Frequently Asked Questions

MUSIC STUDIES

1 What are the procedures involved in enrolling my children in your school for practical and theory classes?

2 What are your rates for piano and string lessons?

3 What are the fees for theory lessons?

4 Is text material included in the course fee for any theory lesson?

5 I want to register my child for the upcoming RCM examinations. Where can I register?

6 What teacher’s number should I enter when registering for RCM examinations for my children? They study at your school.

7 What is the RCM centre number for Euromusic Centre (for RCM practical and theory exams)?

8 What is ‘Euromusic Teachers’? Why and how do I sign up?

PIANOS

1 How many keys are there on a piano keyboard?

2 What does the soundboard do?

3 What is the soundboard made of?

4 What other materials are there for soundboards, and how can I tell them apart?

5 Plastic or wood?

6 Is Petrof suitable for the Canadian climate?

7 Does the wood crack easily?

8 What are Agraffes?

9 What other special features do Petrofs have?

PIANO CARE

1 Cleaning the cabinet

2 Care of the key tops

3 The interior

4 Temperature & Humidity

5 Placement

6 Tuning

7 Voicing

8 Action Regulation

9 Moving


What are the procedures involved in enrolling my children in your school for practical and theory classes?
For practical lessons, please call our school administrator Grace Lin at (905) 946-8040 for an interview. Depending on the requested date and time for the lesson and level of studies, we will try to match your request with our teachers’ schedules and assign the right teacher for your children. For theory lessons, you may drop by our office during office hours to register. Since our theory class enrolment is on a first-come-first-served basis, spots are only reserved for those who have already made the payment for the course(s) they enrol in. Telephone registration is NOT considered a confirmed enrolment and therefore reservation of spot is not guaranteed.

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What are your rates for piano and string lessons?

Our rates start from $30 to $60 per hour for piano lessons and $32 to $40 per hour for string lessons (i.e. violin, guitar, etc..) depending on the level of studies. Typical beginners start at the $15 – $20 range per lesson (1/2 hour); the rate and length of the class may increase according to the student’s progress.

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What are the fees for theory lessons?

Please consult our latest timetable for course fees and availability. A one-time $25 registration fee will incur for new students.

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Is text material included in the course fee for any theory lesson?

No. Depending on the theory course, there is a $10 or $20 material fee for supplementary notes that are given out by the instructor during class. Textbooks are also required for Rudiments (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced), Basic Harmony, and Intermediate Harmony courses. They can be purchased from our office in advance or at the time of the registration.

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I want to register my child for the upcoming RCM examinations. Where can I register?

You may register online at www.rcmexaminations.org or drop by our office to obtain a free copy of the RCM Exam application form.

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What teacher’s number should I enter when registering for RCM examinations for my children? They study at your school.

The teacher’s number for online registration is 26362 for students studying at Euromusic Centre.

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What is the RCM exam centre number for Euromusic Centre (for RCM practical and theory exams)?

Our RCM centre number is 151, representing the city of Markham.

