I have a Mason & Risch upright piano from before they went bad in the 1950s. When we got it assessed, it was estimated to be from the early 1900s, putting it at around 100 years of age and in superb condition, though the felts could use replacing. I learned to play on that piano. I pounded the keys with fingers and fists, scattered it with tears and curses, caressed it with loving fingertips and praise. I have always planned to one day move it out of the basement at my parents place and into a home of my own. I’ve always planned to love it, have it refurbished, make it a part of my home. I had always planned to teach my kids to play at the same keys I loved and loathed.
And then, I moved 2.5 hours away.
Do you know how much it costs to move a piano 2.5 hours, especially when that move includes one long, narrow trip up a set of basement stairs? I never actually got a quote beyond asking Google, but I know it wouldn’t be pretty. So, for the five years since I’ve been out of my parents house, five years that I have not been regularly playing my piano, I have oscillated between allowing my parents to get rid of the thing and holding tight to the idea that one day, one day I’m going to reclaim it. For 5 years, they have patiently held on to it for me while I struggled with my sentimental attachment.
My main problem with getting rid of my piano is this: it’s not worth anything. Believe me. It’s a gorgeous piano and it could be worth thousands of dollars. But right now? It’s worth a big fat zero. My piano needs approximately $3000 of work before any piano technician would consider it valuable, $1500 of that on it’s innards, which would improve it’s sound quality remarkably. To get rid of the piano would likely mean dropping it off at the dump.
(For those of you who may be considering picking up a used piano from Kijiji/Craigslist, keep this in mind: any piano older than approximately 25 years that has not been refurbished is worth very close to nothing.)
I dream of buying a new (used) piano and finding a place for it in our home, small as said home may be. But for the moment, I’m attached to another piano, aching at the thought of abandoning it forever. I know it’s time to let to ivories of my childhood go but it’s so hard to do.
(All photos courtesy of houzz.com)