|Graeme Harvey||Wed, 18 Mar, 18:50 (5 days ago)|
|to bcc: me|
The following COVID-19 piano hygiene guidelines have been sent to us by APTTA for all our members to follow and recommend to clients.
The Corona Virus (COVID-19) is having a major impact throughout the world and that includes the world of music teachers and piano owners. The Piano Technicians Guild is making the following suggestions.
1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has specific tips for preparation, protection and care. You can view this information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/protect/index.html
2. Special care should be taken when using disinfectant products on a piano. Our thanks to Greg Cheng, RPT, for his invaluable assistance in developing these recommendations.
• Generally speaking, a soft disposable towel, using warm water and hand/dish soap is safe to use on virtually every finish, key, and case parts. Always follow up with a dry soft disposable towel to dry any standing liquid. Cheng recommends the Wypall L30 disposable towel.
• Cleaning pianos is a gentle process not a scrubbing process. Pressing hard or vigorous scrubbing may lead to scratching or removing the finish. Always proceed with caution and use common sense. Remember to wash your hands after you have thrown away the towels.
If using disinfectant products
• Use alcohol-based disinfectants, do not use bleach-based disinfectants or any product containing citrus.
• If using a spray or liquid bottle, use a disposable towel like WYPALL L30. Put the disinfectant on the towel and not the piano.
• After use, immediately put the towel or disinfectant hand wipe in the trash and wash your hands as the CDC recommends. Do not use reusable towels or cloths.
• Always follow up with a dry towel and never leave any liquids on the piano or keys.
The keys are the most important part. Generally speaking, most disinfecting wipes or sprays (see General Recommendations) should be safe to use on the keys.
Case parts finishes vary greatly and can be easily damaged by disinfectant wipes and sprays. A soft disposable towel, using warm water and hand/dish soap is safe to use on virtually every finish, key, and case parts. Always follow up with a dry soft disposable towel to dry any standing liquid.
Again, cleaning pianos is a gentle process not a scrubbing process. Pressing hard or vigorous scrubbing may lead to scratching or removing the finish. Always proceed with caution and use common sense. Remember to wash your hands after you have thrown away the towels or wipes.
Covid-19 Notice – Most people feel uncertain about the effects of Covid-19 and how it will affect them. We wanted to let you know this concern is important to us because you deserve to feel safe.
We are taking proactive measures to consider your well-being during each appointment. These are outlined below.
For piano owners concerned about keeping their piano clean, especially the keyboard, we offer the following suggestions.
Keeping Piano Keys Safe and Clean
Our guidelines for cleaning your keys and preventing damage:
Most acoustic and digital piano key tops are made of synthetic materials which may react adversely to various cleaning and disinfecting agents. We advise the following practices for cleaning and protecting you keys.
- Avoid cleaners (both liquid and saturated wipe-type cleaners) that contain harsh ingredients including alcohol (isopropyl), chlorine, ethanol, benzene, peroxide and salts. These ingredients contribute to discolouration and cracking.
- If a hand disinfecting agent is used (i.e. hand sanitiser), which contains the various cleaning and disinfecting agents noted above, ensure that hands are completely dry before contacting the keyboard.
- Clean your keys with a damp, lukewarm, soft cloth (such as microfibre cloth) containing a small amount of dish washing detergent, wrung out so that water cannot drip between keys. Wipe the keys in a ‘toward the player’ motion.
- Follow up this first clean with a second microfibre cloth dampened with lukewarm water wrung out so that water cannot drip between the keys. Wipe the keys in a ‘toward the player’ motion as done with the cloth treated with dish detergent.
- Finally, use a third, dry microfibre cloth to dry the keyboard, again wiping the keys in a ‘toward the player’ motion, till all keys are dry.
- Keep the key cover (fall board) closed at all times when the piano is not in use to avoid contamination from coughs and sneezes.
- Always wash hands thoroughly before and after playing.
These cleaning guidelines also apply to the casework of your piano.
We are taking proactive measures to consider your well-being during each service appointment:
- We are washing our hands and wiping down our tools with disinfectant at each appointment.
- We are limiting personal contact, so please understand if we don’t shake hands when we walk in the door or need to make additional requests to limit exposure.
- Your technician is going to call in sick and reschedule appointments if they experience any symptoms, so please bear with us if we need to reschedule.
- We are asking you to please reschedule your appointment if anyone in your household is exhibiting symptoms or has had recent contact with anyone else who is ill.
We are doing everything reasonable on our part to prevent the unnecessary spread of any illnesses, including Covid-19.
Please stay safe and rest assured we have your well being at the forefront of our minds.
We wish you and your family the best during this challenging time.
To schedule (or reschedule) a service appointment click this link;
What should you consider?
Digital pianos have been around in one form or another for decades so they’re not a new thing.
But with advances in sampling and sound engineering they have improved dramatically over the past few years to the point that even lower cost models designed for home use have a remarkable authenticity when compared with similar priced acoustic pianos.
With an ever expanding range of useful features digital pianos offer some of the following features that acoustic pianos can’t match.
- Light and portable, easy to transport
- Never needs tuning and virtually maintenance free
- Have a range of sampled sounds, piano, electric piano, organ, guitar etc etc
- Sounds can be layered eg piano and strings
- Play at any hour with headphones
- Many offer a recording feature along with multiple inputs and outputs to other devices
- Some models offer accompaniment and rhythms, most have a metronome
The range of manufacturers, models, features and price points is vast and as with all things the more you are willing to pay the more features you get and the better the sound will be.
For serious acoustic piano aficionados a digital will never replace the sound and tactile response one gets when playing a quality piano. The combination of organic components – timber soundboard and bridges, strings and quality felt hammers is still the ultimate for creating the real piano experience.
No digital sound here, and no power required, just press any note and a sound will come out. Having heard multiple world class concert pianists play on the same Steinway Model D concert grand piano, the most amazing thing is that they all seem to get a unique and slightly different sound and response from the piano. That is what an acoustic instrument can give at the hands of different musicians.
- Acoustic pianos can last a very long time if well maintained
- They hold value well due to their longevity
- A beautiful piano brings presence to a room. It can add the finishing touch to a homes decor.
- Silent play systems can be retrofitted allowing connection via USB or MIDI to other devices
- Even older quality built pianos can be repaired or rebuild if required, usually no issue with getting parts
- Allow advanced students and players to develop technical skills
- Acoustic live music engages an audience like nothing else
The range of manufacturers, models, styles and price points is vast and as with all musical instruments the bigger your budget the better your instrument will be.
In summary, there are pros and cons for each style of instrument, but in selecting the instrument that is right for you, we ask a range of questions that narrow the choices down to what will be most appropriate for your present and future needs. But the right questions have to be addressed and that is where our 25 plus years of experience becomes invaluable.
- Who will be playing the instrument? What skill level – starter or experienced? It does matter.
- Do you have the space, and a climatically stable environment for a piano?
- What is your budget? If it is limited a lower priced digital may be better than a cheap used piano.
- Will the instrument be in the same room as other media and distractions?
- If the player is progressing well and has a few years experience most teachers will suggest a good acoustic piano. We also endorse this.
- Do you move frequently? Go digital for easy shifting.
- Do you entertain and have friend over to make music? An acoustic will sparkle and stand out in this regard.
Come and talk to us, we’ll help you find the instrument that is right for your requirements with helpful friendly questions and advice.