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Piano, Organ, and Keyboard/Value of refurbishing & keeping piano


I have an upright Monarch,made in Chicago , Serial # 48406, Mfg. Feb 1908.  We played it as young women in elementary school and a bit in junior high/high school.  It was found to have been
"stored" in my father's workshop.No climate control. The back exposed to a window that at some point was broken. The keys are intact with exception of some in need to be re-glued.  The sound is still there, although, tuning is obviously a dire need & I did not look inside the back. I'm sure all pads and possibly some wires require replacement. The question is whether the cost of getting it back to playing state is worth my sentimental journey!

Dear B.A. Wheeler,

You should have a tuner-technician visually evaluate your instrument. Usually I don't recommend upright pianos that are 100 years old be restored but since this instrument has sentimental value, it might be worth it to you. You can get a referral for a technician in your area from the Piano Technicians Guild ( if you don't already have one. If you are sure that the hammers need be replaced (as opposed to reshaped), you are looking at an expense that can run around $1000 and up. Restringing can cost double that. Of course, you would need to get an accurate estimate from a technician who sees what the piano actually needs.

I hope this is somewhat helpful.

Sam Noel

Piano, Organ, and Keyboard

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Samuel Noel


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.


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.

The Piano Technicians Guild, New York Chapter

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

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