Piano Care for Worship Centers & Concert Halls

Aug 5, 2018

Piano care and service is an essential element of piano ownership. There are many factors that affect the frequency of maintenance services a piano receives. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • The frequency of piano use.
  • The environment in which the piano is stored.

A home piano may not get played as much and the temperature in the home is usually kept at a more consistent level with fewer fluctuations, resulting in a longer tuning stability. When dealing with a concert hall or a place of worship, more frequent service is usually necessary in order to keep the piano playing and sounding its best! 

Frequency of Use

In a church, the piano is often the primary instrument for leading worship. It is important for the instrument to operate properly in order to effectively assist in the leading of songs. Wear and tear to the piano can make it difficult or even impossible to play with accuracy if left unattended. Hammers can become worn with deep grooves causing dull and twangy sounds.  Glue joints may become loose, and the continued playing of the instrument over time can wear out and compact leather, cloth, and felt in the piano’s action, causing the piano to feel less responsive. 

When this occurs, the piano usually needs repairs and to have the action regulated.  This involves adjusting and aligning the thousands of moving parts that make up the piano’s working mechanism, which sits on top of the keyboard. Bottom line? Keep on top of your piano maintenance!

Storage Environment

Pianos in the main church sanctuary are often exposed to more frequent temperature changes simply because the room isn’t usually climate controlled consistently during the week. Fluctuations cause the wooden parts to swell and bind against each other leading to excessive friction, making playing much more difficult and sometimes more noisy! There can be unpleasant squeaks or scraping noises that bother the pianist as well. 

Binding of the keys and other parts make the piano feel sluggish and heavy. Then, there is the tuning.  When the temperature fluctuates during the week due to the lack of consistent climate control, this affects the tuning. The soundboard swells and contracts with temperature changes, and since the bridge which is attached to it has the strings lying across it, the bridge will slightly rise and fall with the fluctuations. This will change the tension on the strings and affect the stability of the tuning.

What Can Help Besides Quarterly Tunings? 

The installation of a Damp Chaser climate control system can greatly benefit the life of the piano. This unit works by controlling the humidity level in and around the instrument, lessening the effect of those environmental fluctuations, reducing swelling or shrinking of wooden parts, and allowing for a more stable tuning.

Regular tuning appointments give the technician an opportunity to check any other problems that need to be addressed with your instrument. The goal is to keep the piano maintained so that it can perform its duties and bring enjoyment to the player and listeners alike! A sound maintenance schedule for the piano will ensure that your piano ready for whatever life throws at it.