Come See Us at AMEA!

Come See Us at AMEA!

As one of Arizona’s premier music education partners, Riverton Piano Company is honored to once again supply the Arizona Music Educators’ Association (AMEA) with all of the pianos they need for their two-day conference at the Mesa Convention Center.   From February 3-4, 2023, music educators from all over Arizona will converge for two days in Mesa to learn about new music education concepts and curriculum, share ideas, network with each other, and – of course – make great music together.

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Are Old Pianos Worth Anything?

Are Old Pianos Worth Anything?

In the early-to-mid part of the 20th century, the piano was a staple in homes all across the country. It was an instrument, a social tool, and a main source of home entertainment.  During this period in America, manufacturers produced and sold hundreds of thousands of pianos of all varieties. At the time of the original purchase, they were a substantial investment for most, and for decades, many of these pianos sat in the same place as when they were delivered.

Today, many of these old pianos sit in homes all across the country and – considering that the newest of these instruments was produced over 70 years ago –  it’s rare to find one that isn’t in need of extensive restoration work. Unfortunately, unlike a violin or a guitar, most pianos do not get better with age. Pianos are more complicated than string instruments and – through the years – the internal moving parts of a piano will wear out.  Hammer and damper felts become harder causing the piano’s tone to sound thin and bright.  Action parts work lose making the piano feel slow and sluggish.  The keys develop squeaks and clunks, and the strings lose their tonal character. The piano may still function, but it doesn’t “sing” as it once did.

As a result, many piano owners are upgrading their old instruments or getting rid of them altogether.  The question is – are these pianos worth anything?

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The Truth About Buying a Piano from “Big Box” Retailers

The Truth About Buying a Piano from “Big Box” Retailers

Like many first-time buyers, you’ve decided you want to learn to play the piano, but you don’t want to spend a huge amount of money. You’ve found a teacher and she told you to get an 88-note digital piano with “weighted keys.” You don’t know anything about pianos or digital pianos because you’ve never had to buy one before, so how do you figure out what you should get? Your first instinct might be to check out “the usual suspects” – businesses you purchase other things from already like Amazon, Costco, or Guitar Center.  After all, they should have great pricing and the tools to help you find the right piano for your family (reviews, salespeople, featured products, etc.) right?

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Our Holiday Hours

Our Holiday Hours

In order to give our staff more time with their families this Holiday Season, our special Holiday hours will be:

 

Christmas Eve:  10am – 2pm

Christmas Day:  CLOSED

New Year’s Eve:  10am – 2om

New Year’s Day:  CLOSED

 

Thank you for all your support this year!  We look forward to another fun and fantastically musical year with you!

Should You Buy a Used Steinway Piano?

Should You Buy a Used Steinway Piano?

used Steinway pianos in a store

From the outside, most used Steinway pianos look the same. Don’t be fooled by a pretty exterior. Make sure you know what is going on “under the hood.”

Like any other product that utilizes high quality materials and expert craftsmanship, new Steinway & Sons pianos are quite expensive (As of publication, new Steinway vertical pianos start at $46,000.00 and new Steinway grand pianos start at $80,000.00). So, it has become quite common for piano shoppers to seek out used Steinway pianos. This can be a huge challenge, however. As pianos age, their wood begins to deteriorate. There are many factors that contribute to the deterioration besides just age, including excessive usage, lack of maintenance, environmental conditions, drying out of glues, excessive moving, and more.  As such, used Steinway pianos (like all pianos) will exhibit problems as they get older.  I like to say that pianos have a lifespan just like people do. Even with expert care, after a period of time, they require some maintenance and even replacement parts to keep them in good condition. …and all of that costs money.  Once a piano reaches a certain age (or – if it’s had heavy use, abuse, etc.), it will require an expensive procedure called a “rebuild.”  This loosely-defined term can mean anything from replacing strings to refinishing the piano to completely replacing the soundboard and action.  That’s why used Steinway pianos can vary so much in price.  Their value is determined by their age, condition and the care they have received over the years.  It takes a keen, experienced eye to evaluate a Steinway’s condition and market value.  …and most piano owners don’t know any of this… so they always assume their piano is “in good shape.”

So.  Knowing all of this, should you consider purchasing a used Steinway piano?

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Budget Pianos for Beginners

Budget Pianos for Beginners

Over my 30+ years of music industry experience, I have often been asked how much should one budget for a first piano (or as some like to call it, a “starter” piano)?  The problem with this question is the assumption that you will buy more than one piano in your lifetime. Over 90% of customers never buy a second piano.

Here are two possible reasons why:

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How Much Do Pianos Cost?

How Much Do Pianos Cost?

Deciding on a budget for your piano can be one of the hardest parts of the process.  Especially if you haven’t shopped for a piano before (or haven’t in a long time), you might be surprised at the range of piano prices you’ll encounter.  Some decisions – like whether you are considering a digital piano or an acoustic piano – can narrow the options a bit, but – in the end – understanding piano pricing can be key to making sure your musical investment is… a sound one.  Here are some important considerations when determining how much you should pay for a piano:

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Roland Releases NEW Piano App

Roland Releases NEW Piano App

In Late October, Roland announced that they would be discontinuing support for their “Piano Every Day” app at the end of December.  This app currently works with the following Roland pianosLX-708, LX-706, LX-705, HP-704, HP-702, RP701, F701, FP-90X, FP-60X and FP-30X.  In-app print music purchases will end at the end of September.  The big question, then, was – “What are they going to replace ‘Piano Every Day’ with?”  Well, we now have our answer…

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Kyrene Schools Piano Update:  Year One With Roland

Kyrene Schools Piano Update: Year One With Roland

Julie HackmannRecently, I had the opportunity to interview Julie Hackmann from the Kyrene School District. Mrs. Hackmann is the Coordinator of Kyrene’s Visual and Performing Arts Department. It has been a year since her district replaced nearly all of their old school pianos with new Roland Digital Pianos, and we wanted to catch up with her to see how they’re doing. Also, we thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you the process she went through to make this investment happen.

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The Truth About School Studio Pianos

The Truth About School Studio Pianos

If you grew up the way I did, you probably heard someone in your household overuse the whole “right tool for the right job” cliché.  Then – to your horror – you found yourself saying the same thing over the years.  We’ve all been there.  The fact is that there are some tools that work better in certain situations – even when it comes to pianos.  While any piano can be used in a school, not every piano is ideally suited for the rigors of a school environment.  In fact, some pianos are too small, too fragile or too limited to be appropriate classroom tools.  …and since there isn’t much information on the internet about what makes a piano a “good school piano,” I thought I would focus on it here.  More specifically, I’m going to bypass grand pianos and talk about the “school studio” piano – the upright piano most commonly found in classrooms around the world.  I’ll cover what specific criteria make this piano ideal for the school environment and those criteria might be changing in the years ahead.  Let’s get started!

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