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#2022146 - 01/27/13 11:42 AM Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores
NFexec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/11
Posts: 106
Loc: NE Ohio
Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer had an interesting (if not sad) article about the dwindling piano stores in our area, along with the plight of the piano industry in general. It's a decent article:

http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2013/01/piano_sales_hitting_new_notes.html
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#2022189 - 01/27/13 01:02 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
SteveM732 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 25
Loc: Beaverton, OR, USA
I'm not sure I buy the claim that homes are shrinking in the USA considering my 1961 home is 1200 square feet and you can't hardly find a home that is newer and smaller. Not to mention people in other countries with much smaller spaces still manage to fit a piano. It seems more likely that people have too much "stuff" and choose to make room for it rather than a piano.

In my area we're shrinking down from 3 to 2 piano dealers. The two remaining dealers are well known and respected so I hardly shed a tear at the idea of them both increasing in sales volume.
_________________________
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1969 Yamaha U3

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#2022194 - 01/27/13 01:20 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13964
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
IMHO it's not about the number of dealers but the proliferation of a great number of constantly improving makes at a time when the beginner market is not increasing.

What "is" growing however, is a new and more demanding class of consumers seeking top quality at realistic, i.e. affordable prices.

Among those are many adults getting back into piano playing especially after professional success in life. Many of them are treating themselves choosing or upgrading to a fine grand.

Those who specialize servicing this market segment offering best possible quality at best possible price, are doing well.

All others better deal with Craigslist.

Norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2022290 - 01/27/13 05:25 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: Norbert]
Rich Galassini Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8974
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Originally Posted By: Norbert
IMHO it's not about the number of dealers but the proliferation of a great number of constantly improving makes at a time when the beginner market is not increasing.


I am not sure what this means Norbert. Are you denying that there has been a sharp decrease in the number of piano dealers over the five years or so? Or are you saying that this statistic is unimportant?

There certainly has been a large decrease in the number of dealers in North America, perhaps not so much in your particular market, but this has occured. It is a known stat.

Please let me know if I misunderstand your statement.
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Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
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#2022396 - 01/27/13 08:34 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
I won't say this is the case everywhere, but it appears that, in Cleveland at least, a narrowly focused, single-brand dealership has lost out to a market that demands a much wider range of brands and options.

Look who's sticking around:

• The one-year-old multi-brand dealer that is not only surviving but growing offers new Bosendorfer, Schimmel, Petrof, Kohler, and Knabe pianos, restores Steinways and M&Hs, and shows a wide range of specific used pianos on its website. (That's all in addition to top-of-the-line Yamaha digitals.)

• The now-oldest dealer in the area, in business for 53 years, sells new Kawai, Palatino, Pramberger, Ritmuller, Remington, Sohmer, and Weber pianos, plus a wide range of used instruments, and a variety of technical services. (Admittedly, the business is limping along, but it hasn't gone under yet.)

• A fourth dealer, in business for 18 years, is focused on selling band/orchestra instruments to parents and only sells lower-end digital pianos. (But there's a market for low-end digital pianos. Especially when selling to parents. Especially in this economy.)

By comparison, the Steinway & Sons dealer that is closing was apparently a multi-brand store from 1909 until it went S&S in 1996. Since then, it's only sold S&S, Boston and Essex, and apparently only restores Steinways. According to the website, they offer other brands preowned, "If the timing just isn’t right for you to invest in your new Steinway" — a charming bit of misdirection, since they sell S&S not Steinways — but they don't deign to identify any other brand of piano by name. Gotta love that Steinway marketing. And they can't bring in enough business? "Inconceivable!" (Sometimes, only a movie quote will do.)

---

edited for typos


Edited by piano_deb (01/27/13 08:36 PM)
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2022405 - 01/27/13 08:46 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8068
Loc: Georgia, USA
Interesting thread...

However, it seems to me that lots of businesses, not just piano stores, have closed in the last few years. It's a tough economy out there for everyone.

I'm sure there is a certain trend regarding the change/decline in the piano business. Of course, I'm no expert on piano economics. smile

Hopefully, things will pick up in the coming months...

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

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#2022414 - 01/27/13 08:53 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
The decrease in piano sales(number of new pianos sold) in the period from 2005-2010 is much higher than I think most non industry professionals realize.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/27/13 08:54 PM)

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#2022478 - 01/27/13 10:27 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
boyonahill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Europe
I think one could paint a much broader picture.

How many pianos do you think was sold in Shanghai 2012? 2002? 1992?

