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Saying Goodbye to a Piano
#3016089 08/20/20 09:44 PM
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It's been a really long time since I've spent a great amount of time on the forum. I went through a period where I wasn't playing much anymore after a head injury at work. I had been wanting to get back to it and when the governor shut the schools down I was out of work so I started back at it. I had been learning to repair my old upright and had kept it just good enough to be enjoyable for my skill level(which is low) for quite a few years but it's finally just worn out to the point that there's nothing short of a full rebuild that will fix it. Even before I started back at it my son was getting frustrated with keys that we just can't get to function properly anymore because the action is shot. Now the pins are getting loose. I already screwed the soundboard to the ribs to stop buzzing about 10 years ago. It's about 130 years old and I've just gotten everything out of it I can. I'm sentimentally attached because it was my first piano but can't justify the cost of a full rebuild. So has anyone else here been through this and felt just awful like you're allowing your piano to die? It's not like I can give it to someone and feel happy that they are enjoying it, it isn't any good. If it was still a viable instrument I would keep using it. So anyone have any words of encouragement here? It was in the house when we moved in and I don't think it will get out in one piece without a professional mover so my plan at this point is to disassemble it when the time comes and maybe make some momentos out of some pieces so a piece will always be with me.

I have a replacement lined up although it's not exactly what I had intended to get but within an hour of putting the word out that I planned to buy a piano I was offered one for free from extended family. Nothing wrong other than hasn't been tuned since their youngest quit lessons almost 15 years ago. It gets played a bit on holidays. It's in a clean climate controlled home just smaller than what I had hoped for. It's either a console or spinet and I had been hoping for a studio sized upright but free is better than a few thousand dollars I was going to spend considering I'm not 100% sure I have a position at work to go back to at this point. I'm going to be arranging to go "meet" my new piano before I start making space for it I'm hoping that will help with the anxiety I'm feeling about taking "Admiral Halsey" apart. Any pointers for ending an instruments life without feeling horrible about it? Rational me knows it has to be done but I am really not looking forward to it. Sorry for the rambling.


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016091 08/20/20 09:57 PM
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Sorry to hear of your problems, Little_Blue_Engine, the head injury, the loss of a job and the end of the road for your old upright piano. Congratulations on getting a free replacement, though not exactly what you had or what you wanted.

I've had a few pianos that I sold or gave away, but I never really had a special attachment to them, per-se. I enjoyed them for a time, learned something new while I had them, and glad they came my way. But there are lots of pianos out there, and even more.

Sometimes life throws us a curveball we never expected, and gives us lemons instead of honey. But you know what they say about lemons and lemonade. smile

It sounds like you have a good attitude about it all, and there is nothing wrong with having a sentimental attachment to a piano, even though you have to let it go at some point.

If I do have any words of consolation, keep your head up, and keep on doing what you need to do to survive and set aside some time for yourself to relieve stress and get some R&R.

As for your old upright piano, "Admiral Halsey", I do believe he did his job in getting you started on the piano path, and he served you well. It is now time for his retirement, and your next piano adventure! smile

Wishing you all the best, my friend!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016094 08/20/20 10:03 PM
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Very sorry to hear about your situation. I think if it were me I’d get the replacement set up first. Leave your old piano where it is for awhile. I’d then disassemble the old piano and decide whether I wanted to keep the music desk and the casters. I’ve seen places where people create gorgeous display pieces out of piano parts. Or you can use it as a case for a digital piano.

Best Wishes on your project. And don’t forget, you’re getting a free piano. When times get tough a free piano is a great thing, no matter the size.


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I don’t play well but I play far better than I sing.
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Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016101 08/20/20 10:37 PM
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So far I'm planning on turning the lid into a wall shelf to hang over the new piano. I want to do something with the keyboard. Some of the ivory is cracked at tips in the middle of the keyboard from wear but they are all still nice and white and I loved the way they felt. I wish I had space to keep both for a while that would make it easier for sure. I keep telling myself as quickly as this piano was offered to me there must be a reason God wants me to have this piano for now. There is the family connection my niece learned to play on it and maybe the money I had saved is meant to go for something else and I just don't know it yet.


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016109 08/20/20 10:54 PM
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I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. You are a good sport for taking everything in strides. I too believe many things happen to us because they are meant to be. Even though the new piano isn’t what you would have chosen yourself, hopefully it’s a good temporary solution until you find the one of your choosing.

My mom had kept the upright she grew up with. I don’t remember the brand but it was polished burgundy, full size or near full size, and had ivory keys. She eventually let it go sometime after we bought a grand which she still plays on, but she still talks about how she loved her red piano. So some of us do get attached to instruments. I’ve heard about people keeping the fallboard/lid with the manufacturer logo to remember by, so that’s good that you are looking into that. You could keep the keys for the time being also until you can come up with a good idea to upcycle them.

Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016191 08/21/20 07:27 AM
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Just a suggestion, but although a free piano is tempting is it the one you want to play? If it isn't I would at least look around further - you deserve an instrument you aren't going to be continually frustrated with and it doesn't sound as if you change your pianos often so get the right one.

Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016201 08/21/20 07:58 AM
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I’m glad that your health is improved—that’s most important. It sounds like you have some good ideas for repurposing your piano, which is great. The only way through grief is though it, and I’m sure you will navigate it and grow from it. It’s just fine to grieve even physical things or periods of life. Best wishes, and congratulations on starting back up with the piano. It is a fulfilling thing to work at.

Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016206 08/21/20 08:06 AM
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It is really sad to hear that, when I sold my second piano because the tone is not good enough and I had to relocate, even it will be somewhere but it was still a very strange feeling.

Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016220 08/21/20 09:17 AM
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You could hold a farewell party for the piano, like when a friend moves away to another state. Cover it with balloons and buy a cake.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016404 08/21/20 06:03 PM
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I have always thought 🤔 if I had to truly say goodbye to an upright piano which was just truly useless and had finished its musical life ,I would stand it in a corner of my garden and just leave it to "vegetate"
However I suppose I would worry about "its suffering" in the
cold ,rain and snow !
It probably would end up on my porch wrapped in a blanket.
My new piano is still young and I was able to find homes
for my old grand and upright. Whatever you decide to create out of this situation I wish you well !

Last edited by Lady Bird; 08/21/20 06:09 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016435 08/21/20 07:44 PM
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Every end is a beginning. Your love for your piano continues. 130 years is an exceptional run! Your new love is a new adventure, and I don't hear anyone saying that it stops with this piano. If your heart's desire is a bigger voice, a bigger sound, something that thrills you from the meaty rumble of the deepest bass notes, to the sophisticated voice of the midrange, to the most beautiful, bell-like yet insistent treble of the top note... well, I think that's why they make pianos.

Contemplate this: the pro salesfolk tell me that the big pianos are harder to sell. Sounds to me like you have a built-in advantage. If your desire is strong enough for you to do the footwork, learn the instruments, the sellers, and the market; to save up a few bucks, and to be willing to move up the piano food chain a step at a time, you can certainly get there. Everyone here will be cheering.

In the meantime, big piano with a big voice needs a big room, so the waveforms don't get cramped, situated so the neighbors (preferably none, but let's be realistic) will not be disturbed. THAT can take some doing, let me tell you. So, you can be working on that while you work on the piano. Ponder the truth in the old saying: "If thy neighbor offend thee, give his child a drum."

You may be surprised at what the piano you have now can offer you. At the very least, you can work on your piano technique and your musicianship. You can watch the greats perform on YouTube--- what a value, at free dollars and zero cents. You can go to concerts. You can read about pianos, pianists, and piano music (all with your library card, again free). You can find out what stores in your area sell piano scores, and support them modestly--- they need it. Yes, you can send off and buy scores by mail, but there are many personal details that you can only satisfy by holding a piano score in your hands. The feel of the paper, the readable quality of clear print, the spacing of the layout, will the binding open flat and last, or will the glue break and... well, not last. Your stuff needs to last, maybe not as long as your last piano, but thoughtfully made printed scores can hold up, certainly for tens of years, at least.

It is really not an expensive hobby, as they go. If you want to see some greenbacks fly away, try amateur radio. Want to spend some money on something you can enjoy now? Get a good piano bench like the Jansen Artist adjustable, which will help your technique and will also last forever. That, and a good piano lamp.

Best of luck to you! Be sure to write back and let us know how it goes.


Clef

Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016449 08/21/20 08:16 PM
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Little Blue, I think we are sentimental about things especially something we play and learn daily. My first piano 6 years ago was a Yamaha keyboard, I outgrew it and gave it to the non-profit school I take lessons at. I am working a piece 2 pianos 4 hands, and my teacher uses it. It is nice to see it is being used.

I would think of it as, you used it until it was not useable, and saved something from it. Use the free piano until you get your lifetime piano. I bought my lifetime piano YUS 5 after I had been playing for a year. I never get tired of piano. It is good you reconnected with it. Piano helps me cope with the stress of daily life. However, if someone dropped over a really nice grand piano by chance, I would not have difficulty getting rid of the YUS 5, I would make a new connection.

deb


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"A goal properly set is halfway reached." Zig Ziglar
Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016509 08/22/20 02:01 AM
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Just be careful when you disassemble Admiral Halsey ., I mean the tension of those strings is really quite something .,so if they snap it can be quite dangerous.
I remember my old grand in its final years, the strings would suddenly snap making an awful noise. (rust).

