The Lady in Number 6

The Lady in Number 6.

A 106 year old pianist who survived the holocaust, talks about her relationship with music

Advertisements

We have a keyboard at home – why should we buy a piano?

Digital Piano with X Stand
Non-weighted keyboard

Many students in Mumbai & Navi Mumbai start off in piano class, with a basic 5 or 7 octave keyboard to practise on at home, realise they need a piano & then invest in a digital or an acoustic piano as soon as their budget permits.

There are 2 important reasons why piano teachers always recommend students buy an acoustic piano :

  1.  Weighted keys
  2. Responsiveness to touch, with a a capacity to produce variations in tone. 

How key weight affects playing technique

Students who practise on an instrument with weighted keys learn to keep their shoulders, arms & hands in a relaxed position while playing.

The weight of the keys allows them to do this, as the keys are heavy enough, that they can transfer the weight of their arm (this is done in varying degrees, depending on the tonal effect required) to the piano keyboard.

Students who go for piano class and practise on non-weighted keyboards often struggle to adjust. They realise very quickly that their playing technique is being affected by practising on an instrument that is so very different from the piano, that it hinders their learning. And they start budgeting to buy a piano.

Acoustic vs Digital upright pianos

Digital pianos have weighted keys. The degree and quality of the key weight as compared to an acoustic piano vary with different models & budgets. Digital pianos have the following advantages over acoustic pianos :

Yamaha Clavinova Piano
Digital Piano
  1. Digital pianos are budget friendly – you can get a reasonably good digital piano at Rs70,000/- to Rs 1,50,000/- approximately (Refer * below), depending on the quality, brand & functionality you choose.
  2. Headphones for practise. This is really great in small homes.
  3. Recording to MIDI or recording audio directly to a USB or computer, without background noise.
  4. They don’t need regular tuning the way an acoustic piano does, and don’t get affected by temperature fluctuations. It is advisable however, to keep them away from moisture and the direct heat of the sun.
  5. Easy & reasonably priced dismantling, moving and re-assembling. This is an advantage for families who live on rent & have to move every couple of years.

There’s one major disadvantage to having a digital piano, and that is that the responsiveness of the instrument to touch & the capacity to produce variations in tone is limited. So, piano students who wish to move beyond Grade 4/5, & eventually to advanced level pieces, need acoustic pianos to practise on. 

The cost of buying an acoustic piano

  1. You can get a very basic level acoustic piano  Rs 2,50,000/- budget (Refer * below). An instrument with reasonably good tonal quality suited for an advanced level student costs between Rs 4 to 5 lakhs.

    Acoustic Piano
    Acoustic Piano
  2. Acoustic pianos need to be tuned 3 times a year. If you live in a smaller town, check whether there are piano tuners available in your locality & what they charge. And whether they will be regular with appointments, because that can be an issue. Check out whether your piano dealer offers a service contract for piano tuning.
  3. You will need to install a de-humidifier to keep the inside of your piano free of moisture during the monsoon. Price & buy this when you buy your piano.

I hope this post is clear and helps you make a decision on which instrument to buy. Good luck!

*  Images (excluding the header image) are provided by Furtados Music, Jer Mahal, Dhobitalao. Approximate budgets are based on their showroom prices as on May 2017.

To all my Teachers

Thank you,

For teaching me with love and patience. For believing in me on the days that I did not believe in myself. For giving me confidence to try even when it meant risking failure. For picking me up after a fall, and teaching me how to accept failure and move on.

Thank you also, to those of you who went out of your way to make things difficult for me. I look back and realise that I needed the obstacles you threw in my path – either by chance or by design, to make me realise that I had the ability to go over some of them on my own. And to learn to go around at those I couldn’t go over.

I feel blessed to have been taught by you all.

Our adventures with an IFB Neptune DX dishwasher

We purchased an IFB Neptune DX dishwasher, through Vijay Sales, Khargar, last year, as our previous dishwasher was old and no longer usable. I had a couple of friends who had IFB dishwashers and were very happy with their performance and I convinced my husband that it would be better than our previous brand Siemens, as the Siemens technicians would take very long to arrive, even though when they did, their work was excellent.

3 IFB machines and a 11 months later, we purchased a Siemens dishwasher, which we use daily, with no problems at all.

So we now are the proud owners of 2 dishwashers

  • A Siemens machine which runs

  • An IFB machine which does not (fortunately we have got rid of the tiny little cockroaches which IFB sent back along with the machine when they took it for repair)

This is our story . . .

A video of our IFB Neptune DX Dishwasher in action – mostly audio, with a visual at the end

Machine Number 1

Our new dish washer arrived on the 7th February 2012 and the piece had visible damage to the body. So, on our request, IFB gave us a new machine, within 48 hours, and this was installed at our residence.

Machine Number 2

This one worked well for almost 1  month and then started to give an F5 error, and stop mid cycle. We recorded this and showed it to Vijay Sales and the IFB technician, as the error would not happen every day.

We made many complaints as the machine would run normally when the technician visited, and they were not able to assess the problem just by looking at the recording. We also spoke to Mr Abhishek Sharma of IFB and the customer care at Vijay Sales, Khargar.

The IFB technician said that the water supply to our building had grit and particles in it, so we needed a filter, which they installed for us at the cost of Rs 2500/-

They also advised us to change the flexible water inlet connection we had to a metal pipe, even though the water pressure was high, which we did.

They then advised us to change the drainage outlet, even though the existing outlet was as per manual specifications.
So we changed the drainage outlet as per the technicians instructions

Finally, on April 19th, the IFB technician accepted that the machine had failed.

Machine Number 3

So, end April 2012, the third machine arrived. On 23rd July, 2012, it failed with the same error.

We filed a complaint and also spoke to Mr Kevit Patil and Mr K Rajendra both from IFB. A senior engineer visited and replaced the pump in the machine.

However, the machine did not start working, and the engineer said that the replacement pump was defective

Finally, on 11 November 2012, IFB took the machine for repair, after an assurance from Mr Kevit Patil that the machine would be delivered and installed at the same time, to avoid further inconvenience. In fact we especially requested delivery and installation at the same time, as we were unable to get further leave from work to be home, and IFB had inconvenienced us a lot already, for their many many visits.

On December 30 2013, after a reminder to Mr Kevit Patil via email and calling and demanding that the machine be returned, only then, did the company deliver the machine back, with filter broken, the cutlery tray missing and in such dirty condition that we had to treat the kitchen for cockroaches as tiny cockroaches kept coming out of the machine. Also, the engineer did not turn up for installation of the machine.

Through this whole one year, IFB has not visited as per our convenience morning or late evening, but only at 4 pm, which meant that one of us had to take leave each time. Also, we have had the stress of repeatedly following up to get any progress as Mr. Kevit Patil would often not accept calls or have his phone switched off. Since we could not longer bear this or take further leave for more repair work, we finally purchased a Siemens dishwasher and since then life has been much much easier, as it works!

We have filed a complaint with the Consumer Guidance Society of India, however, there has not been any response from them.