What is the focus of the younger generations in western countries? Train and learn or relax and enjoy? In China?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programme_for_International_Student_Assessment#2009

Massive social and economic trends are going on right now and I think piano sales are a nice indicator of what's going on in different locations.

Who has the need to show newfound wealth with the purchase of a high end piano? Where does parents buy the very best for their children?

Remember, the Chinese have been buying almost 50 % of expensive swiss watches lately.

circa 30% "at home"
http://swisswatchwire.com/2012/11/swiss-watch-sales-plummet-in-china.html

and perhaps 20% on vacation abroad. My local Rolex dealer have Chinese speaking staff... 2 of 3 of the ladies when I went there lately.

But as the article above indicates, the boom might be over for China, and the global balances will again rebalance...
_________________________
Current: Casio SA-46 + looking for a nice electronic piano
Sold: Yamaha M5J Walnut
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#2022485 - 01/27/13 10:43 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Norbert Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13964
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Quote:
I am not sure what this means Norbert. Are you denying that there has been a sharp decrease in the number of piano dealers over the five years or so? Or are you saying that this statistic is unimportant?


Rich:

Although there may be differences in different areas, I wasn't denying that there has been perhaps a sharp decrease in the number of piano dealers.

To me,it doesn't however sufficiently explain what's going on out there nor is this necessarily a 'bad thing'.

From our own experience [here on the West Coast] it's become more a question of quality versus quantity.

Those who are buying now simply seem more careful with their money but at same time insist on buying still good quality.

Which,as you and me know,not necessarily has to do with "cost"

What appears "less" to some, may be in fact "more" to others.

Changing times, that's all...

Norbert smile


Edited by Norbert (01/27/13 10:53 PM)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#2022492 - 01/27/13 10:50 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: Rickster]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Interesting thread...

However, it seems to me that lots of businesses, not just piano stores, have closed in the last few years. It's a tough economy out there for everyone.

You make a good point, Rick. One of the saddest things I've witnessed is the failure of many long-standing business that were once central to their communities. It seems that mom-and-pop stores, smaller grocery store chains, etc. are getting squeezed out by competition from the big-box stores, warehouse chains and discount outlets. All businesses that can surpass them on variety, undercut them on price, or both.

One type of retail business that is doing well in this economy is the second-hand thrift store. That's not surprising with so many people scrambling to get by on unemployment, slashed salaries, part-time jobs that have replaced former careers.
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2022594 - 01/28/13 02:50 AM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: piano_deb]
boyonahill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: piano_deb
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Interesting thread...

However, it seems to me that lots of businesses, not just piano stores, have closed in the last few years. It's a tough economy out there for everyone.

You make a good point, Rick. One of the saddest things I've witnessed is the failure of many long-standing business that were once central to their communities. It seems that mom-and-pop stores, smaller grocery store chains, etc. are getting squeezed out by competition from the big-box stores, warehouse chains and discount outlets. All businesses that can surpass them on variety, undercut them on price, or both.

One type of retail business that is doing well in this economy is the second-hand thrift store. That's not surprising with so many people scrambling to get by on unemployment, slashed salaries, part-time jobs that have replaced former careers.


And to no surprise a song celebrating the Thrift Shop is topping the billboard list!
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS - THRIFT SHOP FEAT. WANZ (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK8mJJJvaes
_________________________
Current: Casio SA-46 + looking for a nice electronic piano
Sold: Yamaha M5J Walnut
Playing ability: Absolute Beginner(s)

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#2022864 - 01/28/13 02:15 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1730
Loc: Philadelphia area
This has been the trend for 30 yrs. The economy is just helping to push the trend a little faster. But, it looks like piano playing is slowly becoming "Cool" for both kids and adults. Hope I'm not seeing what I want to see.

I'm being asked about teachers and learning to play by someone every week. I think this is because the schools and the churches in the region are much less involved with music.

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#2022882 - 01/28/13 02:43 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
I don't understand the concern. There will be enough dealers and pianos to support sales. Not more or less. Only draw back is convenience in distance to stores. Best part is that businesses that are run poorly generally close first.

We don't cry over car dealers closing, why cry over piano stores. They don't care about consumers, just their money. They like to make you think they care about the artsy stuff, but it's just a front.


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#2022933 - 01/28/13 04:01 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: Mark...]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark...
I don't understand the concern. There will be enough dealers and pianos to support sales. Not more or less. Only draw back is convenience in distance to stores. Best part is that businesses that are run poorly generally close first.

We don't cry over car dealers closing, why cry over piano stores. They don't care about consumers, just their money. They like to make you think they care about the artsy stuff, but it's just a front.
Probably true of some dealers but certainly not true of all.

