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Joined: Mar 2007
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Beethoven used to spill ink all over the keyboard, and also have a cold bucket of water splashed over the head from time to time. Apparently, did more good than harm to music.

hope the instrument isn't there just as decoration...

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Mr. Broadwood probably gave Beethoven that piano.

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Also, anything you use to make a living gets put in a different category. I have expensive cameras that get banged up because they help me make money. That's different.

I do hear and agree with Kingfrog about cheaping out and acquiring an instrument that is so bad that you lose any inspiration to play it. And I realize that 5K to some is equal to 50K to others (actually 5K is NEVER equal to 50K - I don't care who you are, but I hear what you're saying) but to say that...

"...denying a child access to express themselves making their own brand of music cannot be..." is puke and all I can say is go change your obviously wet bedsheets. The kids can express themselves all they want in the backyard! laugh

Deny them access I say! Make them earn it! You may ultimately create more desire in this way. It's not a right, it's a privilege.

Signed, Ronald Reagan cool

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A quick note about locks: When I got my key, the dealer begged me not to ever use it. If someone tries to force open a locked piano, the finish on the fallboard can crack from the stress. Less risky to just leave it unlocked.

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i was told that there is not much a child can do to harm a grand piano. so when i got my first grand i let my three younger siblings(all under 6) pretty much do what they wanted within moderation...a couple of weeks later and it had a peanut butter sandwich fall peanut side down on the keyboard and a strange rattling that started every time i played.thankfully they had only droped a couple of pencils in the open part of the lid that goes over the keys but i thourghly learnt my lesson and know have some stict ground rules.

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Nice thread, pity I had missed it..

My advice would be: you make the rules, the neighbors' kids follow them or get kicked out of the place and amen.
That your kids follow your rules, is understood.

Every kid, to whom rules and consequences are shown in a clear way, understand that; unless he is either disturbed or has enjoyed a "non-authoritarian" education, in which both cases I suggest not to allow him in your home in the first place. All the others might be treated to a little performance from you, follows by an invitation to approach the instrument themselves...

I on the other hand do not agree with the idea to buy a cheap digital that the children are allowed to destroy. My experience as a child is that I was told how to handle things in no uncertain way, and I would learn it very naturally, as I learned that after the day follows the night; if banging on a piano is a no-no, a child clearly told will very easily understand and act in consequence; but he will need a very firm guidance, the clear idea that it is as you say, period or he might be tempted to "test" you, are children are sometimes prone to do, so if a child will bang on the piano after you have told him not to do so the problem is likely to be you, not him.

And yes, I am approximately where Mr. Wolfowitz is (a bit more on the right, perhaps), so there might be something in TLuvva's theory.. smile , though I would not have any problems with children staying there and "discovering" the piano with me present....


"The man that hath no music in himself / Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds / Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." (W.Shakespeare)

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Quote
Originally posted by Jesika_Mesika:
i was told that there is not much a child can do to harm a grand piano.
Whoever said that obviously never had kids wink There isn't a thing made that a kid can't destroy given enough time and/or curiosity (just ask my parents smile )

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I suppose that kids can destroy almost anything, but I never made the piano off-limits to my kids. The first was a small stencil grand, which was replaced when they were 7 and 5 respectively with a rebuilt/refinished Knabe 9'. Neither ever did any damage to the instruments. I would suppose if your approach to parenting is l'aissez faire, you deserve what you get. Mistakes will be made, and problems corrected. It goes with the territory. If you cause damage, you will be made to be responsible in some meaningful way. I remember my daughter and a friend at the age of 6 throwing "GAK" onto the ceiling of her bedroom. The problem with "GAK" is that it was fun to play with, but it leaves oil spots wherever it contacts something. SO...my daughter and her friend got to repaint the ceiling in her bedroom at the age of 6. We had no more problems with throwing stuff onto the ceiling after that. My son, now 23 brought my truck back with a large dent in the bumper and fender. Guess what he's doing today? There again there was the time that I caught him trying to pry open the pop-up headlights on my freshly painted Corvette 20 years ago. I could have gone ballistic, but instead we got out a small brush and carefully painted in the chips that the screwdriver had nicked. Cars are now one of his passions. I wonder whether I could have killed that passion then and there with a different reaction at the age of 3.
Actions have consequences for all parties. I say that it is better to create a teaching moment if possible. The ground rules concerning how to treat a piano need be made early on and well understood. I wouldn't want to be responsible for killing a child's passion for music early on.

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Originally posted by John Pels:
... my daughter and a friend at the age of 6 throwing "GAK" onto the ceiling of her bedroom. The problem with "GAK" is that it was fun to play with, but it leaves oil spots wherever it contacts something. SO...my daughter and her friend got to repaint the ceiling in her bedroom at the age of 6. We had no more problems with throwing stuff onto the ceiling after that. ...
What's truly amazing about that story is that your daughter didn't end up throwing GAK onto the ceiling every week! "Let's see, what color and pattern should I paint the ceiling this week?"

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We have items in our home (eg. electronic equipment) that I would definitely not allow my child's friends to play with, even though our child knows how to handle the same item carefully and respectfully.

Why wouldn't that same concept extend to any item of my choosing, including an expensive piano?

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BTW, we are buying a M&H BB for our child to use and I doubt SHE will allow other children to play the piano. She knows how much it costs and she understands it was a really big purchase for us. If something happened to it, it would upset her as much as her parents.

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Originally posted by brenda100:
BTW, we are buying a M&H BB for our child to use and I doubt SHE will allow other children to play the piano. She knows how much it costs and she understands it was a really big purchase for us. If something happened to it, it would upset her as much as her parents.
Two words for you, piano insurance .

