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Electric or Acoustic? #2561238
08/05/16 02:17 PM
08/05/16 02:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
California
hello my name is Offline OP
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Before y'all rail on me for even considering an electric piano, let me explain--

I've always played on acoustic pianos, except when I first started lessons at 4, I maybe played on a keyboard for a year or less. But aside from that, acoustic. My parents had one piano (can't remember what it was), and then bought a new ...err... one of the tall Yamaha uprights (obviously wasn't really part of that purchasing decision) when I was in junior high. I am used to playing Yamahas and in general am not bothered by their brightness that some people complain about. Or maybe I have only played nice ones :P . I have played on a Steinway one time in a recital, and while it sounded nice, I was not pleased with the heaviness of the key action. On the other hand, I have played other pianos at friends' houses that are very, very light with key action and those aren't that fun either. Not a very rich tone. I have also played ridiculously old grand pianos that have funny sounds coming out of them when you hit notes and notes that don't work. Those are awful, but they work for church services .. maybe not something I'd want in my house :P

Fast forward. I moved out of home when I left for college, so I no longer have a real piano. I have a digital keyboard right now that I got from a friend. I don't play it much, because the piano tone is really quite ugly, and the keys are not weighted, although it does have touch response which makes it slightly better, and once I got a sustain pedal, it is much more playable for basic things like hymns and the occasional pop tune. I don't play any of my classical music on there, as one, it doesn't have enough keys, and two, it's just too easy to fumble all over the place and create all kinds of inconsistent volumes.

I've been thinking about how I want to invest in a piano, especially because I'd like to teach more students eventually (I have one complete beginner at the moment)-- but I definitely don't have the finances for an acoustic right now.
I remember seeing a digital piano in Costco and playing on it. Weighted keys, wasn't on a flimsy stand, something like that. And I remember being really surprised with how it sounded and played in comparison to my keyboard at home. Seems like keyboards have come a long way. Before, they were mostly just fun for their programmed tunes and funny percussion options.
Now that was awhile ago, so I wonder if my memory is tricking me.

So should I invest in a good weighted keyboard or should I wait until I can afford an acoustic (could be years) or should I find a cheap acoustic piano that is used? Is a cheap acoustic piano worse or better than a good keyboard (>$500)? Even if the acoustic piano were cheap, it still seems like the difference would be in the thousands. Is it bad to buy a cheap piano on Craigslist? How old is too old? I just saw an acoustic for a couple hundred (O_O) .. not sure if I'm allowed to post them here.

I hear there's the option of getting a technician to look at it for you, but boy does that seem like a lot of money to invest in something that might not even be a good buy. Also, husband and I are considering moving to Europe in the future. A keyboard seems more movable, though maybe moving an acoustic across the earth isn't impossible (??).

I'd love to get my parents to give me their(my..) piano, but yeah I would feel bad about that. Neither of them really play. Mom tinkers around a little, maybe at a grade 1 or 2.

Anyway..

That's my long story! Thoughts?

Last edited by hello my name is; 08/05/16 02:32 PM.

~piano teacher in training~
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Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561260
08/05/16 04:48 PM
08/05/16 04:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 662
Radio.Octave Offline
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I just tried out a few digital pianos, and they may have come a long way, but they were still miles away from my acoustic. The touch just felt wrong to me, too.

Not sure about your budget, but any decent digital with weighted keys is probably going to run you at least $500. A good used upright (I'm guessing) would probably be a few thousand. If you buy a cheap acoustic, get it checked out by a tech. Most of the really cheap acoustics are probably not worth the trouble. It costs more to move them than they're even worth.

I guess if I had to choose between a digital piano or no piano at all, I would choose the digital. At least you'd be playing something. Just make sure you get a full-size keyboard with weighted keys. I'm sure others will chime in. Good luck with your search!


Kawai RX-6 BLAK
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561263
08/05/16 04:50 PM
08/05/16 04:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
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David Farley  Offline
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Chicago, Illinois
I've played some of the digital pianos Costco sells, and while they're not the lowest of the low end, Costco is always trying to make a certain price point, so you're not going to find the best examples there. If you're looking for a digital within a certain price range, you'll get lots of good advice if you post a question on the digital piano forum.

As for acoustic vs. digital. I have both, and would give up neither. But you do have to put some time and money into the acoustics, even just to find one. There are lots of decent examples out there reasonably priced - you just have to find them.

Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561272
08/05/16 05:25 PM
08/05/16 05:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,920
Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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Richmond, BC, Canada
Costco sells (intermittently) some perfectly good Casio Privia digital piano -- often with an extra "5" at the end of the model number --

. . . Costco's "Casio P135" was (if I remember right) the Casio P130.

When they're available, Costco's price is usually very low.

The current Casio PX-xxx digital pianos have weighted actions, and decent sound generators. They are _miles_ better than what you're playing now. They don't feel, or sound "just like an acoustic piano", but if you're teaching, they'll be _much closer_ to an acoustic piano than your unweighted keyboard.

Between "wait a year or two, and get an acoustic piano" , and

. . . "Get a digital piano now, and get a year or two of playing out of it',

I'd get the DP. I might be biased.

Search the "Digital Pianos" forum -- you'll find lots of threads, discussing what's available at different price points. One of those threads (i'm a participant):

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2560410/Newbie_looking_for_a_Digital_P.html





. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561273
08/05/16 05:32 PM
08/05/16 05:32 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 430
AZ, USA
Tuneless Offline
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Sounds like you should start with a digital, full keyboard and weighted keys. Then when the time is right, you can add an acoustic. I have both, and would not do without either of the 2. If the piano sounds start to get to you on the digital, as mine has so I use it a lot less than I could, you can get after market piano sounds, like Pianoteq, to mix it up a bit. I haven't done that yet because I am waiting on getting a lap top to put the sounds on.


Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano yet but getting there.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561282
08/05/16 06:07 PM
08/05/16 06:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
California
hello my name is Offline OP
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hello my name is  Offline OP
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California
Everyone-- Thanks!

Tuneless/David Farley-- To those of you who have both, why do you have both?


~piano teacher in training~
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561286
08/05/16 06:13 PM
08/05/16 06:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Chicago, Illinois
David Farley Offline
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David Farley  Offline
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Chicago, Illinois
Originally Posted by hello my name is
Everyone-- Thanks!

Tuneless/David Farley-- To those of you who have both, why do you have both?


I started out with just the digital, a Yamaha CP4, and acquired an old Lyon & Healy baby grand as a gift. Despite its little quirks, I much prefer playing the L&H. But I live in an apartment building and can't play the acoustic all the time. The action on the CP4 is quite nice, either by itself or with Pianoteq.

Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561311
08/05/16 07:41 PM
08/05/16 07:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,289
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline
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ShiroKuro  Offline
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not in Japan anymore
I also have both, and previously owned a very nice Yahama upright acoustic (when living in Japan, I sold it before returning stateside). My first piano after moving back here was a Yamaha digital (Arius, 160) and then when I recently got a used upright, I decided to keep the digital. I kept the digital because it's a very good instrument, easy to record on, can play with headphones if needed (we live in a house, so that doesn't happen much though) and I just like having both instruments.

The price point for pianos like the Arius is higher than digital pianos that don't have a furniture-like body/stand, maybe $1500? But you should be able to find a DP of similar quality with an X-stand for much less.

Now, about uprights... Buying a used upright cheaply is time consuming and involves a great deal of luck and aligning of stars... I recently purchased a Petrof upright, it's about 25 years old. I paid just under $700 (so less than half of what I paid for my digital when I bought it new) and that included delivery. It had been checked out by a piano tech, the seller was someone I could trust because of mutual connections etc. Oh and it was at pitch when I bought it. The action is so much better than the DP, the sound, the experience of playing it. It probably would have been sold for twice that if the gentleman had not offered it to me...

Having said that, it's developed a buzzing noise in one spot and I will need to pay for fixing that, hopefully it won't be much. But even with the buzzing, I love to play it and almost never play my digital.

So, this post probably doesn't help you at all... whome

But the point is, you can get acoustic pianos that are very nice instruments for less than $1000. It's just very time consuming and is not a sure bet.

So, yeah, get a digital. grin

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 08/05/16 07:45 PM.

Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561344
08/05/16 10:50 PM
08/05/16 10:50 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 430
AZ, USA
Tuneless Offline
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Tuneless  Offline
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AZ, USA
I bought the digital because the acoustic piano needs down time every so often to work on some problems aging pianos have. I also use it occasionally when I want to play a piano at unseemly hours of the night, like if I wake in the night and can't get back to sleep. I can take it to Christmas parties, but I was hoping I could handle the weight, as it is not the heaviest slab digital, but it still is a real stretch to woman handle the piano in and out of various places.

