The last time that the piano was one of the best selling musical instruments in the world was the early 1900s, when over 360,000 were sold. Current statistics have piano sales annually at less than 50,000. Instrument makers and the stores selling them have declined so drastically over the past decade that many retailers selling pianos specifically have had to close up shop.
Music teachers, consultants, and industry experts all reference the change in youth interests as well as technology for reasons in the shrinking of the market for piano sales. Children are involved in so many activities from youth sports to video games that don’t require the discipline needed in practicing an instrument. Those young people who do take up instruments, even for piano, are opting for less expensive options and keyboards that don’t take up as much space.
Music specialists and educators agree that the piano offers one of the best ways to teach new students about instrumentation, music theory, and reading music. Several instrument makers and retailers are pushing for new methods of bringing some form of the instrument to young people interested in music to keep the legacy of the piano going. Families engaged in music education is the key to keeping the piano alive as an instrument of the future.