Jordan Kitts with NAMM in Washington, D.C. – Day 2

Tuesday morning began with a visit to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The visit was kicked off with briefings and welcome comments by Darrell Ayers, Vice President, Education, Kennedy Center; Joe Lamond, President and CEO, NAMM; Leo Coco, Senior Policy Advisor, Nelson Mullins; and Mary Luehrsen, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, NAMM. Briefings on Education Reform, Common Core, and Arts Education were presented by Chris Minnich, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers; Sandra Ruppert, Director, Arts Education Partnership; Richard Riley, Former United States Secretary of Education; and Maria Voles Ferguson, Executive Director, Center on Education Policy, George Washington University.

The morning continued with “Community Collaboration: Achieving Access and Equity in Arts Education”, presented by Darrell Ayers and Barbara Shepard, Director of National Partnerships, Kennedy Center. This session explored the Kennedy Center’s innovative Any Given Child initiative promoting arts education nationally. The visit was concluded with an overview and tour of the Kennedy Center, including the BlueNote at 75 exhibit, led by Kevin Struthers, Director of Jazz Programming, Kennedy Center.

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The NAMM Advocacy Fly-In Delegation at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In the afternoon, NAMM Delegates participated in a working lunch at the Nelson Mullins offices. Peter Fenn, Partner, Fenn Communications Group, provided an overview of the current political climate, outlook for 2014 Congressional elections, and projections for the 2016 Presidential race. He and Leo Coco facilitated a Q&A while a select group of delegates attended a White House event celebrating the Turnaround Arts Initiative with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Both President Obama and the First lady were present for the event that included the Savoy Players performing.

The afternoon concluded with a training, message and logistics discussion for the Capitol Hill meetings the next day, facilitated by Leo Coco. It included individual State teams meeting in small groups to prepare for the Hill visits.

On Tuesday evening, NAMM Delegates headed for the Library of Congress for a reception and dinner honoring the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) Turnaround Arts Initiative. The talented Savoy Players from Savoy Elementary performed a wonderful dance and vocal routine that dazzled the audience. Kristen Madsen, GRAMMY Foundation, presented the first ever GRAMMY Music Educator Award to Kent Knappenberger, a music teacher from Upstate New York. He was the top nominee in the U.S. from over 32,000 submissions.

 

Mr. Syllaba Goes to Washington

This week, Chris Syllaba, President of Jordan Kitt’s Music, and over 60 fellow members of NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) gathered in Washington DC from across the country to advocate for music education in the public schools. During this 10th anniversary of the annual NAMM Advocacy Fly-In, over 130 meetings were held with Members of Congress and their staff about the importance of music education.

NAMM Delegates started the week with a “day of service” event, making music with students at Savoy Elementary School in Anacostia, in SE Washington DC. Savoy is one of eight Turnaround Arts project schools, a program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). Delegates first met with Patrick Pope, principal, and Carol Foster, Chief Creative Officer, after which students part of the Savoy Players performed a dance routine for the group. They then participated in a drum circle, a guitar workshop, and a ukulele workshop, with assistance from NAMM members. Bernie Williams, former Yankee’s baseball player and Latin Grammy Nominated jazz musician and Chad Smith, drummer for the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, were both on hand to assist as well.

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Chris Syllaba with Chad Smith

At the first “White House talent show” where the Savoy Players performed the next day, First lady Michelle Obama declared “with the help of this [Turnaround Arts] program and some school improvement grants, math and reading scores have gone up in these schools, attendance is up, enrollment is up, parent engagement is up, suspensions have plummeted, and two of the schools in our pilot improved so dramatically that they are no longer in ‘turnaround’ status. That’s amazing.”

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Chris Syllaba with Bernie Williams

Monday evening, NAMM Delegates convened at the Capitol Hill offices of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough for a NAMM Foundation reception honoring Senator Tom Harkin with a SupportMusic Award celebrating 10 years of NAMM Fly-In’s.

Yamaha U1 Upright Piano

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Yamaha have been a household name for generations. However, many people are unaware that the company’s musical instrument history dates back to the 1800’s. Contrary to popular belief Yamaha did not suddenly appear on the music scene in the 1970’s and 80’s. The founder of the company Torakusu Yamaha built his first reed organ in Japan in 1887. His interest in building innovative devices continued and facilitated the official development of the Yamaha brand in 1897. From this date the company expanded and prospered with their development of a vast range of products including sports equipment, motorcycles, musical instruments and audio products.

yamaha_u1Yamaha began their piano production in 1900. They launched several newly constructed designs of upright pianos. This quickly developed into a full range of styles and designs, including their first grand piano in 1902. The Yamaha U1 reflects this wonderful balance of historic and innovative design techniques together with the cutting edge modern technology that Yamaha are renowned for. This upright piano produces a clean traditional sound with a wonderful clarity. It is certainly one of the most sought after used pianos and it is easy to see why.

