Alternative options for junkyard-bound pianos

Posted on: August 8, 2012

In Tuesday’s (8/7) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “The emotions evoked by the deaths of used pianos are powerful, and they came flooding in response to a recent article in The New York Times about their frequent disposal and the reasons for it. But when it comes to keeping old pianos alive, owners find that their feelings collide with the reality of expensive repairs and inexpensive, easily available brand-new replacements. Still, a few options exist. One is a charity called Keys 4/4 Kids, based in St. Paul, but it helps only if you live in parts of the Midwest, and even then there is no guarantee of survival. The 88 Keys Foundation arranges for donations in the Sacramento area. is an online clearinghouse, but the pianos offered have not been vetted. And the practitioners of a mini-genre of the visual arts—sculptures and designs using piano parts—might be happy to take in instruments. … The pianist Lara Downes founded 88 Keys to support arts education in schools. It acts as a clearinghouse for used pianos, matching schools with donors. The schools pay for the move, Ms. Downes said, and technicians in her network of piano acquaintances donate basic repairs. She said the foundation had placed about 50 pianos in northern California in the last four years.”

Posted August 8, 2012