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#1974206 - 10/16/12 06:12 PM Another Piano Quest Story
StudentSenior Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/23/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Houston, Texas
This is my first post. I have been lurking here at Piano World for almost two years now and have learned a lot. So I feel obliged to participate with this description of my piano quest, just now ended.

First some background: I’ve made my ID “Student Senior” ….I’m a senior in my early eighties and I’m a student. I first started to play the piano in November 2010. For a year I played on my own and as of the first of this year, I started taking piano lessons. I’ve had a piano in the house ever since I’ve been married and we got our new Mason Hamlin console in about 1961. My wife was the pianist but she had quit playing years ago.

One of the first things I discovered was that I had apparently outlived the piano. The sounds were bright to harsh and loud --- almost clanging. Then I discovered you could partially bring your piano back to life with voicing. I discovered the Reblitz piano servicing book and Steve Van Nattan’s website for do it yourselfers and did a little voicing and reshaping myself. It did improve the piano. But there’s a limit to what you can do with an older small piano and since I had the means, I decided to get a grand piano. I was off on the piano search. I discovered Larry Fine’s book and his map of the market for new pianos. Then there was Perri Knize’s “Grand Obsession” which I read. It was an engaging and informative book. However the lesson I took away from it was that it may not be wise for me to ever fall in love with a piano. At least not for me.

Given my late start and modest ambition and skill (I don’t think I’ll ever become an advanced pianist), it appeared to me that something like a high end consumer grade piano would do. Something like a Brodmann PE 187. But when I started my field research, I found that what stood out for me wasn’t always as it was supposed to be. I played the Brodmann’s but afterwards couldn’t “remember” them. They weren’t bad … they just didn’t stand out for me. Yet a certain 6’ 2” Henry Miller did stand out and it’s supposed to be just a notch above entry level. It sounded almost as good as the Yamaha C2 next to it. Yes I could sense that the Shigeru Kawai’s were a level above the RX3 Kawai’s. But the Hallet Davis and Samick pianos at the same dealership also sounded pretty good --- not as good as the Kawai’s but still pretty good. How to evaluate the differences which are subjective and peculiar to the individual is the burden that every piano buyer has to bear. smile

So how did it end up? Well there was a 1988 5’ 10” Schimmel that had been on the market for about a year and a half. The owner was asking $15,000 for it. My initial reaction was for that amount and maybe a little more I could buy a new high end consumer grade piano and I wasn’t interested. Then I heard a new Vogel V180 at one of the Houston area dealerships and I liked it. However it was housed in about $10,000 worth of fancy cabinetry and I didn’t want that. I then remembered the 1988 Schimmel and thought maybe it would sound something like the Vogel since Schimmel makes Vogel. When I played the Schimmel however, it sounded nothing like the new Vogel. It was different but I liked the sound. It has sort of a singing quality to it and is described by some as sweet and European. Furthermore my wife likes the sound. Of course I had my independent technician inspect it…something you learn to do at Piano World. The original owner and I agreed on a price and it now sits in my living/dining room. I may even learn to love the piano.

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#1974217 - 10/16/12 06:41 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Minnesota Marty Online   content

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7431
Loc: Rochester MN
How Delightful!

Congratulations on finding the perfect piano for you and your wife to enjoy.

Especially, a big Thank You for your lovely retelling of your search.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

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

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#1974226 - 10/16/12 07:07 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Grandman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 198
Loc: Usa
Congratulations! You took the time to evaluate the piano you love and that's what I'm in the process of doing. Hope you have many years of wonderful enjoyment from your piano.

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#1974247 - 10/16/12 07:46 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8534
Loc: Georgia, USA
Wow, congratulations, StudentSenior!

And, that was a very nice "piano stroy"... we like those on Piano World! The only thing missing are pictures of your new-to-you Schimmel! smile

Wishing you all the best!

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1974259 - 10/16/12 08:11 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
pianonewb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/09
Posts: 220
Loc: No. Va.
Congrats. Pics or it didn't happen, lol.
_________________________
Mike
Casio Privia PX 120

The only thing nescessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.


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#1974391 - 10/17/12 03:45 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Congratulations. Be sure and drop by the Adult Beginner's Forum and maybe Pianist Corner as they're both friendly communities for enthusiastic learners.

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#1974486 - 10/17/12 10:32 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 639
Loc: NY and NC
Congratulations on your Schimmel! They are very fine instruments and you should get very good performance out of it.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Trying harder and harder to improve my meager skills.

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#1974492 - 10/17/12 10:51 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3465
Loc: US
Congratulations! I wish you many happy hours playing your lovely new piano!

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#1974519 - 10/17/12 12:19 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
StudentSenior Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/23/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Houston, Texas


Pianonewb says "pics or it didn't happen". So here it is. Please note the old Mason Hamlin in the background. Looks like I'm going to have to give it away to get it out of the house.

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#1974617 - 10/17/12 03:07 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
allthumbs Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 115
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Congratulations on your new Schimmel. They are very nice pianos. Yours looks to be in great condition and should give you years of enjoyment.

Also, good on you for taking up the piano at your stage in life. Don't sell yourself short concerning what level you can achieve. With enough dedication, effort and perseverance, it is amazing how far you could go.

