In the 30 years I have been in the piano industry I’ve seen some very challenging times. This is one of them. In all those times it was clear that music becomes even more important. The same applies now; despite the cancellation of concerts and gigs due to the need to slow down the spread of coronavirus. On social media, the videos of people playing music and singing from balconies in countries where they are in quarantine shows how music reassures and brings people together, even when they need to remain physically apart.
So Ian Burgess-Simpson Pianos has taken the necessary steps to stay open and keep meeting the needs of customers. We have a sanitising station for customers coming to try pianos, and all contact surfaces are cleaned frequently through the day and after every visit. Our staff are well informed and the workshop areas have good sanitising stations as well. We’ve worked out a key cleaning solution which we use on every showroom piano that’s been played or worked on so there’s no risk of any transfer of the virus. I doubt there’s a product that’s been tested on a more renowned range of instruments: Fazioli; Shigeru Kawai; Kawai; Steinway; Bosendorfer; Yamaha and Petrof!
So for anyone who’s been struggling to find the time to think about their intention to buy a piano, now’s a good time! Other demands on time and attention are lower than the usual frenetic pace at which we usually live, and our prices are even more competitive now. Take advantage of a buyers’ market and get a great deal! If you’d like a private viewing session by appointment either during the day or after hours that’s something we’re offering as well.
We’re in regular contact with all the manufacturers we work with and can confirm that none of their production output has been affected. Piano shipments for customers who order piano through us are also still on track; at worst there’s a slightly longer lead time as port requirements are ensuring that crews and dock staff are in safe environments.Or if you’re self-isolating as a precaution and getting cabin fever, you can visit our lovely showroom and just enjoy playing a range of stunning pianos, regardless of any intention to buy. From the moment you step out of your car we’ve ensured there are no risks in the showroom. It’s an activity that the whole family can come and enjoy as well.
Another activity we’re offering is for children to come for a guided introduction to how pianos work. This is something that proved to be very popular when offered in the past – I take pianos apart and show how the weird and wonderful components all combine into the miraculous instrument that’s the foundation of music. Previously this was an open activity – now I’ll run it for individual family groups wanting an outing. And of course, Lucy Big Ears, the showroom Piano Dog, is part of the show!
When it comes to your own piano, there are precautions you can take:
1) Clean piano keytops with the recipe we’ve tested which won’t damage any of the numerous types of key surfaces. You can watch how to make and apply this yourself here:
2) Washing hands regularly: the recommendation is to wash your hands for 20 seconds each time and a helpful guide for this is to sing Happy Birthday twice. Combining education and fun, we have designed a printable document for you to download and place above your sink. The kids will love this!
So at this difficult time there are many ways to let the piano be a source of hope, inspiration, sharing and entertainment!
And here's a video of Daniil Trifonov playing Chopin on a Fazioli grand piano: Daniil Trifonov.