Boomers and their Inherited Pianos

This is a timely topic for me for 2 reasons… one is a buyer client is looking for their next home and the home will need to accommodate an upright piano that is played regularly.  I see this need from time to time.  Second, I will be bringing my Mom’s piano from her house to mine in the next couple weeks and am working out where it will be happy.  Since I’ve been talking about pianos lately with friends and clients, I’ve learned that Boomers are finding themselves with their parents pianos!  Adult-children beneficiaries are even moving to make room for their new pianos.  Considered a piece of furniture to non-piano players, the stories behind these instruments are priceless.  Here’s our story in a nutshell…

Our mom had gone to college, then went into the Navy during WWII, returning with an offer to enroll in Stanford’s Business School.  They were recruiting women at the time, she always said, and 2 years later she found herself a graduate of the first class to include women (there were 2 and mom was one of them; it was 1949).  After finishing her MBA, she earned enough money to make her first purchase… a beautiful Mason & Hamlin baby-grand.  She played for years before arthritis took its toll on her fingers.  I enjoyed my piano lessons as a child/teen…until boys driving became a powerful diversion from daily practice and the piano was quiet once again.  In later years, she loved it when family would visit and play.  One of Mom’s wishes was that the piano go to a family member, and she wanted to know where it would sit ready for someone to play after she was gone.

I hope you enjoy these pictures of our family piano.   The first picture is my Mom (Grandma Billy) with my niece a few years ago (she’s 23 now)!  The second picture, at the same piano, is yours truly, a few years earlier with twin brother.

Grandma Billy and KC at piano 1988Marian and Ed at Mom piano 1959

We found a San Francisco Bay Area piano moving company that works all over the Bay Area.  The move will be from Marin County to the Half Moon Bay Coastside area.  I found the linked article below that could help all of us looking to move a piano– whether you’re searching for a new home or just a new place for a piano.

The key points in order of importance according to The Piano Space:

  • Relatively constant humidity levels
  • Not near a radiator, fireplace or wood-burning stove
  • Never in an excessively damp space, such as a basement
  • Not in front of, under, or over air vents
  • Not in direct sunlight
  • Try to avoid putting the piano against an exterior wall.
  • Check the integrity of the flooring, especially in an older home
  • Be aware of the size and contents of the room
  • Think about the playing space and ergonomics needed

If you have to compromise, start at the bottom of this list – according to this article.