikaru. Enjoy! It's beautiful.

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