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#1974206 - 10/16/12 05:12 PM Another Piano Quest Story  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
StudentSenior Offline
Junior Member
StudentSenior  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Houston, Texas
This is my first post. I have been lurking here at Piano World for almost two years now and have learned a lot. So I feel obliged to participate with this description of my piano quest, just now ended.

First some background: I’ve made my ID “Student Senior” ….I’m a senior in my early eighties and I’m a student. I first started to play the piano in November 2010. For a year I played on my own and as of the first of this year, I started taking piano lessons. I’ve had a piano in the house ever since I’ve been married and we got our new Mason Hamlin console in about 1961. My wife was the pianist but she had quit playing years ago.

One of the first things I discovered was that I had apparently outlived the piano. The sounds were bright to harsh and loud --- almost clanging. Then I discovered you could partially bring your piano back to life with voicing. I discovered the Reblitz piano servicing book and Steve Van Nattan’s website for do it yourselfers and did a little voicing and reshaping myself. It did improve the piano. But there’s a limit to what you can do with an older small piano and since I had the means, I decided to get a grand piano. I was off on the piano search. I discovered Larry Fine’s book and his map of the market for new pianos. Then there was Perri Knize’s “Grand Obsession” which I read. It was an engaging and informative book. However the lesson I took away from it was that it may not be wise for me to ever fall in love with a piano. At least not for me.

Given my late start and modest ambition and skill (I don’t think I’ll ever become an advanced pianist), it appeared to me that something like a high end consumer grade piano would do. Something like a Brodmann PE 187. But when I started my field research, I found that what stood out for me wasn’t always as it was supposed to be. I played the Brodmann’s but afterwards couldn’t “remember” them. They weren’t bad … they just didn’t stand out for me. Yet a certain 6’ 2” Henry Miller did stand out and it’s supposed to be just a notch above entry level. It sounded almost as good as the Yamaha C2 next to it. Yes I could sense that the Shigeru Kawai’s were a level above the RX3 Kawai’s. But the Hallet Davis and Samick pianos at the same dealership also sounded pretty good --- not as good as the Kawai’s but still pretty good. How to evaluate the differences which are subjective and peculiar to the individual is the burden that every piano buyer has to bear. smile

So how did it end up? Well there was a 1988 5’ 10” Schimmel that had been on the market for about a year and a half. The owner was asking $15,000 for it. My initial reaction was for that amount and maybe a little more I could buy a new high end consumer grade piano and I wasn’t interested. Then I heard a new Vogel V180 at one of the Houston area dealerships and I liked it. However it was housed in about $10,000 worth of fancy cabinetry and I didn’t want that. I then remembered the 1988 Schimmel and thought maybe it would sound something like the Vogel since Schimmel makes Vogel. When I played the Schimmel however, it sounded nothing like the new Vogel. It was different but I liked the sound. It has sort of a singing quality to it and is described by some as sweet and European. Furthermore my wife likes the sound. Of course I had my independent technician inspect it…something you learn to do at Piano World. The original owner and I agreed on a price and it now sits in my living/dining room. I may even learn to love the piano.

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#1974217 - 10/16/12 05:41 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014
Minnesota Marty  Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
How Delightful!

Congratulations on finding the perfect piano for you and your wife to enjoy.

Especially, a big Thank You for your lovely retelling of your search.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#1974226 - 10/16/12 06:07 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 450
Grandman Offline
Full Member
Grandman  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 450
Usa
Congratulations! You took the time to evaluate the piano you love and that's what I'm in the process of doing. Hope you have many years of wonderful enjoyment from your piano.

#1974247 - 10/16/12 06:46 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,334
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,334
Georgia, USA
Wow, congratulations, StudentSenior!

And, that was a very nice "piano stroy"... we like those on Piano World! The only thing missing are pictures of your new-to-you Schimmel! smile

Wishing you all the best!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
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#1974259 - 10/16/12 07:11 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 225
pianonewb Offline
Full Member
pianonewb  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 225
No. Va.
Congrats. Pics or it didn't happen, lol.


Mike
Casio Privia PX 120

The only thing nescessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.
[Linked Image]
#1974391 - 10/17/12 02:45 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014
Bobpickle  Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,393
Cameron Park, California
Congratulations. Be sure and drop by the Adult Beginner's Forum and maybe Pianist Corner as they're both friendly communities for enthusiastic learners.


"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."
#1974486 - 10/17/12 09:32 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Chopinlover49  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Congratulations on your Schimmel! They are very fine instruments and you should get very good performance out of it.

#1974492 - 10/17/12 09:51 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member
sophial  Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,546
US
Congratulations! I wish you many happy hours playing your lovely new piano!

#1974519 - 10/17/12 11:19 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
StudentSenior Offline
Junior Member
StudentSenior  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Houston, Texas
[Linked Image]

Pianonewb says "pics or it didn't happen". So here it is. Please note the old Mason Hamlin in the background. Looks like I'm going to have to give it away to get it out of the house.

#1974617 - 10/17/12 02:07 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 115
allthumbs Offline
Full Member
allthumbs  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 115
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Congratulations on your new Schimmel. They are very nice pianos. Yours looks to be in great condition and should give you years of enjoyment.

