The New Old-School – Daynes Music Company

This article is about an old-school piano dealer that has adopted computer technology, lasers, all interfaced with traditional acoustic pianos.

The New Old-School

Daynes Music is an old-school piano shop. It has been selling high-end pianos in Utah since the mid 1800s. But selling high-end gear in a down economy is no easy task.

So what’s an old-school shop to do? Embrace technology, of course.

Untapped GoldmineSkip Daynes, the fourth-generation owner of Utah’s oldest music store [one of the oldest in the Nation], has found a way to move his instruments at a tremendous clip, despite the fact that his normal customer base — well-to-do types who like expensive toys — has diminished somewhat. He uses PNOscan, a small optic sensor from Story & Clark and QRS Music that turns a “regular” grand piano into a USB-equipped teaching tool when installed under the keyboard.
Daynes explained that even Story & Clark and QRS hadn’t realized the full potential for the technology for retailers. “We’re the only ones who know how to do it,” he said.

All of the pianos at Daynes Music are now equipped with the device, which connects to a laptop, such as a MacBook Pro ® that sits right on the piano’s music desk. And Daynes Music’s familiarity with the technology has let them tap into a whole new market: Utah’s schools. Rather than trying to sell pianos to school systems, Daynes offered PNOscan as a versatile music-type product that can be used in computer labs to help kids learn music with their computer lessons.

Schools liked the idea. Many ended up buying the PNOscan system — and the pianos that came with it, too.

“We have sold as many as 20 units in one day,” Daynes said. “Now, we’re looking at putting five pianos in every school in Utah. And there are over 1,000 schools in Utah.”

Not bad for an old-school piano shop.
Andrew Greiner
December 2009