How To Use A Metronome In Piano Practice

How To Use A Metronome In Piano Practice

Learning the piano isn’t just about plunking out a tune on the keys. Learning how to keep time and pace on the piano is one of the most important skills you’ll develop over time.

It’s also one of the most difficult skills to master.

That’s where a simple tool called a metronome can help.

A piano metronome is a small device that is designed to keep a beat at a certain timing. It’s used to help musicians play songs with proper time signature and at the right pace.

You’ll find today’s metronomes come in analog, electronic, or digital, each with their own individual characteristics.How To Use A Metronome In Piano Practice

The very basic analog metronomes are made of wood and use a small pendulum to keep time. They are sometimes best for a beginner because you can see and hear the tempo.

Electronic metronomes look like tiny radios. They sometimes can double as a tuning instrument too.

Digital metronomes are probably the easiest to find thanks to today’s technology. Look no further than your smartphone – there’s an app for that.

A metronome improves your musical abilities by helping you focus on your rhythm. While it’s important to know the notes of a song, it’s equally as important to know when and how fast or slow to play them. A metronome forces you to pay attention to time.

Metronomes force you to become a better learner. With a complicated piece of music, it can slow down the beat to help familiarize yourself with the music before speeding it up to its anticipated speed.

Metronomes are also great to help practice tempos outside of your comfort zone. A lot of today’s music is played in the standard 4/4 signature. But if you freestyle or play pieces using less common signatures, you can use the metronome to improve your technique and skills. Helping you become a better piano player overall.

Looking for a free metronome app? Here’s JoyTunes, a free app that is packed with a lot of different features. Even better, it coordinates with your Apple watch, making it always available to use.


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

Finding The Time and Place For Perfect Piano Practice

Finding The Time and Place For Perfect Piano Practice

Time. It’s something we all seem to never have enough of.

So we do what rises to the top and commands our attention. Until we collapse at the end of the day.

Whether you’re new to playing the piano or have played for years, finding the time to play can often be difficult at best. Did you know it might not be time that’s holding you back, but the quality and condition of your practice space instead?

If the piano is in the cold, dark basement, no wonder it feels like drudgery to make the time to practice.

Finding The Time and Place For Perfect Piano PracticeFind A Quiet Space
Distractions are a piano player’s worst enemy. If a child can see other family members doing other things, it can be a distraction. If an adult has access to hear a timer going off in the kitchen, or a mobile device dinging in the background, it can stop practice in its tracks.

Seclusion Isn’t Necessary
While quiet is necessary to keep your attention focused, it shouldn’t be so isolated that you feel concealed and forgotten. Instead of keeping the piano in the family room, maybe it’s better suited for the living room. Instead of the basement, why not try making a music room upstairs?

Keep It Private
Practice can be difficult, messy at best. It can be downright embarrassing as you stumble over the notes. If people are around and you don’t want them to hear your mistakes, you’re less likely to play. If you simply can’t get away, it may be time to invest in a digital piano with headphones.

Or Keep It On Display
Sometimes it’s nice to have an audience. That’s why many piano players invest in more than one. Nothing is more fun than having an attentive, encouraging audience nearby to keep them on track with practice and assignments.

Acoustics
Have you ever listened to music in dead space? How about high ceilings and an echoey room where the sound bounces around? Not a lot of inspiration as the music dies. If you don’t have the perfect space, you can create it with various soundproofing measure.

Create Inspiration
Piano playing lights up the senses. Make sure the surrounding area adds to the experience. A dingy room depresses, not inspires. Instead, add life to the room with color, artwork, plants, or flowers. Make it a room that welcomes you every day.

What do you love about the place you practice 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

Piano Lesson Myths

Piano Lesson Myths

As an adult, it can be scary to jump into something new. It’s that fear factor that holds us back from doing things that sound interesting. It’s that fear factor that prevents us from moving forward in a big way. 

Have you ever wanted to play the piano, but hold back because you’re nervous about taking one on one lessons? You’re not alone. There are many piano lesson myths we believe as a culture, and yet once you start, you’ll find your worries were for nothing. Piano Lesson Myths

“I have to start with classical music.”

The piano is often associated with the classics: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart. We assume that if we start in with piano lessons, we’ll have to jump right into the classics. Yet it’s simply not true. Studying music theory means gaining a full perspective of all music, including popular. The key is to enjoy playing – you’ll actually do more of it. While it is true that diving into classical will give you a more rounded musical education, ultimately it comes down to you, your goals, and enjoying what you do. 

“Children learn faster than adults.”

In fact, adults often have an easier time because they are more in tune with music. They’ve listened to different sounds for decades; pressing a note and seeing how they work together just makes sense. Children often become busier as they age, incorporating more schoolwork and more activities in their days. If you play as an adult, music becomes an important part of your life that you automatically choose to integrate into your days. Practice gives you an advantage, and when you are stronger at incorporating into your life on a regular basis, the concepts of music come quickly too. 

