Play It Again – World Piano Day 2021

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Today is the 88th day of the year and it’s World Piano Day – a great opportunity to celebrate an instrument that is as cross-genre as it gets.  All being well we’re also into the 14-day countdown to being able to re-open stores.

It’s exciting to think that customers will soon be able to visit and try pianos first-hand, but for the sake of everyone it’s also important to be mindful that COVID hasn’t gone away, and that taking precautions now gives us the best chance of being able to avoid further lockdowns.

We know that when restrictions were last lifted many of you worked on an appointment basis, and that quite apart from the added time for sanitisation measures, you enjoyed the benefits of more focused time with each customer.  Whether you are resuming this approach on 12th April or moving back to free flow browsing, here’s a few reminders for keeping everyone safe:

  • Ask customers to wear face masks to enter your store (we will share further guidance on this during the week);
  • Make hand sanitiser available at the entrance to your store, and at the entrance to your piano and keyboard department;
  • If an appointment-based system works for you, stick with it. It allows you to keep much better track of person-to-piano contact;
  • If you still wish to welcome walk-in customers, consider controlling access to your instruments by asking customers to wait until a member of staff is available to help. This is something we saw non-MI stores such as jewellers doing last year and it seemed to work well;
  • Depending on the individual customer, decide whether they should try the piano themselves or whether you should demonstrate. It’s nice to have a more natural alternation between the two but that increases risk and sanitising the piano at every change could impair the flow of exploration;
  • Once you have finished at a particular piano with a customer, close the fall as a reminder that it requires sanitisation before it is played again, then re-open once sanitised.

When you sanitise your instruments it’s worth remembering to spray anything you use onto the cloth and not directly onto the piano as this will avoid fluids soaking into wooden keys or travelling underneath plastic keys towards sensors on digital instruments. As you more than likely know it’s advisable to avoid anything containing vinegar, even more so with older instruments with ivory keys.

There’s a great refresher on sanitising pianos at the Pianist magazine website – it’s aimed at piano teachers, but the principles are the same.

On the lighter side, here’s the Coronavirus Etude for Piano and Disinfecting Wipe, by Jeff DePaoli…

Enjoy having your showrooms filled with the sound of music again!