“Since the Eighteenth Century, pianos have been delighting congregations with unique and pristine sounds. The melodies emanating from a piano soothe the hungry and downcast soul. Because this instrument succors the masses, church administrators must ensure that the piano chosen for this task can provide edifying music for many years.”
- Lisa S. Higa, Chicken Soup for the Soul
Selecting a worship piano is very different from selecting a piano for your home. Whether you're “officially” affiliated with your church's piano selection committee or an independent congregation member who would like to donate an instrument, you should follow a very specific process to make sure the piano you select represents the best long-term investment for your congregation.
Consider the following five-part process your “road map” to finding the best instrument for your church:
|1.||Select a Piano Dealer|
Pianos are for sale all around us. A worship piano, however, will require a regular regime of care and maintenance that many piano sources simply cannot provide. Avoid selecting your piano from an online auction site, a private owner or a long-distance warehouse. The money you “save” is money you’d gladly spend for the proper technical and delivery services that good pianos need.
Gist Piano Center knows the value of a satisfied customer. We know what level of service different pianos can provide and we have a vested interest in making sure your worship instrument meets your congregation's unique needs.
As the old saying goes, “If you don't know your jewels, you'd better know your jeweler.”
|2.||Work with an Experienced Representative|
Save yourself time and stress. Instead of calling around and getting prices on the phone, take the time to visit with one of our staff members in person. We want to develop a relationship with you and with your church that extends beyond a single transaction. We also want to make sure we have a clear picture of what your church needs and how we can help you achieve your goals. This is hard to do over the phone. Call us and arrange an in-person visit or an on-site consultation. You'll be surprised at the difference it will make.
Our staff can provide a free, on-site consultation that will help you determine the best size, brand, color and style of instrument for your sanctuary. We'll work with your worship team and help coordinate their experience and taste into the selection process. Then, we'll make recommendations that consider your budgetary concerns, your musical needs and the environmental factors that exist within your sanctuary. Finally, we'll provide the delivery and service that your piano will need for years of ministry. If you select a digital piano, we'll provide free, on-site training for your entire worship team.
In short, we take "good stewardship" to heart and we will help your church get the best instrument possible.
|3.||Consider your Sanctuary|
|4||Buy the Best Piano Possible|
"For whatever reason, churches have bought into the mentality that it's ok to spend several hundred thousands of dollars for a great organ, the best pews and a killer sound system, but the piano - their main worship instrument - is an afterthought!"
-Bob Snyder, Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Consider how the sound of your worship instrument will edify those to whom it ministers. Your worship piano should be warm and pleasing. It should not be overly brilliant or abrasive. The touch should provide your pianist with the level of control (s)he needs to perform at the highest level. As your primary worship instrument, your sanctuary piano should provide the highest level of music your church can afford.
Manufacturers produce pianos in a variety of grades. “Price point” pianos are inexpensive and designed for light duty. Medium grade pianos are appropriate for classrooms, rehearsal rooms or the fellowship hall. Artist-grade instruments are very well made, have a refined touch and a wonderful sound, and are the first choice for worship, concerts and rehearsals.
|5.||Ensure "After the Sale" Service|
It is meaningless to select an excellent worship piano without setting up an appropriate service program to maintain it. A typical maintenance program includes tuning the piano four times per year, voicing and regulation once per year, and regular cleaning.*
Gist Piano Center specializes in these things. We will work with your church to establish a regular maintenance program that will protect your investment and ensure that your piano lives up to its potential.
* - under extreme environmental stress such as severe temperature or humidity fluctuations, these services may be required more frequently. We will evaluate this for you during your consultation.
Pulling on our over 40 years of experience in the Louisville House of Worship community, we strive to provide Kentuckiana music ministers with the tools and training they need for the days ahead. If we can help you in any way, please don't hesitate to call.
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