In-Tune, News from the Piano World June 2021
|In-Tune, the Piano World Newsletter June 2021 Issue|
Check the In-Tune Newsletter Archives to see what you’ve been missing and catch up on what’s been happening!
Brought to you by Piano World The world’s most popular piano site, home of the World Famous Piano Forums!
(Frank Baxter, editor – founder – owner)
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|If You Like the Piano|
You should be reading our newsletter (oh wait, you are, thank you), join our world famous Piano Forums, host and/or attend a piano party, share your love of piano with others, keep your piano(s) tuned and maintained, support others who want to learn, tell hotels and restaurants you’d like to see/hear live piano players, …
I’m betting some of you can easily add to the list above, feel free to send me your suggestions. email@example.com A Tough Year for Sure
Like many small businesses 2020 was a tough year for me (and 2021 is not much better).
For those of you who don’t know, I am Frank Baxter and I started Piano World (and the forums) around 1997.
About ten years ago, after getting laid off from my web development/marketing job at McGraw-Hill (publishing company) I decided to try working I decided to try working for myself. Between selling advertising on Piano World, sales in my online store (PianoSupplies.com) tuning pianos, and the occasional gig I managed to survive.
Things started going downhill fast in 2019 when I went through some personal issues during which I took my eye off the ball.
But toward the end of 2019 I realized I needed to pull myself together and take positive steps. So I purchased a 9 bedroom house (built in 1850) in the historic district of Cornish Maine. I knew it needed a lot of work, but my plan was to open a small BNB upstairs, and a music shop downstairs.
And if things could work out, a live music venue in the barn (but it turned out the barn would require too much investment).
Then the global pandemic hit and sales in my online store plummeted (a lot of my business was churches and schools), tunings dried up, gigs disappeared, and the tourist traffic I was counting on to help the music shop (and eventually BNB) never came.
While keeping Piano World and the forums going is a labor of love, it’s also expensive. Hosting fees alone are over $6500 a year. Heck even this newsletter costs $2700 a year (whether I send out a newsletter or not. I’ve yet to find a cheaper/better solution. I may just have to stop sending out newsletters).
I realize many of our members have also been going through some tough times, I hope things get better for you soon.
If you are in a position to help keep Piano World and the Piano Forums alive and well there are a number of options, including purchasing from our online store www.PianoSupplies.com, Advertising on our site, Donating or Becoming a subscribing member
If you can’t help via any of the above, please at least pay some attention to our advertisers (and turn off ad blocker while you on our site) so they will know they are reaching their audience. And by all means, invite others to join our piano forums.
Because of health issues (testing is still ongoing) and my age (I’ll be 70 in November) I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be doing all of this. I’m eventually going to want to retire so I can spend time with the new love in my life (Lorraine), play my piano, compose music, read a ton of books, gardening, and woodworking.
I Haven’t Retired Yet Though
As you can probably tell by these pictures of my shop I haven’t quite retired yet.
The two Fender Rhodes pianos (and Fender Rhodes keyboard amp) came from a teen camp not far from me.
They discovered the pianos in an old storage shed. No telling how long they’d been in there, but judging by the rust, corrosion, and mouse nests I’d say quite a while. They’re hoping I can get at least one of them working. I’m not experienced at working on these old Rhodes pianos, but I’m learning. Luckily there’s a helpful group on Facebook, and a source for replacement parts online. Part of my shop
Fender Rhodes Pianos – Mark 1 and a Seventy Three
Rust inside the Fender Rhodes Mark 1
Hammond D100 and Leslie HL722 (I am fixing them both up to sell as a set)
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– Jesse Kornbluth A pianist in lounges and lobbies around the world, Robin Meloy Goldsby tells her warm-hearted stories by linking people she has met with places she has played. Along the way, she connects the humanity of her audiences-princes and paupers, dreamers and doers, moguls, mobsters, wanna-bes, and has-beens-with the quiet soundtrack of her peripatetic, melodic life. Goldsby’s autobiographical stories and essays deliver insights into the art and craft of piano playing, the merits of live music, and how the right song at the right moment can add color and depth to a drab, one dimensional world. Music, it turns out, connects us in unpredictable ways. Readers of Piano World’s popular “Let’s Talk Weddings” thread on the Non-Classical Forum (over six million hits!) are familiar with Robin’s writing about wedding gigs, playing in European castles, and the challenges of building a career in the music business. Goldsby is the author of Piano Girl, Waltz of the Asparagus People, Rhythm, and Manhattan Road Trip, and has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland.