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What is ‘Euromusic Teachers’? Why and how do I sign up?
‘Euromusic Teachers’ is a community of teachers who receive the latest news and promotions from our school. Registration is open to all RCM registered teachers in the GTA. Members will be entitled to a membership card that must be retrieved from Euromusic in person. The card will be used to receive the following discounts: a 25% discount in piano books, CDs and sheet music purchases of total value of minimum $30 before taxes OR a 15% discount for purchases below $30 before taxes. You may sign up for Euromusic Teachers here, or by clicking on “Teachers’ Login” at the left-hand navigation bar.
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How many keys are there on a piano keyboard?
With few exceptions, all standard keyboards have 88 keys; 52 whites and 36 blacks.
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What does the soundboard do?
The soundboard is the wooden diaphragm that changes the strings’ vibrating energy into sounds that we can hear.
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What is the soundboard made of?
Petrof soundboards are made of high quality white spruce. Spruce has a fine, straight grain, is strong and resilient, and reproduces sound better than any other material. The soundboard has a slight curvature and the pattern runs diagonally; both characteristics are designed for better sound transmission and projection.
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What other materials are there for soundboards, and how can I tell them apart?
Because spruce is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive, more and more pianos use laminated wood (two outer layers of veneer with other woods in the middle) or lower quality spruce for their soundboard. Cheaper quality spruce is darker and coarser. Laminated soundboards are more difficult to identify because the veneer is chosen to resemble spruce. However, if the pattern of the soundboard does not run diagonally, you can be sure the soundboard is laminated.
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Plastic or wood?
Petrof pianos have an all-wood action. Upright pianos of some particular brands have plastic components. These plastic components are easy and cheap to make, but are noisy and degrades the tonal quality of the piano. Some dealers may argue that plastic doesn’t affect the piano’s tone. However, if that is true, why do their grand pianos use only wood and no plastic??
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Is Petrof suitable for the Canadian climate?
Petrof Pianos are made from wood that has been dried for at least 5 years, to the international standard of 6% moisture, therefore, is most suited for the dry Canadian winters. Some pianos cannot tolerate the extreme Canadian climate because there is too much moisture in the wood; moisture in the piano can be dried up quickly, causing the wood to shrink and warp!
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Does the wood crack easily?
No. Most cracks are caused by extreme or unstable temperature or humidity. Keep the piano in the right environment and it will stay in good shape. For more information, see PIANO CARE below.
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What are Agraffes?
Agraffes are small brass fittings, with holes through which the strings pass, screwed into the plate of the pianos to keep the strings perfectly positioned and spaced. Installing Agraffes is a very expensive and tedious process, therefore is found usually in grand pianos only. However, all Petrof pianos have Agraffes, including the lowest upright models.
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What other special features do Petrofs have?
The Petrof grand piano has a hydraulic fallboard braking system-you don’t have to close it! Give it a little push and it will drop slowly to close. It not only enhances the image of the piano, but also prevents accidents from happening!
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Cleaning the cabinet
To remove dust, a lambs-wool duster should be sufficient. To remove smudges, use two “terry” cloths, one dry the other slightly damp. For polished hi-gloss finishes, use the damp cloth to clean a small part of the piano at a time in circular motions. Immediately dry the cleaned area with the dry towel in circular motion. For satin finishes, follow the same directions, except polish the finish following the “grain”, rather than in circular motion.
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Care of the key tops
Use a soft “terry” towel slightly moistened with water and rub the keys from back to front. Never run across the keys, because the side of the keys would absorb the towel’s moisture. If the keys are very dirty, you may add a very limited amount of the mildest soap into the water to clean off smears. Never spray any liquid or polish directly onto a keyboard and don’t let water run down the side of the keys. It is best to dry the keys with another towel, especially if the keys are ivory, because ivory absorbs water, and can curl up and fall off if water is allowed to collect.
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The interior
Never leave any liquid or drinks on top of the piano as spills can severely harm a piano. Do not touch the strings with your hands, as sweat and other residue left on the strings can cause them to corrode. The interior does not have to be cleaned very often; once every two-three years is enough. However, do not attempt to clean it yourself; only a specialist should do the cleaning.
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Temperature & Humidity
Extreme or unstable atmospheres are bad for your piano’s health. Extreme atmosphere changes affect the moisture content of the wooden parts, causing them to shrink and swell. This may cause the finish to crack or chip, the string tension to change so that the piano needs more frequent tuning, the critical tolerance of action parts to be distorted, or the soundboard to crack. Your piano should remain in a stable atmosphere of a temperature between 18?to 23?Celsius and between 40% to 50% relative humidity.
A general rule is the environments that are not comfortable for people are not good for the piano either.
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Placement
By the same token, your piano should be placed away from windows, fireplaces or heating/air conditioning vents. Never let direct sunlight fall onto your piano as it might damage the finish, and dry the wooden parts to dangerous excess.
Placing a piano on a carpet may give it a mellower sound. Conversely, placing it on a hard surface may give it a brighter sound.
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Tuning
It is important that your piano be tuned regularly to maintain it at the internationally accepted A440 pitch. When your piano is left untuned for several years, it would be difficult to tune it back to its original pitch. We recommend that you call your tuner at least 3 or 4 times the first year, as a new environment causes the piano to go out of tune easier. After the piano settles, you could have it tuned twice a year. Good times to tune your piano are Spring and Fall, about a month after you have turned off your heating or cooling systems.
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Voicing
Voicing is the adjustment of the tone of the piano, mostly by changing the density or hardness of the hammer felts. Voicing is to some extent a matter of preference. Some pianists prefer a “bright” voicing while others prefer a mellower “dark” sound. However, regardless of its original voicing, every piano will acquire a somewhat brighter tone with time, because the hammer felts will be compacted as they are thrown repeatedly against the strings. Therefore, depending on your taste and the amount of use your piano gets, it ought to be voiced when your ear tells you the time has come.
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Action Regulation
In normal use the action mechanism will eventually depart from the evenness which was established when it was originally regulated in the factory. A piano which gets normal home use will probably need regulation approximately every 5-10 years.
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Moving
Unlike your furniture, the piano is a very delicate instrument, which needs special casing and tools when being moved. Therefore, use only a professional piano moving company to move your piano. You will avoid injury to yourself, your instrument and your home.

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Petrof piano cabinets come in many different sizes and finish! Want to see them? Come visit our Markham showroom located at 2651 John Street Unit#8 in Markham.