“The best year for new piano sales in the U.S. was 1909, when more than 364,500 were sold. But after gently falling over the years, piano sales have plunged more recently to between 30,000 and 40,000 annually,” writes David Pitt in a Friday (1/2) Associated Press report. “Larry Fine, a Boston-based piano technician, consultant and author, said it is an indication of a changing society. ‘Computer technology has just changed everything about what kids are interested in,’ said Fine…. Robin Walenta, CEO of West Music, a music retailer with a chain of stores in Iowa and Illinois … said to succeed now retailers must engage families in music education. Her company offers an early childhood music program that starts with 3-month-old babies…. Well-maintained pianos can make music for 50 to 70 years, said Peter Stumpf, a piano technician for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Mellon University, also in Pittsburgh…. Joe Lamond, president and CEO of the National Association of Music Merchants, a music products industry trade association, said, ‘Having all the notes laid out in front of you spatially is really an important way to learn music,’ he said. ‘It’s why it’s one of the most important instruments for people to begin on.’ ”

Posted January 5, 2015