Q: What kind of piano information should you look for when purchasing a quality piano?
A: You should strongly consider the following three points. First, you want to be sure that quality materials were used in the construction of the piano. Second, you should get information on who actually manufactured the piano. Does this company have a high level of experience and expertise, does the factory meet worldwide standards for quality and craftsmanship. Third, you want to be sure you are purchasing your piano from a service oriented dealer.
Q: Are there really benefits to having my children study the piano beyond enjoyment and a musical education?
A: Absolutely. Aside from the much publicized "Mozart Effect" which linked intelligence with early exposure to the music of the great masters, there are many benefits to be obtained from the practice, study, and enjoyment of the piano and its music. Unlike any other instrument, the piano's repertoire has compassed most of Western Music History and its great composers. What is truly astonishing is the growing body of evidence that shows study of the piano to be directly linked to an improved comprehension of scientific and mathematical concepts, as well as general overall academic achievement. Self confidence, discipline, and organizational skills can also be readily obtained from learning to play the piano.
Q: Why do people say that "Music Makes You Smarter"?
A: A ten-year study tracking more than 25,000 students shows that music-making improves academic test scores. Regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students got higher marks in standardized tests than those who had no music involvement.
Q: How often should I have my piano tuned?
A: Piano manufacturers recommend that NEW pianos should be tuned a minimum of three to four times the first year and a minimum of two times a year thereafter. Embracing a regular tuning schedule ensures that the qualified technician/tuner will spot any problems early and ensure that your piano always remains in top working condition.
Q: What is a pitch raise, and how will I know if my piano needs one?
A: If it has been a long time since you have your piano tuned, or if your piano is new or newly restrung or is particularly sensitive to changes in humidity it may have drifted substantially far (usually lower) away from it's proper pitch level. This can be confusing, because often the piano will still sound fairly in tune with itself, but when measured against an outside source such as a tuning fork or other instrument it will be substantially different! How far away your piano is from this external source or measuring stick will determine if it needs a pitch adjustment or not. The pitch level that is considered standard in modern times is called A440 because the A above middle C on your keyboard is tuned to exactly 440 cycles per second. Every other note is then tuned to this original anchor note. If the piano's pitch has drifted too far away from this standard it will need a pitch adjustment. This basically amounts to a rough tuning of the instrument to get it to the proper pitch level so that a fine tuning may be performed. Because this extra (rough tuning) is required there is an additional fee.
Q: What can I do to make my piano play better?
A: Believe it or not, having your piano tuned will not make it play better! Tuning only has to do with setting all of the piano's roughly 220 strings into proper relationship with each other. Tuning will make your piano sound better, but to make it play better it must receive regulation. Regulation can make the touch of your piano's keyboard more responsive, more fluid, more even, and able to repeat much more quickly. The word expressive comes to mind here. Regulation involves setting many of the thousands of moving parts in your piano's action mechanism back into the optimum relationship to each other that they had before they became worn. Having a piano that responds well from pianissimo to fortissimo can make all the difference in the world.
Q: How large of a piano should I purchase?
A: You should purchase the largest piano that will comfortably fit your assigned space. Given that the piano is a long term investment, it is important to purchase the piano you will be happy with for a long time.
Q: Should I choose an acoustic piano or a digital piano?
A: The traditional acoustic piano has been made for over 300 years. It is a stately and classic instrument that is also a fine piece of furniture. Furniture gives the acoustic piano an advantage over most digital pianos. Digital pianos on the other hand have their advantages too. They require almost no maintenance; they never need tuning and can be played with headphones. One thing is clear, today's Yamaha digital and hybrid pianos are excellent instruments that can simulate the feel and sound of an acoustic piano well enough that major universities use them in piano labs and in practice rooms.
Q: Where should I place my piano in my home?
A: The ideal place for your piano to be is against an inside wall, away from anything that could possible affect the humidity levels. Some common dangers to avoid are windows, doors, cooling/heating systems vents that direct air at or near your piano, and proximity to fireplaces. Exposure to direct sunlight over a period of time can absolutely ruin your piano's finish. Severe swings in humidity and temperature caused by the above listed hazards can be fatal. Overly dry environments cause cracks or glue joint failures to develop in your piano's wood parts, and exposure to too much moisture causes rust on the strings, tuning pins and other metal parts. If you find yourself restricted in your options for placement do not despair, just do your best to minimize the danger.
Q: What can I do to protect my piano from the effects of severe dryness or moisture?
A: Have a Damp-Chaser piano climate control system installed by Grand Piano Haus. Piano manufacturers recommend keeping your piano in a constant and stable environment of 68 degrees and at 42% relative humidity. Your home's cooling/heating system cannot ensure this even if it is modern and well insulated. Damp-Chaser systems are fairly affordable and pretty much hidden from view when installed in your piano. These systems are state of the art and are used by museums such as the Smithsonian to protect their collection of historic and extremely valuable instruments. Your piano will stay in tune longer, regulation will remain more consistent over time, felts will last longer, rust will be eliminated, and wood and glue joints protected!
Q: Why do people add player piano systems to their piano?
A: Adding a player system to the piano is extremely popular. It allows every one to enjoy the piano at any time in virtually every situation and condition. The latest system can be set up to play solo piano music, or play along with some of your favorite recording artists. When professionally installed, they cause no harm to your piano.
The most sophisticated factory installed systems by Yamaha will even teach you how to play the piano! Yamaha's Disklaviers can be connected to the "Disklavier Radio" receiving streaming songs. You can choose from more than 25 music channels with a comprehensive collection of thousands of titles. Disklavier's can record you playing the piano and even connect you into your home theater were you can receive over the internet "LIVE" Piano performances, concerts, master classes, via Yamaha's "RemoteLive" technology.