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#2218820 - 01/22/14 02:10 PM What do the President's Children Practice On?  
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iObsessed Offline
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I assume at least some know that Malia and Sasha Obama take piano lessons and therefore have to practice. But I'm just curious, what do they practice on? There is certainly the ornate Steinway there, but what else might they be practicing on? What if they play on concert grands all the time? (Although that would be a good possibility since those may be the only pianos there)

Last edited by iObsessed; 01/22/14 02:11 PM.
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#2218824 - 01/22/14 02:15 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Interesting question.

The first family's residence is quite private and often furnished with personal possessions. It is possible that there is a piano in the upstairs quarters. It wouldn't appear on the official inventory of the White House contents.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2218825 - 01/22/14 02:18 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Well I would not think that they hauled a piano to the White House since I'm sure that when Bush gave Obama the tour in 2008 that Bush must have showed him some pianos in the White House. But Obama might have hauled his piano to the White House anyway. Obviously personal possessions would not be revealed.

#2218837 - 01/22/14 02:34 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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There have been numerous articles on the massive moving activities that occur during the inauguration ceremonies. The incoming executive is allowed to move in his/her entire household and it is coordinated with the move out of the previous resident. This even includes repainting, re-carpeting, and new décor. It is an overwhelming effort and very well choreographed.

Considering the public access and tours of the public areas of the White House, it would be hardly conducive for piano practice. It would be like the daughters doing their homework in the East Room.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
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#2218848 - 01/22/14 02:46 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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I just did a little digging.

Here is Margaret Truman seated in front of the family piano in the private residence at the White House. This is the piano loaned by Steinway after one of the legs on the Truman Baldwin broke through the floor prompting the major renovation of the White House. The Baldwin can be seen at the Truman Home in Independence, MO.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Minnesota Marty; 01/22/14 02:58 PM.

Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2218873 - 01/22/14 03:11 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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The Clinton family (Chelsea) used a Baldwin M at the governor's mansion. It is still there. Baldwin donated an artist series grand to the White House during the Clinton years. I cannot recall the exact model. It didn't replace the WH Steinway. I believe it went into or near the living quarters of the House. It should still be there.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2218907 - 01/22/14 03:46 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Aha - Found it !!!

[Linked Image]

This is a photo of the "Center Hall" of the private residence of the Obama Family. The photo was taken in 2011.

Malia and Sasha have access to a nice piano for their practice.

It's hard to tell from the photo, but based on what can be seen of the back leg and from the shadows, my guess would be a 'B'.



Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2218974 - 01/22/14 04:55 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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I think this is it. Baldwin 226 R. On the third floor of the White House residence in the Central Hall. Photos 2008, 2000.


http://www.whitehousemuseum.org/floor3/central-hall/central-hall-2008.jpg

http://www.whitehousemuseum.org/floor3/central-hall/central-hall-c2000.jpg



Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2218975 - 01/22/14 04:57 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Thank you Marty! I supply three more photos with the Obamas and that Steinway so that we can better ascertain the model:
[Linked Image]

Second Image: Obama and Bo in that room.

(For some reason I could not get it to show on this forum in its image form)

[Linked Image]

Last edited by iObsessed; 01/22/14 05:01 PM.
#2219053 - 01/22/14 06:56 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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This is fun - We're getting to be good detectives.

[Linked Image]
Truman Quarters - 1948 - This is believed to be the piano which fell through the floor.



[Linked Image]
Residence Center Hall in 1992


So, it seems that there is a Queen Anne Baldwin in the third floor central hall and a Steinway L or B in the second floor central hall. If that's the case, the daughters each have their own pianos. It's so good for variety.

Notice how the furnishings change, even during the Obama administration.

I was able to get the fun photo to work.

[Linked Image]
Bo running after his piano teacher.



Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2219067 - 01/22/14 07:20 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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In going through the WH photos, there appears to be three S&Ss. The one Marty posted, the official White House Steinway (Eagle legs), and one in a hall (I forget the name) where performances and parties are held. Or am I counting one S&S twice? When Van Cliburn performed there, which room was it?


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2219079 - 01/22/14 07:33 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: bkw58]  
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Originally Posted by bkw58
In going through the WH photos, there appears to be three S&Ss. The one Marty posted, the official White House Steinway (Eagle legs), and one in a hall (I forget the name) where performances and parties are held. Or am I counting one S&S twice? When Van Cliburn performed there, which room was it?


When artists perform, Steinway DC dealers (Rockville, Tysons Corner, and Richmond) supply the performance pianos, especially D's. I have played on a Steinway D that from what I was told was in Kennedy Center, and I assume it has also been in the White House. So there are actually just two Steinways, I think. Correct me if I'm wrong.

#2219081 - 01/22/14 07:34 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Are they Hamburg Steinways?


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2219094 - 01/22/14 07:59 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: PhilipInChina]  
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Originally Posted by PhilipInChina
Are they Hamburg Steinways?

