I am beyond excited about our latest acquisition. I have been wanting to get our son Ben (age 6) into piano lessons for a couple of years now. He was able to play Twinkle Twinkle by ear at the age of 2, and can play several songs from my iPhone App on his keyboard only after listening to them a handful of times. When I came across a pretty sweet deal on Craigslist posted by a person just down the street, I had to at least check it out.
The piano seemed to be in good shape. It was only slightly out of tune (which didn’t really matter since I knew we would have to get it tuned after we moved it anyway). The owner’s children didn’t play it anymore, and they were looking to pass it on to another family who could get some use out of it. So, with the help of my husband, father, brother, and friend, we loaded the piano onto a trailer and brought it to its new home.
I was surprised to find the keys in such good shape. I remember my childhood piano missing several key tops and being very worn. I played it happily all the same.
Once we set it in place, I dusted it, inspecting all of its features. Taped inside the piano, we found the original receipt. Purchased in 1977 for $1690, by Viola Reynolds and C.R. Kingsburg, living in Monmouth, Illinois. That was a lot of money, especially back then! I plan on putting this receipt in a frame and hanging it next to the piano.
Until recently, as I began my search for an inexpensive starter piano for Ben, I had never considered the number of piano brands, and the history involved. In the case of the Currier piano, this is a piano manufactured by Currier & Company, which was founded by Ebenezer Bronson Currier in 1823. The first showroom in Boston, Massachusetts featured upright and horizontal pianos. Currier pianos were produced until 1981.
Another fun fact: Presidents John Quincy Adams and John Adams both owned Currier pianos. This is especially interesting to our family, since our son Ben loves and knows quite a bit about all of the United States Presidents (yes, he is only 6).
ANOTHER fun fact: In 1977, Currier received a U.S. trademark for a breakthrough protective finish for its hardwood pianos. “Curriercote” was developed through a partnership between the former president of Currier and Eastman Chemical Products. Curriercote was a cellulose acetate butyrate formulation designed to form a tough barrier protecting Currier pianos from scratches, water damage and cigarette burns. This finish helps preserve the value of Currier pianos. Maybe that’s why this piano has held up so well!
The last owner also gave us several books that came along with the piano. These look very old as well.
Now we need only wait a few weeks, get the piano tuned, and work on securing a teacher for Ben for the summer. I can’t wait to see how he does! And if all else fails, I can teach myself some new songs.
I LOVED having a piano as a kid. I remember playing it for my parents. They often requested that I play Enya songs or Chariots of Fire. I also used to play at my old grade school after school was out for the day (my mom was the art teacher there, and Art and Music shared a room). While she was getting things put away and ready for the next day, I would play Fur Elise, among other songs. I can still remember my 2nd grade teacher, who was down the hall, coming in and bringing me piles of M&Ms to keep playing. And I even played at my 8th Grade Graduation while the rest of my class sang.
Lots of memories. Lots of happy memories. I’m hoping music can bring as much happiness to our little one as it has for me.