Also, good on you for taking up the piano at your stage in life. Don't sell yourself short concerning what level you can achieve. With enough dedication, effort and perseverance, it is amazing how far you could go.

Go for the small steps in improving your technique and don't worry about where you are. It's the journey that counts, not the destination. Before long, you can look back and be amazed at how far you've actually travelled. cool

All the best in your quest,

allthumbs



Sauter Delta (185cm) polished ebony 'Lucy'
Serial # 118 562

Single Malts Forever!
#1974749 - 10/17/12 04:50 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member
Chopinlover49  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Wow, what a nice-looking piano. Does it sound as good as it looks? It looks new.

#1974881 - 10/17/12 08:49 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 225
pianonewb Offline
Full Member
pianonewb  Offline
Full Member

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 225
No. Va.
Lovely! Again, congratulations.


Mike
Casio Privia PX 120

The only thing nescessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.
[Linked Image]
#1974889 - 10/17/12 08:59 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 239
Playagain Offline
Full Member
Playagain  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 239
Congratulations! It is beautiful! Have fun with your piano lessons, and enjoy your new piano!
Kathy


"[Linked Image]"
#1974968 - 10/18/12 12:34 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 321
rlinkt Offline
Full Member
rlinkt  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 321
CA
Congratulations!! Lovely piano. Hope you get years of enjoyment out of it!

#1974998 - 10/18/12 02:28 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: allthumbs]  
Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 113
newinstru? Offline
Full Member
newinstru?  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 113
SoCal
Originally Posted by allthumbs
Congratulations on your new Schimmel. They are very nice pianos. Yours looks to be in great condition and should give you years of enjoyment.

Also, good on you for taking up the piano at your stage in life. Don't sell yourself short concerning what level you can achieve. With enough dedication, effort and perseverance, it is amazing how far you could go.



I love this, and I love the encouragement people receive here. When I first started reading this forum I was surprised at how many people were starting piano well into adulthood, or picking it up again. When I was younger, If someone said, "I sure wish I knew how to play the piano," I would be sympathetic to their regret. I later learned that graduating from high school does not mark the end of musical opportunities. (Silly I thought that, I know!) Now I say, "We'll, why don't you learn?!)"

#1975066 - 10/18/12 07:22 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member
lilylady  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
boston north
I had an elder student one time. He was 88. He came to me saying that I had him for 10 lessons and that was it - there were other things that he wanted to do in his life too!

I hope you stick with it a little longer than that, and with that beautiful piano, I just bet that you will!

Has the wife played it too?

LL


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
#1975126 - 10/18/12 10:35 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: lilylady]  
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
StudentSenior Offline
Junior Member
StudentSenior  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Houston, Texas
Lilylady, I think you had a difficult and unrealistic student no matter what the age. To be sure there are other things we want to do with our lives. And by the time you are in your eighties, you should have done a few of them. I will stick with it and go as far as I can. I have some classical pieces at the intermediate level almost performance ready.

My wife hasn't played the piano. She is having some memory problems and is struggling a bit. But maybe....

Last edited by StudentSenior; 10/18/12 10:37 AM. Reason: don't want the smiley face next to my ID
#1975296 - 10/18/12 03:38 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 425
Seeker Offline
Full Member
Seeker  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 425
Rockville, MD
Originally Posted by StudentSenior
====SNIP===
My wife hasn't played the piano. She is having some memory problems and is struggling a bit. But maybe....

Congratulations on your new-to-you piano. It looks great, and it is a fine instrument. I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from it.

Regarding your wife and the memory problems, I am unaware of research with older folks (I confess to being no longer young myself, but I digress), but there IS research that shows that playing the piano is good for young people whose brains are still developing.

Me - I'm thinking - playing the piano is good for the brain, WHATEVER age you are.

Perhaps you should invite your Lady to sit at the piano with you and play some (at first very simple) duets? Dare I suggest, love duets?

Music can be very healing. It might just help with this "memory" thing.

All best wishes with your piano and with your music.


Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")
#1975313 - 10/18/12 04:15 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,334
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 11,334
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Seeker
Me - I'm thinking - playing the piano is good for the brain, WHATEVER age you are.


Me too... I'm thinking that is why I'm smarter and better looking than I've ever been. laugh (Just kidding... no I'm not grin )

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#1975365 - 10/18/12 06:08 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 346
RickG1 Offline
Full Member
RickG1  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 346
TX
Great story, SS!! The Mason-Hamlin looks good as well. Hopefully, it will go to a good home.


Mason-Hamlin "A" and Schlicker 2 manual and pedal pipe organ
#1975728 - 10/19/12 12:42 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 445
j&j Offline
Full Member
j&j  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 445
Southwest
Senior Student,

Congratulations on: 1) your choice to study piano - it's wonderful therapy and great for your brain at any age. 2) your beautiful Schimmel - it's gorgeous and they do have the bell-like singing sound (especially in the treble). 3) learning and reading the PW Forum. 4) your enjoyable piano story. It was a pleasure reading about your journey.

I wish you many happy years playing, learning and enjoying your Schimmel.


J & J
Yahama C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso
[Linked Image]
#1975801 - 10/19/12 02:46 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]  
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 824
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member
Amaruk  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 824
New England, USA
Great pick StudentSenior and what a beauty it is! You have a lovely piano room for it too! smile


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