Princeton piano dealer opens showroom for front-line workers to play

A piano dealer from Princeton has come up with a way to provide a unique experience for first responders as a way to say thank you.
Seated at a $190,000 Steinway concert grand piano, Lee Sandberg is a long way from the electric Yamaha that has been his only keyboard at home. And he says that mentally, at least, he is a long way from those days in recent months responding to COVID calls as a volunteer EMT with the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad and as a volunteer firefighter.
To help alleviate some of this stress, Jacobs Music Company opened its showroom to amateur pianists who also happen to be front-line first responders. It allows these first responders to play on the kind of piano many will never have a chance to play.
“Yeah, this is far and away one of the most-storied pianos that I ever laid eyes on,” Sandberg says. “Every now and then I’ll be able to sneak into practice rooms or backstage at an auditorium, I’ve been kicked off various pianos in hotel lobbies.”
“When the pandemic hit, most of us huddled at home to be safe. And not Lee. Lee runs to the fire, literally, and deals with sick people every day,” says Jacobs Music vice president Robert Rinaldi. “It’s the least we can do to give them the opportunity to play and express themselves on such a unique instrument.”
Music has provided comfort to many during the pandemic.
“It’s an experience where you can really find that peace despite the circumstances around you,” Sandberg says.
The owners of Jacobs Music say that any first responders who wish to play the pianos should contact them to set up a time to play.