Actually it has been restored to a degree by the dealer who bought it from us , and is being used as a practice piano for students.
Yes there is a real sadness when one has to sell or get rid of an instrument, one has played 😔 and loved the piano for many years.It is harder still if one has to dismantle or dump the instrument.
I once saw a picture of a old worn out upright used as a pot plant stand in the garden with flowering plants, and ferns etc. If I remember the pots were placed on the top of the piano and on the closed fallboard.
I guess it looked rather surreal, but rather nice well.Kind of still "part of the home" in a way.The only problem is that one would have to make certain it stood on a level surface and it was stabilized or secured so as not being able to fall over on to a person or animal.
Perhaps dismantling is your best solution.If one of your children is artistic perhaps they could create an abstract collage (picture) out of the Ivory keys, a hammer or two, photographs and any other piano parts that may work.(an unintended pun) It could be titled "Admiral Halsey".

Last edited by Lady Bird; 08/22/20 02:04 AM. Reason: spelling
Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016565 08/22/20 09:02 AM
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The new piano would technically be a more appropriate fit for the size of the room. My current piano is a 57 inch upright and it can really throw some sound. My neighbor across the street can hear it from her porch when my front door is open as far as I know its not loud enough that anyone is bothered by it. I offered to close the door and she said she would rather I keep it open because she only hears it softly and enjoys it on a summer evening from her porch sometimes she finds it calming.


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3016704 08/22/20 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Little_Blue_Engine
The new piano would technically be a more appropriate fit for the size of the room. My current piano is a 57 inch upright and it can really throw some sound. My neighbor across the street can hear it from her porch when my front door is open as far as I know its not loud enough that anyone is bothered by it. I offered to close the door and she said she would rather I keep it open because she only hears it softly and enjoys it on a summer evening from her porch sometimes she finds it calming.
It sounds like you still enjoy playing it ?

Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3017036 08/23/20 02:36 PM
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I enjoy it but the way you enjoy a car that has to be jumped every time you start it and the AC doesn't work and all but one of the doors freeze shut in the winter so you have to crawl over the seat to start it so it thaws out, and it has no get up and go because the engine is going but you like the way it holds the curves when you drive and you think it still looks cool...that's what my last car was like before the head gasket blew and I was forced to give it up. That's kind of how I feel about the piano right now. Most of my enjoyment I think comes from remembering how it was when I managed to get that extra few years of life out of it not how it actually is now.


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3017055 08/23/20 03:16 PM
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I think you’d be better off donating it or breaking it down for recycling. It’s all wood with a little cast iron. You can take the plate to the metal scrap and cut the wood up for other use. A more respectful send off I would think.

(If you do dismantle it, try to carefully remove the ivory tops as they might serve as donations for a restoration somewhere)

If you put it out in the garden it will kill you every time you see it out there rotting away.


-Bill L. - former tuner-technician
Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3017110 08/23/20 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Little_Blue_Engine
I enjoy it but the way you enjoy a car that has to be jumped every time you start it and the AC doesn't work and all but one of the doors freeze shut in the winter so you have to crawl over the seat to start it so it thaws out, and it has no get up and go because the engine is going but you like the way it holds the curves when you drive and you think it still looks cool...that's what my last car was like before the head gasket blew and I was forced to give it up. That's kind of how I feel about the piano right now. Most of my enjoyment I think comes from remembering how it was when I managed to get that extra few years of life out of it not how it actually is now.
I think 🤔 a new piano will make you happy. Please try to see the piano that is being offered to you so you can try it .Otherwise try to get a good used pianos. Just take your time , eventually you will find a replacement.
Is Admiral Halsey still good looking as furniture? There are some people who will enjoy having a piano as an antique .
I once saw an old piano with candle holders,a beautiful pattern
of flowers in mother of pearl ,almost no blemishes on the cabinet. It was in the thrift store. When I tried to play it however there were no notes just "thuds, although one note made some kind of jingle at the top of the keyboard.
Apparently somebody bought the piano according to a sales
person.
I wish you well in the outcome of this difficult situation.You probably will just love the new piano.It sounds reasonably well taken care of at least.

Last edited by Lady Bird; 08/23/20 06:42 PM. Reason: spelling
Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3027616 09/21/20 07:00 PM
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Most of the deed has been done. I started taking the Admiral apart Thursday, what isn't apart yet is on the porch and the new piano was moved yesterday. I haven't dug in far yet but it looks like I have a regular action not a drop which was one of my concerns so I think I'm good there. Moving went easier than I expected it would. I had a paranoia that something would go wrong in the process and I'd end up with no piano but all seems well at this point just need to settle in and get tuned. The room sure looks empty going from a 57 inch to a console.


I'll figure it out eventually.
Until then you may want to keep a safe distance.
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Re: Saying Goodbye to a Piano
Little_Blue_Engine #3027654 09/21/20 10:19 PM
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Well congratulations on your "new to you piano ! " I hope you have many hours of happy playing ! What does the tone and response of the new piano seem like to you ?

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