“I can never become really good if I start later in life.”

Again, it comes down to your goals. Will you practice one hour a week? Do you have the time to practice several hours a week? Do you have the desire to play for yourself, or do you see yourself on stage in front of a large audience? Remember, you have a lifetime of learning behind you. If you have the stamina from being a great athlete or had a career of working with numbers, you already have an edge in understanding music. That can quickly be moved into the way you play, helping you become better every day. 

“The more practice, the better.”

In reality, shorter practice times more frequently throughout the week will help you be a better player. Short bursts of concentration repeated frequently are much more effective than sitting down for one long session. Workouts tear down your muscles, both physical and mental. And if your fingers and your mind become tired, no matter how much you practice, the concepts simply won’t stick. 


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 Improve Your Piano Playing Without Lessons

How To Improve Your Piano Playing Without Lessons

Have you been taking piano lessons for some time now and feel like you haven’t made any progress? Or maybe you’ve reached a plateau and feel like you just can’t make it to the next level? 

Every piano player reaches that point. That’s not the point to become frustrated and quit. Instead, it’s time to start something new. How To Improve Your Piano Playing Without Lessons

Calendar Your Practice Time

It’s easy to let your practice schedule fall to the wayside. Instead, concentrate on making it a bigger part of your life. Schedule the time you’ll practice and play each week. Dedicate similar time slots throughout the week – every afternoon for 20 minutes when you arrive home, for example. Stick with it as much as you can. 

Create A Plan

Don’t sit down and play the same old thing. Instead, create a plan to help you move forward. What music have you wanted to learn? What would keep you motivated? The key here is to not only motivate you forward and help you learn new skills, but also to help you master old skills that may still be lacking. 

Improve Your Reading Skills

How well do you read sheet music? If you have been playing mostly by sight, or still feel weak in reading music, practice and understand concepts of musical notation. Learn advanced musical notations such as dynamics, tempo, key and time signatures, clefs, etc. 

Practice To Improve Finger Placement

Scales may seem a bit repetitious, but they are designed to help you find proper finger placement. Practice two or three scales as a warm up before each session, going up and down the scales at least five times. Ensure you stretch and feel each note to connect with it. 

Improve Your Musical Ear

Listen to slow, simple songs and attempt to hear the notes. Give them a name and see them on the keyboard. Then transfer your knowledge to the piano and attempt to play. Don’t worry if you’re slow at first. Just do a little every day, and you’ll quickly discover how well you begin to hear sounds and learn how to recreate them yourself. 

Practice Your Favorites First

Don’t stick with music you may have used during a lesson. Instead, scan the Internet or head to your favorite music store and buy sheet music that interests you. Then play these songs first to help strengthen your musicality. Steadily increase the difficulty of the pieces you select and play to help you become better at playing. 

Make Use Of Modern Technology

Have you ever done a search online for piano apps? You’d be surprised at how many apps exist that reference music. From sheet music, to metronome devices, to software pianos, to complicated games, to designing music on your own, you’ll find a variety of things that can hold your interest even when you aren’t sitting in front of the computer. 


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

8 Tips For The Newbie Piano Teacher

8 Tips For The Newbie Piano Teacher

Every piano teacher remembers giving their very first piano lesson. Nervous? Yes, just a little bit. Excited? More than anything. 

Especially in today’s world with so much vying for a student’s attention, it’s more imperative than ever that you dive into teaching with eyes wide open. But what does that mean? Where should you begin?8 Tips For The Newbie Piano Teacher

Tip #1 Start with a vision

Most newbie piano teachers have a goal of finding one piano student. And once number one is booked, the focus moves to number two. But have you ever defined what these students look like? What do you want your piano teaching business to look like five years from today? If your idea of a piano student is “anyone who wants to learn to play the piano” it’s time to redefine. Will you become an expert for retirees? Will you focus on children under the age of eight? Give yourself a specific target client, and you’ll have an easier time finding them. 

Tip #2 Continue with a plan

Clearly defining your students will help you develop solid plans. If you are working with adults instead of kids, for instance, you can begin building a strong plan to help them get into the music from day one. Keep things simple and focus on what you’ll do day one. Then move to day two. 

Tip #3 Take your time

Take your time and never rush things. You have years of experience; your student does not. Slowing down means they have enough time to truly grasp the concepts. You’ll know when they’re ready to move on. 

Tip #4 Be creative

Playing the piano isn’t just about striking the notes and hearing a tune. Playing the piano is all encompassing. Teach through improve, singing, playing by ear, stories, games – there isn’t a right or wrong way to teach and learn. Try things and see what sticks. 

Tip #5 Enjoy yourself

A student learns better from a teacher who is highly engaged and having fun throughout the process. 

