Brooks Community Newspapers
In Brooks Community Newspapers – Home & Garden · Erica vanderLinde Feidner · April, 2007
So You’re Thinking of Purchasing a Fine Piano?
10 Essential Points to Consider
Piano Education: An Education for Life
The benefits of playing the piano are well known. Playing the piano enhances sensitivity, self-discipline, patience, coordination, abstract reasoning skills, and the ability to memorize and concentrate. Much like making the choice of which school to attend, the purchase of a fine piano is essentially an investment in musical education.
Why Buy a “Fine” Piano?
Starting out with a fine piano makes the most sense. Progress is fostered best by an instrument that is inspiring, which will in turn motivate any player at any level to visit the piano more often. The better the quality of the piano, the better the sound; the better the sound, the better the likelihood that the player can and will realize their full potential.
What Level of Excellence?
Buy the very best piano you can afford. In addition to the musical benefits a fine piano offers, industry standards indicate that fine pianos hold their value much better than poor or average pianos. In addition, well-known brands of fine quality sell much more quickly than pianos of lesser known brands and those of lesser quality.
The Pitfalls of a Poor or Average Piano
A poor piano can be both discouraging to the player as well as a questionable investment for the purchaser. A poor piano can inhibit or even inappropriately misdirect the piano player toward a less-than-favorable technique. More importantly, becoming familiar with the sound of a poor or average piano can be detrimental to the development of the player’s listening ear, even—and especially—at the beginning of learning to listen.
Music Makes You Smarter!
A fine piano encourages playing, playing more and playing more often. The sooner you acquire a fine piano, the sooner you will enjoy its pleasures. Scores of articles demonstrate the benefits of music education – such as improved spatial intelligence and improved ability to perform types of reasoning required for science and math. In fact, it has been demonstrated that playing music exercises more brain functions at one time than most other activities.
The buyer should take into consideration the style, size, sound, touch and price range of their potential purchase.
- Style: Would you prefer a traditional or period style piano? Is black or a wood finish more in keeping with the décor of the room in which it will rest? Is a shiny or a satin finish more appropriate?
- Size: Should you consider a grand piano or a vertical piano? To maximize tonal quality and harmonic richness, choose the largest piano you can accommodate. A vertical piano requires significant wall space, whereas a grand piano has more flexibility vis-à-vis placement. A vertical piano projects sound against the wall, whereas the sound of a grand piano resonates into the room. Most importantly, the geometry of the action mechanism in a grand piano has the critical benefit of gravity on its side, providing a much more responsive touch than a vertical piano.
- Sound: No two pianos sound alike—even if they are identical in age, size, style, finish, price and make. Each and every piano —even within each brand—has its own special characteristics. Most pianos are constructed of a minimum of 85% wood—an organic material. Have you ever seen two trees of the same species that look exactly the same?? Of course not. And so each piano—handmade or otherwise—will sound different. Preference for certain kinds of sound stems from past experiences, expectations, and the type of music you play or listen to. Not all pianos are created equal in sound and touch. Rather, each piano is “born” with its own set of DNA.
- Touch: Each and every piano also feels different. Preference is a matter of “fit.” Perhaps you want the touch to be free and easy, so you can sit down and play without much effort. Then again, perhaps you are one who prepares for performances and wants the feeling of strengthening the fingers. Although the touch (action) can be customized somewhat, there is a limit to how far you can go.
Trying Them Out: The Real Fun Begins!
Once the parameters of size, finish, style, sound, touch and price have been approximated with the guidance of a knowledgeable consultant, the real adventure of selecting your perfect piano begins.
Is it magic? How does piano consultant Erica vanderLinde Feidner understand and translate the rhythm of her clients’ lives so quickly and so clearly, to find the piano that is the musical equivalent of their soul mate? Having grown up in a home with 26 pianos, Erica understood that every piano, like every person, possesses different traits. Trained as both a pianist and a teacher, she’s able to speak the language of a professional as easily as she understands the needs of the amateur – even the beginner. The key is to find the right match between player and piano, hence the name of her business, “Piano Matchmaker LLC.”
The Value in Hiring the “Piano Matchmaker”
Perhaps you are new to the idea of selecting the perfect fine piano for your family. A trusted guide assisting you through the piano matchmaking process can minimize your time, price and concerns during the process, and can even make choosing a fine piano a marvelous and memorable experience—as it should be!!
Erica has captured unprecedented national and international press coverage for her work. She was the subject of a feature story by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart in The New Yorker Magazine, was the cover shot on Inc. Magazine with an accompanying feature story in 2002, was featured in the new book “Achieving Sales Excellence” by Stevens and Kinni, along with appearances in the NY Post, Forbes Magazine, Smart Money Magazine, The Music Trades Magazine, Westport News, among others. Television appearances include A&E, NHK, The Hallmark Channel, The Genuine Article, and CNN.
Erica assists clients in the selection of fine pianos such as Bosendorfer, Fazioli, Bluthner, and Steinway & Sons, among others. She can be reached at (203)644-9197.