Yamaha U1

U1It is beyond argument that Yamaha build brilliant pianos. And here’s another!

It was built in 1983 and  has a medium/bright tone. U1 3.2

We have made sure that everything is in order and everything works as it should.

We love this piano and offer it for sale at £3100. With this great piano you get 5 year warranty, free delivery to a ground floor room within the M25, free first tuning and an adjustable stool.

To gather more useful tips about buying a piano there is a lot more information on this website. Click on the #Used Piano and #The Easy Way to Buy a Piano on the home page.

If you would like to discuss what you have read here or would like to book a visit to our London warehouse please call us on 020 3645 3930. If you prefer to write, please send an email to julian@pianolobby.co.uk   photo

Yamaha U1

Here’s a Yamaha U1 built in 1979. U1As we have come to expect from Yamaha, it is an excellent piano.

Everything works as it should, loop cords are in great shape,  it has been fully regulated and has a medium tone.

But…. this one is a bit special! Check out the next picture and you will notice that this one was renovated by Yamaha themselves.U1 2.8

This piano is for sale at only £2800. We will deliver this piano to a ground floor room within the M25 for free. It has a generous 5 year warranty, the first tuning is free and we will also give you an adjustable as well.

To gather more useful tips about buying a piano there is a lot more information on this website. Click on the #Used Piano and #The Easy Way to Buy a Piano on the home page.

If you would like to discuss what you have read here or would like to book a visit to our London warehouse please call us on 020 3645 3930. If you prefer to write, please send an email to julian@pianolobby.co.uk

Brilliant Little Lippmann

Lippmann Name PlateWe have had quite a few of these Lippmann pianos now and they are real gems. This one has just arrived and it is as wonderful as we have come to expect.

It is only 112cm tall and makes not only a terrific sound, but a whole range of wonderful sounds. We were surprised how brilliant this little piano sounded and how great it felt to play. It is built with the very latest construction techniques in its state of the art factory using  very high quality materials.

Given its price it is a very high specification instrument, it even has a slow fall mechanism to stop the lid trapping little fingers on the keyboard.Lippmann-Aug-13-update-002-682x682

Pianolobby is offering this piano for sale at £2400. This includes lots of great things other than just this wonderful piano. You get delivery to a ground floor room, an adjustable stool, first tuning and a 5 year warranty as well.

If you would like to discuss what you have read here or would like to book a visit to our London warehouse please call us on 020 3645 3930. If you prefer to write, please send an email to julian@pianolobby.co.uk


canstockphoto12108892Pianolobby has had a lucky find with this little piano. It is a Ronisch piano and would make a wonderful first piano.

Ronisch are a very long established piano builders in Germany and our example is a little beauty. It stands at 112cm tall, has a full 88 key keyboard and was built in 1980.

For more information please call Julian on 02036453930 or email us at: julian@pianolobby.co.uk




canstockphoto12108892We all know what we expect from the excellent Yamaha U1 pianos and the U1 we have coming into stock won’t disappoint!

At Pianolobby we always have a Yamaha piano that will suit pretty much everyone in our range, stocking pianos ranging from 3 decades of production.

It is a model built in 1985 and is simply beautiful!! It feels great to play and has a medium bright tone, ideal for the home.

If you would like more information please call Julian on 02036453930 or if you prefer to send an email write to julian@pianolobby.co.ukimages



canstockphoto12108892We love Kawai pianos at Pianolobby. It has been a little while since we have had a Kawai piano in stock, but that is about to change. We are very choosy about which pianos we will stock and we are sure you will love this one…

The model is an HA-20 which was built in 1993 and looks set to be a bit of a bargain!! Keep an eye open for it, it won’t be around for long.

For more information please call Julian on 02036453930 or send an email. Our address is: julian@pianolobby.co.ukimgres images


canstockphoto12108892We at Pianolobby are very excited to announce new stock arriving.

First on the list is a brand new Lippmann piano.

These pianos are a wonderful find. Standing at only 112cm tall isn’t promising but they make a terrific sound, or more accurately, a whole range of wonderful sounds. We were surprised how brilliant this little piano sounded and how beautiful it felt to play.

It is built with the very latest construction techniques in its state of the art factory using  good quality materials. It even has a slow fall mechanism to stop the lid trapping little fingers on the keyboard.Lippmann Fall Mechanism


If you would like more information call Julian on 020 3645 3930 or if you prefer please send an email to: julian@pianolobby.co.uk


WHY TAKE MUSIC EXAMS?      Julian Barber

 ‘Enjoyment through achievement’ say the ABRSM, gaining a ‘certificate is a rewarding experience’ they continue.

