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New Piano, and other musical fun - Nick [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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New Piano, and other musical fun [Apr. 23rd, 2005|06:54 pm]
On Thursday, Hilary and I took delivery of an upright piano we'd bought. But, I should probably explain why we wanted a piano.

As most people who know me realise, I can't sing. Several music teachers thought this was insurmountable, and gave up trying to teach me. However, Hilary and Gillian had a try at getting me to sing over Easter, and eventually concluded that I wasn't quite such a lost cause after all. Perhaps, they thought, that with some regular teaching, I might be able to sing. (This being despite my accurate range being a third centred on the c below middle c....)

Hilary found a singing teacher who was willing to try, and bought me some lessons for my birthday. The only trouble was that the teacher suggested having the lessons in our house, which would require there to be a piano there.

I can't really play the piano. I can just about produce a rendition of Lightly Roe, and know where to put my hands, but that's about the limit. Hilary, on the other hand, did have a few lessons many moons ago, but has largely forgotten it, and struggles with the bass clef. So, we decided that if we were to acquire a piano, we could both learn.

A quick check on ebay, and we found a piano for sale in Oxford for a sensible rate. (The biggest cost with second hand pianos is normally the shipping and the tuning). I phoned round a few piano movers in Oxford, and got a quote of 80+VAT to move an upright within the ring road. That sorted, Hilary went to look at the piano on ebay. This piano hadn't been played for 20 years, but was otherwise in surprisingly good condition. We bid, we lost, the winner discovered it cost more than they thought to get the piano to their house, pulled out, and we ended up buying it after all!

The piano arrived on Thursday, and seemed happy after the move. Tuning was still pretty good (though we will need to get it properly tuned in a month or two). It only needed a good clean. Today, we spent a fun hour or so cleaning it up - polishing the wood and scrubbing the keys with smokers toothpaste!

After that, we opened our new book - there is such a thing as a adult beginners book for piano! - and played through a few exercises. It's going to be a while yet before either of us is any good, but it was fun all the same. We also practiced a bit of my singing, and I can now fairly reliably sing most of an octave. Not sure which'll take longer to get right, the singing or the piano!