Monday, 1 February 2016


An acoustic piano should bring years of enjoyment to you and your family.  Care is necessary in order to protect your investment.

How often should I get my piano tuned?

Most piano manufacturers suggest tuning your piano at least twice a year. Tuning means correcting the pitch of every note by retightening the strings. Adopt a schedule of regular service. Regular service will keep your piano's performance, and as a consequence your enjoyment, at its peak level. It will also correct "progressive" problems early, before they turn into costly repairs. Keeping the piano tuned is very important for a student. It ensures that they are listening and training their ear to the correct pitch.

When should I get my piano tuned?

The change of climate is the biggest factor in putting the piano out of tune. Our Ottawa climate is quite extreme as we have very dry cold winters and very humid summers. Keeping the humidity level around your piano as constant as possible will help it stay in tune longer .We suggest to tune the piano in the spring after the air conditioning comes on, and in the autumn after the furnace is turned on.

Who should tune the piano?

Select a Piano Technician with care. Hire a registered piano technician –someone who signs with the credential “RPT” after his/her name. Registered Piano Technicians are professionals who have committed themselves to the continual pursuit of excellence, both in technical service and ethical conduct. The Piano Technicians Guild grants the Registered Piano Technician (RPT) credential after a series of rigorous examinations that test skills in piano tuning, regulation and repair. Those capable of performing these tasks up to a recognized worldwide standard receive the RPT credential. This ensures that you are employing the services of a first rate tuner.

Musically Yours,
Carmen Papalia
Owner of the Family business Ottawa Pianos

Friday, 20 November 2015

Giving the Gift of Music for Christmas #2

Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

The Baby Boomers will love this idea. A thoughtful gift that includes, classical music, but not roll your eyes too much never heard this before classical music, with Alice Cooper thrown into the mix as well as  NAC Orchestra conductor Alexander Shelley. It is a modern twist to Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. How can you go wrong?

From the highly recognized  Deutsche Grammophon label. This is available on iTunes, CD and is also available as an interactive iPad app! The story is great for kids 7 and up. The big kids around here liked it too.

This would make me the cool aunt! And if I bought an  iPad mini too,  well I would be the coolest.

But enough about me,

Musically yours,


Friday, 13 November 2015

Giving the Gift of Music for Christmas

Lets start with the biggest gift: A Grand Piano 

Picture this: delivery the week before Christmas or even better Christmas Eve!
A beautiful Shiny Black Baby Grand Piano with a big red bow. Maybe a Disklavier and when the family is entering your home the Disklavier  is playing with a full orchestra.  Here is the Link: Yamaha Disklavier and watch the video!!

The Yamaha Disklavier- tradition and technology  

Some of my favourite memories include our piano at home;  my father playing carols to get his four teenage kids out of bed on Christmas morning! My daughter proudly beaming showing off her prowess at the piano by playing Jingle Bells -it was slow and loooooong, and something only a mom could love. 
But enough about me, how are we going to make this happen for you?

Musically Yours, 


Here is our website Ottawa Pianos

Friday, 6 November 2015

The Yamaha Silent Piano

What is a Silent Piano? Much attention and thought must have gone into naming a piano "Silent".  Everyone has heard of the GM company calling their car a Nova (meaning doesn't go). GM did well with the Nova in Latin America, even exceeding its sales projections. Yamaha is enjoying tremendous success with the Silent Piano.The Yamaha Silent Piano name provokes curiosity and eagerness to investigate what this is all about! Our customers prove it.

The Silent Piano is the best of both worlds in the Piano Industry. First it is an acoustic piano, a real piano;  the sound is real, the touch authentic, because it is the real thing. But a simple slide to the left with the middle pedal and the instrument is now electric. Put the headphones on and voila!

Perhaps the best evidence that this Silent Piano is being well received  by the consumer is the moment they remove their headphone and ask "Can you hear me play?" Of course we cannot hear you play! But it is that good!

That simple slide of the middle pedal to the left stops the hammer from hitting the string. Sensors under each key measure how the key was played, the volume and how long and then gives you a digital sample sound through your headphone. The fact that the digital sampled sound comes from the world renowned Yamaha Concert Grand makes even it more spectacular for the listener.

This Silent feature is available on uprights AND grand pianos!

