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MMD > Archives > July 1998 > 1998.07.20 > 07Prev  Next

Exciting the Children
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  When young children, ages 4 to 6 years, come to my home/shop
(or anybody for that matter), they can't help but look deep into the
belly of player piano rebuilding (it starts in my living room).

It must be an awesome first vision, for their eyes sparkle as they
look around at all the pianos and pieces.  Most utter some exclamation:

  "Are all these pianos yours?".

I chuckle and say, "Most of these belong to other people so please
don't touch them.  They're very fragile.  Would you like to hear a
player piano?"

Well, long story short, while the roll plays, I slip away to another
room and scavenge through a box of 'throw-away' parts.  Old hammer
shanks & flanges with the hammer still on, wippens, dampers, Standard
valves ... whatever's around.  Then I return, rewind the roll and give
them a piece or two or three.  It's better than candy!

Then I briefly explain the part and its basic purpose.  Depending on
the situation, I enjoy giving them as much as they can stand or have
time for.  I've captured their attention for twenty minutes and I could
tell they would remember.

Kids love new and different toys (adults too, for that matter) :-)


John A. Tuttle (

Key Words in Subject:  Children, Exciting

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