General Piano Advice

What advice do you normally offer to parents with children who wish to learn the piano?

The general advice is that if your children are to enjoy the piano and make progress, then you need to get them a piano which is easy to play, with a nice tone and in full working order. An old banger from the ads in newspapers will probably not do. The ‘Law of diminishing returns’ applies; the worse the piano, the less likely they are to make any progress. Why not take a look at our current stock list for our range of pianos?

I have inherited a piano and would like to have it valued to understand its potential, can you help?

At Courtney Pianos in Oxford, we provide piano valuations to customers throughout the UK. For more information, please contact us directly. We also provide a complete piano restoration service for traditional pianos.

I have 2 pianos at present and need to dispose of one of them, what should I do ?
A professional assessment of both pianos is the next step. Please contact us directly to discuss your options.

I need a good piano and my playing standard demands a good instrument, however I cannot afford to purchase a suitable piano at present; what do you suggest?

As good pianos are generally quite expensive, piano hire may be the most practical route. Firstly, it is relatively inexpensive and secondly, the cost can be spread over a period. At Courtney Pianos, we have a selection of pianos available for hire. Please contact us or take a look at our current stock list.

I’m told restoration will inevitably change the style & character of my old piano, is this true?

If poor or different parts and materials are used if the quality of the work is shoddy, then the answer is yes.
Please note – We only use the finest quality materials available, paying careful attention to detail in our work; the result is an instrument returned to its former glory, similar to when it left the factory – with all its original character intact.

I’m told I should dispense with my old piano, and buy a new piano instead. Is this good advice?

This may or may not be right, however, you may have been advised by an over-enthusiastic sales person! Consider restoration if your existing piano is well-made, and is built by a reputable manufacturer. There is, however, little point in spending money on your piano if:

  • it is very old;
  • it would cost you more than it may ever be worth
  • it is straight-strung & overdamped
  • its construction, tone or action are poor

Please note – If you have a sturdy piano that can be restored, our advice would be that you should seriously consider restoration. The danger is that you could actually go down in quality by replacing it with a ‘cheap’ new piano!


H Burniston

I am delighted to have the piano back at home. It is superb, the tone and touch are superb and the case looks magnificent. I am very pleased to have such a good friend returned to such beautiful condition and am grateful for your efforts of craftsmanship and professionalism.

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Specialists in piano restoration since 1977

Call Courtney Pianos on

01865 790400

Showroom and workshop at 43 Botley Road, Oxford OX2 0BN