Where's the best place to put a piano

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pianocat
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Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by pianocat » 19 Jun 2013, 11:40

Hi

I have a small house and I am struggling to think where would be the best place to put a piano.I teach piano too so I want the piano to be in a place that is good for me and the students.

1. A Large Wooden Shed - I have a decent sized wooden shed outside the house where the previous owner used it as an office. If I improved it with insulation etc, would it be suitable to put a piano (and I can use it as a piano teaching office too).

2. Dining Kitchen- There is no separate kitchen and dining area in the house, if I put the piano at the right end of the "dining area"- which is about 1.5-2 meter away from the main kitchen cooking bit, would it be a problem?

3. Upstairs - This would be my last option to put the piano upstairs. I am rather reluctant to move the piano upstairs as I am not sure how strong is the floor in the bedroom, and it's quite expensive to move a piano upstairs too. And I don't really want my students to go upstairs whenever they come for lessons, especially when I have elderly students whom are not good with steps/stairs.

Any advice?

Thanks
Last edited by pianocat on 19 Jun 2013, 12:17, edited 1 time in total.

mdw
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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by mdw » 19 Jun 2013, 12:09

2

Withindale
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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by Withindale » 19 Jun 2013, 14:19

1. with effective humidity and temperature control 24/7 maybe but what wouldn't 2. be more conducive for your students?

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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by classic-keyboard » 19 Jun 2013, 14:24

Pianocat, I feel for you...

None of these locations are ideal. Upstairs - well, apart from the issue of your students using the stairs this might work well if you have a spare bedroom you can convert. It's very unlikely there would be any problem with floor strength in a house built within the last 150 years or so but you could get an engineer's opinion. Getting the piano up the stairs and into the bedroom may be harder than you think though, depending on the turns at the top and bottom of the stairs and this really would have to be checked. However, the climate is usually pretty constant in a bedroom - especially if it's not on the sunny side of the house.

In the shed? I've seen it done. However, wooden sheds are very dry - just as concrete sheds are damp. (That's why classic car owners like wooden garages.) Furthermore, if the shed gets the sun it will tend to get incredibly hot in the summer - easily into the mid-30's C and well outside a piano's happy place. With expert professional help, the insulation you use could be heat-rejecting to some extent but unless it's a huge building I think the summer heat build-up and consequent problems with low humidity would be beyond the piano's ability to cope (and maybe yours too!)

In the kitchen? Often kitchens have very stable temperatures compared to other parts of the house but there can be big short-term humidity changes - you know how steamed up things get when you're doing a Sunday roast. If it's a big space and well-ventilated I could see it working but it's not an ideal home for a piano.

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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by pianocat » 20 Jun 2013, 11:26

Thank you for the advices.

Is there anything that I can do if I choose to put it in the kitchen/diner.
Like a cover or protective sheet (when it's not in used) so that the damage can reduced to the lowest?

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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by NewAge » 20 Jun 2013, 12:22

Regarding piano placement, the best compromise of your 3 (not particularly ideal) possibilities would be No. 2, the kitchen/dining area. Keep the piano as far away as possible from heat source, oven, radiator, hot-air vents, even direct sunlight.
Covers are available, often more common with grand pianos than uprights. Here's one such example.
http://www.pianocovers.com/v/vspfiles/p ... over-2.jpg
The professional experts here should be able to advise if similar covers are available in UK, and approx price.
If it were me, I would take a few measurements and a photo, and take them along to a dressmaker or someone who does alterations, and get an estimate to make a bespoke cover in the lightweight material of their/your choice. I've done this several times for bespoke keyboard covers for a few of my collectable synths.

Please let us know how your eventual piano placement turns out.
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 20 Jun 2013, 17:03

One suggestion.... buy a digital hygrometer/ thermometer on Amazon.... fairly cheap - and place it in one room at a time for a couple of days or so. The recommended guidelines are that the humidity levels should be around 55% [av. 40 - 70%] .... and temperature around 16 - 20 degrees C. Try each room in turn - making a note of the readings. May change in colder/wetter months - but you have a guide to go by. Then whichever is the better and recommended combined reading of the two - thats the room for the piano.... however take into account central heating/ insulation/ condensation etc ....
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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by pianocat » 20 Jun 2013, 18:39

Colin Nicholson wrote:One suggestion.... buy a digital hygrometer/ thermometer on Amazon.... fairly cheap - and place it in one room at a time for a couple of days or so. The recommended guidelines are that the humidity levels should be around 55% [av. 40 - 70%] .... and temperature around 16 - 20 degrees C. Try each room in turn - making a note of the readings. May change in colder/wetter months - but you have a guide to go by. Then whichever is the better and recommended combined reading of the two - thats the room for the piano.... however take into account central heating/ insulation/ condensation etc ....