Tip #6 Pace yourself

Going from 0 to 60 may be great when driving a car, but not in building your piano business. Never get overwhelmed with the number of new students you bring in. Bring in enough that it keeps you focused on helping the beginner and having resources to be able to engage them along the way. Then leave wiggle room to allow you time to read, reflect and plan all over again. This “grow, hold, grow, hold” method will help you evaluate and test, and make changes along the way. 

Tip #7 Don’t forget this is a business

If you’re doing this for a living, you have to make a living. Be sure to spend time on the things that matter to your business. You are a business owner; never forget it. 

Tip #8 Keep learning

We’re all in this together. You never stop learning, you simply find ways of transferring your increasing knowledge to those around you. Real and listen to others that have “been there, done that” and never be afraid to try something new. 


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

Piano Careers: Becoming A Music Therapist

Piano Careers: Becoming A Music Therapist

There’s something special about music. It relaxes us. It motivates us. It inspires us. It can take us instantly back to a place and time in the past. 

Every culture has a unique connection to music. Every person has a life interwoven with the music that has been introduced into their lives. From the time we’re tiny infants, we associate music with some of the best times of our lives. Piano Careers: Becoming A Music Therapist

  • Like a young mother singing softly to her infant.
  • A group of teenagers bonding over a song.
  • A bride and groom dancing and creating a memory.

That’s why music therapy is a growing field. This type of therapy can be used to help an individual that suffer from mental or physical ailments or disorders. All levels of musical experience are incorporated into music therapy, from listening to playing to writing. Music therapy has been found to help with illnesses and disorders such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • PTSD
  • Cognitive issues
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Seizure disorders
  • And more.

Music affects feelings and emotions. Listening to certain songs, for example, can bring a person back to a time and a place they remember fondly. And when you listen to the right song, it can have subtle effects on our bodies. For instance, the right music can temporarily lower blood pressure and heart rate. It’s also been found to cause the brain to release less cortisol, a hormone that has been dubbed the “stress hormone.”

Music therapists often start out their careers with a love of music. They’ve developed strong music skills early on, and music therapy is a great way to continue learning more about how it impacts our lives. Most start their careers with a degree in music therapy, though many branch out and grow with master’s degrees as well. 

Have you considered starting your child on the path to success with music? Piano lessons are a gift that can keep on giving for many years to come. 


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

All Children Are Musical

All Children Are Musical

From the time we’re born, music is an important part of our lives. From birth, our parents rock us to sleep, hum or sing softly to us as we sleep. 

Then as we age, we become more attracted to the rhythm of the beat. If a small child hears a song, they can rock and sway to the beat, flex their legs and arms as if dancing. They can even start singing themselves, especially if mom or dad is clapping along. All Children Are Musical

We emphasize music right from the beginning because it’s important in our culture. We incorporate music into just about everything we do. We wake up to it. We sing in the shower. We use it during our happiest moments – a bride and grooming their first dance together. We use it to cheer us up when things go wrong. 

And that starts right from the beginning. All children are musical; it depends on how much they are pushed as to how far they will go. 

There are two ways we incorporate music into our lives – we think music, or we practice it. 

We all become great at thinking music as we age. Can you start singing a song from when you were growing up? From preschool on, we hear songs, and they become ingrained in our lives. They transport us back to prior time periods. They trigger memories almost instantly. 

Practicing means actively getting involved in the process. For some, that might mean dance. For others, it might mean developing your voice or picking up an instrument. 

For small children, it can be as simple as clapping their hands together, marching to a beat, or picking up a spoon and hitting it on a pan. They “feel” the rhythm, and the more they practice it, the better they become. 

This expressive behavior can be encouraged as they develop, and deepened through music lessons that give them more structure to the concepts of music. 

Would your child benefit from learning the 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

7 Reasons Music Is Good For Our Brains  

7 Reasons Music Is Good For Our Brains  

Want to keep your brain healthy? Step away from the television. It’s even a good idea to turn the radio down. 

Researchers are still discovering all the ways music enriches our brains, but the impact is undeniable. We know now that music plays a big part in helping our brains stay healthy and connected. We’re developing therapies and enrichment classes around music because of the differences it makes in people’s lives. 7 Reasons Music Is Good For Our Brains  

It’s not just listening to it; it’s playing it. Taking an active role in making music. 

Playing the piano offers something for everybody. You can play whether you’re 5 or 95. It’s a form of enjoyment that lasts for life. Need a reason to bring the piano in your life right now?

Right Brain, Left Brain

Studies now show that when a person is involved in making music, the white matter between the brain’s two hemispheres increases. This means greater communication between the two sides, which can mean faster communication and a greater approach to problem-solving skills. 

2.Brain Function

More white matter also makes a person better at making decisions, processing and retaining information as you learn it. It can keep you on course when having to change based on mental demands. 