Go for the small steps in improving your technique and don't worry about where you are. It's the journey that counts, not the destination. Before long, you can look back and be amazed at how far you've actually travelled. cool

All the best in your quest,

allthumbs
_________________________
Sauter Delta (185cm) polished ebony 'Lucy'
Serial # 118 562

Single Malts Forever!

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#1974749 - 10/17/12 05:50 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 639
Loc: NY and NC
Wow, what a nice-looking piano. Does it sound as good as it looks? It looks new.
_________________________
2004 Mason-Hamlin polished ebony BB.
Trying harder and harder to improve my meager skills.

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#1974881 - 10/17/12 09:49 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
pianonewb Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/09
Posts: 220
Loc: No. Va.
Lovely! Again, congratulations.
_________________________
Mike
Casio Privia PX 120

The only thing nescessary for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.


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#1974889 - 10/17/12 09:59 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
Congratulations! It is beautiful! Have fun with your piano lessons, and enjoy your new piano!
Kathy
_________________________
""

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#1974968 - 10/18/12 01:34 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
rlinkt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 311
Loc: CA
Congratulations!! Lovely piano. Hope you get years of enjoyment out of it!

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#1974998 - 10/18/12 03:28 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: allthumbs]
newinstru? Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/28/12
Posts: 113
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: allthumbs
Congratulations on your new Schimmel. They are very nice pianos. Yours looks to be in great condition and should give you years of enjoyment.

Also, good on you for taking up the piano at your stage in life. Don't sell yourself short concerning what level you can achieve. With enough dedication, effort and perseverance, it is amazing how far you could go.



I love this, and I love the encouragement people receive here. When I first started reading this forum I was surprised at how many people were starting piano well into adulthood, or picking it up again. When I was younger, If someone said, "I sure wish I knew how to play the piano," I would be sympathetic to their regret. I later learned that graduating from high school does not mark the end of musical opportunities. (Silly I thought that, I know!) Now I say, "We'll, why don't you learn?!)"

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#1975066 - 10/18/12 08:22 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4977
Loc: boston north
I had an elder student one time. He was 88. He came to me saying that I had him for 10 lessons and that was it - there were other things that he wanted to do in his life too!

I hope you stick with it a little longer than that, and with that beautiful piano, I just bet that you will!

Has the wife played it too?

LL
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#1975126 - 10/18/12 11:35 AM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: lilylady]
StudentSenior Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/23/12
Posts: 3
Loc: Houston, Texas
Lilylady, I think you had a difficult and unrealistic student no matter what the age. To be sure there are other things we want to do with our lives. And by the time you are in your eighties, you should have done a few of them. I will stick with it and go as far as I can. I have some classical pieces at the intermediate level almost performance ready.

My wife hasn't played the piano. She is having some memory problems and is struggling a bit. But maybe....


Edited by StudentSenior (10/18/12 11:37 AM)
Edit Reason: don't want the smiley face next to my ID

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#1975296 - 10/18/12 04:38 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Seeker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
Originally Posted By: StudentSenior
====SNIP===
My wife hasn't played the piano. She is having some memory problems and is struggling a bit. But maybe....

Congratulations on your new-to-you piano. It looks great, and it is a fine instrument. I hope you get a lot of enjoyment from it.

Regarding your wife and the memory problems, I am unaware of research with older folks (I confess to being no longer young myself, but I digress), but there IS research that shows that playing the piano is good for young people whose brains are still developing.

Me - I'm thinking - playing the piano is good for the brain, WHATEVER age you are.

Perhaps you should invite your Lady to sit at the piano with you and play some (at first very simple) duets? Dare I suggest, love duets?

Music can be very healing. It might just help with this "memory" thing.

All best wishes with your piano and with your music.
_________________________
Andrew Kraus, Pianist
Educated Amateur Tuner/Technician
Rockville, MD USA
www.AndrewKraus.com
www.YouTube.com/RockvillePianoGuy
Twitter at @IAmAPianist

1929 Steinert 6'10" (Close copy of New York S&S "B")

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#1975313 - 10/18/12 05:15 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8534
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Seeker
Me - I'm thinking - playing the piano is good for the brain, WHATEVER age you are.


Me too... I'm thinking that is why I'm smarter and better looking than I've ever been. laugh (Just kidding... no I'm not grin )

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1975365 - 10/18/12 07:08 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
RickG1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 304
Loc: TX
Great story, SS!! The Mason-Hamlin looks good as well. Hopefully, it will go to a good home.
_________________________
Mason-Hamlin "A"
Steinway "B"
Baldwin console

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#1975728 - 10/19/12 01:42 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
j&j Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/24/09
Posts: 444
Loc: Southwest
Senior Student,

Congratulations on: 1) your choice to study piano - it's wonderful therapy and great for your brain at any age. 2) your beautiful Schimmel - it's gorgeous and they do have the bell-like singing sound (especially in the treble). 3) learning and reading the PW Forum. 4) your enjoyable piano story. It was a pleasure reading about your journey.

I wish you many happy years playing, learning and enjoying your Schimmel.
_________________________
J & J
Yahama C3 PE
Casio Privia PX-330
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." Pablo Picasso

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#1975801 - 10/19/12 03:46 PM Re: Another Piano Quest Story [Re: StudentSenior]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 802
Loc: New England, USA
Great pick StudentSenior and what a beauty it is! You have a lovely piano room for it too! smile
_________________________
My piano channel on YouTube: Link

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