Originally posted by AJB:
The trouble is a site like this is preaching to the converted. However, the piano shops going bust left, right and centre don;yt get many sales from the converted, because pianos last so long there is minimal repeat business.
The piano is possibly in terminal decline in popular music. It will inevitably persist in classical music but that is bound to be a minority market.
I do not know any parent in the last few years who regards buying a piano for the family as remotely aspirational. The aficionados (residing here) may value high quality instruments, but I would expect that the sellers of them will not see the piano glory days again in their lifetimes.
"As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap"
Those who believe the piano business is dying (or dead) will realize a self fulfilling prophecy.
Those who still believe in the business, and behave accordingly, will continue to succeed.
Sure there will be challenges, always have been.
But businesses that remain proactive will survive and prosper.
I've found at every piano forums party I've attended there are always people who don't play but wish they could.
And many times there are children who are either just learning or expressing an interest.
In other words, there are still plenty of potential piano players/owners out there.
Piano World receives over 10,000 unique visitors a day (333,000+ in Sept). I can guarantee you they are not all "converted". In fact, I'd venture to say the majority of them are looking for information because they've recently become interested in the piano, are thinking of getting a piano, or want to fix one up.
Do you know what the top visited pages are on Piano World?
In this order:
~ The Piano Forums (talk and learn about pianos)
~ Free Piano Music (listings of sheet music sites)
~ Virtual Java Piano (play the piano online)
~ Piano Exchange (used and new pianos for sale)
~ Piano Dealers
~ Piano Tuners
~ Piano Teachers
This out of over 1,000 pages that make up the rest of the site (other than the forums).
I also believe it is up to us (those who already know we like the piano) to share our joy with others, and try to get people interested in playing.
I belong to an organization called AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association).
They are constantly prodding members to introduce their friends/family/neighbors/co-workers to the joys of flying.
Current membership is 415,000 and growing.
We should be doing the same thing.
So ... take a friend up in your piano today :-)