School's out, and so are the pianos.

It's high season for servicing school pianos,  and few others are around to catch piano technicians kissing behind the shelter sheds. Schools are serene and surreal sans students. 

No, crochet a crotchet. It's important to read the exam question. This little loom band construction evokes the Knitting Nancy for someone of my generation.

Personalised music rooms are always entertaining. These multi-media crotchets beguiled, documented after removal from the top of a piano, along with a battalion of plush animals that would be more at home on a bed than a piano. 

I'm convinced this truck drives ahead of me, whips around the next corner and installs a school zone just in time to see me booked. As a consequence, I've had to pledge to 'drive like Granny' for a year.

Provisional performance prescribed. No speeding.

One more driving offence, Cazzbo, and you'll have your sustain pedal confiscated. But it's exuberant private school gorillas that have broken this pedal. Silvertailed silverbacks throw good money after bad to have their young bucks schooled in chamber music and contrapuntal combat. Although the pedals on some makes of pianos lack the strength that they had back when horses pooped in George Street, they (the pedals, not the nags) should still hold up to normal use.

The piano is tipped on its ear to deal with its tootsie.

 The bottom board must be removed.

The replacement pair of pedals is different, more slender, so replacing just one pedal would not be ideal, we'll use both. Few jobs are straightforward. The brackets must be re-positioned. 

Two left feet.

Elsewhere in the jungle the young gorillas have frolicked. This music rest has already been repaired, but the compromised part has seen another attack. 

The weakened area is drilled out and customised wooden plugs are glued in, with plenty of glue squeezed into the other cracks.


Trimming the plugs. 

Glue sandwich. 

Done. It's not the prettiest, but perfectly functional. It's fine for normal use, but it's the abnormal use that is impossible to engineer against. Half a day's work in the piano lair where the necessary big tools are, then a return appointment to drill and refit the music rest, it's a time-consuming business, vandalism.

Student of the Year, Silverback College. An unsanctioned artwork spied recently while snooping up Melbourne's wonderful laneways with my mother.

Found under the keys. Could one not point the thumbs any which way? But the work would still be deemed 'good', which is probably good. Thumbs down to gumming up the piano with thumbs and gum.

Prevention might be better. This latch was fitted by the school, not us.

Unfortunately it's only as safe as a kid with a screwdriver. But kids don't play with good old-fashioned toys like screwdrivers, it's all screens, screens, screens.

Edvard Hagerup Grieg. If only I could impress at pub trivia with that knowledge - Hagerup! There is only one pub trivia classy enough for such a morsel.

I wonder how this is enforced. I'd like to enforce it with a sledgehammer, but that might be a bit low-tech.

I noted a school where writing on the piano keys was forbidden, but (at the same school) this was apparently fine. Any wonder the poor darlings are confused. And they still haven't learned their notes.

They haven't learned their fruits either, if that computer is anything to go by. 

A friend suggested the students need this handy Paling's Music Store chart. Yes. A class set of these might save piano technicians masquerading as cleaners.

Fluffy piano actions do not sound any softer. I've encountered this phenomenon before.

They will be moved, and put back subtly differently for pure subversion. It takes more than stair-climbing to keep one's cheek(y) muscles toned.

In a dance school studio, this poster details all the muscles, cheeky and other.

Another muscle diagram, this time on a piano.

Close-up. I'm learning a lot. The human anatomy is remarkable. How will the piano cleaners rub this one out? Did someone say pianist?

Dance schools prefer short uprights, facing into the room. When such single-piece lids are opened they are not able to lean against the wall as is usually possible in the home. The lid weight hangs on the hinges which bend then break. This piano receives new hinges and a conversion from a (detested by technicians) cockamamie boomgate-style (slagboom*) lid, hinged at the bass end, to a more conventional arrangement. Did someone say cock? Did someone say slag? We hope to return to fit mini prop sticks to allow the lids to be opened partially, safely. 

It's wonderful (and less demoralising) to share this sort of piano work. My esteemed partner in piano-pampering is always ready to hand me a large tool. Did someone say ratchet screwdriver? Cazzbo, that's enough!