Do You Insure your Musical Instruments?

musical instrument insurance

Musical Instruments can range in price from a few hundred pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds. If you rely on your instrument for your living and it got stolen or damaged, could you afford to repair it?

What are the options?

1. Don’t bother insuring it at all and take the risk. Nothing is safe these days, especially if you are taking your instrument out and about and you need it to earn a living, how would you manage if it got stolen?

2. Try and insure it under your home insurance policy. This is certainly possible, under the personal possessions section, although if you are using it to earn a living such as playing in an orchestra, they may not want to cover you. There is also the question of how much it is insured for and it can work out to be very expensive.

3. The third option is to find a specialist musical instrument insurer and take out music insurance. There are a few out there, for example musicguard and, but I am going to take a look at

instru lineAlliance Musical Instrument Insurance

Firstly who are Allianz? Well they are a very large International Insurance Company and have been a leading specialist music insurer since the 1960’s. Over that time they have insured over 100,000 musicians from all walks of life.

However they don’t just provide cover for violins and trumpets etc. Cover is available to retailers, music teachers, DJ’s Studio producers and Buskers.

There policy offers the highest protection. They cover professional use, accidental damage, loss or theft. Cover is provided whilst in an unattended vehicle and there is no excess to pay in the event of a claim.

You can choose from UK or worldwide, or premise only cover and the settlement is new for old with depreciation covered as the result of a repair.

They offer one month’s free cover if you apply online together with interest free instalments.

Cover starts from only a couple of pounds per month.

If your instrument is your life, you should definitely get a quote from them. If you are not sure about insurance, perhaps the best place to start is thatsinsurance. They will also be able to point you in the right direction

The Boston Piano


The Boston piano brand is very popular throughout the world. The Boston is a relatively inexpensive piano that is suitable for all kinds of players. Despite its relatively low cost it is actually a top class piano.

Steinway & Sons Make the Boston Piano

The best piano makers in the world, Steinway & Sons designed the Boston. Obviously, the fact that they designed it helps people to trust the Boston brand.


However, their trust is not misplaced, Steinway ensure that the same level of care is applied to the Boston piano manufacturing process as is applied to the manufacture of their more expensive concert pianos. The materials used for the components are different, so the Boston does have a different sound, but this means that it lends itself to many different kinds of music.

The Boston was first launched in 1992 in an effort to ensure that everyone has the chance to experience the magic of playing on a Steinway Piano. It is quickly becoming Steinway’s best selling piano, with over 5,000 being made each year.

The Kawai factory in Hamamatsu, Japan and the factory in Karawan, Indonesia both make the Boston Piano and do so to exacting standards. Both factories are equipped with a state of the art manufacturing line that enables them to produce pianos relatively quickly without compromising on build quality.


In 2009, Steinway launched their Performance Edition Boston. This piano includes a grand inner rim made from maple, which results in a different tone that, as the name suggests, makes it more suitable for performances.

You can buy vertical Boston pianos in three sizes or grand Boston pianos in five sizes. Their versatility means that the best music schools including Aspen, Bowdoin, Brevard, Ravinia, and Tanglewood all use these pianos.

The Best Place to Buy a Boston Piano

To find the best selection of Boston pianos you need to find a Steinway dealer. Occasionally you will find a used Boston piano for sale. If you are lucky, you will find a firm in your area that will allow you to hire and try one in your own home before actually buying one.

Boston upright

Wherever you buy your Boston, you need to check the instrument. The best way to do this is to play it.

Think about aftercare and support

Try to find a firm or seller that can offer you a good aftercare service. Pianos are sensitive instruments that need to be taken care of. You need to have your piano tuned and cleaned on a regular basis, which is why buying your piano from a dealer makes sense.

Consider buying a used Boston piano

The fact that the piano has been on the market for over twenty years now means that there are an increasing number of used Boston pianos out there. Because they are solidly built they make a great first piano, so it is always worth checking out the classifieds to see if you can buy a second hand one. Sometimes people will give away a piano to anyone who will pick it up from them. They just need the space and want rid of the piano, so will happily give one away.

Joan Baez – The Protest Years


Joan Baez is not just a musician she is also a political icon. The artistry of her music comes second to her political conscience. Joan Baez uses music to communicate and promote important political ideals. She could be described as the mother of female singer songwriters she was one of the first women to have the songs that she wrote taken seriously and used by her peers.

