My school teaching piano

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joseph
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My school teaching piano

Post by joseph » 05 Jul 2009, 12:14

OK so my school decided to replace the small grand piano in my teaching room. It's a very old neumayer (i think thats how it's spelled) and it has a simplex action. It's pretty grotty but it's ok.

Now of all the things they could have replaced it with, they have picked a Yamaha CLP-370 clavinova. I teach kids there up to grade 5 level, and I have one child who I just know is going to complete all the grades before she leaves (she will be 13 when she leaves, pretty impressive, her talent more than my teaching).

They have ordered the clavinova already, at a price of about £2400. I just know they could have got a nice upright for that money. I am pretty livid actually, but hey, at least it wont need tuning. The school actually claimed they couldn't afford a real piano.......

I know that the CLP-370 is a nice instrument as Clavinovas are concerned, and I'm not slamming digital pianos, but for teaching purposes I need an instrument that I can teach sound production on. I can't really do that on a Clav.
:(

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Peter Smith Pianos » 05 Jul 2009, 13:01

Schools claim to have no money but £2,400 is a fair amount for a keyboard,do they buy thru a purchasing group or independently,we have Kawai k15 fitted with safety bracket castors and delivered available near that price with educational discount,and better still used Knight K10 circa 1977 one owner with very little use.in pristine condition,pity the authorities never pay heed to music teachers and responsible piano-dealers.
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Barrie Heaton » 05 Jul 2009, 14:02

joseph wrote:
I know that the CLP-370 is a nice instrument as Clavinovas are concerned, and I'm not slamming digital pianos, but for teaching purposes I need an instrument that I can teach sound production on. I can't really do that on a Clav.
:(
There are many Clav's and keyboards outhere in schools just collecting dust broken keys ect, they last well in homes but don't do well in some schools. To get them fixed they have to take them to the local service centre £70.00 just to look at it and if its over 3 years old its more often sharp intake of breath shaking head "can't get the parts gov" We will sell you a new one !


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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Gill the Piano » 05 Jul 2009, 19:05

Joseph, print this page off and show it to the Powers That Be; schools keep on making this mistake over and over again, and if it's a state school it's MY money they're wasting. If it's a private school, I couldn't care less...:D
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Model V » 05 Jul 2009, 20:24

Why the hell weren't you consulted by the director of music?

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Barrie Heaton » 05 Jul 2009, 20:35

to add

As PSP as pointed out you can get a Kawai k15 for the same price now the men in pinstripes look at numbers digital one off payment, piano needs maintenance hmm get the dig

But .... have they look at
Digitalis will last 10 years if you are lucky 5 is the norm plus because it is electrical and in a public place it has to be inspected and given a certificate each year that's maintenance

Pianos can last 40 year + but need tuning twice a year but most schools get it done once a year

If there is a problem. Digitalis over time will have to be scraped, pianos can be fixed and in most cases cost effectively


but these day investment in equipment is looked at in the short term as money is in short supply


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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by vernon » 05 Jul 2009, 21:05

one of my schools needed a replacement piano but had no money. Next thing a large Clainova arrived because the money for that comes from a different budget. Don't ask me the details.
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by chrisvenables » 05 Jul 2009, 23:35

Joseph:

Sounds like a really bad deal. Haven't you got any influence to stop the sale before it's too late? Show this topic to your head of dept (if it's not you), and the Governors, for starters. They're intelligent people who probably haven't been made aware of what a piano really is. Maybe we can change that.
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by joseph » 06 Jul 2009, 10:33

It's too late. The whole 'doesn't need maintenance' crap has sucked them in. It has been ordered. I said to the director of music that we could buy an upright. He said 'is an upright going to be as good?'. This man studied piano at the RAM..... obviously sucked in by marketing and pushed around by the board of governors. I can't be bothered anymore. I tried to explain but to no avail. It's now the summer holiday.

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Descombes » 08 Jul 2009, 15:04

Reading through this has left me speechless....and fuming!

During my time as Head of Music in three different schools (Grammar, comp and independent) I would never have allowed this to happen. I would have been jumping up and down (a bit too strenuous for me these days), writing to governors, county hall, etc. Anything to avoid such an appalling development.

Now, as a semi-retired piano teacher, my Head of Music would never change my teaching piano without reference to me. He certainly would not introduce such an instrument anyway, except as a mobile compromise, and even then, it would never be used for piano lessons.

Are parents paying for piano lessons? If so, shouldn't the lessons be on a piano? Strikes me that the Head of Music is failing somewhere along the line.

Having said all this, I have some sympathy with joseph's final comment!

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by joseph » 09 Jul 2009, 10:54

I think the whole thing is disgusting, especially as they did some fundraising to buy 3 life size fibreglass cows to sit in the playground, at a total cost of 4 grand. :?: :cry:

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Peter Smith Pianos » 09 Jul 2009, 11:49

Had a school asking for 10 Yamaha B2 pianos at the time Kemble where offering their pianos with the full school kit for the same money,advised the buying group this was a better option to which they replied "we dont need your advice you supply when and what we tell you"after which refused to renew contract for next 3 years,unless we had an input to what instruments they purchase,still waiting.
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by markymark » 09 Jul 2009, 13:27

Peter Smith Pianos wrote:Had a school asking for 10 Yamaha B2 pianos at the time Kemble where offering their pianos with the full school kit for the same money,advised the buying group this was a better option to which they replied "we dont need your advice you supply when and what we tell you"after which refused to renew contract for next 3 years,unless we had an input to what instruments they purchase,still waiting.
That's very noble of you but wasn't that act kind of cutting off your nose to spite your face? Now your company is 10 X £2000 (at least) out of pocket? Take it from a teacher, they'll do what they want anyway when they so readily turned down your advice, allbeit very good advice.

