If you’ve spent any time reading some of my articles here you know that I spend a lot of time with pianos. From teaching piano lessons in Bethany, to looking on Craigslist to see what pianos are for sale in the area. I often get asked, is it worth repairing a piano?
Yes, it is worth repairing a piano if it is a family heirloom or has emotional value to you! Especially if there is not much cosmetic wear and tear on the piano.
Some of you reading this article might be wondering, why would you ever repair your piano. There are many answers to that question. Pianos are expensive instruments that often carry a lot of sentimental value. Aside from sentimentality you also have to take into consideration if you will be able to sell or pass on or give away your piano. For any of those things to happen you need to have a piano in good condition.
Let's take a look at sentimentality first. Many people inherit pianos from relatives, some of which may have passed away. It's a great way to remember a loved one that you've lost by taking good care of their piano. It's also a nice object to have in your home. You want to make sure that your piano is in good working condition. It can be a very nice way to remember people and it can feel good to have a properly serviced piano in their home. You never know when someone's going to come over who knows how to play piano and might want to play it. It's a very fun thing to do at parties. I know it's hard to believe but I've been to many parties where there is group singing and some part in the night and someone needs to play the piano to accompany everyone. So the memory of a loved one is a great reason to repair a piano. If you are interested in how much it costs to repair a piano, I have a whole other article here:
Of course another reason why you would want to repair your piano is because you've decided to take piano lessons or give your child piano lessons. For lessons to be successful you need a fully functional piano at your house. Of course you could also learn on the keyboard but this article is about pianos. So in order to properly learn how to play a piano the piano must be functioning properly. There can't be any sticky keys, sluggish keys, or keys that don't even work. If you're first starting to learn piano it might be okay if some of the keys at the more extreme ranges of the instrument don't work. As you progress you will want to fix those though. It's a bad mentality for someone who's learning something new to be learning it on something that's broken. It can bleed over into your learning process. It can be very difficult to stick with something if you are learning something new on a broken object. So if you're thinking about taking piano lessons or learning how to play the piano it might be worth repairing your piano.
Another very important thing to keep in mind is you might at some point want to sell your piano. In order to sell your piano it has to be in perfect working condition. It also has to be without any cosmetic damage. We're currently at the point in most major metropolitan areas where it's extremely difficult to sell a used piano and to some extent it can even be hard to give away a used piano. This is especially difficult if the piano was not in perfect working condition. Pianos take some upkeep to keep in good condition. So you'll want to take care of your piano year after year so it is in good condition when you're ready to get rid of it.
Even if a few keys aren't working on the piano or it is way out of tune it can be next to impossible to give it away. They're plenty of people giving away free pianos that are in good condition. Don't be the person who gets stuck with a very large heavy piano that they can't get out of their house before they sell it. Unfortunately in some ways pianos can end up costing you money if you have to pay someone to get rid of it. It's not like you can exactly take a piano to the local dump. I do realize that it can cost money to repair a piano but if your piano is in okay condition otherwise and doesn't have too many cosmetic issues it could be worth repairing.
So now the question is when should you repair your piano? From the research I've done it seems like you should repair your piano if it doesn't have any cosmetic issues or if it has great sentimental value to you. A piano is a beautiful instrument and can even be a piece of art in a room. So if your piano helps you remember someone you should probably repair your piano if you want to play it.
I know it sounds crazy but it can't be worthwhile and very rewarding to repair a piano that helps you remember a loved one that gave you the piano. Of course if you don't play piano and none of your children play piano and none of your friends play piano you can have broken piano sitting in your room. But I think you will find it feels a lot better to have a working piano sitting in the room instead of some broken old instrument.
You might also want to repair your piano if it doesn't have any cosmetic issues. That way once the piano has been repaired and it's all in working order you would be able to sell it at some point. You never want to be caught off-guard. You never know when you're going to need to get rid of your piano and it would be nice to get some money for it.
So if you're not convinced or your piano doesn't fall into one of these categories I have already laid out, you're probably wondering, what do I do with my piano that I don't think it's worth repairing?
This can be a tricky situation to be in. The first question is do you want to get rid of your piano? If you want to get rid of your piano there are a few steps you can take to try and get it out of your house. If you have plenty of time, you can put your piano up for sale on a website like Craigslist.
It can take a long time to sell a piano so make sure to put it up well before you need to get rid of the piano. You can look on craigslist to see what other people are listing similar pianos for and match or undercut their price. Just remember this could take 6 months to a year.
If you have found that you haven't been able to sell your piano the next step is to try and give away your piano for free. If your piano is not in good working order this still might be a challenge. Some places you can try to get rid of your piano are listed for free on Craigslist, call up local elementary and middle schools or call up local churches.
I think your best shot would be giving it away for free on Craigslist because at least then the person picking up the piano will have to pay to move it. If you're giving your piano to a school or church you might have to pay the moving cost. If you wonder how much it cost to move a piano I do have another article right here:
Giving away a piano can be a great tax deduction, so make sure to check with wherever you are donating the piano to see if you can write off the piano as a tax deduction.
Another thing you can always do is if you do need to get rid of your piano you don't necessarily have to repair it. Pianos are still beautiful regardless of if they make a beautiful sound or not. So you can always just leave the piano in your house and enjoy looking at it. It might be a good idea to clean up the piano and make it look as good as possible and that way you'll feel good about having it in your house. I think at this point most of my childhood friends' pianos are all just sitting in their house and in great disrepair.
But if you do decide to repair your piano there are certain things you have to do to keep the piano in good condition. Make sure to tune your piano at least once a year. The piano technician who repairs your piano can talk to you about this and you can establish good habits of taking care of your piano. This is very important if you're ever going to sell the piano or give it away. Pianos need to be kept in tune so they stay in tune. Pianos are made out of wood, they can change shape based on temperature and humidity and it's important for the strings to hold the piano in tune.
You can also make sure to play your piano with care from now on. It's also important to teach your kids to respect the piano and treat it with care. This means only playing it with Clean Hands and not playing it too hard. You can certainly play a piano very hard without doing damage to it but you should never bang on the piano. Never forget it is an instrument. Even though it is large it is still in some ways very delicate. There are a lot of mechanisms in size that are very delicate and finely tuned, so please take care of your piano!