1. Many North Texans Enjoy Spacious Homes
There is a good reason why the Metroplex is spread out. North Texans love their space! Although I was not born in Texas, I too have come to love spaciousness and the large lot sizes of many of Dallas homes. Many new constructions in the DFW area have a floor plan which includes rooms on the first floor of the home that are perfect for music rooms. An ideal music room will have doors that can be shut to allow the player to concentrate on the music and to feel less self-conscious during practice sessions. These rooms can also provide space to create a small library of music where you can organize and collect repertoire. Having an organized music library is very beneficial for students and allows more rapid progress.
2. An Appreciation For Texas Tradition
I appreciate that many Texans have an appreciation for tradition and want to preserve and maintain the pianos that belonged to parents and grandparents and even to pass these instruments on to the next generation. As a piano technician and restorer of fine pianos, family piano restoration projects are by far the most satisfying work we do. Although so much of our consumer culture has evolved into a “throw-away and buy something new” attitude, for many the piano remains something from past generations that is worth restoring and preserving. Good quality grand and upright pianos can be just as good, if not better for young students and amateur pianists if properly cared for. Not only that the connection and purpose that young students will feel playing their grandparents piano can be truely inspiring.
Pianist and singer Bobbie Nelson (Willie Nelson’s sister) in the studios of Atlantic Records for a Willie Nelson recording session in February, 1973 in New York City, New York
3. Top Quality Music Education
North Texas public and private schools are consistently some of the best in the nation for music education and the arts. As a piano tuner I have the opportunity to work in many Texas schools, both public and private. I am always impressed by the educational environemnt and by the quality of the instruments available to students. After secondary school there are a plethora of options for world class higher education in Music in North Texas. We have Southern Methodist University which host the junior Van Cliburn competion, Texas Christian Universty, University Of North Texas and many more that are renowned for their music education.
All this great music education means there are many wonderful, talented and conscientious piano teachers in DFW. The Dallas Music Teachers Association is a great resource for finding piano teachers. They have many events, masterclasses, seminars and competition throughout the year that are great for students to work towards.
4. Dallas Is A Hub For The Piano Industry And Is One Of The Best Retail Piano Markets In The Country
There is no doubt that the Dallas-Ft. Worth piano market is strong. Steinway Hall, Metroplex Piano, Collora Piano and other quality retailers have attracted a lot of talent in the fields of piano technology and piano sales. Some of the best piano technicians and piano sales people have settled in DFW because this market has the potential to nurture rewarding careers for many of us. I personally moved to Dallas because I was offered a position at Steinway Hall. It was challenging, rewarding and provided me with an education in the industry that you just can’t find anywhere else. I improved significantly as a technican thanks to my experience and time working at Steinway Hall. Some of the best in the piano sales industry have left markets, like New York and Los Angeles, long considered the best, in Favor of the opportunity to work in Dallas.
Because there are many new pianos sold in Dallas it also means that there is an excellent used piano market. You can find great quality used pianos in DFW but, as alway, I highly recommend having a piano evaluated before purchasing used.
5. The Van Cliburn Competition
Of course I have to mention the Van Cliburn Competition. Held every four years in Ft. Worth, this competition has become on of the worlds premier piano events. Winning the first Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War in 1958 brought Van Cliburn unprecedented celebrity for an American concert pianist. That history and tradition has inspired countless North Texas students of the piano and firmly placed Dallas-Ft. Worth on the map of classical music destinations.