There are a number of exam boards, the ABRSM is the biggest, followed by TrinityGulidhall and then the London College of Music. They each broadly offer a variation of the same. The ABRSM (The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) is an organisation set up to establish educational standards for instrumental and vocal performance. The Royal schools are: the Royal Academy of music, Royal College of music, Royal Northern and Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Each year over 620,000 people take its exams in 90 countries. There are 8 grades and then beyond this, diplomas. The exams can be taken at any age and are for any classical instrument or voice. imgres imgres




But, what is a music exam?

The structure is the same throughout the 8 grades.The technical aspect consists of scales, broken chords and arpeggios. Scales start out hands separately over 2 octaves in simple keys, eventually becoming hands together over 4 octaves in all keys.

Next comes 3 pieces of music. The first piece would be roughly from the Baroque era, the second from Classical or Romantic era and the third from the 20th century. They grow in complexity and length as the student goes through the grades. Then there is sight-reading and lastly aural tests.

There are  definite benefits of taking these exams. It is a reward for all the hard work of the student (and of course the parents and teachers). They can be a motivational tool, a way of measuring personal progress, a performance opportunity, a focus for working, experience of playing in front of someone different and I think most importantly, feed-back from an independent and highly skilled, trained musician.

It is certainly not necessary for all students to follow this path, and some certainly do not thrive when under such pressure. Even the ABRSM points out that ‘Music exams do not suit everyone and exam syllabuses are not intended to provide a complete curriculum or choice of repertoire to the exclusion of all other music.’ This is a very important point. If a student takes every grade and only learns exam pieces that totals only 24 pieces of music. In my books, that isn’t a full and rounded education. It is essential to work on technique and to learn repertoire in all styles enroute to the next exam.  AB books

There are also a number of vital skills that examinations do not test. One of the most important parts of being a musician is playing with other people. Keeping in time with others, playing in the same style as others, playing in tune with others, watching and obeying the conductor, being able to perform with confidence in front of an audience are all essential skills for a musician, and none of them are tested by examinations. images

It is easy to get bogged down with examinations. They are simply tests that give you a target to meet that will reassure you that you are moving forward. Do them when you feel the need. It doesn’t have to be every year and is it perfectly ok to miss out exams.

Consider also that grade examinations are now part of the National Qualifications Framework and are of equal merit to all other qualifications. The grades are seen as being broadly equivalent to GCSEs and A-levels. Grades 1, 2 and 3 equivalent to GCSE grades D to G, Grades 4 and 5 equivalent to GCSE grades A* to C, and Grades 6, 7 and 8 equivalent to A-level.

All this is very well, but why put yourselves through all this? As a student I don’t think I was ever really sure about why and the suggestion to do exams came from my teacher. Music exams were just done because that was the thing to do which isn’t necessarily the best reason. I was happy to get that piece of paper as proof of what I was capable of doing. I now think that the way to use exams is for feedback on playing pieces. imgresimages

One of my customers at Pianolobby was chatting about her piano skills and described herself as an ’80% pianist’ She explained that she would work on a piece until she was able to give a good approximation of it and then always running out of steam to really perfect it. She was upgrading her upright piano as a way to feel encouraged to play and then use the exam system to really polish up the last 20%. This seems very sensible to me.

From a parents point of view, it is an effective way of having evidence of progress. A parent of a child I teach admitted that he is much more committed to getting their children to practise when there is an exam to work for. That deadline has a way of really focusing the mind. As a teacher I then hope that those habits last when they are working on the repertoire pieces that follow on from exams.

They are useful for children too, if it is all explained properly. It can give them a sense of working toward something, getting that certificate to hang on the wall is fun, it’s often the exam pieces that are the ones that are learnt to performance standard giving a sense of pride when they know they can play pieces well.

I seem to have gone around in circles a bit. Exams can be useful, but they can’t address everything, things such as technique, a full repertoire, ensemble playing and so on, but that is the role of a good teacher. They are good for stimulating practice, perfecting pieces, useful markers of progress and learning to work towards a goal. Exams I think need to be seen as just one thing that is added into the mix of a musical life, musical education and musical experiences.

I hope this doesn’t put anyone off tackling exams, but perhaps to have more thought as to why you are sitting that exam.

Thank you for reading.


MONDAY POST. New ABRSM Piano Syllabus Launched

AB LogosHello everyone.

I hope you are all well and enjoying the summer.

You may be aware that the piano syllabus for the ABRSM practical exams get updated every 2 years. Thursday the 3rd July was the day chosen by the Board to launch the 2015 and 2016 piano syllabus.

There was a presentation given by a senior examiner, Timothy Barratt. He had the task of demonstrating and talking about every piece on the syllabus, all 158 of them. That was quite an undertaking for him and also for the audience! He was able to give a brief description of each piece, outline what examiners are looking for and one or two teaching tips on the way too.

