Keeping the lid shut.....

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PianoFifty
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Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by PianoFifty » 17 Apr 2009, 16:57

My piano (Yamaha GC1) did not come with a fall lock. I will be doing a house swap in a couple of months time, with a family that has two young boys (8 & 11), both of whom have no musical ability but enjoy bashing the bejeezus out of my shiny pride and joy. I want to safely put the grand 'out of bounds' and relegate them to my battered old upright, but I don't want to install anything intrusive or fit an external lock (or anything like the unlovely Fletcher and Newman G-clamp http://www.fletcher-newman.co.uk/catalo ... s/758.html).

Does anyone know if you can craftily prevent the fall being opened by temporarily screwing something down inside the piano?
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by Gill the Piano » 17 Apr 2009, 18:43

One piano I tune is fitted with 2 window locks, drilled through the cheek of the piano into the fall itself, operated by a barrel-type key. The drilling would have to be v.v.v.v.accurate, and I'm not sure how you would prevent the polyester cracking.
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chrisvenables
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by chrisvenables » 17 Apr 2009, 21:21

Don't start drilling into the case!

If you really value your piano, buy a tailor made piano cover from the same company that supplies the piano clamp - Fletcher and Newman - they're the best in piano accessories. Ask for Steve Cook. Buy the quilted cover with 'd' rings, get a chain to go through the d rings and a padlock so no one can get into the piano and obviously the quilted , padded, cover will prevent scratches and whatever other horrors to which the piano may be subjected.

Well worth the £200 it may cost you.
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by Barrie Heaton » 18 Apr 2009, 16:54

Wile the fall lock will stop them opening the fall it will not stop them opening the lid as Chris as pointed out a cover with D rings is you best option But F&N will not supply you direct However, you can get a piano cover one from chrisvenables or the UK Piano Page both have accounts with F&N

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Descombes
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by Descombes » 18 Apr 2009, 20:59

When I was 8 or 11, boys could be TOLD not to touch a piano and they wouldn't!

Have times changed so much that you can't simply forbid them to touch it?

(Slightly tongue-in-cheek!) D

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chrisvenables
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by chrisvenables » 19 Apr 2009, 08:48

Descombes wrote:When I was 8 or 11, boys could be TOLD not to touch a piano and they wouldn't!

Have times changed so much that you can't simply forbid them to touch it?

(Slightly tongue-in-cheek!) D
We supplied a new piano to Goldsmith's College a few years ago. Not only did they order a cover with d rings, lock and chain, they also ordered the concert stool to be chained to the piano!
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by Pianomate » 19 Apr 2009, 08:50

Sounds rather extreme. If you have to go to the extent of locking them out, they're never going to respect the piano, or anything else for that matter. They can't be locked out of everything they shouldn't be at for the rest of their lives. Far better telling them to keep off it ind if they persist, imposing sanctions on them, or doing likewise to something which they value. They will soon learn.

However, if they are interested in making tunes of some sort, get them one of these cheap USB keyboards which goes into a PC - they will soon be more interestd in that and if they trash it. it's their loss.

A skilled locksmith would be able to fit you a traditional fall lock if you really want one, but be prepared to pay.
Last edited by Pianomate on 19 Apr 2009, 15:44, edited 1 time in total.

Descombes
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by Descombes » 19 Apr 2009, 11:48

chrisvenables wrote:
Descombes wrote:When I was 8 or 11, boys could be TOLD not to touch a piano and they wouldn't!

Have times changed so much that you can't simply forbid them to touch it?

(Slightly tongue-in-cheek!) D
We supplied a new piano to Goldsmith's College a few years ago. Not only did they order a cover with d rings, lock and chain, they also ordered the concert stool to be chained to the piano!
That's really sad to read. I studied at Goldsmiths' 40 years ago and there were some excellent pianos there and not a lock in sight. Most of the practice rooms had newish Welmars; and the Great Hall and Recital Room had a couple of grands in each, mostly Steinways, as far as I can remember. I suppose times change - and Goldsmiths' is very much part of the SE London community, so huge numbers of people have access to the building. It's a great college though.

(I still think it was a cop-out when they officially removed the apostrophe from Goldsmiths. But I suppose there were too many people like CV who put it in the wrong place!! It was named after the Goldsmiths' Company, not Mr Goldsmith!)

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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by PianoFifty » 20 Apr 2009, 17:17

Thank you for all your suggestiuons! I baulk at the idea of drilling holes in my piano (and my aim isn't what it used to be.....), so that's a non-starter. Nor does the propect of shelling out £200 on a cover fill me with joy, as its only for a coupole of weeks. The family stayed with me last weekend and, in spite of my (and the parents') constant remonstrations, the kids just carried on regardless - bang, crash, bang. the older one even showed the younger one a cool trick where if you put your foot on the right pedal the sound gets EVEN LOUDER!!! Must try that...

So, no discipline + I won't be around to keep an eye = I'm worried!

I'm surprised Yamaha don't make any provision for securing the fall. After all its not uncommon for these small grands to find their way into hotels and the like, where they are publicly accessible.

Perhaps I should just leave the fall open and the red felt key protector over the keyboard like Chappells do in their piano hall - I bet that will work a treat!

Aaaahh, Goldsmiths - I worked there for five years in the early 1980's. My contribution was to get the Great Hall organ restored to its former glory. Also I once accidentally got locked in the cells (it was once a naval college) and had to yell before someone eventually heard me and came to the rescue. A fine institution.....
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by Pianomate » 20 Apr 2009, 18:59

If youre seriously thinking of letting them into your house, you must be crazy! I'm afraid if they treat your piano like that, then they'll treat everyting like that - your whole house is going to get trashed - furniture damaged, things spilt on floors, damage to the carpets, paintwork and fittings etc - time to reconsider your house swap! If I were you, I would have a change of mind and say no.

Put a lock on the door to the room and keep it locked and keep hold of the key yourself.

Can you get some kind of large deposit off them beforehand in case of damage.

I think the fall lock is an optional extra.

Descombes
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Re: Keeping the lid shut.....

Post by Descombes » 21 Apr 2009, 19:23

PianoFifty wrote:
Aaaahh, Goldsmiths - I worked there for five years in the early 1980's. My contribution was to get the Great Hall organ restored to its former glory. Also I once accidentally got locked in the cells (it was once a naval college) and had to yell before someone eventually heard me and came to the rescue. A fine institution.....
Joking aside, I would be equally concerned about my piano being mistreated during my absence. I never let anyone go near it and make a point of not teaching at home because I don't want sticky fingers all over the keys. I do hope that you are able to come up with a solution.

Moving on the Goldsmiths', I'm most impressed that you worked there - and even more so that you played a role in restoring the organ. It is a superb 4 manual instrument in that lovely setting of the Great Hall. The only problem (for me) was that I was a First Study pianist who also had organ lessons. Imagine my tentative organ practice sessions: The Great Hall is surrounded with corridors and doors on three sides, on the ground floor and at gallery level. Any wrong notes (and there were plenty of those) and people would appear at all these vantage points to see what prat was attempting to play. No wonder I tended to practice in a nearby church.

Yes, it's a fine institution. I was shown round a couple of years ago (by the marvel who was Head of Department in my time and also in Pianofifty's, I am sure.) The building was looking a bit older (money had obviously been spent on new buildings around the campus, rather than on the original site), but it still had a great atmosphere. And the man mentioned above, who put Goldsmiths' music on the map, was still going strong at 80+.

I attended a number of educational institutions in my early days - and I've taught in a fair number since - but none of them arouse the same degree of affection that Goldsmiths' does.

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