She started her career as an activist in the 1950s after she heard Martin Luther King Jnr speak. They later became friends and she participated in many of the protests he organised.

First album

Her first album entitled simply Joan Baez was released on the Vanguard label in 1960. It was released after her fantastic performance at the Newport Festival the previous year. Surprisingly, it took only 4 days to record that album with some tracks being put down in just one take.



Joan Baez Vol. 2, released in 1961, was the album that truly lit a fire under her career. On that album, her crystal-clear soprano singing voice reinterpreted traditional folk tunes accompanied only by an acoustic guitar. The album got onto the bestseller list and made Baez a minor celebrity; it reached No. 13 on the Billboard album chart, and was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary Folk Performance category. The Greenbriar Boys played on two of the tracks on the album.

Volume 2

In 1963, she famously performed We Shall Overcome at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Throughout the rest of the 60s, she sang that song at several other protests.

Joan Baez 5 released in 1965 is the album with which she publicised the message of the Greenwich Village Movement. The album had far fewer traditional folk tunes on it than her previous albums. At this point, her protest work started to take over her life. In 1967, she went to prison twice and she was a frequent participant in anti-war rallies.

album 5

Joan Baez became the poster girl for protest songs, sadly this lead to her writing very little non-protest related work during the next few years. However, when you consider that folk music has for centuries recorded the struggles of ordinary people Joan Baez during that period was being true to the roots of folk music.

Joan Baez did not just protest against the war, she took physical action too. In 1972, she joined a peace delegation on a trip to North Vietnam. While there, she was caught up in the Christmas bombing of Hanoi.

Later she also protested against abuses of human rights by the communists in Vietnam. Joan Baez was instrumental in setting up the US branch of Amnesty International. In 2011, the organisation honoured her by setting up the Joan Baez awards.


Today, Joan Baez is still inspiring new generations to use music to make political statements. She still speaks up for those who normally do not have a voice and still tours with her protest songs still making up a significant percentage of her repertoire.

Why buy a Gibson Guitar?

gibson Guitar

There are several reasons to buy a Gibson guitar and every year thousands of people throughout the world do so. Gibson has been making guitars for over 100 years now. Orville Gibson sent up the Gibson Corporation in 1896.

At first, they only made Mandolins, but in 1919, they started to make guitars, which were becoming more popular, so represented a bigger market. The firm had the expertise to make guitars because from the start they made custom instruments including harp guitars.

A reputation for quality

Gibson has a well-deserved reputation for making good quality instruments. When you buy a Gibson guitar, you know you are buying a guitar that will sound good and that will last.


There are even a few Gibson guitars from the 1930s still in use today. The oldest known Gibson instrument is a harp guitar from 1906, so there is no doubt that instruments made by Gibson are built to last.

collection of gibsons

Affordable guitars

Despite being top quality Gibson guitars are far from the most expensive on the market. They represent true value for money. In addition, the range of guitars they sell is amazing.

A huge choice of guitar styles

It really does not matter what style of music you play you will find a Gibson guitar to suit you. As a company, Gibson has continued to innovate, so produces guitars with cutting-edge technology built into them.


Great support and aftercare

In addition, the support and after-care you get from Gibson is second to none. They still sell the majority of their instruments via an official distributor network. Shops and suppliers in that network all adhere to high standards of customer service.


Where to Buy a Gibson Guitar

Years ago if you wanted to buy Gibson guitar you had to find a music shop that was Gibson authorised dealer. Unfortunately, there are not that many music shops left on the UK’s High Streets and the same is happening in other countries. Fortunately, a number of official Gibson dealers now sell online.

How to buy a Gibson online

The fact that they sell online means that they are able to offer a wider range of Gibson guitars. By shopping online, you often get a better choice than you would if you went to a High Street store.

In addition, you are able to shop around and find the Gibson guitar you want for the best price. Those websites that are authorised Gibson dealers usually state this is the case on their website. If possible, buy your guitar from an unauthorised dealer that has a website. This will ensure that you are buying a genuine Gibson guitar and that you can benefit from their brilliant after sales service.

Taking care of your Gibson guitar

There is a big market for second hand Gibson guitars. The fact that they are well made makes them great used instruments. If you look after your guitar you will be able to get a good price for it when you are ready to buy your next instrument.

Folk Music and why they produce great live acts

Folk Music Produces Great Live Acts

People are moved by music that has soul. Everyone loves music, especially powerful music because it can uplift people.

For centuries, folk music has been the music of working class people who sing it to share their experience of life with the world. It has strong traditions that are passed from generation to generation.

