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Going To Anaheim: NAMM 2010
By Sam Bennett
1/9/2010 9:57:00 PM  
Next Thursday, my father and I will forgo necessary sleep and catch a painfully early flight out of Atlanta for a good cause, Winter NAMM 2010.  I feel it is for a good cause, though not charitable in the usual sense.  NAMM is a music trade show, THE music trade show, the biggest in the world.  But this trade show has a musical soul.

Okay, so NAMM is actually a fantastic organization with cool members and a social conscience; NAMM works year-round (over 100 years worth of work) to bring together the world's music makers, innovators and business leaders.  NAMM, the organization, hosts Winter NAMM 2010, the event that I'm giving up so many precious Zzzz's for.

I've been a few times now, but it is hardly routine.  We hustle across the huge grounds with more distractions than the Las Vegas Strip to make our appointments.  Imagine all instrument manufacturers, from trombones to drums to drum machines to sitars to synthesizers...and pianos in one place.  They can fit a ton of guitars in a booth but pianos are big!  Let's talk pianos:  Bosendorfer and Bechstein and Estonia and Mason & Hamlin and Schimmel, Sauter, Seiler, Steingraeber, Samick, Sohmer, (maybe I'll just hang out in the letter "S" pianos?) Story & Clark, Steinway is nearby....  Now multiply that by every other instrument.  Oh, and don't forget all the sheet music publishers, the stage lighting and effects, recording studio outfitters, software, and anything else you might need a treble clef for.  Take a breath and then fill those booths, hallways and hotels with passionate musicians of all levels. 

Nearly everyone there plays...so jam sessions spontaneously erupt all around you.  The famous and the rest of us get together, and we believe in music.

On a previous trip, I spent an hour shuttle ride from the airport getting to know the drummer from Matisyahu.  I enjoyed that.  At the same show, I went back to Bosendorfer's booth at the end of the day to find a bench and rest my feet.  Valentina Lisitsa stopped by, we closed the doors and enjoyed a private concert for about 15 of us.  She played for over 20 minutes, so cautious and curious passersby were drawn to her, and the crowd slowly grew.  That was special for us.

There is much trade at the trade show, but a bigger accomplishment for the industry is how NAMM serves to energize our people.  NAMM focuses the passion that brought us to the business of helping others make music.  That is special for us.

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Tags: NAMM, Bosendorfer, Estonia, Schimmel, Steinway, Story & Clark
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We Cultivate Customers By Cultivating Musicians: One Example
By Sam Bennett
11/18/2009 12:39:00 PM  
This last Monday, PianoWorks hosted yet another function for the local music community.  Many young pianists get their training through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), a popular curriculum that is growing in our area.  At the end of each grade level is an official exam for the students to pass in order to advance.  Much hard work goes into these exams and we provide both space and performance level pianos for the students.  On Monday, the students tested on Bosendorfer and Schimmel pianos.

We hear often that our pianos and the environment we provide really gives piano teachers confidence that their students will be able to perform.  Many of the students are too nervous to comment on the pianos, but they keep coming back.  One of the last exams of the day was for a nice young man ready to move from grade 5 to 6.  While waiting, he, his mother and sister engaged us about several of our pianos.  The mother asked Chad, "So which is the very best?"  Chad directed them over to a Bosendorfer model 225 semi-concert grand and after just a few minutes with the piano, they were full of questions.  I obliged to continue the tour and open the discussion to more pianos because I believe that "which is the best?" is a truly subjective question.  The best for many people is Bosendorfer, and there is rarely any argument that another builder might be better.  Mostly, I like to talk about fine pianos, celebrate their differences, and turn the question of good, better, best into one of "so which do you like?"

They really liked the Bosedorfer pianos as well as others.  We had a great time.  I also had my video camera handy.  We were not allowed to video the actual exam, but afterward, they came back into the showroom and I recorded the exam pieces for mom.  Here is one of them.