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bitWrangler,
Maybe that's more advice for the folks who let their kids friends play the piano at their home. Our daughter is 13, not 7, so that makes a difference, too.

Tell us why it's not enough to include it on the homeowner's policy. I'll check the link you gave, too.

You are a wealth of info!

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brenda100, this all falls under the "forbidden fruit" scenario. My daughter had many friends play our piano and we never had ANY problems with any of them between the ages of 6 and 18. Our piano's initial investment was modest. The whole family contributed in time to its restoration. Since all had a vested interest, it was revered. It took us two years to complete. We all took pride in our efforts when it was rolled out onstage at a local college to give it's first performance, featuring my wife and myself. I'm sure that my daughter conveyed to friends outside the family how it should be treated.

It doesn't mean that the kids didn't play around it and under it making "forts" and all those things that youngsters do. I would say that if your daughter prevents other folks her age from playing it (assuming of course that they CAN play), they would likely think that she's well beyond strange and would likely fail to associate with her in the future. I played pianos in every home of everyone that I knew as a youngster. I don't recall EVER being denied the privilege, and they varied in quality from old dinosaur uprights to concert-grand Bechsteins. Don't lose sight of the purpose of the piano after all.

As to "electronic equipment" being off-limits, I feel the same way. Both of my kids had very good audio equipment as youngsters, lots of records, then CD's and systems that their friend's parents would have coveted at the time. No boom boxes and modular junk. To this day they both value high-end audio. Lessons are learned early in many ways.

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Originally posted by brenda100:
bitWrangler,
Maybe that's more advice for the folks who let their kids friends play the piano at their home. Our daughter is 13, not 7, so that makes a difference, too.

Tell us why it's not enough to include it on the homeowner's policy. I'll check the link you gave, too.

You are a wealth of info!
Depends on the specifics of your homeowners policy. Some possible benefits of going with a company like Heritage:

- cheaper to insure (e.g. most folks are paying around $250/year for pianos in your price range).
- replacement cost (Heritage covers full replacement cost, not all HO policies do).
- broader coverage (Heritage covers almost everything except Acts of War, your HO policy may exclude certain types of damage (e.g. flooding)).
- they specialize in insuring musical instruments, so there are probably less likely to be snags when filing claims.

Again, none of the above items may be an advantage for Heritage depending on the nature of your existing HO policy. I'd highly recommend you check out the website and compare their coverage against what your HO policy states (call up your agent if you need clarification).

If you read my earlier postings you'll see I'm big into letting the kids explore the instrument, within specific boundaries. Though it is an investment, I (and my wife) feel it's meant to be used and not just admired. That said, since we're fortunate to have multiple pianos, we generally steer any visiting kids towards one of the digitals unless they are old/mature/aware enough to understand and appreciate a good grand.

I'm glad you find my ramblings helpful smile

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bitWrangler,
It sounds like you and I take the same approach to piano usage. We expect ours to be used, not just admired. I would not mind one of our daughter's friends playing it with at least one of us there to answer any questions. She has friends who are very sweet and responsible, pretty much like she is.

I will definitely want to be supervising when my nephews decide they would like to try it. These are the same ones who throw unopened christmas and birthday packages across the room. eek Even my mother-in-law has scolded them, and I never thought I would hear that from her. They do this no matter where they are, even with their parents in the room.

It all depends on how well-behaved the kids are. The person who began this post seems to have a situation of unruly kids and parents who don't really have a grip on how to handle it, so it puts it in her lap. The visiting parents don't always appreciate having someone else correct their children, even if done in a kind way. She has a real dilemma or she wouldn't bother posting the question.

Your advice on insurance is very good. All of us need to consider how we wish to handle that question. It's worthy of its own thread IMO. Thank you for bringing it up for us!

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Even if you're the best ambassador in the world, I would support that suggestion that was previously made to have a quality piano cover for your piano. Frankly, I cover the piano when I'm having a mob of people who are over - and music is not the focus. Little children - same difference.

Otherwise, wine glasses may end up where you wouldn't like to see.

Years ago, I had a close friend who put a glass of orange juice on my new piano. I asked her not to do that. She reacted like I was some kind of weirdo. About one minute later she accidently spilled the orange juice on the piano... People always asked what became of that woman...

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If you let kids play your digital piano, you'll get very familiar with the accompanying manual. My grandkids delight in doing things like changing the language on the display screen.

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First of all, so what if "they" think you're crazy. It's your house, your piano and they are NOT your kids. Do these same kids walk up to your TV and turn it on?

Close the fallboard and tell them the piano is sleeping.

Their love of music does not rise and fall on their being able to "touch" your piano.

My Estonia was bought for my young daughter- she uses it liberally- knows to have clean hands and no food/drinks near it. She cares for her things as I care for mine- WITH care. She used to have a tendency to get a bit uptight when kids come over. I tell whoever comes over (IF the fallboard is open)...wash your hands, dry them real good and enjoy (and daughter is happy to let them have fun). The point is, people should have real respect for others possessions.

We don't put our feet on the couch with our shoes on. Some little kid runs inside, jumps up on the couch with his shoes on- parent present or not I'm going to say "take your shoes off and put them by the door". Does that discourage them from being comfortable in my home? It's my home.

It amazes me that people would think of allowing their kids to "have at" someone elses things, especially without being told it's okay? That's todays parenting in action. We're supposed to be teaching our children how to behave.

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I'm not a parent. However, I've heard many times that "if you can't afford to have it broken, it should not be in the house."

I think everyone will agree that kids are unpredictable. No matter what you tell your or the neighbor's kids, the piano is still probably at risk. My suggestion is to get an armoured case around that thing.


Kawai K-3 (2008)
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