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Saturday, 25 July 2015

How to Donate a Piano

During the past year I have been asked to assess various pianos offered for free to various institutions by individuals who genuinely want their piano to go to a good home and be used. 

All of the pianos have been grands of various ages and sizes - the youngest being built in about 1935. While donating a piano to a school or college is a generous gesture, the kind of piano and its condition might throw a different light on the gift.

Institutions like donated pianos to be up to scratch, up to pitch and ready for continual and rigorous use without having to spend any new money. Pianos of a certain age will never be fully up to scratch, and pianos that are ripe for being donated are often pianos that are no longer used or wanted by the owners. In this age of trying to recycle everything, passing on a surplus piano seems a very 'green' thing to do!

Perhaps wrongly, but with a grand piano, the recipient hopes the piano can be used for concerts and recitals - any piano that takes up valuable floor space has to be worthy of the room taken up! But alas, each of the pianos I have viewed on behalf of hopeful clients, has been poor examples of mediocre manufacture.

It is better to do without a poor piano than to feel obliged to make room for it and be forced into making good an inherently bad piano.

During this time, a good outcome occurred twice! Once was when a parent of a child at a certain school very generously bought a piano for the school and the other, an 'old' parent wanted to donate their 1970s Yamaha to the school and even paid to have safety casters fitted, the piano moved and tuned! This is the way to do it! 

So if you are considering gifting a piano to a school of college, be doubly sure the piano would meet the demands expected.

Tuner's Journal