Wyman Library and Resource Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Why play the piano?
Playing music makes you smarter. This phenomenon has long been suspected by parents and music educators alike, and in recent years has been confirmed by several scientific studies conducted in formal research settings.

Playing the piano, apart from the obvious benefits that music provides, also develops many skills that help people be more successful in other areas of life. For example, playing piano develops skills such as concentration, coordination, critical thinking, communication, and self-confidence, all of which play an important role in an individual’s overall well being.

In addition, it has been shown in credible research studies that there is a positive link between making music (such as playing piano) and physical wellness in adults. Adult piano players are healthier, happier people!
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How do I find the right piano teacher?
Choosing the right teacher for you or your child is very important. Piano teachers are very unique individuals, and of course vary widely in terms of personality, training, musicianship, and other factors. Your local Wyman piano retailer can provide you with a listing of piano teachers in your area. In addition, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) suggests that family, friends, churches, schools, and other local music teacher organizations can provide piano teacher referrals.
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Are new acoustic pianos good investments?
We are told that acoustic pianos have approximately 12,000 parts, are sensitive to changes in humidity and temperature, and are given very little service attention by most owners, yet, with reasonable care, good acoustic pianos last and can remain useful for from 50 to 60 years or more.

In addition to long lasting qualities, acoustic pianos have an unusually low depreciation initially, and even less over time. In fact it is not unusual for acoustic pianos that are 15 to 20 years old, in good condition, to actually increase in value over their original purchase price. Financially speaking, new acoustic pianos are an excellent investment.

When one considers the benefits of music making and playing the piano in terms of childhood intellectual development and adult wellness, investment in a new acoustic piano is even more compelling.

New acoustic pianos such as Wyman pianos have had a long history of retaining value. New digital models are electronic instruments that depreciate quickly and become technologically obsolete within just a few years.

Are good used pianos available?
Regardless of the amount of use, old pianos generally are in need of a general overhaul, at least to some degree. Natural deterioration due to climatic conditions causes important changes requiring very technical adjustments. Extreme heat and humidity as well as moths and mice can damage or totally ruin pianos.

Complete overhauling and refinishing of qualified used pianos is most economically done by properly trained technicians in well-equipped shops, with specific tasks carried out by specialists. The quality of workmanship done in preparing a used piano determines its condition and value. The brand name of the piano may mean nothing if worked on by an incompetent technician. It is far more important to know by whom and how thoroughly the restoration work was done.

Typically the most desirable of used pianos remain within a family as a valued heirloom possession. Old pianos of lesser quality or pianos with problems are the first ones to be disposed of. While good used pianos may be available, they are not plentiful and for that reason command prices similar to many new pianos. Many times older used pianos may not be the best value for the buyer inexperienced in what to look for in a quality instrument.

Why do beginners need good pianos?
It has been said that the most important factor in contributing to the student’s pleasure is the satisfaction obtained by playing a piano with the best possible tone. A poor quality piano produces poor, uninteresting tone, no matter what the other qualities it may have.

To develop interest, appreciation and proficiency, training of the ear is just as important as teaching the fingers how to make the piano respond.

No parent would expect their child to successfully learn to drive using an old car with bad brakes and steering defects. Likewise, a beginning piano student cannot be expected to show enthusiasm and learn how a piano should sound and play by practicing on one that has poor tone or keys that do not function smoothly and evenly to the touch.

Students can be quickly discouraged by being provided with “just any old piano to practice on until we can find out what they will do with music.” It is essential that the beginning student have the very best piano that can be afforded right from the beginning.

What are the advantages of a Wyman acoustic piano vs. a new digital piano?
All Wyman acoustic pianos have authentic piano keys and actions, not the imitations used by today’s digital pianos. Wyman pianos produce beautiful real piano tone in the traditional manner. When a Wyman key is played, a piano hammer strikes a real string whose vibrations are then transmitted to the Wyman TriPhonic™ spruce soundboard for amplification, resulting in a very pleasing and musical piano tone. Digital piano sound is produced electronically and amplified through speakers, resulting in imitation piano sound.

Today’s new Wyman pianos are available in compact sizes that are priced at or below today’s entry-level digitals. Why settle for less than the real thing, a new Wyman acoustic piano?

What is a Pianoforte?
Pianoforte is the original formal name of the piano. It is a combination of two Italian words, “piano” meaning soft, and “forte” meaning loud. The very first pianoforte was invented by Bartolomeo Cristofori in the early 18th century. At the time, this new instrument’s ability to play loud (forte) and soft (piano) separated the piano from other keyboard instruments. The piano action responds to the slightest variation in touch so that the player will have control of the music’s dynamic range (how loud or soft the instrument can be played).

What is the difference between a grand piano and a vertical piano?
The chief difference between grands and verticals is the orientation or direction of the strings in the piano cabinet, as well as the piano action position relative to the strings.

In the vertical or upright piano, the strings, piano back, and plate (frame) are perpendicular to the floor. The vertical piano action, in order to strike the strings and have reliable repetition must have assistance provided by several action springs.

In the grand piano, the strings, framing, and plate run parallel with the floor, allowing the piano action to slide underneath the strings. The grand piano action does use springs, but its main advantage is provided by gravity. This fact makes the grand piano action the preferred choice for professional pianists and serious piano students alike.

How often do you have to tune a piano?
The number of times that your piano should be tuned depends upon the amount of use. However, as a guideline, all new instruments should be tuned 4 times during the first year, and then twice a year thereafter. All new pianos go through a settling process when placed in their new surroundings. New piano strings take several tunings in their new surroundings to stretch and stabilize. All acoustic pianos, old and new, have to be tuned. Concert pianists typically require that their pianos be tuned before each performance. Regular tuning not only is good for the piano, but also increases the musical enjoyment of the player and listener alike. The modest cost is well worth the benefits a periodic tuning provides. Contact your local Wyman piano dealer for referral to a qualified piano technician in your area.

What causes a piano to go out of tune?
The tuning of the piano is most often affected by the changes in temperature and humidity of its surroundings. The soundboard absorbs moisture in wet seasons and loses it in dry seasons. This will swell and shrink the wood; therefore the tension on the strings will change, affecting the tuning of the piano. Moving a piano is not what causes it to go out of tune. It is more a function of the change in temperature and humidity of the room in which it is placed.

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