Piano Adventures: The Stay Home Edition

Keeping my five year old daughter engaged and entertained while being confined to our property for the duration of the Stay at Home directives has been a challenge.

But one fun way she has been occupying herself is by taking many many photos with her camera. She’s been getting shots of pretty much everything she can from within the property lines, from close-ups of her Paw Patrol mini figurines and close-ups of flowers to distance shots of our backyard neighbor through the chain link fence (with the neighbor’s permission of course).

And of course, she couldn’t forget to take a photo of our piano.

My piano isn’t particularly fancy or worth a lot of money, but it’s a solid instrument with a lot of sentimental value to me. When I was a piano tech student back in 2004 (wow time sure has flown), this was my project piano for the second half of my first year as a student. It has new keytops (a specialty job done by an amazing former shop teacher in Portland), new shanks and hammers (done by a previous student very well, I replaced hammers on a different upright for that experience), while I (takes deep breath) replaced the strings, the casters, the hammer springs, the damper felts, the key bushings, the pedals, the hammer butt felts and buckskin, the backcheck felts and buckskin, the capstan felts, the nameboard rail felt, the keypin felts, and the backrail felt. So…pretty much any piece of leather or felt in the instrument and then some. Then I regulated and tuned (six times!) to actually make the piano feel and sound good, which is, you know, generally something people like in a piano.

After all that, I just couldn’t let this piano go.

Built in 1917 by the Emerson Piano Company, it is a full sized upright (over 52″), a size no longer in production, which allows for a string scale longer than that of some baby grands, which in turn allows for a bigger sound. All the new parts and work put into it allow for consistency in touch and the potential to make adjustments that are sometimes just not possible when the parts are old and worn out. And while the finish has seen better days, the grain still looks cool and the case parts are sturdy hard wood, and any marks are to me just part of the instrument’s legacy.

I love my piano, I love playing my piano when I actually have time, I love introducing my daughter to music with my piano, and it is my hope that everyone else loves (or can love with a little help) their own piano just as much.

Do you have a piano that you love? I’d love to see it, especially since I can’t work on pianos in person right now and miss my work so very much. Send us a photo or video to be featured on andantepianoworks.com, or tag us with your photo or videos on Facebook or Instagram @andantepianoworks.

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