Taking care of your piano is something that goes beyond lessons but teachers would do well to remind their students how to maintain their piano, keep it clean, in tune and in the best condition possible.
Before the actual playing, a piano beginner should learn a few basic needs for every pianist.
Teachers need to remind students that the place where you play your piano matters, that keeping it in tune is a must, dealing with rust, dust as well as knowing what things to avoid.
Here are a few tips on how to keep that piano in perfect condition for playing.
This is something every pianist needs to consider, not just to play comfortably, but to avoid anything that may affect a piano in a negative way.
There are a few things that cannot be close to a piano:
- Air vents
- Air conditioners
- Gas Heaters
Remember that a piano is mainly made up of metal and wood so it needs the right type of care to avoid the wood from swelling from humidity.
Swelling can cause the wood to press against the metal parts which is not good for the instrument.
If there is no way to avoid these issues, there is the possibility of having a humidity control system which regulates any changes in humidity with a built-in humidifier and dehumidifier, keeping the humidity level controlled.
Maintain Piano in Tune
The most common concern is, how often should I tune my piano? Well this depends on a few things but the general rule is a minimum of 2 times per year.
However this can change for a number of reasons, the first one was already mentioned and that is humidity and temperature.
A common misconception is that playing a piano frequently is what makes it go out of tune, but it’s not.
Still even if the piano is in perfect temperature conditions, it will most likely go out of tune as the strings stretch.
It’s really easy to know when it needs a tune, just noticing changes in the usual sound is enough, from buzzing and twanging, to changes in pitch or tone.
Another big reason for a piano to go out of tune is when it is moved from one place to another, which makes sense and happens to most string instruments.
Always keep your instruments in tune, otherwise you won’t be able to play it properly.
Also, the more time you let your piano be out of tune, the worse it’s going to get, and you need every key to play the note it’s supposed to
How to Maintain Your Piano Clean
Of course part of the maintenance is to keep it clean by removing any rust, dust or anything that shouldn’t be there.
First of all, something that is very important to everyone these days is disinfecting, so how do you disinfect your piano keys?
Well according to steinway.com these are the right steps:
- To disinfect your piano — the keys are the most important part. Over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide available from any pharmacy, is safe for piano keys.
- Dampen a cotton pad with hydrogen peroxide and use the pad to wipe down the piano keytops (back to front) between players.
- Use diluted alcohol-based disinfectants, do not use bleach-based disinfectants or any product containing citrus.
- If using a spray or liquid bottle, use disposable pads or soft cloths. Put the disinfectant on the towel and not the piano.
- Always follow up with a dry towel and never leave any liquids on the piano or keys.
Then comes the general cleaning part.
Voicing and Regulation
Regulation is approximately 37 adjustments per key of the pianos action mechanism to enable it to play as it should, this is without any noticeable change in sound quality..
This fixes many issues such as wear and tear to the action, excessive expansion and contraction of the wooden parts, loss of strength in the steel springs, normal felt compression, damage from moths or just general neglect.
Voicing on the other hand is an altering of the tone quality within each note throughout the piano by adjusting the tension of the hammer felt.
That said, voicing is something that may give different results depending on the pianist’s preference, but it is a much needed part of piano maintenance nonetheless.
Things to Avoid!
Some of these above warnings may be a little obvious but it doesn’t hurt to include the obvious, and there is no such thing as caring too much about your piano.
Once your piano is clean, in tune and ready to go.
Also, avoid this becoming lost in time, don’t forget your piano maintenance as well as teaching your students about it.
With MTH you can easily get reminded about it as a calendar event, even if your week is full with lessons!