Goldsby is a Steinway Artist and cultural ambassador with artistic ties to both Europe and the USA. Her newest solo piano album, Home and Away, launched at Buckingham Palace in November 2017 at a gala hosted by HRH, the Prince of Wales. When there’s not a pandemic, Robin performs about two hundred live piano gigs a year at Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne, Germany, and tours internationally with her popular concert/reading program. The publisher of Piano Girl Playbook-Backbeat Books (an imprint of Rowman Littlefield)-is offering a generous 35% discount to Piano World readers until July 31, 2021! To order the book, go to this link and select “hardback” or “e-book.” You will need to create an account by clicking the blue “Register” link. When you go to “Check out,” there is a place to enter the discount code of PGPB35. The book is also available (worldwide) in hardcover or e-book editions at your favorite independent bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or anywhere fine books are sold. Maple Street Music Shop is Open!
As many of you know, I purchased a big (9 bedroom) old (1850) house in Cornish Maine thinking I’d open a little music shop in the house, and do some Air BNB.
The store is now open, MapleStreetMusicShop.com
48 Maple Street
Cornish, Maine 04020
If you find ourself in this area (Southwest Maine) please come by for a visit.
The BNB part is still not up and running, although I do have one guest room completed (and a queen size sofa-bed in the library).
I still have some work to do, and I’m still concerned about the virus. I think it’s pretty safe if guests are fully vaccinated (I am). I’m keeping an eye on things as places open across the country. Speaking of Piano Tuners…
I am a professional piano tuner and I rely on tuning pianos for part of my living.
Since the pandemic my tuning business has dropped off significantly, but it’s slowly coming back.
Things are just starting to pick up for me.
So if you are in the Southwest Maine or Mid-East area of New Hampshire I’d be happy to tune your piano. And yes, I’m fully vaccinated and being careful.
You can find My Ad Here
If you have any interest in learning more about Piano World and/or your host (that would be me), please visit our About Us page.
Start Em Young!
Get your children interested in music at a young age and they will have a companion the rest of their lives.
Making music can be so rewarding, plus it’s fun and relaxing.
Not to mention that many studies have shown the children who study music also do better academically.
So if your child shows any interest in music, support them, encourage them, get them an instrument (please make sure it’s one that is in good playable condition, find them a teacher.
Piano Competitions, Concerts & More I see that live music events are slowly but surely coming back. (I’ve even picked up a couple of small gigs myself).
If you know of any concerts or competitions being held virtually, please post about them on our Piano Forums so we can share them.
I know that my friend , concert pianist Jeffrey Biegel is working with composers on some pieces for smaller orchestras, and locally the Oqunquit Playhouse (Maine) is holding their events in a huge tent.
Remember, if you know of any piano concerts, competitions, or events … let us know!
You can post in this section of the piano forums (and/or email us). Don’t forget to keep an eye on the forum below for news of upcoming concerts, competitions, and special (piano) events. Piano Concerts – Competitions – Events Piano Tuning – A Few Of My Assistants
I often take pictures of the animals at the homes when I tune (I always ask permission first).
Some day I’ll post an entire story with tons of pictures. These pictures are from a couple of recent tunings.
Brother and Sister Pugs
A beautiful and sweet miniture Collie
This handsome guy belongs to the owner of the teen camp (the Rhodes pianos earlier in the newsletter)
He’s very smart and loveable
This guy looked like he could care less that I was there tuning the piano.
In a beautiful home on a lake in NH.
My Estonia L-190 Sounds Like what?
I love my Estonia grand piano but just to make it a bit more interesting I installed a PianoDisc ProRecord system which gives my piano the ability to transform into a MIDI controller.
What does that mean you ask?
Among other things I can assign different instrument sounds to my piano. I’ve included a couple of examples below. If you’d like to know more contact me, or if you are in my area (southwest Maine) stop by and I’ll be happy to demonstrate live (and let you try it).
Estonia piano with piano and choir
Estonia L-190 sounds like a choir
Estonia L-190 sounds like Hammond B3
And for Comparison, one that is straight piano (original composition)
I also added a couple of Christmas pieces to my YouTube channel. About Our Forums
The Piano Forums on Piano World are not just one forum, there are in fact several, each with a specific targeted audience in mind.
