Welcome to this latest update. As I write the sun is shining and a cool breeze is blowing in through the window helping to make this a very pleasant task indeed. We are now at the end of June, as we emerge from the enforced lockdown we are thankful to be well and pleased to have the business back up and running. The Government support during lockdown has helped us weather the storm and we are now almost back to full pace with the showroom and the tuning rounds.

We resumed piano tuning visits a couple of weeks ago practicing good hand hygiene and sensible distancing. Even then the advice was conflicting though; we were instructed by the Government to get back to work and households were told not to let anyone in! However, common sense has prevailed and avoiding households where there may be people in the ‘at risk’ category the tuning diaries have been near to full. Our general approach is for the tuners to wash hands thoroughly before touching the piano and again after finishing the work. This protects both the household and the tuner against the minimal risk of infectious transmission, together with keeping a sensible distance these measures have been well received. It has been great to get back to tuning after the long enforced break and we return with renewed enthusiasm. During lockdown there was plenty of time to reflect and I came to the conclusion that after always organising all of the tuning rounds I need help! As from the end of this month Michelle will be taking over the planning and organisation of the tuning diaries for Vicky, Richard and John which will help enormously. We have been working on the hand over during June and apart from the difficulties in reading my handwriting it has gone exceptionally well. I am looking forward to a lighter load of admin and more time to enjoy my own tuning and the running of the showroom.

The first couple of weeks back after lockdown have been very busy at the showroom. With the precaution of good hand hygiene and distancing, we are welcoming visitors by appointment, as ever. In fact, the requirements for opening are in line with how we have always operated the showroom, apart from the handshake greeting that I miss more than I would have predicted. After delivering a Shigeru grand piano just after lockdown its replacement arrived and was promptly selected and delivered to a local family who I have known for some time. These grand pianos are truly top class, I have ordered the replacement SK2 and also ordered my first SK3 to sit alongside it in the showroom. A mouth-watering prospect to have two of these fine pianos at my disposal at the showroom, many pianists consider the SK3 the best piano in its class to include the many revered German models. I can’t wait for them to arrive and will be sure to ask Michelle to announce their arrival on Facebook. The wonderful Grotrian-Steinweg Studio model was chosen in fabulous circumstances. A very nice family from the Fleet area visited with a good budget to buy a new piano. During the visit they played and admired, as you would, the Studio but it was almost double the intended budget. So, they chose a very fine piano within the budget and left. It was only after they left that I noticed a text sent from the father of the family to say he was buying them the Studio model but not to tell them. I was hopping around with excitement at this point, my favourite piano purchased as a surprise, things don’t get better than that! Needless to say, the arrival of the piano was met with much excitement, I am looking forward to seeing it in the home when I visit to tune it. Our two-year-old Schimmel upright was purchased this week by a composer from Yorkshire, the piano will make the long journey up north next week. It is very unusual to have such a good quality used piano at such a young age, a great buy for the right person and exactly what this customer was looking for. Other pianos have been selected including Kawai uprights and the amazing Wilh. Steinberg P series, we are now almost out of used pianos too and hoping that we get the opportunity to purchase some more soon.

As you can see, we have been fortunate enough to hit the ground running after the easing of restrictions and hope that things continue in this way. It seems that during the lockdown many people turned to music making, I know that digital piano sales were very strong with the internet companies during this time. The natural progression is to an acoustic piano so will be hoping that interest continues and many people visit us at the showroom. Now that Michelle has taken on more admin duties for me I have more time to meet people at the showroom which I always thoroughly enjoy. If you are reading this and would like to visit, perhaps to enjoy the two Shigeru grand pianos, do contact me and we’ll arrange to meet and talk pianos.

Thank you for reading this update, the message I’d like to convey is that we are back open for business and hoping to meet as many of you as we can in the coming weeks and months.

Best wishes,

Ben

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