Thursday, June 25, 2009

Restoration of my beloved C.Steinbert

I can't recall my first piano lesson. I can't recall how I felt the first time I played the piano.

My first real recollection of the piano came when I was about 6 years. We had just returned from my daddy's friend's house and his daughter had played Oh Suzanna! for us (can't remember if it was by heart). And I remembered my daddy commenting that we cannot do that. Cannot play one decent piece on the piano for other people to hear. I remembered he mentioning it many times. I remembered I was furious. I then remember coming home and ransacking the pieces I had in search for Oh Suzanna! (I think) as well. And I practised and practised and practised. I practised so long that my mum told me to stop. That is sounded really nice already. I didn't stop. There were still mistakes. I still didn't know it by heart.

My parents must have learnt something about me that day. As for me....that day remains a one day thing.

But over the years, I did go from grade to grade under the ABRSM syllabus. And whenever we moved, our C. Steinbert followed us as well. To Kuching, Kuantan, Ipoh, KL and back to Ipoh.

The moves made our (can't say mine since my sister has a stake in it) piano really sick - externally. And becuase we were not really playing it since we completed our Grade 8, the internals have somewhat deteriorated as well.

So, why the ressurrection now?

Well, it was instigated by my son mainly. He loves musical instruments and has been at it for 5-6 months now. Also, I have a deep feeling of wanting to play again. Though I reckon my son's interest will supersede mine!

Now, to get the piano from Ipoh to KL, there were some things that I needed to do first. One was to find out the cost of restoring the piano and moving it versus buying a second hand one here. And two if the piano could withstand another move.

Moving a piano is a delicate business. It should always be done by a paino mover who is PRO in just moving pianos. General movers who have the 'expertise' don't count! A piano cannot be dragged at any cost.

I would say "Thank God" many times in this quest of mime. A few searches for people in KL allowed me to cross paths with a guy who could transport and perform a overhaul for my C.Steinbert. But he also advised me to get someone in Ipoh to look at it first to see if there were any unrepairable cracks.

Google searched and came across Syarikat Alat-alat Muzik Weng Lee. Mr David Hoe surprisngly was specialized in C. Steinbergs. In fact the only factory for C. Steinbergs IS IN Ipoh! Thank God!

If I had moved it over and got someone here to do the overhaul, they could have had to bring it back to David back in Ipoh anyway.....given the extent of repair work required for my C. Steinbert.

What surprised me was that when David saw the piano, he knew at once that my parents bought it from this particular shop in Penang and that the piano was 29 years old (all true, by the way). Impressive!

So, C. Steinbert has been with him now for about 1 and a half weeks. David emails me every other day on the progress of the repairs and calls me when important decision have to be made. I thank God that my C. Steinbert is in good hands. It is all tuned now and ready to come back to us.

It has set me back some RM3100 (minus tuning when it arrives) but given that our C.Steinbert is ALL European and nothing Japanese, he says and I agree that it is worth it. The quality of sound (and worth) is really different.

So....sometime next month, I will be busier than ever. Hope the neighbours don't complain.

By the way....for all of you who have (or plan to have) a piano, this website gives you alot of tips of what to buy, how to maintain, where to keep a piano.

Music and words are the 2 greatest passive active things in the world.



Oh you are so lucky to have the chance of playing on musical instruments! My childhood was not a nice story so we did not have the luxury of those "things". Actually my son seems to love music too .. he will try to dance and heads to his toy piano when he sees some MTVs on TV, etc. I'll have to observe more which instrument he likes best.

Cynthia said...

wow... I did experienced the piano but didn't finish it... so, when your precious arrive, your neighbours will have chance to enjoy your beautiful play :)

Mummy Gwen said...

Wow..that's a good piano. How I wish I could play the piano.

LittleLamb said...

love to hear music from u.....

have a good weekend.

Julie said...

I can see how excited you are awaiting the piano to arrive. Our Weinbach piano now belongs to my eldest sis since her daughters started to learn piano first. I'm planning to get one probably next year.

Not sure if Jonathan have the interest in piano or other musical instruments.

Moomykin said...

Wow! Your story is impressive too!

My family have never owned a piano, though I had often imagined one to be in the family room. I would love to take some lessons too.

We may eventually get one when the boys are ready for piano lessons. They are still too active to sit down for any class right now, and I'm not going to force them.

Hmm... maybe I should start first. ;)

A gift from God said...

Wow..what timing... i was thinking how to find a good place to have them restore my piano and here you are talking about repair and restoration work...hehehe.. thanks for the info and for 3k plus... it's worth it. A good piano now cost more than 10k!

Hey... can I have the direct contact of the person? Do they do an evaluation first and estimated cost before doing the repairs?

andrewjune said...

i never owned a piano as we could not afford it during childhood lucky you, but most of all, lucky chris!
wow, i can imagine you teaching chris on the piano...sitting side by side...that's one great way of bonding as well!

hope i get to see a photo of you, chris and the "polished-up" c.steinbert :-)

MeRy said...

I like to hear ppl playing a piano...but too bad I was not trained on it when I was small.