March 28, 2011

Inside My Piano

Ever wondered what the inside of your piano looks like??

It doesn’t have to be a mystery! The other day I needed to take our church piano apart, and so I thought I would share a few pictures and explanations with you.

Let me say, first of all, I DO NOT recommend doing this by yourself. This post is by no means a tutorial, because every piano is different. I took a class on piano tuning and repair in college, so while I don’t know everything about it, I was taught how to safely take the piano apart. Doing something incorrectly could at best result in rattle sounds when you play, and what is more annoying than a piano that rattles?? If you want to learn how, ask your piano tuner to show you.

So the short story is, don’t try this at home, kids.

My purpose in taking the piano apart was to get underneath the keys. This is a great place to look if you need some loose change. Just kidding. :) There are all kinds of treasures to be found underneath our piano keys, however! Paper clips, money, paper, you name it. If you have keys that do not play well, this could be why! Again, go ahead and ask your piano tuner to pull these keys up and check for treasures underneath. I was lucky enough to find a mouse nest once. ((((((((disgusting!!!!))))))))

Here is how our piano comes apart:

After lifting the top, we had to loosen two screws to get the front piece off:

There’s the screw! Once these are loosened, it is a simple matter of lifting the whole front up and off. This reveals the action of the piano...the hammers, strings, and all that comes with it!

Then we took off the cover over the keys. It’s easiest to just get that out of the way. Ours comes off with just two small screws on each side.

Here are our piano parts all over the floor:

The last thing we needed to take off was the long wooden piece that sits on the top of the visible keys. That comes off with two of these:

and two long screws on the ends:

Ta-da! There are the long keys, ready to be carefully lifted out.

Here is a shot of the keys and the action of the piano:

Beautiful, just beautiful.

Here is the reason we took all this apart:

Each individual key rests on one of these green pads. If you look carefully, you can see that these pads have holes in them. That is because they are disintegrating! We are working on getting those replaced, and improving the “playability” of the piano.

I am interested in knowing if any of you piano teachers ever include “how the piano works” in your lessons? I am thinking of maybe taking the piano apart and showing my students how it works, and then letting them play without the front of the piano on. That way they can watch the hammers strike. I think it would be interesting, especially for those that only play on a keyboard. What do you think?


  1. I think that is a great idea! Growing up, my cousins had a piano with a "window" to the hammers on it I love watching them move as I played!

  2. As one of your students, I think that's a wonderful idea. It would be very interesting to see how things work!

  3. Hi Nicole,
    I am sure it is fine if you copy the list on characteristics of a Christian's music. These were my notes from Doc while he taught SS last week. It looks like they were putting it online on the MBC site, but so far the first one "A New Song" will not come up. He is supposed to do another session next week, I think so I may be adding more.