The Worthless $180,000 Piano

As we walk into Costco I notice they have grand pianos for sale. There are six sitting there all brightly polished and behind velvet ropes.

My son plays the piano (very well for an 11 yr old) and wants to look at them. As we walk up I start to notice the price tags. They ranged from $80,000 to $160,000.

I coughed.

He asked if he could play one.

“Go ahead,” I said. I assumed they were there to be played.

As he lifted the rope a Costco employee started to run over. The look in his eye was “Noooo!”

My son sat down, started playing Dance of the Wind, and the employees face changed as he stopped dead in his tracks.

Heads began to turn and people stopped to watch and listen to this kid play.

It wasn’t the piano that made the song beautiful.

It wasn’t the song that made the piano sound beautiful.

Someone spent hours tuning that piano so it sounded perfect.

Tuning a piano is no small task. It can take weeks to allow the strings need to adapt to the tension.

My son has been practicing that one song for several weeks. He needs to memorize it for his next recital.

I always wonder why so many sales pros don’t deliberately practice and tune their craft.

Working with humans is the most difficult art of them all. It takes practice too. Not just when you’re in front of your audience, but off stage too.

Top entertainers and athletes spend over 90% of their time practicing. The other 10%, if that much, is spent on stage or playing the actual game.

Without trial and error you don’t get to a perfect performance. You occasionally get lucky but it’s never consistent.

It doesn’t matter if my son is playing his recital on a $180,000 Steinway or our cheap piano at home, the sound will be painful if the piano isn’t tuned and the player hasn’t practiced.

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