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Music stores hope to boost piano sales back up

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FARGO—At the peak of piano sales, in the early 20th century, more than 360,000 pianos were bought every year.

30,000 were sold in 2016.

Schmitt Music and Concordia College are hosting their annual piano sale, a portion of the proceeds go to the college's music department.

"Why pianos? Well, it's a perfect fit for a music school." Peter Haberman tells us.

The sale may be a new twist on fundraising but some are worried pianos are a business that may be dying.

"But interestingly enough, the same amount of people still are learning how to play piano." says Duane Norton of Concordia Piano sales.

Sales for these acoustic instruments have been declining for years.

Music shops say one reason is affordability.

"Grand piano can cost anywhere up to $100,000." Duane tells us.

Another reason is people are choosing the smaller, cheaper digital keyboard.

To attract a new audience, piano manufacturers are trying to bring their centuries old work, into the 21st century.

Steinway wants is revitalizing the piano buying industry with Bluetooth and an iPad.

The Steinway Spirio is an automatic player piano that allows someone to choose from hundreds of songs on an app and watch the piano play the song as if the pianist was there.

The goal is to spark another generation of music lovers.

That music stores say is worth any price tag.

Last year they sold 20 pianos at the sale.

Items are up to 35% off and range from electric keyboards to $100,000 dollar Grand Pianos.

The Piano Sale will be in Concordia's Music Building on Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday from noon to 5 PM.

Cassandra Rohlfing

After working part time at WDAY-TV during her college career, Cassandra – who goes by Cassie, joined the WDAY news team full-time in January as an Online Editor/Weekend Producer. She switched over to Reporter/Multimedia Journalist in June and is excited to work on stories you want to see!  She was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, ND and is part Turtle Mountain Chippewa. Cassie graduated from  North Dakota State University in December of 2015 with a degree in Journalism, and an emphasis in Broadcasting. Cassie bleeds green and gold and is an avid Bison Football fan who attended every home game in her college career, thanks to being a part of the Gold Star Marching Band. Her hobbies include binge watching TV shows on Netflix, attempting to work out, and getting outside when she can. If you have any questions/story ideas feel free to email or call. 

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