29/10/19: First of all, thank you to everyone who's shared and donated towards my piano. Yesterday we decided to go to the local piano shop in Farringdon, Wiltshire to browse through their wide range of pianos. We met Steve (the owner) who gave us a guided tour and then left us to sample all of the wonderful pianos in his shop. He took us straight to the Yamaha-U1, which I have wanted for a while now. We have been looking on Gumtree and eBay for second-hand pianos and after a few visits, we decided not pursue this avenue for a piano, but go direct to a piano shop.
Their wide range of 130+ different pianos blew me away. From a Steinway & Sons Grand Piano, to a toy piano with 1 octave. It was as if Christmas had come early! Steve was very knowledgable and very accommodating, and told us about the take-it-away incentive scheme they offer, allowing musicians to buy an instrument and pay only 10% deposit with 18 monthly payments interest-free. This was backed by the arts council, which I thought was a great idea.
Steve told me that he sponsors the Swindon Young Musicians competition every year held at the Blunsdon hotel which I was going to play last year before it was cancelled. He then asked me if I would like to join Alan Roberts, the resident concert pianist a week on Saturday which was exciting. I then went on to play many of the pianos in the shop. My favourite piano was the Yamaha C3 grand piano which was just amazing. The keys felt light and made a wonderful sound and allowed me to play smooth and quickly. However, after thinking about it, the Yamaha U1 was a much more realistic choice of piano for me, both price and space...for now.
We then had further discussions and some very exciting news which I will post shortly.