What Makes Piano Brands Different?  

What Makes Piano Brands Different?  

What Makes Piano Brands Different?  Baldwin
Hamilton
Chickering
Bosendorfer
Haessler
Kawai
Sohmer & Co
Pramberger
Schimmel
Steinway
Wurlitzer
Yamaha

Start searching online to find a good, reputable piano manufacturing company and you’ll quickly be overwhelmed by the sheer number of piano builders to do business with. In fact, in the last 200 years or so, there have been well over 12,000 piano brands in the marketplace. That’s not models … brands.

How do you know which manufacturer to choose?

How do you know which one is best?

And what’s the difference anyway?

Every piano on the market is made in a different way, in its own factory environment, using parts selected by a particular manufacturer. Some are made to be inexpensive alternatives; others are built by hand and designed to be collector’s items; true works of art.

But in all cases, a piano is as unique as the person playing it.

Pianos come in two styles: grands or verticals. Grands can be small to large: a small parlor grand can be 4’5” to a concert grand as large as 10’2”, while a vertical spinet can be 35” in height to a professional vertical at 52”. Choice is usually based on the size of the space you have to place your piano.

When making your selection, you are looking at the touch, or function of the action, and the sound. Each piano creates its own sound; some may be bright with lots of treble, others have lots of bass. Some may sound muffled while others may be vibrant with lots of voice.

It’s a personal preference. What sounds good to you? Because the better your piano sounds, the more likely you are to enjoy making music with it. Testing multiple pianos is the only way you can do that.

Are you ready to see how different piano brands sound?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

How To Structure The Perfect Piano Lesson

How To Structure The Perfect Piano Lesson

Is there such a thing as the perfect piano lesson?

The answer, most obviously, is no. After all, there are many approaches to playing the piano, both from the instructor and from the learners point of view. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another.How To Structure The Perfect Piano Lesson

Still, as a piano teacher, it’s important to structure the lessons you teach. It’s important to give your student a well-rounded approach to piano playing. And for most teachers, structure is a part of the deal.

A thirty-minute lesson will often include warm-ups, technical work, repertoire, maybe some piano games, even a little ear training. And it’s often structured five minutes here, five minutes there.

In some cases, that works. But sticking to that every day of the year can leave both you and your student feeling a little board.

Structure ever month differently

March can bring on anxiety from upcoming recitals. July can be relaxed and hassle-free. September can bring about new things, both from school and changing seasons.

So why structure your piano lessons in the same manner? If a student is overwhelmed and is focused on an upcoming recital, press structure in helping them with performance skills. If they are relaxed and in a vacation mindset, games and improv work can be a welcome relief.

Tie lessons to the student, not a training schedule

For teachers in a classroom, establishing one schedule to teach the entire class is a must. But if you teach one student at a time, your teaching plan can adjust with every student that walks in. Some students may learn best from playing games. Some students may be completely obsessed with repertoire. Find a way to capitalize on each of their interests and cater specifically to them.

Structure every lesson with excitement levels

There are only a certain number of things that can be accomplished in a short time frame. Instead of stopping and moving to another topic, take the lead from the student. Are they having fun with an activity? Let them do more of it. Are they bored? Move on. Never feel you “must” do anything. Do what works.

Look for alternatives all the time

When was the last time you tried something new? Have you grabbed a book to learn more about piano improv? Have you downloaded an app and tried a game? Learning the piano is always changing, always growing. Which means as an instructor, it’s important to change and grow too. Find new things that work. Eliminate things that don’t. The more you cater to the individual needs of your students, the more they’ll enjoy working with you.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

The 10 Best Piano Brands Ever

The 10 Best Piano Brands Ever

If you’re in the marketplace for a piano and you want to make a statement with the piano sitting front and center in your home, you want to make sure its one of the best piano brands on the market today. And after a little search time, you can find a short list of what people consider to be the best piano brand today.The 10 Best Piano Brands Ever

Surely names like Steinway, Baldwin and Boesendorfer would make the list. Kawai and Yamaha would likely show up too.

But what makes them the best?

Is it the piano itself? Is it the way its built? Is it the materials used? Is it the music it makes? Is it the reputation of the company?

Or is it all of the above?

Yes, to be considered “the best” is subjective at best. But there are things that each of the top contenders have that give them the limelight. And there are things you can look for in whatever piano you choose to purchase to make sure you are buying the best quality piano to meet your needs.

To be considered the best, the manufacturer should build each piano with the utmost attention to detail. Every piece should be chosen with care, materials selected to produce the greatest sound quality possible.

The manufacturer should emphasize both quality materials and attention to technology. Today’s technology can help scale a piano to meet exact specifications, including shape of sound boards, placement of bridges and ribs, length of strings and thickness of bracing, all of which helps produce the most amazing sound possible.

The manufacturer should spend its time developing the highest quality piano products for the market. In today’s world, that stretches beyond  acoustic, upright and grand pianos, and includes digital, portable, synthesizers and more. Pianos today have many functionalities to meet all kinds of demands. By understanding how to create the best sound possible in one category, many will take that knowledge and build it into something more.

The manufacturer should care about quality. You can find pianos built entirely by hand, with each piece meticulously handcrafted into place. You can find pianos designed for specific needs – from conservatory models to historical designs. You can find pianos whose name has stood the test of time, and who consistently evokes quality, value and excellence. You can choose a piano that will provide you with a lifetime of pleasure; an investment truly worth all of the time and energy you put in.

