Friday, April 30, 2010

Broken piano results from too high a love of cacophony

About four years ago we bought an electric piano, one of the those fancy, weighted like a real piano but with volume control and earphone options pianos.  For several years I'd been yearning for something to play.  I'm not an excellent pianist, but with (a lot) of practice I can learn basic songs like hymns or children's Primary songs.  It was love at first plunk.

We put the kids over eight in lessons and enjoyed hearing them practice and learn.  (Also, we enjoyed the volume control).  

The house we're in now has a pretty open floor plan.  I think it has something to do with making sure there are views of the ocean from every room?  Normally, I'm not a huge fan of completely open floor plans, but, seriously, I can't fault the logic.  (By the way, that logic also explains why I'm willing to lease this house even though the front door opens into the kitchen.)

The piano sits along a major thoroughfare in the house.  It is there by default, as we are lacking in a lot of open wall space. (See above logic)

We have six children.

Piano sits in major walkway.

It was only a matter of time, really,  before someone decided it was fun to pound my beloved piano with a lightsaber and enjoy the cacophonous results.

Which is why last week I crawled under my piano, unscrewed the main keyboard, took it to a repair shop, and payed $380 to have 8 keys replaced.  I was just thrilled to be a part of.such a lovely experience

Our new rule?  No one, NO ONE, who is not an adult or has not taken lessons is allowed to touch the piano.  And I see food or drink by it, the offender might not be allowed to eat or drink again.  (Part of the high cost was due to the fact that he had to scrub all the keys and internal workings; note the state of the broken keys).

Don't worry about the kids, they have many other options for their addiction to cacophony.


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24 comments:

  1. Oh no! I'm glad it was fixable. Yikes, that's a lot of money.

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  2. You are a brave woman on so many fronts...

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  3. I love my digital piano, but yikes! Glad that you were able to repair it.

    And views of the ocean from every room? There are no words to tell of my jealousy...

    WV: "nogulfmi" as in "no view of the gulf for me!"

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  4. Poor piano! I would loooooove a nice electric one! Ours really needs to be tuned, but barlow always freaks out about how much it costs.

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  5. Ahhh I didn't know your piano broke, guess we should talk more on the phone ;) Glad you were able to get it fixed though. I hate it when I find crumbs on my piano, it means someone is breaking rules, but of course unless I catch them in the act no one will fess up.

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  6. Poor piano.

    I have regretted buying the expensive digital piano since my kids lost the power button and it stopped working one day. But then my dad rigged up some contraption to get it to stay on permanently and we just plugged it into a power strip.

    If I ever have to repair it, I think I might just buy a real piano. :)

    I'm glad you're taking precautions, though! Reminds me that I probably should, too.

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  7. We have a digital at our house too....love that I never, ever have to have it tuned. :) Thankfully, Mine is tucked away in the living room so it has escaped too much abuse, but not completely! It's been lonely for the last little while though as we are without piano teacher right now....still need to get on that!

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  8. First of all, I'm totally jealous that your home has views of the ocean.

    But this cracked me up. I remember doing things to our piano growing up that made my mother cringe. Now my own children do the same to me. However, what starts as curiosity and destruction may turn into a child who plays the piano well.

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  9. Ouch. I feel bad for you, although I have to admit that my initial sympathy was sort of minimized by the fact that you have views of the ocean from everywhere! Still...that's harsh. I am surprised, though, that the new rules don't ban lightsabers as well.

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  10. Perhaps you should just ban drinking and eating right now. That way, you won't have to deal with the consequences later!

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  11. Yikes. I got a little sick when I saw the keys just lying there. That was a costly little experiment.

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  12. Oh my expensive!

    And you are such a good writer, I love it. "Love at first plunk" *giggle*

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  13. Oh, it pains me that I can't remove keys...I wouldn't be able to sleep if I knew there was food and drink spilled between them...which is why I am glad that I can't remove the keys. I am happy for a fixed piano for you!

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  14. Oh goodness!

    Glad to hear the surgery was successful. My love for my piano is bordering on unhealthy...I love your no-light-saber rule.

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  15. Light sabers, Charlotte! Of course it was such a good idea to attack the marauding piano with light sabers! My son used to sneak up behind me and pretend to lop off my head. How am I supposed to work with the swishing through the air (not to mention with no head?)

    I can hear you now: a piano is not a toy!

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  16. Why do kids pound on the piano with other items? What is the allure? We got our piano tuned last week and there were 13 coins shoved between various keys. I told my kids the same thing as you: if you touch this piano I will skin you alive!

    Or piano is super old and still has the priginal ivory keys. There is no way to replace those, so if one breaks they will be in hugest trouble EVER!

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  17. Sorry about your piano. Gran had a rule about her piano. No food, drink, if you were under 10 you had to be accompanied by your parent or someone over the age of 15 and you had to wash your hands with soap and water and have Gran inspect you before you could play.

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  18. YIKES!! That was an incredibly expensive light saber battle!

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  19. It was worth the fix, but I understand how frustrating this can be. Nothing like the sounds of the piano (when played correctly) to soothe my temper though!

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  20. I didn't realize how common electric pianos are!

    I would ground the lightsabers, but they keep my boys happy for hours. Plus, my 3 year old actually thinks we will all grow up and be "Star Wars People." He talks about it 300 times a day.

    I'm hoping the love of pounding eventually becomes a passion for playing. But for now he can wait another couple years.

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  21. We really want to get a piano and Savannah has been begging to take lessons. But I can just see the utter destruction that is bound to happen if we ever get one.
    I think it would be worth it. Maybe. =)

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  22. As someone who is literally in love with her piano (don't tell Seth!) I feel right down to my little toe for you...make that toes. And I know all about the no light sabers around the piano. When it comes to the piano...my students even know...no cacophony allowed!

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  23. My cousin became a concert pianist and I inherited the little spinet she learned on when she finally got a grand. My poor little piano came with some cracked keys, which the repairman said were probably a result of the volume my cousin was trying to get out of them. So maybe when your little ones are done pounding with light sabers, their teacher will encourage their pounding with fingers. Mine isn't electric, and all it took was some wood glue to fix the keys. After watching the tuner do his thing, I've felt confidant enough to pull the instrument apart and make subsequent minor repairs.

    I must say though, I LOVE the idea of headphones! I like teaching, but I don't so much like listening to my own children practicing.

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