An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

The Noteworthiness of Piano Lessons November 13, 2011

Filed under: Outings — edamomie @ 8:33 am
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O: Outings

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star… my 6-yr-old son Calvin pounded out on the piano. My 8-yr-old daughter, Ava, chimed in too with her version of Chopsticks. Over the dueling pianos, my husband and I tried to have an informative conversation about used pianos. We were at the used piano shop, Keys 4 Kids, on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

Pianos for Sale

Pianos for Sale

I took lessons growing up – first through fifth grade. Piano went by the wayside in favor of the flute. I knew there was no possible way to manage both. I couldn’t even complete my required piano practice. Lessons were sure convenient though. I could run to our next door neighbor’s house in 30 seconds where my teacher, Mrs. Sanner, lived.

I had never actually shopped for a piano. My husband knows a thing or two about music though. He also took piano lessons and went on to play the trombone and guitar. He at least has as ear to determine piano tunedness. We had started the discussion about piano a mere nine months ago. We were just now ready to take action. There had to be some proof of interest on the kids' part. They played at their great Aunt's home over the summer, our next door neighbor in Minneapolis spent some time with them, and they listened intently to their older cousin play for them. Okay, so they're ready we agreed.

Kid Tested: Tuner Approved

Kid Tested: Tuner Approved


We considered an electric keyboar for quite awhile. I just wasn’t sold on the idea. Finally my husband agreed – it was time to go the authentic route. Some quick research directed us to Keys for Kids where people donate their pianos and Keys repairs and tunes them up to resell them for $99 – $699 and up. At Keys we discovered a front office, backroom and way backroom filled with pianos of all types – spinet or console, upright or grand.

Keys Front Room

Keys Front Room


The tuner worked on one as the kids naughtily ran up and down the aisles of pianos running their fingers over them. We took him away from his fine-tuning to get his review of two that were in play for us to purchase. Both had their own history and were quite reasonable in price (Keys also delivers and tunes in your home). The salesperson encouraged us to put a deposit down if we were serious then they’d hold it for a week, which we did. She also said to take some measurements, pictures and time to think about the options.

We left feeling pretty accomplished. I’d be happy with either – a Cable or Wurlitzer – no matter to me. Would it get its due of small fingers diligently learning their scales? Would it sit in the family room long after they’d progressed to other instruments? I have high hopes. Especially now that the other piece – lessons at the Music Lab – is falling into place.

Cable Coming Home Next Week

Cable Coming Home Next Week


I like that the Lab doesn’t do recitals (the kids just play at some local coffee shops ocassionally) and they bring a group of kids together to have jam sessions. It seems to be about keeping it interesting, finding alternate ways to keep them learning and showing them some inspiration – like having them listen to modern music they actually like and playing a paired down version or a melody.

I recall setting my timer for 30 minutes and going through the motions of certain songs and rewarding myself with Nadia’s Theme or Tearms of Endearment if boredom threatened. I hope it can keep their interest. It remains to be seen.

My question for parents is this: Along with the desire to expose our children to everything possible – sports, art, language, clubs and the like – decisions to join or not to join enter in. Where does the importance of music lessons fall on your scale?


2 Responses to “The Noteworthiness of Piano Lessons”

  1. AUNT LOIS' Says:

    this is great news. The kids have been interested in the piano for a long time. My thought is that they can always play the piano – long after the sports are over. When you are older and working it is wonderful to come home and play the piano and the stress of the day is over. Fun to be able to play for a group sing along. Our 4 children all had lessons – Jonathan on the organ. Lori also played the flute and piccolo (sp). Chris the drums (not at home!!) and Jonathan also played trumpet (cornet).
    I am happy to hear about the piano lessons for Ava and Calvin — will have fun when they come to Boji Winds and can play some songs.

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