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Now the neighbors wish I'd close my windows

August 15, 2011

Two days before we left for a week of vacation, we bought a piano from our neighbors.  As happy as I was to escape to the north woods of Wisconsin with my family, I kept thinking about the new toy I’d left at home.  My dad tried to talk me into tuning it myself, but I am not insane.  For each of the 88 notes, there are 3 separate strings.  Seeing as it took me 10 minutes to get my 4-stringed dulcimer sounding right this morning, it’d take me 11 hours to tune a piano.  I happily called a piano technician.

This afternoon, the technician came over and cleaned and tuned the piano.  The piano looks beautiful (apart from needing new key tops) but internally we didn’t really know what state it was in.  There were a few keys that got stuck when playing, and a few that didn’t feel quite right when pressed – I was hoping the technician could cheaply easily remedy the situation.

I sent the boys outside to play with the hose so I could annoy observe the tehcnician while he worked.  It was absolutely fascinating to see the inner workings of the piano and watch as it was being tuned.  The most amazing thing about my piano?  That it could play at all.  Once the covers were removed, we discovered enoughtreasures” jammed on top of/between/under the keys for me to open a second-hand knick nack store.

The technician removed:

  • 1 jigsaw puzzle piece
  • 1 Christmas ornament
  • 1 toothpick
  • 1 tube of eyeliner (!)
  • 2 long brass rods (?)
  • 1 small brass fitting to connect the brass rods
  • 1 large eraser
  • 1 nickle
  • 5 pennies
  • 11 (ELEVEN!) pencils
  • 1 marker (black)
  • 3 candy wrappers (Mr. Goodbar, hard candy, and fruit roll-up)
  • 1 crayon (green)
  • 1 safety pin
  • 2 bobby pins
  • 2 pens
  • 1 gum wrapper
  • 2 paper clips
  • 1 plastic clip
  • 1 mystery piece of wood (4″ long)
  • 3 broken ivory keytops

junk hiding on/under the keys

Once free of debris, the strangely functioning keys all started to behave normally.  Incredible, huh?  Remove the jigsaw puzzle pieces and tubes of makeup from a piano and it’ll start working again!

(Disclaimer:  I’m sure my neighbors are not guilty of this piano abuse – the piano originally belonged to a church in town.  =)  )

The piano was very flat so the technician raised the pitch before tuning it.  Only 2 strings broke during tuning and he didn’t uncover any other major problems.  Woo hoo!

New keytops will be a future investment, but I can wait on those.  The piano is sounding nice and I enjoyed playing it after dinner.  I am very rusty but looking forward to lots of practice.

If you need a piano technician in South-Central Wisconsin, Mark Milligan was great.  He didn’t even give me a hard time for all the garbage my piano ate.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Courtney permalink
    August 16, 2011 5:09 pm

    Sweet! Check pencils off Tea’s school supply list! 🙂 And think of all the sour patch kids that 10 cents will buy you (I mean, if you could buy them individually).

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