Perhaps if you thought of it as a business you or a friend owned you would be a little more compassionate about someone's business closing. Your comment seems only to take your own interest into account.

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#2022941 - 01/28/13 04:10 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mark...
I don't understand the concern. There will be enough dealers and pianos to support sales. Not more or less. Only draw back is convenience in distance to stores. Best part is that businesses that are run poorly generally close first.

We don't cry over car dealers closing, why cry over piano stores. They don't care about consumers, just their money. They like to make you think they care about the artsy stuff, but it's just a front.
Probably true of some dealers but certainly not true of all.

Perhaps if you thought of it as a business you or a friend owned you would be a little more compassionate about someone's business closing. Your comment seems only to take your own interest into account.


The article is about piano stores, not friends piano stores. You are making it personal, but its about business, nothing more nothing less.

I bet competitor dealers love when the competition goes under, friend or no friend... smile

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#2022947 - 01/28/13 04:19 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: Mark...]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2281
Loc: NYC
It has been sometimes stated here that the instrument "on top of the heap" at the moment is the guitar. But in the past six months or so there have been several articles and news broadcasts about declining guitar sales and business missteps by big guitar companies.

So we can experience schadenfreude, at least.

Guitar music dying?
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#2022956 - 01/28/13 04:36 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
KurtZ Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/10
Posts: 774
Loc: The Heart of Screenland
I'll miss piano stores for the same reason I miss bookstores. I'll be sad when the only place you can buy anything is through the big box experience or online.


As to the second paragraph, no, I don't think the dealer I bought my piano from was my friend. I do believe he cares about me as a client by how he has handled my two warranty claims; one of which he handled as warranty even though my son broke it through rough usage. That's enough for me. One thing I know about him is he loves pianos and piano music. I suspect a lot of our dealer amigos here are the same. If nothing else, for that reason alone, I consider them comrades and not just commodities merchants.

Kurt
_________________________
I just wanted to be just "a" guy. That's enough of a life.

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#2023007 - 01/28/13 06:08 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: Mark...]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19096
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Mark...
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mark...
I don't understand the concern. There will be enough dealers and pianos to support sales. Not more or less. Only draw back is convenience in distance to stores. Best part is that businesses that are run poorly generally close first.

We don't cry over car dealers closing, why cry over piano stores. They don't care about consumers, just their money. They like to make you think they care about the artsy stuff, but it's just a front.
Probably true of some dealers but certainly not true of all.

Perhaps if you thought of it as a business you or a friend owned you would be a little more compassionate about someone's business closing. Your comment seems only to take your own interest into account.


The article is about piano stores, not friends piano stores. You are making it personal, but its about business, nothing more nothing less.
That's your interpretation or feeling about the article. You may have no sympathy for dealers that close or people who lose your jobs but that's you(and I hope and think not the majority). One does not have to know the specific people to be empathetic to their situation.

In addition, I think that anyone who genuinely cares about pianos would not adopt the "I couldn't care less" view of dealer closings.

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#2023016 - 01/28/13 06:45 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: pianoloverus]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mark...
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Mark...
I don't understand the concern. There will be enough dealers and pianos to support sales. Not more or less. Only draw back is convenience in distance to stores. Best part is that businesses that are run poorly generally close first.

We don't cry over car dealers closing, why cry over piano stores. They don't care about consumers, just their money. They like to make you think they care about the artsy stuff, but it's just a front.
Probably true of some dealers but certainly not true of all.

Perhaps if you thought of it as a business you or a friend owned you would be a little more compassionate about someone's business closing. Your comment seems only to take your own interest into account.


The article is about piano stores, not friends piano stores. You are making it personal, but its about business, nothing more nothing less.
That's your interpretation or feeling about the article. You may have no sympathy for dealers that close or people who lose your jobs but that's you(and I hope and think not the majority). One does not have to know the specific people to be empathetic to their situation.

In addition, I think that anyone who genuinely cares about pianos would not adopt the "I couldn't care less" view of dealer closings.


Pianos are inanimate objects, I enjoy them but don't get emotional about them. Dealers and salespeople would rip off an uniformed customer in a heart beat. It's like evolution, the strongest survive and the weak die off...the mystery pricing structure is a prime example.

