The girls practice on an old piano we inherited from my Grandmother. Before it found a home in our place, the piano spent some time in the neighbor's living room on loan. Our girls were too young for it and their daughter wanted to take lessons. It all worked out.
When we go the piano back, our neighbor said, "You know, we never did get it tuned up. Amanda decided to change instruments almost as soon as she started piano lessons."
The girls have been practicing for months on a piano so out of tune you can really only use one octave. For their songs to date, that's been enough.
Recently, the blond twin started playing a song that requires her to move up and down three octaves. What song, you ask? Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. It turns out this simple children's song is actually pretty complicated to play.
Now we have to get the piano tuned up. Given that the piano hasn't been tuned up in at least 20 years, I'm guessing it will be a lengthy, expensive process. We have a couple of keys that don't even work.
The good news is the first tuning should be the worst -- after that it's all about maintenance and keeping the piano clean. At least that's what I've been told and I choose to believe it, even if it's not true.