That's a really good advice- never thought of that....any recommended digital hygrometer/ thermometer?

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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by NewAge » 20 Jun 2013, 19:13

Colin's suggestion is a good one.
Although my piano's built-in hygrometer doesn't budge from 56% RH, I like to occasionally perform a cross-calibration check with a digital unit similar to the following model, which has particularly good user reviews :-
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TFA-Dostmann-30 ... hygrometer
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by Colin Nicholson » 20 Jun 2013, 23:42

I just have a cheapy NEW Ebay one at the moment - got it last month.... called "Thermo Meter" .... but it does the job. At the moment - it reads 19.8 degrees C and 65% relative humidity [can swap to Farenheit aswell]. If you are away it also records the max/min recordings. Just requires 1 X AAA battery. I have just brought it upstairs to reel off the spec on here - and in the space of 5 mins.... the temp has crept up to 21 degrees! .... so always a bit warmer upstairs.

If you move it into or near your kitchen - the odd pan of boiling water wont do any harm.... BUT be careful if you use a tumble dryer 24/7 ? A piano I tuned tonight [Schiedmayer upright] ---- a few jacks have slowed down and need re-pinning.... the piano is in the dining room.... but adjacent to that is a 'laundry room' .... and whilst tuning I could hear [and even feel] the tumble dryer on! ...... these may not cause immediate damage - but definitely long term damage to a piano mechanism and other parts. Definitely not a shed .... or any kind of conservatory 'HOT BOX' .... thats the kiss of death!

I teach in my living room.... I think we also have to be careful bringing prospective new customers upstairs for piano lessons? .... I am not suggesting anything - but this world is changing thoughts - and many I teach prefer lessons in their own home - but I charge extra. I presume you are a female? .... well.... this often makes things OK - but to be on the safe side/ child protection [thrown in our face etc] ...... if upstairs is a proper purpose built piano teaching studio - that should be fine.... just my views from over 30 years of teaching piano! .... I might be over sensitive - but parents often think of the worst these days. I am CRB checked.... but still - I would never invite any pupil 'upstairs' for a piano lesson - unless it was a shop/ purpose build place. Even asking parents if they want a coffee........ !!!
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http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by pianocat » 21 Jun 2013, 09:06

Colin Nicholson wrote:I just have a cheapy NEW Ebay one at the moment - got it last month.... called "Thermo Meter" .... but it does the job. At the moment - it reads 19.8 degrees C and 65% relative humidity [can swap to Farenheit aswell]. If you are away it also records the max/min recordings. Just requires 1 X AAA battery. I have just brought it upstairs to reel off the spec on here - and in the space of 5 mins.... the temp has crept up to 21 degrees! .... so always a bit warmer upstairs.

If you move it into or near your kitchen - the odd pan of boiling water wont do any harm.... BUT be careful if you use a tumble dryer 24/7 ? A piano I tuned tonight [Schiedmayer upright] ---- a few jacks have slowed down and need re-pinning.... the piano is in the dining room.... but adjacent to that is a 'laundry room' .... and whilst tuning I could hear [and even feel] the tumble dryer on! ...... these may not cause immediate damage - but definitely long term damage to a piano mechanism and other parts. Definitely not a shed .... or any kind of conservatory 'HOT BOX' .... thats the kiss of death!

I teach in my living room.... I think we also have to be careful bringing prospective new customers upstairs for piano lessons? .... I am not suggesting anything - but this world is changing thoughts - and many I teach prefer lessons in their own home - but I charge extra. I presume you are a female? .... well.... this often makes things OK - but to be on the safe side/ child protection [thrown in our face etc] ...... if upstairs is a proper purpose built piano teaching studio - that should be fine.... just my views from over 30 years of teaching piano! .... I might be over sensitive - but parents often think of the worst these days. I am CRB checked.... but still - I would never invite any pupil 'upstairs' for a piano lesson - unless it was a shop/ purpose build place. Even asking parents if they want a coffee........ !!!

Good points Colin, Thanks !!!!

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Re: Where's the best place to put a piano

Post by vernon » 21 Jun 2013, 21:14

Blimey!
What are things coming to.How sad.
I used to walk across town( a mile) for a lesson and had to be back by seven, Never had a watch even.
Our mission in life is to tune customers--not pianos.

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