Play It Again, Sam…er, Stutzman?

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I happened upon a rather unusual scene last week while visiting the Swartzentruber Amish settlement near Sinking Spring, Ohio.  I saw some teenage Amish boys cleaning up a piano, getting it’s keys all shined up and melodies in order.  It’s not every day one sees a piano at an Amish home, but the home’s owner, Eli Stutzman, explained it like this: “We aren’t allowed to have a piano, but it was in the house when we bought it so they’re trying to clean it up and sell it an auction.”  One of the boys asked me how much I thought it’d fetch but I had to confess that I just wasn’t sure ($300 – $400?), it wasn’t like it was a grand piano.  The keys all seemed to be pretty well in tune.  Any piano experts out there have any thoughts?  As an aside, musical instruments are something generally not found in Amish homes.  In the Amish way of thinking, instruments undermine the voice which is viewed as the only instrument.  I have heard of on occasional Amish people playing the harmonica, but such an indulgence would be a rarity.

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The Discussion

  1. Barb W. says:


    It looks like it is missing the front legs. Dad only got $200.00 for his and it was in great shape, but needed to be tuned. It depends on where it is going to be sold and how many are interested.

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  2. My husband and I were recently in the home of any Amish family where the teenage daughters sang and played a keyboard (powered by a generator) and an accordion. That was something I really didn’t expect to find.
    Pam recently posted..A Fresh Amish Story — A Promise for MiriamMy Profile

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    • Pam, what you just posted is why I say there is an exception or two to almost every rule among the Amish, what you saw is very unusual! What community was this in? – Kevin

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  3. Kentuckylady717 says:


    What brand is this and How old is it ? That’s what most people want to know….We purchased a brand new one, probably in late 1960′s and we paid over $1000.00 at that time, so I would say they cost way more now….looks like it need to be refinished….or is that just on the picture ??

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  4. bluebarhen says:


    My uncle is an auctioneer in Indiana, and pianos usually don’t sell too well, even in excellent condition. Most of the time, they bring between $50 to $125, people just aren’t taking lessons anymore. Or they have a keyboard, like me.

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  5. in most instances, folks pay someone to take the piano or organ away. GW Salvation Army prices reduced very quickly to $15.00-20.00..

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  6. Margie Conrad says:


    One of our Amish friends played his harmonica for us, what a treat…

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  7. A used piano in that condition will not go for nearly that much. It is missing its front legs, is quite an older model (note: only two foot pedals), and if it has not had regular upkeep, it will most likely be out of tune – sometimes beyond repair. A used piano in fair condition will go from $50-200 on Craigslist but for the work needing to be done on this one, I wouldn’t think they’d get much for it. And spinets, the style this one is, are the cheapest of models, as well. Hopefully the boys can at least get a little something out of it. A used piano is a great starting instrument for young learners that may or may not stick with lessons. (I recommend them to all inquiring parents – I teach piano lessons!)

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    • It won’t bring much…$25-$50……is generous,,,missing front legs,,,which can be replaced, only has two foot pedals for sound control..keyboard looks a little wrapped-no help for that except replacing the whole board..and for that cost..one could buy a better, newer piano…some key tops missing too…most important to look at..tell them..look at the soundboard…big wood harp across the back of the piano…is it wrapped, cracked> If it is…that is the heart of a piano….renders it useless except to have for a kid to pound on….also…should look inside at the strings..are they all connected, rusted..are they all there?Legs and keyboard are non issues…if the strings and harp and soundboard are good. Outside finish means nothing..that is easily fixed….If it goes for $100, I’d say take it…minimal exterier work….keyboard cold be do-able..just need to see that sound board and strings…cannot tune a piano without them be properly working….most tuners would not touch it….Where will it be auctioned and when?

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