Unfortunately some folks are sitting in head of department/subject co-ordinator roles in both primary and secondary sectors and who really don't have either the brains, personality or character to make their own decision on big issues like these that concern matters outside their own classroom/office. Then again, you get it all the time across the public sector so let's not beat up schools because it happens everywhere.

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Peter Smith Pianos » 09 Jul 2009, 14:12

If you break down cost of tuning,prepp and delivery and up to 6 months waiting time to get paid, and the profit margins invovled dont view it as business lost,more interested in supplying the right piano,never looked on school educational supply to make profit feel its more of a community sevice so as children are given the chance to learn to play decent instruments
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by athomik » 10 Jul 2009, 09:25

joseph wrote:I think the whole thing is disgusting, especially as they did some fundraising to buy 3 life size fibreglass cows to sit in the playground, at a total cost of 4 grand. :?: :cry:
That's just not right. We're the one's who are supposed to have the fake (concrete) cows, here in Milton Keynes. :wink: Does the school want a decent music department or compete with MK for tourists and snide remarks?
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by joseph » 11 Jul 2009, 17:00

It's a strange situation. The instrumental staff at the school are all pretty darn good. All of us play professionally as well as have a vast amount of experience teaching. The school don't really care about that though. They only care about the brass tacks........ So our music department, while it is good as a teaching department, is neglected.

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Peter Smith@PSPianos » 23 Jul 2009, 01:38

Hi guys,

The local authorities go for the safe option. The lowest cost prevails.

Near to me, a local authority done a similar thing a few years ago, bought low quality Yam's... I've got to service them more often because they are in very poor condition. I go to the schools and the teachers constantly moan about these pianos. I prefer coming across an older Knight or similar.

But who are these companies who promote and sell these ' rotten ' pianos ?

These are the ones who should be held accountable !!! Oh sorry ! Yamaha ! And it's dealer network !... the peoples choice !

So where is Yamaha going now ?

It's a win-win-win situation for Yamaha, because ....if you don't buy a ' real ' piano...you buy a plastic one instead ! And a few years later you'll need it replaced.

Yamaha only got to that powerful position due to ' lazy ' dealers who took the easy sale. We all know who they are.
They are the ' car-salemen ' of pianos. And now they are probally trying to tell us how they are ' whiter than white !'

If the local authorities want keyboards, these companies will probally move into keyboards ( that assumes that they haven't already ) Just to get the sale !!!

The piano trade has a lot to answer for.



:piano;

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by Peter Smith Pianos » 23 Jul 2009, 12:38

Local councils are duty bound to purchase the best new piano they can afford the choice being Yamaha,Kawai and Kemble in the budget range,the bona-fide dealer supplys what the director of music requests,other areas go for some other brands but one thing is consistent they want Yamaha,the teachers,pupils,and people starting out to learn due to the universal respect they have gained in piano productions methods since 1877.Do agree some Knight piano before 1983 are marvellous instruments,if they are domestically sourced,but many of the "auld skool "ones are beyond repair.Problem with pianos in general supplied to local authorities are they are quite simply abused,and not maintained properly,whether it a 2k yams or 26k Steinway.Dealers are only responding to demand,welcome to the forum,hope you keep it piano related.
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by joseph » 23 Jul 2009, 12:50

both the RSAMD and the RCM in London use Yamaha and Kawai uprights as well as their Steinway grands. There have never been any problem with these pianos save for some of them get abandoned on the tuning rota.

These are instruments that take alot of punishment. Sometimes there are sweeter sounding instruments, sometimes there are more interesting pianos, but in terms of consistency and build quality they are hard to beat. Some of the U3 uprights at the RCM are cracking on for 30 years old and they are still going strong.

I mean, I always liked to refine things on their fleet of Steinways..... but for hard practice, you can't beat them.

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by athomik » 23 Jul 2009, 14:28

The University of Surrey used to keep a Yamaha DC3 Disklavier and a Steinway in an airconditioned hall in Guildford. I never played with the Steinway, but when I went to fix the Disklavier, it had been thoroughly dried out, to the point where they had to replace it. The second one was treated with a bit more care, but they are currently looking at buying their third Disklavier in about 5 years.
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by joseph » 23 Jul 2009, 17:21

that sucks. they should take more care. aren't disklaviers just the same as the standard models but with the electronics?

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by athomik » 24 Jul 2009, 09:32

joseph wrote:that sucks. they should take more care. aren't disklaviers just the same as the standard models but with the electronics?
Yep. Their current one ( a Mk IV) gets ferried around quite a bit for ABRSM (who own the piano) recordings and exams, but it's still in pretty good condition. They are looking to upgrade to an S series Disklavier (or something like an AvantGrand :roll: )
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by joseph » 24 Jul 2009, 10:46

What is this Avant Grand like? It very expensive isn't it? Is it a nice piano?

I really like the Yamaha C6 - I've played a very well prepared one somewhere, and it was beautiful. I like many pianos . . . . . .

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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by chrisvenables » 24 Jul 2009, 11:29

Joseph - it isn't a piano it's electric.
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by athomik » 24 Jul 2009, 14:20

chrisvenables wrote:Joseph - it isn't a piano it's electric.
When they inquired about the replacement, I only offered the AvantGrand as an alternative because they mentioned the (obsolete) GranTouch series as option. Obviously those in charge at the ABRSM aren't too up to date with the requirements of their own operation, which explains why they got the freelance sound engineer doing their exam recordings to source a new instrument.
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Re: My school teaching piano

Post by joseph » 24 Jul 2009, 19:13

electrics are fine, after 9, when the neighbours complain.

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