demystifying the piano

My poor blog has been taking an unintended nap.  My own computer time  has grown scarce as my kids spend more time on it for school and life has been so busy.  I finished my yoga training, there has been 6 birthdays in our family, and we’re preparing for our move.  We have found a house in the Manassas, VA area and are getting excited.  It is hard to stay focused on what needs to be done here and now to get ready instead of filling my pinterest boards with dreams of fireplace makeovers and chicken coops, but there is a yard sale to prepare for, cleaning to do,

and a piano to fix.

the old piano

Our piano is old.  Like over 100 years old.  Over the past year several of the keys have stopped working.  One by one we lost crucial notes in the Middle C octave.  My kids have been practicing on Logan’s little electric keyboard.  I felt like Christmas was ruined– well, not ruined, just not quite what it should have been.  So, the decision was made to not put the poor thing through another cross country move.

I started taking pictures of it for craigslist.

May 13th, 1900

crackling finish on old details

And, well, one thing led to another.

working on the action

We watched a youtube video.


doing the work

We got our screw drivers and wood glue.  Brenna wielded the camera.


one of us on each side

not as hard as I thought it would be

We unscrewed and glued and screwed.  We oohed and ahhed at the amazing mechanics.

lovely hidden details

the coolest way to play a piano

with guitar picks

rining through the house

The whole house rang with piano strings strummed with guitar picks.


Barry even joined in a bit later to help with the finishing touches.  We put new felt pads under the keys that needed them and put the whole thing back together.

dad got in on the action

Pianos are a mechanical miracle– all those moving parts that sound and feel just right.  I have loved the piano my whole life, but now I love it even more.  I feel so empowered to have fixed my own, lovely, amazing, old piano.  Granted, it does need a good tuning.

We’ll have to tackle that when we all get to Virginia.

(What do you think about painted pianos?  yellow? white? turquoise?)


6 thoughts on “demystifying the piano

  1. I hate to admit how long my old, old, awesome piano has been in my garage waiting to be painted. My hubby tried to convince me to get rid of it 2 weeks ago as he was cleaning out the garage. I just can’t do it. It will be painted this summer and that’s that. I’m thinking of painting mine RED! OHHHHH ! AHHH! Can’t wait to see yours all done up.

  2. Hi Jessica, fascinating and fun post. Thanks for sharing.
    Good luck on your move – you can get the piano tuned when you arrive in Mannassas!

  3. The white looks elegant, but you know me, I love COLOR… you’ll have to see what feels right once you get there I think. Love that you saved it. :-) I thought you were fixing it a bit so you could sell it. Way cool! You ARE awesome :-)

  4. P.S. Good job Brenna on the photography! Such artistry… her photography and the insides of the piano. Where is that Warranty, on the inside of the top lid?

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