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#2023029 - 01/28/13 07:35 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
There too much terrible music in the world today - 'Gangsta Rap' and 'Dubstep' - Wayyy to many so called DJ's rather then classically trained pianists. Not to belittle someones skills but people don't want to take the time to learn the piano anymore and would rather just press a button on a computer to play for trending crowds.
_________________________
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#2023095 - 01/28/13 09:25 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: ju5t1n-h]
boyonahill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
There too much terrible music in the world today - 'Gangsta Rap' and 'Dubstep' - Wayyy to many so called DJ's rather then classically trained pianists. Not to belittle someones skills but people don't want to take the time to learn the piano anymore and would rather just press a button on a computer to play for trending crowds.


Well, it takes talent to rise to the top in any genre, but perhaps not the same type of talent that makes you a top pianist.

Avicii making a song...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dIcuU58Oy8
This guy practically lives on a private jet...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TK6bFbA0Q3Y
_________________________
Current: Casio SA-46 + looking for a nice electronic piano
Sold: Yamaha M5J Walnut
Playing ability: Absolute Beginner(s)

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#2023151 - 01/29/13 12:00 AM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 380
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Something else to consider is while the economy was tanking individual states all scrambled around to do whatever it takes to generate revenue. I inherited my piano business in 1992 and really did nothing with it until I decided to move to TN from Florida in 2008 but we got away from new sales way back in the late 70s sometime.

My business license in Florida was like 60 dollars but when I moved to TN I was hit with a Bi annual business license based on revenue which was like 8500.00 !! Getting the trucks re-registered and forget about employees when there is a trust for workmans comp which is like 4500 per man and people wonder why there are no jobs, It's pretty normal for 47+ % of gross income to go totally to workmans comp payments.

All that stuff adds up so if you are paying big rent in some mall somewhere and then have floor plan fees and investments in stock. You have to sell at least 4 times what your bills total each month to stay afloat.

I learned that lesson a long time ago so no heart attacks for me. I am basically a one man show anymore and what I can't do I just pass to the next person. When I see big fancy dealerships even if it's not a piano dealership I just cringe at the massive expenses they must have. I want to have fun doing what I do until I can't do it anymore.
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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#2023199 - 01/29/13 02:11 AM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: boyonahill]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Originally Posted By: boyonahill
And to no surprise a song celebrating the Thrift Shop is topping the billboard list!
MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS - THRIFT SHOP FEAT. WANZ (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK8mJJJvaes

That song is great! I was singing along by the end. (I really am a thrift store shopper. Always have been, not just since the economy tanked.)
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2023232 - 01/29/13 03:06 AM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: Nash. Piano Rescue]
boyonahill Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Nash. Piano Rescue
... When I see big fancy dealerships even if it's not a piano dealership I just cringe at the massive expenses they must have. I want to have fun doing what I do until I can't do it anymore.


Yes, people often make the mistake of thinking that selling luxury items make dealers rich. Often it's quite the opposite.

Selling to the 'small people' on the other hand is very profitable ;-)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th3LtLx0IEM
(So are you perfect in your 2nd language? :-)


Ikea posted some record yearly numbers lately
http://www.di.se/artiklar/2013/1/23/ikea-om-vinstrekordet-vi-ar-aldrig-nojda/

(lazy cur. conv.)
Sales 24 000 000 000 GBP, +9%
Profit 3 400 000 000 GPB, +4%
Cash 15 500 000 000 GBP

Wal Mart are doing fine too
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324556304578120643989361884.html
_________________________
Current: Casio SA-46 + looking for a nice electronic piano
Sold: Yamaha M5J Walnut
Playing ability: Absolute Beginner(s)

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#2023397 - 01/29/13 11:32 AM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: boyonahill]
ju5t1n-h Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/12
Posts: 179
Loc: Vancouver, British Columbia
Originally Posted By: boyonahill


Well, it takes talent to rise to the top in any genre, but perhaps not the same type of talent that makes you a top pianist.


I totally agree with you, to be the best at anything you need to have real skill and dedication. I should have been more clear - I think in general a lot more people are not learning piano as much as they used to. More musicians are using technology such as computers rather than the lengthy incredibly hard process of learning the piano.
_________________________
Essex EUP-123S


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#2023419 - 01/29/13 12:26 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1652
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I left the piano business in 2004, so I can’t speak to the situation in other areas. But as a born & raised Clevelander, who lives only about two miles from the Mattlin-Hyde dealership, I’d like to add my two cents.

First, the local piano market has indeed collapsed over the last decade. The last strong year in sales I saw was in 2000. Even before 9/11, sales in 2001 were on a downward trend. Consider that Graves Piano (disclosure: I worked there), which was a HUGE dealership, closed in 2002. Sumwalt, which was the Kawai and M&H dealer, closed around the same time. Great Lakes Piano (where I worked after Graves closed) opened in 2003 and closed in 2005. Falls Music in nearby Cuyahoga Falls closed around the same time. Lentine’s (which was not a piano specialist but carried a few budget brands) closed all their stores in the early 2000s. (Motter’s Music House – which literally is an expanded house – is similar to Lentine’s and not really a piano dealership.)