I would avoid the X-stand and get a stand that at least does not have the crossing of bars right in front of your knees. I bought a folding stand that was not an X-stand, but hubby didn't like how it looked, so we bought the matching wood stand for the digital.


Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano yet but getting there.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: ShiroKuro] #2561527
08/07/16 01:23 AM
08/07/16 01:23 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
California
hello my name is Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
hello my name is  Offline OP
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
California
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I also have both, and previously owned a very nice Yahama upright acoustic (when living in Japan, I sold it before returning stateside). My first piano after moving back here was a Yamaha digital (Arius, 160) and then when I recently got a used upright, I decided to keep the digital. I kept the digital because it's a very good instrument, easy to record on, can play with headphones if needed (we live in a house, so that doesn't happen much though) and I just like having both instruments.

The price point for pianos like the Arius is higher than digital pianos that don't have a furniture-like body/stand, maybe $1500? But you should be able to find a DP of similar quality with an X-stand for much less.

Now, about uprights... Buying a used upright cheaply is time consuming and involves a great deal of luck and aligning of stars... I recently purchased a Petrof upright, it's about 25 years old. I paid just under $700 (so less than half of what I paid for my digital when I bought it new) and that included delivery. It had been checked out by a piano tech, the seller was someone I could trust because of mutual connections etc. Oh and it was at pitch when I bought it. The action is so much better than the DP, the sound, the experience of playing it. It probably would have been sold for twice that if the gentleman had not offered it to me...

Having said that, it's developed a buzzing noise in one spot and I will need to pay for fixing that, hopefully it won't be much. But even with the buzzing, I love to play it and almost never play my digital.

So, this post probably doesn't help you at all... whome

But the point is, you can get acoustic pianos that are very nice instruments for less than $1000. It's just very time consuming and is not a sure bet.

So, yeah, get a digital. grin


Haha, just saw your other post in my other thread before I saw this one! Ok, did you know it was going to develop a buzzing noise or why it did (did tech mention anything?) and do you know how much it's going to cost to fix?


~piano teacher in training~
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: Tuneless] #2561528
08/07/16 01:24 AM
08/07/16 01:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
California
hello my name is Offline OP
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hello my name is  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Tuneless
I bought the digital because the acoustic piano needs down time every so often to work on some problems aging pianos have. I also use it occasionally when I want to play a piano at unseemly hours of the night, like if I wake in the night and can't get back to sleep. I can take it to Christmas parties, but I was hoping I could handle the weight, as it is not the heaviest slab digital, but it still is a real stretch to woman handle the piano in and out of various places.

I would avoid the X-stand and get a stand that at least does not have the crossing of bars right in front of your knees. I bought a folding stand that was not an X-stand, but hubby didn't like how it looked, so we bought the matching wood stand for the digital.


My current keyboard has an X-stand, and boy is it annoying! How much down time do you give your acoustic? And what problems do aging pianos have? What's considered "aging" in piano years?


~piano teacher in training~
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2561570
08/07/16 08:40 AM
08/07/16 08:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,289
not in Japan anymore
ShiroKuro Offline
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not in Japan anymore
Originally Posted by hello my name is
Haha, just saw your other post in my other thread before I saw this one! Ok, did you know it was going to develop a buzzing noise or why it did (did tech mention anything?) and do you know how much it's going to cost to fix?


Ok, see my response in the other thread, but I'll comment on these questions here.

I didn't know the buzzing would develop, and I'm sure no one suspected it, not the seller or the original tech who inspected it or the tuner who tuned it for me. It's an old piano, that sort of thing is bound to come up. So it's a really good example of what you get when you buy a piano that's more than maybe 10-ish years old. Or when you don't buy from a dealer with a warranty.

I don't know how much it will cost to fix yet, but I'm hoping just the cost of one tuning. The tricky thing is I live in a small town and have to wait for the tuner to have a few customers in the area at once (or pay a more expensive cost to have him make the trip just for me), so it will probably be another month before he gets here.

But, interestingly enough, I made a recording yesterday (the ABF Recital) and it sounds much better than I thought it would. The buzzing is most noticeable in the C# an octave above middle C, and I played a piece which doesn't use that note much, so you don't really notice it at all.

If you wait till Aug 15th, you can hear the recording and hear what a $700 upright sounds like smile

P.S. Hello my name is, I sent you a PM so check it when you have a minute. smile

Last edited by ShiroKuro; 08/07/16 08:50 AM.

Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

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Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: Tuneless] #2561897
08/08/16 06:07 PM
08/08/16 06:07 PM
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Posts: 6,262
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted by Tuneless
Sounds like you should start with a digital, full keyboard and weighted keys. Then when the time is right, you can add an acoustic. ..


