Sarah Rose Smiley
The Piano Gal Shop is located in Sun Prairie.
New and used pianos. Sheet music. Piano-inspired furniture and art. Piano tuning. Lessons for piano and other musical instruments. The Piano Gal Shop in Sun Prairie is one of a kind, offering essentials needed by musicians new and experienced while tossing fun musical art and refurbished pianos into the mix.
Owner Marta Hansen, a native of Sun Prairie and self-proclaimed power-tool junkie, creates the refurbished piano art pieces herself, either according to her whim or as custom orders for her clients.
After the birth of her first son, Hansen left full-time teaching in the public schools to offer piano lessons out of her home, which ignited her interest to learn piano tuning in order to maintain her own instrument.
"I just really fell in love with the inside of a piano," says Hansen, who started to phase out the teaching and take on more piano tuning clients.
With those clients came various donated piano parts, leading Hansen to delve into piano art. "I got inspired to just make some things," says Hansen, whose first project was making a piano desk for her house.
Hansen's workshop currently houses an old upright she is in the process of converting into a breakfast bar. She also recently finished a baby grand piano bookcase for a customer in Madison.
The retail end of the shop houses smaller items as well, from clocks to jewelry to artwork, all created with some type of musical element -- whether it's piano parts or recycled sheet music -- handcrafted by local artisans.
More practically, Hansen's shop sells guitar strings, picks, shoulder rests, music books and sheet music for most instruments, especially geared towards local music programs and private lessons. The shop also houses a rent-to-own instrument service for students who may be trying out band or orchestra for the first time.
The shop also offers a line of pianos, Pearl Rivers, which Hansen says are a good fit with a middle-class budget. "My goal is to get a piano in every house... like in the '50s," she says.
Hansen is also still tuning pianos, making service calls around Dane County. And while she no longer offers lessons herself, she has a list of referrals and is happy to help customers find a teacher.
Hansen's main goal is customer service, like special-ordering music or books for a customer and waiving the shipping costs.
"I want to be a one-stop shop and provide what the community needs," says Hansen. "That makes me feel good, and it brings customers back in."
Piano Gal Shop
395 E. Main St., Sun Prairie
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-3 p.m. Sat.
Tunings and other services by appointment