Are you kidding !??!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2219107 - 01/22/14 08:23 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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I just sent an email to Mr. William Allman, White House Curator, and asked for an inventory of the pianos kept in the WH. It will be interesting to see if he replies. I also sent the address of this thread.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2219112 - 01/22/14 08:32 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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I wonder why they keep the lid down in all the photos.

#2219140 - 01/22/14 09:26 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Gives 'em some place to set the flowers.


NY Steinway A 2005; Roland FP-7F/ FP-4
#2219148 - 01/22/14 09:38 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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If you look closely, the piano is not used as a floral display unless the room was "fluffed" for a photo shoot. In the photos with the flowers, notice that the music rack is atop the lid. Obviously staged.

It's hard to tell, but in the 'candid' photos there seems to be a stack of music on the side of the music desk.

Now there are some other burning questions. Who is the piano teacher? Who is the tuner/tech?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2219241 - 01/23/14 02:41 AM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
...In the photos with the flowers, notice that the music rack is atop the lid. Obviously staged.


Not sure, but my piano can do that. You put the lid down but flip open the first section so you can setup the music desk. No?

I guess if you're a high roller and won't cry if you knock over the water filled vase and ruin your Steinway. But for a regular guy like me, the last thing I want to do is put a vase or a lamp on my piano.

#2225222 - 02/03/14 01:22 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
I just sent an email to Mr. William Allman, White House Curator, and asked for an inventory of the pianos kept in the WH. It will be interesting to see if he replies. I also sent the address of this thread.


Have you received an acknowledgment?


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2225266 - 02/03/14 03:21 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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I haven't received a reply.

(But, the NSA stopped over for tea and jam.)


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2225496 - 02/03/14 11:35 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty


(But, the NSA stopped over for tea and jam.)


HAHAHAHA!

#2225612 - 02/04/14 06:41 AM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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good one!
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
I haven't received a reply.

(But, the NSA stopped over for tea and jam.)


Karen
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#2225640 - 02/04/14 08:12 AM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: BornInTheUSA]  
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Originally Posted by michaelh

I guess if you're a high roller and won't cry if you knock over the water filled vase and ruin your Steinway. But for a regular guy like me, the last thing I want to do is put a vase or a lamp on my piano.


Me too. Especially since my cats would have a vase knocked over in about 2 seconds. The only thing on my piano is a cover (and a sometimes a cat).


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
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#2225680 - 02/04/14 09:45 AM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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A little more about the White House Baldwin.

White House Baldwin



Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2225694 - 02/04/14 10:11 AM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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I think that a Charles Walter and a Mason & Hamlin should be added to the collection.

Shouldn't the Library of Congress have a Chickering and a Knabe? Vintage, of course. The Great Hall would be a fine location for a chamber music series.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2225718 - 02/04/14 11:12 AM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: bkw58]  
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Originally Posted by bkw58

A little more about the White House Baldwin.

White House Baldwin



"Ultimately, Corporate made the presentation to the Clintons, not of an SD10, but a donated R226; not with equal status to the Steinway, but in a private room in the White House residence."

That's depressing.


Poetry is rhythm
#2226212 - 02/05/14 08:54 AM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: phantomFive]  
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by bkw58

A little more about the White House Baldwin.

White House Baldwin



"Ultimately, Corporate made the presentation to the Clintons, not of an SD10, but a donated R226; not with equal status to the Steinway, but in a private room in the White House residence."

That's depressing.



Yes, it was. Nevertheless, Baldwin does have a permanent presence in the WH, albeit not really public. I could not find anything on the presentation via google search. From the one fuzzy photo, it's almost impossible to read the fall board decal. Were it not for the few who remembered the episode, all would be forgotten.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
#2226463 - 02/05/14 05:23 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Wow, this thread has been revived (at least for a little while, we'll see how far this goes).

Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
I think that a Charles Walter and a Mason & Hamlin should be added to the collection.


that would be good, but we have to remember that the collection comprises pianos owned by Presidents, and so far it has been Steinways and one or two Baldwins. So far, we have not had any presidents with those two brands. Yes, it would be more symbolic of the American piano industry, but that is not what the collection really wants, IMO.

BTW, Marty, any response?

Last edited by iObsessed; 02/05/14 05:24 PM.
#2226477 - 02/05/14 05:43 PM Re: What do the President's Children Practice On? [Re: iObsessed]  
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Hi iObsessed,

About the response from the White House, go back a few postings.

Actually, the pianos which are permanent residents at the WH have never been owned by the Presidents. The Truman Piano, which fell through the floor, is back in Independence and the Trumans received a 'loaner.' The Clinton Baldwin, on the third floor, was a gift to the WH - The American People. Even the "Eagle" Steinway was a gift to the people.

It's not like the WH is cramped for space, and having the current American builders represented would be nice.

I'm not sure that Yamaha should ever again pass through the doors!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
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