Piano and Guitar

My Piano Buying History

When I was 8, my parents bought a brand new Yamaha console in Okinawa Japan so that my sister, my mother, and I could begin taking piano lessons. The Yamaha was a shiny brown upright piano that held our dreams. Prior to the Internet age --- the easiest way to buy a piano was to go to a shop to buy a new one. Everybody else in our cozy neighbourhood did it.

In London, I longed for a piano to play after work. I saw a hand-scribbled note taped on the window of a local shop in Hackney: piano for sale for 75 pounds. It was too cheap not to notice. The owners needed the space and offered to move it. Before I could say yes, they offered to further discount it by 25 STG. For the first time, I realised that a piano could become a liability.

This upright piano suited me until I moved again. Luckily it fitted in a van. By then, I wanted a better piano.

Through the free ads newspaper Loot, I found an upright in Stoke Newington. As soon as I played it, I knew it was too mellow and old for me. With tears in her eyes, the 60-year old owner begged me to take it. That old black piano had been in her family for several generations. She couldn't keep it because she was getting married for the first time. Reluctantly I took the piano and the matching piano stool for 150 STG. After cleaning it thoroughly inside and out, I still didn't like it. I sold the piano minus the stool for 200 STG shortly thereafter.

When I moved to Houston, I considered buying a grand piano but didn't have the space or the time (as I was only there for one year). I opted to rent a Baldwin upright instead.

Returning to London in summer of 1997, I felt the urge to have a grand piano of my own. .....



Anne Ku at the piano

Articles on Music

by Anne Ku

new concert blog - since March 2009

For musicians, concert producers, supporters:

How to book a concert tour for yourself:
Local knowledge, inside information, income opportunities

Local knowledge, inside information, community building

Optimal duration of a concert
Passion and patronage for the arts
From concerts to discussion panels


Anne's latest reviews of operas, international competitions, and music festivals appear in Le Bon Journal an online publication since 2001
Book review: The piano shop on the left bank
Bon Journal, 23 January 2003
Book review: All risks musical
Bon Journal, 30 August 2004
Book review: Grace notes
Bon Journal, 10 January 2003
Opera review: Doctor Atomic opera of John Adams and Peter Sellars, European premiere in Amsterdam
Bon Journal, 25 June 2007

Opera review: Loevendie's new operina Babylon in Utrecht
Bon Journal, 4 November 2007

On choosing your music:

Background music to suit the occasion
Bon Journal, 27 August 2005
Music for your wedding
Bon Journal, 26 August 2005

On piano lessons:

Piano lessons for beginners
Bon Journal, 6 November 2002
Respect for music
Bon Journal, 24 August 2002
Piano lessons with Anne Ku
personal philosophy and history

On buying and selling a piano:

Buying a grand piano
Bon Journal, 6 July 2004
Buying a piano: a decision maker's guide
in UK-piano.org website, 1 July 2004
Piano dilemma (about selling a second hand piano)
Bon Journal, 26 February 2004
An old grand piano and its abandoned soul
in search of second hand pianos
Bon Journal, 29 March 2004
Visit to grand piano atelier
Bon Journal, 28 April 2004
Of piano tuners and market rates
Bon Journal, 19 December 2002

On composing:

All the time in the world to compose
Bon Journal, 30 November 2003
Composing the Suite Bussum
Bonjournal, 4 March 2004
Wrong notes!
Bon Journal, 10 March 2004
Composers talk
Bon Journal, 11 March 2004
A muse to amuse or to inspire
Bon Journal, 19 March 2004
The melody finds you
Bon Journal, 26 March 2004
Composing or improvising
Bon Journal, 31 March 2004
Composing music to life
Bon Journal, 10 May 2004
Conflict and dissonance
Bon Journal, 24 May 2004

Composers and playwrights,
Bon Journal, 20 May 2004

On practising and performing:

The long and winding road towards our first duo CD,
Facebook, 21 December 2008
Getting ready for a concert,
Facebook, 8 December 2008

Starting a blog of our concerts,
Facebook, 3 December 2008

Practising piano all by myself
Bon Journal, 9 March 2004
Preparing for a concert
Bon Journal, 30 March 2004
In pursuit of perfection
practising for a performance
Bon Journal, 8 April 2004
Good pianos are hard to find (at a conservatory)
Bon Journal, 16 March 2004
Sightreading unknown pieces
Bon Journal, 2 July 2004
On sightreading
Bon Journal, 28 August 2002
Keyboard interpretation,
Bon Journal, 3 January 2005
Overcoming stage fright
Bon Journal, 11 December 2002

On the business of music:

Networking the Chinese way,
Facebook, 23 December 2008
Audience development
Bon Journal, 12 March 2006
Stage presence and etiquette
Bon Journal, 26 June 2004

On the appreciation of music:

If music is the food of love, play on (2 page PDF)
collection of stories: adventures in music
Le Bon Journal newsletter
Organising concerts, soirees, and parties (2 page PDF)
a collection of stories: for the love of music
Le Bon Journal newsletter

Opera for first timers,
Bon Journal, 20 November 2008

Of Dutch composers, Dutch guitarists, and Dutch guitars,
Bon Journal, 23 August 2007

Bicester music,
Bon Journal, 10 July 2004

Cortona Contemporary Music Festival: a personal reflection,
Bon Journal, 8 August 2007

Steinway to heaven welkom fest
MP3's and links to stories
Bon Journal, 19 June 2004

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