Musicians turn away from acoustic pianos as digital sales become more popular

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The days of sitting in your living room as you listen to your child play the acoustic piano are becoming more like a memory for some. According to the National Association of Music Merchants, since 2004, piano sales have gone down over 60%.
But, a mastering the music isn’t entirely a thing of the past.

Andy White, 16, started his musical journey eight years ago. He says, "I really enjoy it, now that I started piano, I can play pretty much any instrument."

The pianist plays in the West York Jazz Band, the Junior Miss Pageants and he's volunteered at nursing homes. But his passion for playing isn't as common for others. Data shows in 1909, merchandisers sold more than 364,000 pianos. That's about 10 times as many as they do today.

White says, "It's disappointing, I don't know if it's a money problem or maybe people don't want to work at it because it does take practice."

Menchey Music owner, Joel Menchey says, "The piano market has been volatile, particularly after the 2008 financial meltdown."

Menchey says acoustic piano sales are gradually dwindling around the country. But musicians aren't giving up on the piano all together.

People are turning to digital pianos for a cheaper alternative. Instead of paying several thousands of dollars for the acoustic, you can buy a good digital starting a $1600.

Menchey says, "Acoustic piano has always been pricier instrument and hasn't really changed a lot in the last 100 years. But the digital piano has offered a lower price point and some key advantages."

For young musician Andy White, he hopes to help others play to a similar tune.

He says, "I could still help people learn in the future, so if I become a teacher, then I could get the trend up a little."

There are a number of budget friendly ways to learn the piano. Experts say start your child out at a young age, like 5 or 6. This will build a foundation if they chose to learn other instruments.


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