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Question
Dear Mr. Samuel Noel,

I have recently come across a baby grand piano. It has a sticker on it that say's, For The Advancement of Music 523189 (I think that's the serial number. It's kind of hard to make out) National Assn of Music Merchants.

Is there anything you can tell me about that company? Can you tell me how old this piano is? It looked like it was in decent condition, but the store selling it wouldn't let me play it, so I don't know how it sounds. Based solely on the information I have given you, what do you think would be a fair price? Or rather, what would you sell it for yourself?

I'm still learning how to play the piano and would love to have a baby grand in my house. I just don't want to let my love of it blind me into paying too much for something I could have gotten a better deal on elsewhere.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and give me advice. I truly appreciate it.

Ashley

Answer
Hi Ashley,

Sorry about the delay in responding. Your best bet is to hire a technician to look over the instrument and evaluate the actual condition of its 12,000 parts. You did not give the make of this piano; neither name you listed is the manufacturer. These are merchant associations.

You can get a referral from the Piano Technicians Guild (www.ptg.org).

Sam Noel

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Samuel Noel

Expertise

I am a contracted piano technician for Steinway and Sons in New York handling warranty issues, prepping pianos for the showroom and delivery; I also serve the City University of NY as a piano technician. I am also self-employed in New York. I apprenticed (Manhattan School of Music)in 1982 and was factory (Steinway) trained in 1983. I have experience tuning, repairing, reconditioning, and appraisals. Please note that appraising an instrument involves a visual inspection and knowledge of the local market area. I am not an expert in player mechanisms, refinishing, electronic keyboards, midi, nor organs. I love the work of making an instrument sound concert quality.

Experience

I successfully apprenticed at the Manhattan School of Music under Alan Buchman and Peter Favant in 1982 (also received B.A. in music from same school) and employed by Steinway and Sons in 1983 as a tuner-technician. I also served as service manager for Steinway. Presently, I service pianos for CUNY and I handle warranty issues and tunings for Steinway.

Organizations
The Piano Technicians Guild, New York Chapter

Education/Credentials
Manhattan School of Music, BA; American Management Association certificate (Steinway and Sons); Queens College, CUNY, MA

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