Folk music with soul

Folk performers have strong feelings about their music and this comes over in the way in which they perform. Their audiences are uplifted when they see them perform live, which is one reason people enjoy live folk events so much.

A chance to sing along

It is very rare that you will go to a folk gig and not see the audience really engaged. Most people sing along and dance. This is the case regardless of the genre of folk being played or the age of the audience.

A huge choice of styles and genres

Another reason folk music engages is that a wide variety of instruments is used. This means that the melodies produced are rich and complicated giving folk music, especially live performances, a unique feel. This is part of the reason folk music appeals to such a wide range of ages and cuts across classes. People from all kinds of musical backgrounds end up getting involved in the folk scene because it gives them the chance to play their instrument in a different way and stretch themselves.

The change to get close to the band

Folk music is often performed at small venues giving the performance a very intimate feel, which audiences love. Even better is the fact that these small venues often come in the form of a pub, so the audience can enjoy a pint whilst listening. It is not unusual for folk musicians to perform off stage amongst the audience. For the audience this is engaging and makes it more likely that they will join in.

Good music and exciting dance

In the UK, many folk bands include dance as part of their performance. Recently traditional dance has enjoyed a renaissance because of folk bands touring with traditional dance troupes. The sound of the dancers’ feet complements the rhythm of the music and gives the whole gig an extra layer of energy and buzz. In fact, recently, clog dancing has undergone such a renascence that traditional clog makers cannot keep up with demand.

The best way to experience folk music

No matter what your background or your current musical tastes you will love live folk music. It is very different, but appeals to everyone. So next time you see a folk event advertised, why not give it a go.

If you are new to folk, one of the best ways to experience the genre is to go to a folk festival. There are many different genres everything from traditional folk to folk punk and a festival is a good way to experience the full spectrum. It is a great way to check out new bands, but is also a good way to see the big stars of folk like Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Ben Harper and Holly Near.

The Early Life of Van Morrison


Van Morrison was born on the 31st August 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland and was christened George Ivan Morrison. He and his parents lived at 125 Hyndford Street for many years. His father George was a shipyard electrician and his mother Violet used to be a tap dancer and singer when she was young.

Van the Man’s Musical Roots

She definitely had a strong influence on the young George and passed on her love of all things musical. The Ireland that George (Van) was born into had a rich music scene, which largely continues today.

However, his father was the biggest music fan in the family. Legend has it that, at one stage, he had the biggest music collection in Ulster. His father had spent several years working in Detroit, Michigan right when the music scene was taking off there, and came home with an amazing and eclectic record collection.

Van’s early influences


The young George, who started to be known as Van form the age of about five, grew up listening to Ray Charles, Solomon Burke and Jelly Roll Morton. He was exposed to music hardly anyone in Ireland listened to, which many say is why he stood out to the extent that he did when he started making music.

He told a Rolling Stone journalist in 2005:

“If it weren’t for guys like Ray and Solomon, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Those guys were the inspiration that got me going.”solomonburke

His father’s collection included music from a huge range of music genres including gospel, blues, jazz and country music. He even listened to and enjoyed early skiffle music.

The instruments Van learnt to play

At 11, Van Morrison learned to play the acoustic guitar. By the time he was 12 he was confident enough to set up his first band, which unsurprisingly, given the age of the members, was a skiffle band.

The sputniks

They called themselves The Sputniks after the Russian satellite. He was in several other bands, but at 14, he formed Midnight Special. They were a popular local band.
At that stage, he was hooked on the idea of learning the saxophone. Once he had mastered the instrument, he was asked to join a lot of local bands. There were plenty of drummers, guitarists and traditional instrument players available, but very few people in the area who could play the saxophone.

By that time, he was a good singer and could read music. He also played the harp, but it is not clear when he learned to do so. In no time, Van Morrison also learned to play the harmonica and keyboards.

george and the monarchs

AT 17, he set out on his first European tour. In Germany, he and his then band -George and the Monarchs recorded Boozoo Hully Gully with Twingy Babas as a B-side. It was not a big hit, but today it is a collector’s item.


The band disbanded as soon as they returned from that European tour, which meant yet another change of band for Van Morrison. In 1964, he finally found sustainable success with the band Them. They were formed as the house band for a new R&B club, within two years the band signed a contract and the hits started to come. From that point on Van Morrison was viewed as a star. He went on to form several other bands and have a long string of hits.