It stands silent in the middle of the room. A wooden box with 88 keys that represents a lifetime of memories of music and song. Now the question is – what are you to do with it? You’re packing to move to a place the box cannot follow. Perhaps there’s no space. Perhaps your hands can no longer coax magic out of the keys. Perhaps its’ just time to embrace new passions.
Whatever the reason, the challenge is very real. How do seniors find homes for pianos and organs that were once a vital part of their lives?
The immediate options are discouraging. Downsizing generally entails moving to a place with LESS space making the instrument an impractical piece of furniture. Adult children often don’t share your passion or talent for music and many don’t have space either. Cultural tastes have changed resulting in fewer enthusiasts for these instruments. New enthusiasts often prefer smaller and more portable digital keyboards. And finally, moving and maintenance costs for such items can be prohibitive. They require special handling to move and resettle plus ongoing tuning and maintenance.
At SAGE Relocation Services, we have advised our fair share of clients on how to deal with this conundrum. Here are a few suggestions that might work for you.
Offer the instrument to a local music school, church, retirement community, theatrical group, community organization or school. They may or may not have the space or desire for the item, but they may be able to direct you to an enthusiast or student who would welcome it as a gift. Note that someone (maybe you) will still be responsible for the moving costs. Advertising it on platforms such as Craigslist will broaden your reach to potential buyers that you might never have considered.
Should none of these options work you may have to resort to disposal of the item. Note that you will still have to budget for removal and disposal fees. These are generally based on weight.
While saying good-bye to an old musical friend is difficult, we encourage our clients to focus on the ‘upside of downsizing’. It can bring a freedom of relief when there are less items to maintain and make space for. And while the piano itself may not be able follow you, rest assured that music itself knows no such constraints. It will find you, sooth you and bring joy to your life no matter wherever you call home.
“Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!”