3. Speech Processing

Understanding the parts of music can also help you understand verbal communication on a stronger level. Both music and speech rely on the same neural pathways for processing, which means you may become sharper at language skills including reading. 

4. Memory

Making music helps increase your brain function, including the ability to remember. It allows you to store and use information for recall, which can translate to other activities and help improve your retention overall. 

5. Focus On Emotions

Tuning an instrument and learning how it works with other instruments can put you more in tune with subtle emotional cues of those around you. It can help fine tune your relationship skills. 

6. Increases Motor Skills

Playing an instrument requires stellar hand-eye-ear coordination. It can help musicians at all ages complete complicated tasks throughout life. 

7. Slows Brain Aging

Studies are showing that the more music you bring into your life, the more adaptable your brain is to the aging process. Speech improvements are made and stick with you for life. Even those who haven’t studied music for ten years or more still remembered more sensory information, including auditory, visual and tactile data. Studying music helps. 

What would learning to play the piano do for your life?


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

What Piano Teaching Method Is The Best?

What Piano Teaching Method Is The Best?

Heading online today can give you a world of information at your fingertips. It can also leave you confused.

If you’ve been searching for a piano teacher, you might have noticed some teachers listing their preferred methods of teaching. But what does it mean? And is one better than the other?What Piano Teaching Method Is The Best?

Over the history of piano playing, piano pedagogy has changed dramatically over time. During the earliest periods, only wealthy families could afford keyboard instruments and instruction from a neighbor or teacher. Students were often taught to curl their fingers like holding a small ball. Now we know it’s more important to teach with fingers curved naturally, softly rounded.

Other aspects have changed and developed as well. The following methods are some of the most common teaching methods you’ll find as you search for the right instructor.

Suzuki Method
The late Japanese violinist Shin’ichi Suzuki created the Suzuki method, which is one of the most popular methods, especially with small children. Suzuki believed that everyone could learn music in similar fashion to how we learn language. It’s all about learning from your environment. If the pedagogical steps are small enough and instruments are scaled down to a child’s size, through positive and encouraging environment, a child would naturally perform at very high levels. Primary criticism is that Suzuki focuses on memorization and group playing, with poor sight reading ability overall. Many believe Suzuki is good during early curriculum with developing other styles as you move forward.

Bastien Piano Basics
The Bastien Piano Basics is made up of five levels of learning – primer through a more challenging level four. They are filled with colorful illustrations and fun themes. Each level is correlated with theory and technique built into the same lesson. Critics say that emphasis through this method focuses on position playing which results in students lacking sight reading skills. Learners often focus in on music that adheres to the position of the piece as opposed to more challenging music.

The Music Tree
Frances Clark and Louise Goss created the Music Tree which emphasizes sight reading, rhythm, theory and interrupted reading. This means a higher recognition of distances between notes, helping prepare students for more real world music playing capabilities. It also helps students read music faster, which can help them develop higher musicality skills overall.

While these are just a few of the many different teaching methods out there today, it’s important to remember that teaching is fluid. As a player learns, it’s important to adjust to ensure a rich education overall.

What piano playing method do you prefer?


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

Tips For Teaching Piano to Adults 50+

Tips For Teaching Piano to Adults 50+

There are two approaches to teaching piano. The first is the pedagogical model, where teaching is teacher directed. Teachers choose what to teach and what the student will learn in logical step-by-step format.

The second approach is student directed. A student sits down and chooses what they wish to learn and approaches every lesson based on their desires for what to play.Tips For Teaching Piano to Adults 50

The second approach is often just what’s needed to keep adult learners engaged. After all, when an adult chooses to learn to play the piano, they have a pretty good idea of what they wish to play. Yes, they understand the need for some of the basics. But overall, they have a goal and a plan already in mind. They have their desires already laid out.

That’s also why in many cases adults over 50 are also easier to teach.

They have the most expendable income of any other age bracket – they choose to spend on what they most desire. That means a quality piano, the right accessories, and quality lessons.

They know what they want to learn. They may have a particular song in mind they want to learn.

They also have a better understanding of music. Even if they’ve never picked up an instrument before, they have years of experience in listening. They understand rhythm. They understand melody. And in many cases, it’s easy to “hear” that just by plucking a few notes on the piano.

When it makes sense, they become more interactive. They choose to play because they have the desire.

With older students, get them to play right away. Don’t introduce theory or basics in the beginning. Realize those will come over time. Instead, listen to what an adult student has to say. They set the stage for all that you can teach.

Also, don’t be too much of a stickler on proper finger arrangement. Adult students have a lot of experience in keyboarding. They’ve typed away at the computer for years. And in many cases, fingers will naturally fall into place, be comfortable to do what they need to do. You can adjust when difficulties arise in the future. But from the beginning, the most important thing is just to start playing.

What have you found helps your adult students to play?


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