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Thread: Piano

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Christchurch (ex. Flitton, UK)
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    Default Piano

    My grandmother's old piano might be emigrating to NZ as well, so a few questions:

    Has anyone ever shipped a piano over?
    Did it survive the journey reasonably well?
    Any idea about the cost (the rest of me is here already!)?
    What does it cost to tune a piano?
    What do piano lessons cost?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Waikato
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    We brought ours over- you can either just stick it in the container with the rest of your stuff or get them to pack it into a custom piano case and then put it in the container. Depends upon the value (sentimental or otherwise) of the piano I suppose. Ours just went in the container and arrived fine- didn't even need tuning, which floored the piano playing unpacker! Either way, if you're bringing a container anyway the cost is negligible in the scheme of things.

    Funny really because it has made a few domestic moves in the UK and needed repairs after and the move NZ-Oz has finished the poor thing off. It's no longer viable to mend it (dropped- AGAIN!- it's lost the castors to add to all its other woes) and is on ebay. Quite sad really because we hung onto it as dh and his siblings learned on it and we planned our kids to but they seem more 1 instrument kids (or their parents are too slack) so just play violin.

    If I had my time again I'd have sold it in the UK and bought a decent 'piano key' keyboard, not least of all because having endured 7 years of violin practice so far I'd love an instrument they could learn on that could have headphones

  3. #3
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    Default

    Sorry- just reread and I assume you're wanting to ship *just* the piano?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Inland Canterbury, NZ
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    What type is it - is it wooden frame or iron? Upright or grand?

    The most important consideration when moving a piano is not just it's fragility but also the effect of humidity - particularly in wooden frame ones. Speak to a professional about the conditions your piano has been kept in and the conditions it's destined for, i.e. cold/dry to damp/humid and try to use a professional piano mover.

    We didn't bring one in the end, but we ended up going for a walk one day when we lived in Chch and pushing one back that we bought for about $20 from outside a house!

  5. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    Alaska --> Hawkes Bay
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    funny, OH and I were just talking about this the other day. We were given a piano a few years ago, upright 1922 model, and would like to take it. Don't know if we'll be bringing enough for a container (unlikely) or just groupage or ?? So not sure if it's worth it to take. Also, since it's an older model, it does have ivory keys- isn't that against regulations? or is the ivory restriction just on art objects, etc? half of the keys are cracked/broken and need replacing anyway, but don't know how likely that is to happen anytime soon.

    hey Moorf, want $25 for the piano??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Inland Canterbury, NZ
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    Awww, sorry, we gave the piano away to friends when we moved house! Friend's son learning to play so it's nice it found a good home

    Re ivory, I think restrictions work on the age of it? Can't be sure, but that's what I picked up from Antiques Roadshow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Cambridge, Waikato
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    We shipped over a 100 year old Bechstein iron framed upright piano with ivory keys. There was no problem with the ivory. The piano was very carefully packed but not crated, and put in the container with the rest of our stuff. It arrived safe and sound and did not need tuning. It is still fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    1,097

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonnyTessa View Post
    My grandmother's old piano might be emigrating to NZ as well, so a few questions:

    Has anyone ever shipped a piano over?
    Did it survive the journey reasonably well?
    Any idea about the cost (the rest of me is here already!)?
    What does it cost to tune a piano?
    What do piano lessons cost?

    Hi there TonyTessa.

    Can't help answer any of the piano shipping questions I'm afraid, as I bought a second hand piano here in NZ (through trade me, some great piano's on there).

    Can answer the piano tuning and lesson questions though.

    Piano tuning cost approximately $100.

    Lessons cost me approximately $190 per term. (Excluding any music I need to purchase).

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2008
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    I'm reading 'did not need tuning' in several places... If you value your piano more than just as a piece of furniture, tuning ought to be kept up and done about every six months (minimum).

    A piano that is just standing still will probably have had some slippage (and so have had its pitch lower itself) in that time. This usually happens more to the notes in the middle of the keyboard that are most used, than to the ones at the outer ends, so the whole instrument won't be in tune with itself. Even if the piano is very little used, over time its pitch will go down, so whatever note you play will sound maybe one or two tones lower than it should - although a tune may sound all right when the piano is played on its own, this matters if you're ever going to want to use it with other instruments, and for training learners' ears. Also, if it's left a long time slacker than it should be, it can be very difficult for a tuner to get it back to proper pitch, and it's more likely strings will break when s/he tries (and they're expensive to replace).

  10. #10
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    Feb 2008
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    Lessons cost me approximately $190 per term.
    A term of how many lessons, Arwen?

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