The following is a brief description of some of our most popular forums. Piano Forum = The forum just titled Piano Forum is geared toward discussions of the instruments themselves. It is where you would go to find information about specific brands, or pianos in general. Many piano manufacturers monitor this forum even if they choose not to participate. It helps them to learn what the public is saying about their products, and their competitors products. Piano Tuner-Technicians Forum = As the name implies, this forum is primarily for professional piano tuner-technicians, however anyone can read what is being discussed. You can also post specific technical questions here, but please be polite and realize the pros that take the time to respond are giving freely of their valuable time. Digital Piano – Synths & Keyboards = This rapidly growing forum is geared toward the digital side of the piano/keyboard business. It includes digital pianos, electric pianos, electronic pianos, hybrids, and synthesizers & controllers. Discussions here can get pretty technical, but they can also be as simple as “which keyboard has the touch response you like the most?”
You will also find discussions about things like midi interfaces, sound modules, speakers, microphones, sequencers, etc. Adult Beginners Forum = This is a bit of a misnomer as not all the participants are beginners (nor are they all necessarily adults). The idea behind it’s creation was to give adults a place to feel comfortable talking about learning to play piano later in life. Many of the participants played some when they were younger, got away from playing, and are now coming back to the joy of making music. Of course there are also lots of “adults” who are in fact just beginning their journey.
I’ve found over the years this is one of the more civil and helpful forums where the members truly try to help each other. They even organize online recitals and friendly competitions. Pianist Corner = Primarily aimed at the more advanced pianist, many of the participants here are at an intermediate to advanced level. No need to be intimidated though, if you aspire to become a better pianist you can learn a lot from these folks. Pianist Corner – Non Classical = This is a forum for the rest of us. Take me for instance, I play rock, standards, blues, a little jazz and a little ragtime. If you’re interested, you can see/hear me “in action” here On YouTube It was a few years and over 60lbs ago (thank you to our friend Sam Bennett of Piano Works in Deluth GA for recording and posting this from a previous NAMM show).
If you love to play piano, but classical isn’t your thing, this is the forum for you. Piano Teachers Forum = Yes, it’s what you think it would be. Primarily for piano teachers to discuss their trade, lesson plans, scheduling, etc. If you are not a piano teacher but have a question you’d like to ask someone who is, please be polite and be patient.
If you are new to teaching piano, you may find a lot of good information here, and helpful people. Other Forums = There are a number of other forums on Piano World, please take some time to explore them, you may just find something you really enjoy, and learn something along the way.
Some of our other forums include = Events-Recitals-Competitions, Composer’s Lounge, Parties-Tours-Cruises, Photo Gallery, Who’s Who, Member Recordings, Just for the Fun of it, and still more. Speaking of the forums, if you receive a PM (Private Message) from someone and you want to reply to them You must click the link provided in the PM email! DO NOT just hit the reply button in your email program because doing so just sends your reply to me (because piano world is the “sender” of the pm email.
About Closing a Piano Forums Account
We don’t like to lose any members (well, ok, there have been a few we weren’t sorry to see go 🙂
But if you are thinking of asking us to close/delete your account, please see this page:
Forums Rules and Guidelines
Visit the Piano Forums Today! Active Topics – Have You Checked?
Did you know you can easily view a list of the current active topics in the forums?
You can view active topics from the last 24 hours, the last 48 hours, or the last 7 days.
Here is an example of the current active topics from the last seven days Piano Forums Active Topics
You can find the Active Topics link at the top of the page, or just use the link I provided above. When you get there, you can always change the time frame to one of the other choices.
Piano Parties! We love piano parties! If you are planning to hold one, please let us know. Piano parties are a great way to share your love of playing (and listening) and an opportunity to get non-players or those who haven’t played in years interested. If you find yourself in the area of southwest Maine let me know, we love to host piano parties whether it’s for two people or forty two. NOTE:
I know that people around the world including here in the States have been dealing with the pandemic.
Here in Maine (upper northeast corner of the U.S.) we’ve done pretty well, in part because distancing and outdoor activities are a way of life here. And because a majority of Mainers have gotten vaccinated.
I’m hoping to start hosting some piano parties at my place in Cornish Maine soon, and would love to hear from anyone else planning to host or attend a piano party!
Our friends in Europe have hosted piano parties every year since 2013…
2013 it was Brussels, Belgium
2014 it was Lisbon, Portugal
2015 it was Lucerne, Switzerland
2016 was in Milan, Italy (Kathy my former partner and I went to this one, amazing)
2017 had not one but two European parties, one was in Bulgaria, the other in Spain.