+1. I also have both. Most serious players should, too. Headphone practice alone makes the digital worth having. Get a slab, that way you can take it to gigs if it's better than the piano the venue has.

Go to a box store like Guitar Center or Sam Ash and try a bunch of digitals.




-- J.S.

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Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2563439
08/15/16 04:22 PM
08/15/16 04:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,705
USA
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gnuboi Offline
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USA
Playing the acoustic is more satisfying though, at least for me. Why not just grab your parents' piano? A piano needs to be played and loved wink

Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2563449
08/15/16 05:15 PM
08/15/16 05:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 301
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Tim P Offline
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I really wish digital pianos had existed when I was young. I loved and wanted to play them, but my family did not have the finances nor space for a long time to consider it. I was able to play piano in music school and enjoyed it, but I had to focus most of my time on my main instruments. At one point having a roommate who had an upright was pretty nice, too.

In any case, I have a digital piano now and really enjoy it. It especially makes sense for people with limited space, budget or may be moving around for a while. And it works well for those of us who play late night and early mornings and don't want to disturb people.

I'd like to have an acoustic, but it's not currently a good option for me, although I have considered seeing if I could rent time in a practice room in my area.

Finally, here's an odd benefit I've not seen mentioned. Ever heard notes played or struck on an acoustic piano late at night or when no one else is around and wonder what could have done that as your mind drifts to spooky explanations? There's little chance of that happening with a digital as it turns off.

Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2563481
08/15/16 07:27 PM
08/15/16 07:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 430
AZ, USA
Tuneless Offline
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Tuneless  Offline
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AZ, USA
Sounds like that is pretty unlikely on an acoustic too unless you have pets and leave the fall board open. This reminds me of our house. We bought it from the second owner and they told that he first owner thought it was haunted, and that the house was built on land that once had been an indian burial ground.

Well, we soon learned that the house, being a log home, expanded during the heat of the day and contracted at night, making all sorts of strange noises. And the blue bird the first owner said had been seen in the house (ghost of an indian) was probably a blue Jay investigating the hole thru the glass wool it discovered while trying to hide some food. The mice had tunneled thru behind the half round logs that hid it from sight and were coming and going as they pleased. Besides, the soil is 80% rock that you can't drive a stake into, let alone dig a hole to bury anyone.


Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano yet but getting there.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2563541
08/16/16 12:47 AM
08/16/16 12:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
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Groove On Offline
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Honestly, I don't mind the ghosts playing my acoustic or digital piano - as long as they've been practicing, because it's so obvious when they haven't.

And if they invite ghost Liszt, Beethoven or Bach over, I'll even offer to sponsor the party!


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: Tuneless] #2563883
08/17/16 02:01 PM
08/17/16 02:01 PM
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Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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Originally Posted by Tuneless
... And the blue bird the first owner said had been seen in the house (ghost of an indian) was probably a blue Jay ...


When your instinct tells you that disaster is approaching you faster and faster, call upon the ghost of Cole Porter and sing about the blue bird:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGFz7q6AEpY


;-)



-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: hello my name is] #2563962
08/17/16 08:45 PM
08/17/16 08:45 PM
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 430
AZ, USA
Tuneless Offline
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Gosh, I've seen anything goes a couple of times live, and I don't recall ever having heard that.


Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano yet but getting there.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.
Re: Electric or Acoustic? [Re: gnuboi] #2606184
01/19/17 05:01 PM
01/19/17 05:01 PM
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Posts: 730
California
hello my name is Offline OP
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Originally Posted by gnuboi
Playing the acoustic is more satisfying though, at least for me. Why not just grab your parents' piano? A piano needs to be played and loved wink


So my parents are letting me grab the piano! BUT now I got it in my head that I'd love a little grand. They're just so aesthetically beautiful! AIYA.

I think my parents' piano is a U3, and it's probably a around 15 years old now. I'm guessing from my brief research that it would be able to be sold for around $5000.
If I bought a grand piano, how much would I likely need to spend in order to get a better sounding piano or is it impossible because a grand piano at a similar price would be very old and not worth the investment? I want to teach piano, so I need it to last me for a good ten or twenty more years.
http://fresno.craigslist.org/msg/5916445632.html
This one is asking $5000, I'm not sure what the model number is yet though.

Last edited by hello my name is; 01/20/17 01:44 AM.

~piano teacher in training~

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