Come in and have a listen!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Practice Tips for The Young Beginner

 Practice Tips for the Young Beginner

Its that time of year again!  Ottawa's Yamaha Music School at Ottawa Pianos is welcoming  its new students to a year of music making. To the parents who have made the decision to enrol their children in music lessons BRAVO! But wait- you have only just begun.  This must be a positive experience. I always tell our parents we have one chance at this; if it is a miserable experience you rarely get a 'do over' to introduce  them to  music. If its a bad experience the student will not be doing this another year! Over the last 25 years we have learned a thing or two on what will work for our very young beginners. We hope this helps.

Practice or review periods should be short and frequent instead of long and intense.  About 10 to 15 minutes per day would be average for the first day.

Make practice time as enjoyable as possible using approaches that will motivate your child ( games, stickers, etc)    Practice and learn with your child.

Follow a difficult activity with an easier one and try to end practice sessions with an easy activity.

If at all possible, make practice time happen at the same time each day.  Choose a time when your child is fresh and alert and there aren't other distractions.

Let your child progress at his/her own speed.  Some children have better concentration and coordination then others.

Have your piano or keyboard located in such a way that the child will pass frequently and be tempted to play.  Allow experimentation with the instrument.

Perform as much as possible for friends and relatives.  Praise and encourage performers.

Make sure music is part of your day-to-day life. Sing, play music in the car, dance to it.  Show your child how music makes life better!

Remember that what might be easy for you can often be physically or mentally difficult for your child.  Be patient and learn to distinguish between misbehaviour and incomprehension.

Most children experience times when they rebel against practicing.  Don't give up.  Try to stay positive and set reasonable goals so that your child can feel good about his or her progress.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

How Would You Like Your Piano with or Without Technology?

That is the question our customers will be asked when they visit our showroom!

The question is no longer as simple as "Would you I like an upright or a grand piano?" or "Do I need a digital piano or an acoustic piano?"

Yamaha has made it easy for you. You no longer have to make a choice between Tradition and Technology.

The Yamaha Silent Piano is a lot of Tradition and a little Technology. This series is very popular with the home musician. An acoustic piano-with real strings and a real acoustic piano action-but adds several exciting sounds such as vibes, harpsichord, and strings, in addition the ability to use headphones at any time of day or night. The Silent Pianos are available in upright pianos and grand pianos.
Here is a a link to   Yamaha Silent Pianos

The Yamaha Disklavier Piano is still a lot of Tradition but a little more Technology. This series opens up a new world of possibilities. You can start listening to this piano as soon as it is delivered to your home, just sit back and let the Disklavier turn your home into a concert hall! You can record and preserve your musical creations. You can also learn to play with the Smart Key System accompanied by a complete orchestra and so much more.
Here is a link to  Yamaha Disklavier Pianos Yamaha Disklavier Pianos

The Yamaha Silent piano and the Yamaha Disklavier pianos are both in our showroom.  We invite you to come in and see them.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Free is not Really Free!!

If a piano is being given away for free is it really a good deal?
The old adage that if its too good to be true it probably is, works here!
There are many pianos on Craigslist and Kijiji being offered for free or nearly free. 
I ask you why would you get a piano from someone who knows nothing about pianos.
Lets face it if the piano was worth anything don't you think the owner would have sold it by now?
Here are some things to consider when thinking of taking a FREE PIANO
  • You need to hire professional piano movers to move that piano into your home, no sane person will let you and some of your strong friends take that piano out. The pianos are heavy: read damage to hard wood floors, door frames and of course bodily injury should be taken into consideration as well. Minimum costs $200 Now if the piano is in the basement double it at the very least.
  • The Piano needs to be tuned. If the piano is being given away that piano has not been tuned for years! No one is going to spend 125 for a tuning and then give it away.
  • The piano will need a pitch raise as well as a tuning, because this free piano will have dropped in pitch over the years.. If the piano is tuned to concert pitch immediately strings will break. 
  • The piano will need more than a tuning I guarantee it! Please don't call a piano technician and tell him you need a piano tuning and "Oh by the way a few notes do not sound". ITS MORE THAN THAT! $75 hr minimum and parts 
  • Is there a bench? The piano usually out last the bench. A kitchen chair is not an alternative! (wrong height) Benches run anywhere from 200 and up. Now you might end up with a bench worth more than the piano!

Free now means at least $500. Its big, its old, and it will certainly be an overbearing piece of furniture in most of todays homes.
Talk to your reputable Piano Dealer. They will have solutions for you!
To our Ottawa readers, you can reach me at:
Ottawa Pianos
1412 Bank Street 
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 7Y9