Yamaha pianos offer a great value and quality for any skill level of pianist. They are a leading choice which is recommended by industry professionals such as piano tuners and technicians, simply because the craftsmanship and expertise of Yamaha represents an uncompromising instrument which will create eloquent and reliable performance. Yamaha create their pianos in a state of the art manufacturing facility which has an experienced workforce with the skills, expertise, dedication and knowledge to create an amazing instrument.

Yamaha take pride in their in house technological facilities which allow the manufacture of almost every individual component for each piano. They utilize this facility to encourage advances in development to create a superior standard of quality control which sets the bar for the industry.

The U1 has solid spruce ribs and soundboard which are utilized for the best tone and quality amplification of sound.  The ribs continue to the very edge of the soundboard to reinforce the crown. This improves stability and ensures a high quality of tone for a great many years.

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The Yamaha engineers have also developed an innovative and unique aluminum alloy action rail which improves the action of the U1. This eliminates the fluctuations caused by the atmosphere in weather changes to produce long lasting and stable regulation of the action. Every key of the U1 has been individually measured and tested to produce a uniform down weight pressure. This creates an amazing balanced action which allows a lifetime of superior control and touch through the whole keyboard.

The keys are constructed from spruce for its light weight and strength. This costs more than alternative materials such as bass wood or sugar pine but it is ideally suited to the demands of key construction. It allows the keyboard to quickly respond and allow fast repetition in even the most intricate musical compositions. This will ensure that the keyboard can withstand even heavy use with years of fortissimo playing.

The Yamaha U1 is available in polished and satin ebony, polished and satin American walnut, polished white and polished mahogany. You can always inquire for the price of a new one on our website, or check our used pianos section for one.

How to Determine A Used Pianos Worth

Getting a fair price on used pianos in Washington D.C. can be a difficult task. Especially if one is looking for a top tier brand name piano such as a Yamaha or Steinway. These days, there are many sellers out there trying to sell their piano at a price way more than what it is actually worth. As buyers and sellers of used pianos ourselves, our job is to know what a piano is truly worth. Today, we are going to give you a few guidelines should you be attempting to purchase one from a private seller on your own.

Always Look For Name Brand Pianos

When looking for a used piano, your first rule should always be “stick with the brand names”. There are just too many no-name pianos floating around out there made with inferior materials and marketed to the lowest dollar amount. Those pianos are virtually worthless once purchased.

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Here is a list of some of the most trusted brands in the industry, and their respective price points:

Almost All Private Sellers Over-Price Their Pianos

There is, of course, a simple reason for this: Many sellers haven’t the faintest notion of how much their piano is worth and are too busy to do the research to find out. So instead, the list it for what they think it should be worth based either on what they paid for it or what it means to them. Knowing the market value of various models will give you the upper hand in your negotiations and will make sure you purchase your piano at a fair price.

There are plenty of resources out there which can be helpful in determining a pianos worth such as online auctions, piano forums, and craigslist.

Determine the Manufacturing Date and Serial Number

yamaha_serialAnother piece of information we suggest you know is the manufacture date and serial number of the piano you are interested in purchasing. This information is usually imprinted over a metal plate near the keys or inside the piano. As a precaution, a quick search online for the piano model and manufacture date can sometimes (though rarely) yield information about an issue specific to that series. You should also have it inspected over by a authorized piano servicer or technician to make sure it has been well taken care of.

Keyboard Condition

Prior buying or selling, one should test the sound for each key both at high and low volume. Make sure that there’s no defect in any key whatsoever that is neither should be out of tune or non functional. The variation by which a used piano is out of tune will also give you an idea of how well it was taken care of. If the piano is way off tune, it may be indicative of a piano that has not been cared for well or rarely tuned. Thus, more costly tunings and/or repair may be needed after purchase.

Visit a Used Piano Dealer

This can never hurt and may also help put into perspective some of the prices you’ve come across. Piano dealers are often trying to move used pianos quickly and often price them as low as they can possibly go. While you may not get a “steal” on a piano, there are some very attractive upsides to buying a piano from a dealer that sells used pianos.

  • The piano will have been checked thoroughly by a technician prior to any dealer acquisition.
  • Any tuning or repair work will have already been done. So no extra expenses to rain on your parade when you get the piano home.
  • A dealer can be visited after-the-purchase should something go horribly wrong.

Remember, every piano is different and each has its own back-story. The best piece of information on a piano is an accurate history. Who owned it? For how long? And how was it used? The right answers to those questions can raise the worth a piano substantially.