The closure of Mattlin-Hyde may be a reflection of changing economic conditions and an overall drop in demand for pianos. But in my opinion, that store has been going downhill for two decades. Both in quality of merchandise and general condition of the facility, it in no way resembled the store I used to drop by while a student in high school (which was considerably more than two decades ago) – when Bill Mattlin would say to me “Hank, Ashkenazy’s playing that D next week at Blossom. Try it out & tell me what you think”. Steinway issued a directive about a decade ago that mandated all stores carrying their brand meet a minimum standard in terms of showroom appearance, size, and maintenance of the instruments. I never saw evidence that any effort was made in this area. I was last in the store in 2007, when I helped a friend in his piano search. We were appalled at how poorly the instruments were tuned and maintained, and the showroom looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in eons. Ironically, the salesperson was none other than the former owner of a competing chain. I drive by the dealership every day on my way home from work, and for years I’ve wondered when they would pack it in.

All business comes down to profit – garnering enough sales to exceed expenses. In the case of Bill Kap, low overhead has helped keep him in business (he owns the building, which is in the worst area of northeast Ohio) despite a 70% drop in sales. As for Classic pianos, their lavish showroom is in the most expensive shopping center in the Cleveland area. Their expenses must be astronomical, although this may be alleviated by their status as part of a chain where they can get special pricing. Perhaps they believe with less competition, they can “own” the market. Time will tell.

Paradoxically, there is no evidence that musical culture in Cleveland is on the downswing. The orchestra is reporting record ticket sales and the audiences are younger than one would expect – the last several concerts I’ve been to at Severance Hall have been sold out; every piano recital I’ve been to at the local conservatory has been well attended.
_________________________
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

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#2023471 - 01/29/13 01:50 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8068
Loc: Georgia, USA
Interesting write-up, Hank... very interesting.

I wish the best for the piano dealers who are still fortunate enough to remain in business. Surely they will not all close.

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

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#2024000 - 01/30/13 11:38 AM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: NFexec]
Steven Y. A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/13
Posts: 291
Loc: Toronto
Kids are more interested in Justin Bieber than Chopin. A friend of mine told me that 90% of kids that taking piano lessons are Chinese in Toronto.

China has a lot more media exposure to Classical music than north america even before Langlang and Yundi Li.

For me, without the movie "The Pianist" i wound't get exposure to Chopin and the eager to self learn piano.


Edited by Steven Y. A. (01/30/13 11:42 AM)
_________________________
PLEYEL P124

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#2024024 - 01/30/13 12:30 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: ju5t1n-h]
bennevis Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4382
Originally Posted By: ju5t1n-h
Originally Posted By: boyonahill


Well, it takes talent to rise to the top in any genre, but perhaps not the same type of talent that makes you a top pianist.


I totally agree with you, to be the best at anything you need to have real skill and dedication. I should have been more clear - I think in general a lot more people are not learning piano as much as they used to. More musicians are using technology such as computers rather than the lengthy incredibly hard process of learning the piano.


There was a series of TV programs in the UK last year which invited members of the public to audition to learn a new skill, something they'd never done before. They are then coached by professionals and then do it for real after a couple of months. The skills include rock-climbing, navigation in the mountains, lie-detecting, singing operatic music etc (maybe rapping also).

What was significant was that learning to play a classical musical instrument like the piano or violin wasn't one of them. Because it takes years?

And it's the reason why learning to play a musical instrument well just isn't fashionable in the West anymore. (East Asians, however, are still instilled with a strong work ethic from childhood). People want instant gratification, not years of hard graft, of practising several hours a day. Which is also why people prefer just to buy some keyboard and sit down and 'improvise', rather than learn to play properly....

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#2024724 - 01/31/13 03:32 PM Re: Newspaper Article About Dwindling Piano Stores [Re: bennevis]
jawhitti Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/01/12
Posts: 234
Originally Posted By: bennevis
And it's the reason why learning to play a musical instrument well just isn't fashionable in the West anymore. (East Asians, however, are still instilled with a strong work ethic from childhood). People want instant gratification, not years of hard graft, of practising several hours a day. Which is also why people prefer just to buy some keyboard and sit down and 'improvise', rather than learn to play properly....


Kind of reminds me of the Asimov quote “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”



Edited by jawhitti (01/31/13 03:43 PM)

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