Extending the Life of Your Piano
The life of a piano is very delicate and we often tend to cherish and admire it. With that said, this precious musical instrument is often passed down from one generation to another. Our pianos are what we use as a medium for self-expression and can also increase our self-esteem when played. With how valuable a piano is, we should learn how to take care of our instrument.
Tuning, Caring, and Maintaining Your Piano
If you play your piano frequently, it will frequently require tuning, caring, and maintenance. But how often does your piano need all this care? Depending on the humidity of the room the piano is placed, you can find out how often your piano needs to be tuned. If you play it at least two or three times a week, you may need to tune it every three months. At the very minimum, you should at least tune your piano once a year. When a piano departs from the factory, each of its parts is precision calibrated.
This process is called action regulation. A piano needs a room that is not too wet nor dry to function at its best potential, which is at 68°F or 42% humidity. If your piano becomes sensitive to the humidity change in the room, it can often go out of tune, wear out, and it’s wood and parts will shift out of shape.
The process of tuning a piano is very simple but is difficult to master if you are not a professional. It can even more complex to tune than a trumpet or a violin. When learning how to tune your piano, there are two main things that you must learn:
- How to use a tuning lever
- Hearing precisely where each pitch should go
The things you will need are:
- Tuning lever or wrench
- At least one wedge
- An accurate reference of the pitch
An electronic tuner may be an easier way to get it done faster, but sometimes there may not be an outlet to use nearby or even some extra batteries if you run out. It’s recommended to learn from a professional to do it by ear first, and then, if you are short on time, you can use the electronic tuner.
After learning from a professional, this is the overview of what they (or you) would do when tuning your piano. A tuning fork is usually the item used when tuning the piano. Generally, the first note tuned is A4, then, with the occasional checks, the temperament octave is tuned between F3 and F4. This is done until the tuner is satisfied with how the octave notes sound.
Get Started on Piano Lessons
If you decide you would like your child to start out on a journey through musical education, it would be a gift that will enhance their life in so many different ways. The first to do when you want your child to start learning how to play the piano is decide which piano you would like them to have. There are different types of pianos to choose, from digital to acoustic. Ideally, you would want the acoustic piano for piano lessons because of the things it can do, like capturing harmonics or give your child a better “touch” that he or she will develop. The digital piano is best if you live in a small household or apartment. It can do things that acoustics can’t do, like recording your child’s performance or changing the sound that it makes.
How do you know if your child is ready for piano lessons? Even though your child can start piano lessons if they are the age of 5 1/2, there are many things you must consider before you start your child on his or her piano lessons.
Ask your child if he/ she can:
- Distinguish the difference between his right or left hand
- Count to 10
- Recognize letters A – Z
- Have good motor coordination
- Can follow directions
- Have a desire to learn
Where to Find a Piano Teacher
When deciding where to find piano lessons, try finding a service or teacher that you know or feel comfortable with. You know that there are some adults that your child will blossom around with and some that they will shy away. I’m sure you have a list of qualities you want your child’s teacher to possess, but, in the real world, it’s impossible for everyone to be perfect.
What you can do to find the right teacher:
- Meet face to face with the teacher.
- Does the teacher make eye contact with your child?
- Does your child seem comfortable with the teacher?
- Does the teacher have a sense of humor?
To see the teacher in action before hiring them, you and your child can attend one of their recitals. If you are open to suggestions from Atlanta, Cooper Piano offers piano lessons. They offer to teach children of all ages with private or group lessons. They also have a preschool program (if you would like your child to start earlier than age 5) starting at age 3.
Common Beginner Problems
When you try something new, you will usually end up running into beginner problems. Most of the problems that your child will experience are common among beginner pianist. It is important to figure out those common mistakes before it’s too late for your child or even yourself.
Here are three of the most common beginner problems many beginner pianist face:
Forgetting To Practice
As the saying goes: “Out of sight, out of mind.” You should set you or your child’s piano in the living room or the dining room so it can be seen and played for the other family members.
Expecting the Best Results Too Quick
It takes time to learn how to play the piano. Reading the notes comes first and it’s the easiest part. After that, all the other aspects of playing become even more difficult.
3.Practicing Too Fast
As soon as you start out, there is no need to play the music piece at the final tempo. It’s best to start out nice and slow, then gradually picking up the pace.