Second Hand Pianos & Sustainability

Second Hand Pianos & Sustainability

If you’re considering buying a second hand piano, then you’ve come to the right place! Not only are second hand instruments a fantastic investment for those looking to either get started with the piano or as an upgrade to perhaps a digital piano, but there are also a number of incredible sustainability ideas around second hand pianos, both digital and acoustic.

Today we’re going to begin breaking down some of the fantastic reasons why second hand is a great choice for both your playing journey and the environment, so if you’re considering either buying or renting a second hand instrument, keep reading!

We’ll start this list by breaking down the common features found on both acoustic and digital second hand pianos and why choosing to opt for secondhand can be a great idea. This being said, secondhand does also bring with it some level of risk or redundancy, so if you are new to the idea of second hand pianos, or are considering buying these instruments through second hand selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree, read our guide to second hand pianos here first to avoid potentially getting stung by low quality instruments!

All About Second Hand Acoustic Pianos

Not only are second hand acoustics fantastic choices for those on a budget because they offer a real authentic piano experience that digital pianos can never truly replicate, but because of the quality of materials used in many acoustic pianos, a well kept and looked after acoustic piano can honestly last well over 100 years without many issues.

This is not only fantastic from a sustainability point of view as many of these pianos already exist and thousands have been created in the past with even more looking for new homes, but it also adds a lovely piece of history into any living space. For example, you can find second hand pianos that existed as far back as the 1940s, right through to those created in the 2010s at fantastic price points!

In terms of material sourcing, producing new acoustic pianos does require a number of rare or sought after materials such as spruce soundboards and hard woods for the piano cabinets*, not to mention the copper and steel used in the strings. Whilst these are relatively minimal in terms of other industry production, for those who are particularly concerned about their impact on the environment, giving an older piano that already has these components a new lease of life instead of adding to those needing to be produced is a fantastic choice.

*It is worth noting here that whilst many manufacturers do use organic wood to produce their pianos, they are almost all farmed sustainably, responsibly and because of the rarity of the wood, each piece requires an immense level of care and precision during production.

At Millers, we hate seeing old pianos either be scrapped or abandoned, so often stock an ever changing list of second hand pianos in our showroom that have been fully refurbished, serviced and treated by our expert technicians. For those who do wish to purchase new pianos, we do also offer a part exchange scheme, where we will take the price of your old piano from the price you pay on your new piano.

Many new players in particular are often put off by acoustic pianos as they believe they are too loud or expensive. When it comes to noise, many are unaware that thanks to some fantastic innovations from the likes of KIOSHI Silent Systems, even the oldest acoustic pianos can be beautifully tuned into silent pianos. Likewise, we believe that acoustic pianos should be accessible to everyone, so many are even less aware that you can actually rent acoustic pianos from us for as little as £20 per month!

Learn more about KIOSHI Silent systems here!

Digital Pianos

Digital pianos are an interesting one and again, going second hand CAN sometimes be a great idea. We would generally approach purchasing a second hand digital piano from a second hand selling site with a little care. They can be treated almost like buying a mobile phone in that: You wouldn’t opt for a 2005 phone as the technology has progressed so far since then. The same can be said for pianos.

Many opt for second hand keyboards (not pianos) that they find online, but in reality, this will only stunt your learning as these instruments are often not weighted and are generally rather bad for anyone looking to learn piano.

Likewise, as technology and electronic devices are far less durable than that of woods and metal found in acoustic pianos, it's not uncommon for these instruments to break incredibly easily, or deliver a terrible speaker system which instead of inspiring you to keep playing, leaves you uninspired and hating the piano.

That being said however, if you are set on having a digital instrument, again going second hand from the right dealer, even if it’s not us, can be a fantastic option!

Much like acoustic pianos, the main draw of buying a second hand digital from a sustainability point of view could be the use of materials. With the microchip crisis still firmly underway and not showing signs of stopping anytime soon, many digital piano production lines are still on hold as far back as 2023. For those looking for a digital instrument soon, second hand or ex rental may be a fantastic option.

Likewise, digital pianos can be rented for as little as £15 per month, through our rental scheme.

Other Sustainable Piano Options

As mentioned, second hand instruments that can be brought online should be approached with a little care unless the piano has been fully treated and serviced. However if you do find yourself with a piano that you are either looking to donate or have purchased but are looking to get rid of, there are a few sustainable options out there!

Firstly, try turning the piano into a piece of furniture, we’ve seen some fantastic old pianos that have been given a new lease of life by being turned into either home bars, cabinets or art pieces. They are real show pieces that will be sure to spark a unique conversation every time!

Secondly, if the piano is still in working order, why not donate it to a charity, school or church? There are plenty of organisations out there who would be happy to get the piano refurbished and give it a new lease of life, all you need to do is a little digging!

So there you have it! A few quick reasons why second hand pianos are a great sustainable option that not only has a more minimal impact on the environment, but also still inspires play for years to come! To learn more about our second hand pianos or to contact a member of our showroom team, click here!

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