When I was a school girl I liked going on class trips. Those trips meant leaving the confines of the classroom to take learning out into the wider world. For me, learning in the classroom sometimes felt like I was wearing an ill-fitting thinking cap. On the other hand, learning on a class trip meant letting my hair down (or in my instance letting my hair up and out). It was freeing and fun.
Recently I had a class trip type experience. My work colleagues and I took a Steinway & Sons Factory Tour. In our work, we tell the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The narrative is multifaceted; with emphasis on urban industrial innovation, artistry, craftsmanship, and workforce diversity. Steinway and Sons has a similar story. Taking the Steinway & Sons Factory tour was a great way to learn about and learn from another torch-bearer of urban industry.
Here are a few photos taken with my cellphone. Please note, due to safety concerns, we were directed not to take shots in areas where employees were working with dangerous equipment.
The process of handcrafting a Steinway piano is amazingly complex. A variety of woods, sourced from around the world, is painstakingly worked by the skilled hands of craftsmen from around the world. Raw materials and human mastery in concert; resulting in instruments that can be found in the finest concert halls in the world.
The building of a Steinway is a big story; a story beyond my writing skills; a story best seen. I encourage you to watch the documentary Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037. The film follows the “birth” of a Steinway grand piano and features Steinway employees and famous musicians.
Additionally, below is a YouTube clip of The Making of a Steinway – A Steinway & Sons Factory Tour Narrated by John Steinway.
I consider opportunities to learn, work and play a windfall. The only thing missing from this class trip was the yellow school bus.
- Steinway & Sons Louis XV Style Gold Piano on Auction (extravaganzi.com)
- Steinway Sells Stake in Flagship Building (theepochtimes.com)