Yes, choosing the best piano in the industry is subjective. The list of the top 10 piano brands ever will change depending on who is creating the list. But the quickest way to find the perfect piano for your home or studio is to stop by our showroom and see all of the opportunities waiting for you.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Buying A Used Steinway Piano

Buying A Used Steinway Piano

For many musicians, they don’t own a piano until they own a Steinway & Sons piano. Steinway’s are arguably the most coveted pianos in the world. Owning a Steinway represents commitment to excellence, and offers musical enjoyment for many years to come.Buying A Used Steinway Piano

Because Steinway pianos can be some of the most expensive pianos on the market, many turn to buying a used Steinway piano when purchasing a piano for their home. But what should you look for?

A piano can be broken down into three distinct areas:

  • The body of the piano contains the soundboard, the bridges, the pinblock, the ribs and the strings
  • The action of the piano contains the hammers, the hammer shanks and flanges, the dampers, the repetition levers, the keys, the key tops and the key frame.
  • The casing of the piano contains the lid, the frame, the music rack, the key cover, the pedals and the hinges

Over the years, repairs might be made to bring each piece back into working condition. If a complete rebuild occurs, it would require all of the above to be replaced. While some rebuilders demand on using only Steinway parts when making repairs, other rebuilders aren’t as arduous as others and will use parts easiest to find. While playability is important, it also brings into question “is a Steinway really a Steinway if it doesn’t have Steinway parts”. It’s important to consider and to talk with the person you are purchasing the piano from to understand the originality of the piano you are considering.

Inevitably the search for used pianos turns to the Internet. And in many cases you’ll find a wealth of information on the piano forums. Keep in mind that these forums are filled with a mixture of people with interest in piano. You’ll find the homeowner who picked up a piano for free and considers any music to be an acceptable form of entertainment. You’ll find technicians and wanna-be refurbishers who make a little extra money on the side tinkering around with something they enjoy. And occasionally you’ll find a reputable piano expert that’s been in the business for decades – however these are few and far between.

The Internet doesn’t take into account the musicality of a piano. A photo can never fully tell the real story of the piano. Without interaction between you and the piano, you have no idea the true condition a piano is really in. Even something in “good condition” is subjective depending on the person making the claim.

The only way to purchase a quality Steinway & Sons piano is to visit your local piano dealer where you can physically hear and play a variety of pianos, and have a face to face conversation with an expert that values their reputation in the community, and will offer you the best advice about selecting the right piano for you.

Give us a call today to find the perfect Steinway piano for you.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Different Finishes On A Piano

Different Finishes On A Piano

Pianos come in a variety of woods.

One of the most common is ebony (often called ebonized), which isn’t actual ebony wood, but instead is an inexpensive veneer that has been painted black. While black may be considered traditional, it by no means is your only choice. Mahogany, cherry, walnut and oak are all popular woods. IDifferent Finishes On A Pianof you prefer exotic woods, you can find bubinga, rosewood, and many other styles and colors. And if you prefer color, you can find pianos painted white or ivory, or in some cases through special order you can find red, blue, or many other original colors.

In addition to the wood itself, you will also find a variety of finishes available. Pianos are typically finished in one of two ways – high polish (high gloss) or satin finishes. High polish produces a near mirror-like quality, where as satin will reflect light but not images.

You can find variations on satin finishes. Matte, which is completely flat, will reflect no light. An open pore finish, common on European pianos, provides a grainier texture as the grain is not filled in before finishing is completed. Semigloss is a finish partially between high gloss and matte.

While finish is entirely a personal choice, it is important to note that pianos finishes do take on different qualities, and therefore require different levels of maintenance. Satin finishes tend to show fingerprints more than do the high polish finishes.

Most piano finishes are either lacquer or polyester. A lacquer finish was most common for pianos produced from the early 1900s into the mid 1970s. Polyester made the scene by that point and has gradually taken over the market share. Lacquer finishes are often times considered more beautiful, but they scratch quite easily. Polyester finishes are more durable, making them a better choice in high traffic areas.

No matter what type and style piano you have, its important to care for it in the proper way.

The Three Biggest Tips For Caring For Your Piano


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Guide To Piano Brands

Guide To Piano Brands

Ready to buy a piano for your home? Like many consumer products, its not as easy as choosing the first one you see. There are many brands on the market, each offering its own quality and innovation.

But if you are new to the piano world, how do you know which brand to choose? Is there a noticeable difference? Is there a difference that you or the person who will be playing the piano will notice?

Many people dream of owning a Steinway piano. They sit in some of the greatest concert halls across the world. But in no way is that the only piano manufacturer out there.Guide To Piano Brands

  • Wm. Knabe & Co.
  • Baldwin
  • Chickering
  • Samick
  • Kohler & Campbell
  • Kimball
  • Pramberger
  • Remington
  • Wurlitzer
  • Seiler
  • Conover Cable
  • Niemeyer

Before you get caught up in the brand, ask yourself what type of piano you would most use first. You can choose a digital piano or an acoustic piano. With acoustic pianos, you can have an upright or a grand.

With all piano choices, your two most important factors will be sound and space.

Grand pianos take up the most space, and will need a fairly large square footage for its final resting spot. Uprights are meant to be placed by a wall and will take much less square footage than its grand counterpart.

If you have even less space, a digital piano gives you flexibility of being able to move your piano in an easier fashion.

Sound will ultimately depend on the style of piano chosen, and the quality of the manufacturing process.

Each of the brands provides its own quality and can provide you with years of enjoyment. By choosing a reputable dealer with many different styles, brands and selections, you can quickly learn what the difference is, and narrow your choices to select the perfect piano for you and your family. We welcome you to our store today.


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172