Not to be left out, his younger sister also played.  It was very sweet to see her fearless in front of such a large instrument.


At mom's request, I published these for family and friends.  I look forward to helping them select a truly fine instrument when they are ready.

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Tags: how to buy a piano, music educators, Bosendorfer, Schimmel
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Customer Letter: PianoWorks customer service in his words.
By Sam Bennett
10/17/2009 3:24:00 PM  
Reprinted with permission

01-October-2009

PianoWorks
2805 Buford Highway,
Duluth, Georgia  30096
Attn: Don Bennett

Dear Don,

I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation for the efforts put forward by you and your staff to ensure that the recently identified issue with my Yamaha C3 was addressed. As any company can look good when things always go well, the true measure of an organization is how well it functions when dealing with adversity and in this case, a relatively serious issue. I can categorically state that I have been nothing but impressed with PianoWorks since I first walked into the store over 18 months ago. I continue to be bowled over by the outstanding service and your high level of dedication to customers.

As you know, music is an integral part of my life and the relationship that I enjoy with my piano is very personal. The rapid response to the situation and the generosity of the offer that allowed me to replace the piano with an instrument of significantly higher quality is something that I will not soon forget.

I would also like to note that several members of your direct and associate staff also went significantly out of their way to provide assistance. Specifically, I would like to express my appreciation to Chris who took the time to carefully examine the issue with the C3. It should also be noted that he and his team did an excellent job in removing the C3 and carefully placing the new Schimmel in our home. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Linda who worked patiently with me to ensure that I was pleased with the new instrument. And of course, I can not say enough good things about Harry who is always there to watch out for me.

Again, I am most appreciative of all your efforts and I am nothing but excited at owning such an elegant piano.

Sincerely,
Richard Boulifard


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Tags: how to buy a piano, Yamaha, Schimmel
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Long-Time Customer Recommends PianoWorks
By Glen Sloan
7/14/2009 2:02:00 PM  
Having been a customer of PianoWorks' founder, Don Bennett, for almost twenty-five years I highly commend him and his staff for piano sales, piano restoration services, piano moving, and routine piano maintenance in the Atlanta metro area and throughout the United States.

For over two decades I have played professionally at churches and other venues where PianoWorks has provided outstanding pianos (Bosendorfer, Schimmel, restored Steinway & Yamaha). Whether renting an artist piano for events at major arenas or helping my students purchase pianos for their homes, PianoWorks has always exceeded the expectations of all concerned.

For the past ten years I have served as music assistant at Johns Creek Baptist Church in the north Atlanta suburb of Atlanta. PianoWorks has sold and maintained several notable pianos during my tenure at the church: a walnut Schimmel grand piano, two re-conditioned Yamaha grand pianos, several studio pianos and the jewell in the church’s piano inventory – our Bosendorfer Imperial grand! All of these pianos have performed well under very demanding conditions.

PianoWorks’ restoration, service, and maintenance departments are second to none. On numerous occasions I have called one of their service technicians at the last minute to touch up the tuning on a piano prior to an important performance – they have always responded immediately and with utmost professionalism. They have a terrific team of piano movers who have moved my personal piano – a 1913 Steinway Long-Scale “A” with the tender loving care it deserves. Pianoworks provides outstanding service to each customer, from customers who purchase entry level console pianos or digital pianos to world-class performers who demand the finest brands available in today’s market (like Bosendorfer, Schimmel, Steinway & Yahama).

The sheet music and music accessories department at PianoWorks provides all the materials needed for my studio of piano students and their staff provides exceptional levels of personal service. In addition their substantial inventory allows for many options when selecting metronomes, piano lamps, ancillary learning methods, and musical gifts.

Need more information? Check out their website: www.pianoworks.com

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Tags: how to buy a piano, Yamaha, Schimmel, Bosendorfer, Steinway, piano moving, piano restoration, piano lamps
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