As a piano teacher, musician as well as retailer, I couldn’t resist popping along to see what the new syllabus is all about. I have to say that the ABRSM should be pretty pleased with what they are offering. There is something for everyone! Their outlook is much wider too, embracing music from around the world.

AB booksThe syllabus has the all important standard repertoire pieces, such as a Clementi Arietta in grade 1 and a Bach invention at grade 4 and then builds on that by having a Lullaby by the Lithuanian composer, Neugasimov at grade 2. There are pieces from Norway, Spain as well as from China across all grades.

Dip in to the ‘alternative’ list as well, these are pieces that are published separately from the main books. There are some real gems in there many of which I prefer from the selections in the books.

We may well be on holiday from school from around now, but having these new pieces to get stuck into won’t make the new term so daunting.

Have a good week!





MONDAY POST. Hannah Sloane.

Monday PostThis week is the first of our guest writers. It’s the very talented cellist Hannah Sloane. She is a recent graduate from Juilliard School of Music who has settled in London and just starting out on her career. Over to Hannah…


HannahRecently I was asked, ‘so, what do you do?’ Its a simple question, yet, I find I can rarely give a simple answer. I usually respond with, ‘I’m a musician,’ which invariably gives way to the more clarified, ‘I play the cello,’ and then, ‘yes, I have been playing a long time,’ and, inevitably, ‘no, I don’t wish I’d take up the flute.‘ After these pleasantries are out of the way, I embark on a more or less detailed version of my activities as a freelance musician, at the end of which, if I’ve managed to convince my questioner of ‘what I do,’

I’ve entirely confused myself. I go over my answers:

I’m a cellist. That’s true! I started playing when I was 4 years old. I tolerated the practicing, but mostly enjoyed bowing at the end of a performance. I continued my studies at The Juilliard School in New York when I was 18 years old. Then, I was obsessed with practicing, but had lost the bow thrill somewhat. Now, I live in London and have struck happy medium, or so I like to tell myself. Sometimes I go back to the States to play recitals with my friends from Juilliard. I went to San Francisco in October to play Schubert and Strauss with pianist, Allegra Chapman, and will go to Massachusetts in July to play Janacek and Bartok with pianist, Jillian Zack.


I spend a lot of time playing chamber music. This June, I have a happy collision of 15 pieces of chamber music vying for rehearsal space in my diary. This is more than normal, but I’m not complaining! I’m particularly looking forward to; Beethoven eyeglasses duo at St Martin in the Fields as part of the London Chamber Collective; Mozart Divertimento at Leith Hill Place with the Perks Ensemble; Schubert Octet with Maiastra in Surrey; and every single one of the concerts at the marvelous Lewes Chamber Music Festival, run by its founder and artistic director, Beatrice Philips.

I travel quite a bit, mostly around the UK. I’ve redefined what I consider traveling since leaving New York, where everything in Manhattan is 15 minutes away. This year, I found it was easier to get to Aldeburgh than it was to get to zone 3 in north west London. The most memorable journey I’ve made was to play a concert in Maidenhead which took no less than 5 hours roundtrip. Having said that, I do find the vast sprawling mass of London exciting to explore. My housemate and I drove to a warehouse in Bethnal Green to play a concert in the autumn, only to bump into a film crew who redirected us to a midwork building site to find parking.


I play in orchestras. London is so vibrant when it comes to this. I’ve played a few times with the London Chamber Orchestra. Playing Beethoven 8 for the first time with them was an unforgettable experience. At Easter, I went to Snape Maltings to play with the Britten Pears Orchestra, on a Mozart cleanse. We played almost everything that Mozart wrote in the year 1789. The Multistory orchestra, run by Chris Stark and Kate Whitely, creates truly unusual and wonderful projects, which I’ve enjoyed being a part of. In a week’s time, the orchestra will be playing Britten, Adams, Mozart and Sibelius for 1000 school children in 10 different schools in Southwark. (I can’t join them this summer, but they also play terrific concerts in July in a car park in Peckham.)

I teach. I have a few private students, as well as teaching at Alleyn’s School in Dulwich. It’s so much fun. I haven’t told them this, but I think I learn more from my students than they do from me. Around Christmas time, I helped two adult students prepare for a duet concert that they had coming up. Their passion and dedication to music was so inspiring.

! By the time I’ve recapped these statements, I’m feeling like I’ve given a pretty good answer. I’m on the cusp of asking, ‘what do you do?’ when my questioner usually cuts in with, ‘so, what next?’ Phrases like; ‘No idea,’ ‘We’ll see,’ ‘Maybe I’ll become an astronaut,’ all cross my mind. I usually opt for the truth, ‘I can’t quite remember, I don’t have my diary on me.’


If you wish to contact Hannah regarding bookings for playing or teaching, she can be contacted by sending an email to: hmsloane@gmail.com