Here are some Reports & Pictures from the one in Spain.
2018 was In Germany
I know there were a few parties posted for 2019.
There was talk of a piano party in Bulgaria in 2020 Bulgaria Piano Party Thread
We’ve also hosted a tour of European Piano Makers (2011), a Piano Cruise , a Piano Crawl (NY), and several tours of the Mason & Hamlin factory in Haverhill MA and the Steinway factory in NY.
Unfortunately the pandemic put a damper on a lot of party plans in 2020 and into 2021.I’m hoping for a comeback soon.
Not sure what a piano party is?
Check out the links above, and this forum Forum Members Parties, Tours, Cruises, & Meetings
Also, see this Collection of Piano Parties and Tours compiled by one of our moderators (thank you Casinitaly). Piano Owners Forum!
PLEASE – Visit this forum and congratulate these folks on their New Piano!
We now have a special sub-forum under the Piano Forum specifically as a place for posts about members getting a new (to them) piano.
I love reading the threads posted by members who have finally purchased their piano. Seeing the pictures and hearing the stories reminds me of one of the most important reasons we are here, to help each other.
And if you’ve found Piano World and/or the Forums to be helpful, we’d love to know that too.
Unfortunately these posts get buried quickly as new threads get created.
If you recently got a piano, or you know of a thread where someone is talking about getting their new piano, please let me know. I’d love to move the threads to this one central place for all to share in the joy of owning and playing a piano.
The New Piano Owners forum lives here , right under the primary Piano Forum. (ad) Ken Knapp Organ Repair
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www.tonewheeltech.com In Our Online Store!
Have you visited our online store for music lovers?
PianoSupplies.com is a division of Piano World.
Sales in our online store help support Piano World.
We sell benches,lamps, cushions, music related party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment and so much more.
And we offer free shipping on Jansen Artist Benches* and CocoWeb Piano Lamps* (*contiguous U.S.) PianoSupplies.com is Piano World’s Online Store
Please Browse our Store Today
Antibacterial Hand Sanitizers New Products In Our Store Piano Moving Equipment, including Grand Dolly, Digital Dolly .. Stationary & School Supplies – Music Related Gifts & Unusual Items with a Music Theme Gifts for Music Teachers & Students Party Decorations with a Music Theme Piano Tuning Tools Lots More – www.PianoSupplies.com
A Few of the New Items In Our Physical Store in Cornish Maine…
Hand made by artist Barbara Wadsworth
I’ll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours
(Show Us Your Piano Room Pictures)
This thread has been running for over ten years now!
Every once in a while someone discovers it and adds pictures of their own Piano/Music room.
If you haven’t posted yours yet, please feel free to add them. We don’t care if you only have a keyboard sitting on a table or two concert grands in an elaborate music room, we just love seeing people’s set up and knowing they are enjoying making music.
If you would like to add your pictures to this thread PLEASE be sure to upload your pictures to our servers (see Posting Pictures on the Piano Forums below). Otherwise they may just disappear some day, as you will see in some of the posts in this thread.
the Show Us Your Piano Room Pictures Thread
Here is a view looking out the front door of my music shop, through my Ring doorbell..
This is a picture of my Music Room in my house/music shop in Cornish Maine.
Have you visited the member recordings forums?
This is a great place to hear some of your fellow forums members. One is a sub forum in the Pianist Corner which features primarily classical music. Member Recordings – Pianist Corner
The other is under the Fun Stuff category and contains hundreds of recordings of all types of wonderful music. Member Recordings – General
I’ve even posted a few in there myself.
Find a Piano Professional
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If you’ve actually read this far, Thank You!
And if you have suggestions for future issues of our newsletter, please feel free to share them with me.
In closing I’d like to thank each and everyone of you for being a friend of the Piano World and for visiting my web site(s). I hope all of you come through this craziness ok and that things get back to normal soon. (the girl I’m dating is a respiratory therapist at a major hospital, I worry about her and her co-workers every day).
Keep playing the piano, and sharing your music. We could all use a little music in our lives about now.
It’s Fun to Play The Piano … Please Pass It On!
(Founder / Host)
Piano World & the Piano Forums, PianoSupplies.com
Maple Street Music Shop
48 Maple Street
Cornish, Maine 04020
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