Should Kids Do Sports or Music … Or Both?

Should Kids Do Sports or Music … Or Both?

When a child takes an interest in an activity at a young age, a parent is faced with a dilemma. Do you encourage they spend a lot of time with one activity, which can lead to a high skill level as they age? Or do you push your kids to enroll in several activities across the spectrum, exposing them to many activities and interests? 

It’s a question many parents ask themselves, especially when we see how dedication can pay off. No one would doubt the ability of Michael Phelps who started swimming at the age of 11. Or Yo-Yo Ma who performed John F Kennedy and Dwight D Eisenhower at the age of 7. Even Mozart was composing by the age of four. Should Kids Do Sports or Music … Or Both?

But while dedication to a single activity works for some, in general, many more face burnout and injury when focusing in on only one activity, repeating the process over and over again throughout development. Sports, in particular, can be a problem. 

When a child specializes in one sport early on, certain body parts are subjected to large amounts of stress. A pitcher may throw the ball hundreds of time. The spine of a gymnast is tweaked and torqued again and again. Football injuries are finally coming to light. 

Burnout is also a problem. When a child is pushed into one activity, it loses its thrill over time. It can become a tedious process rather than one of pure enjoyment, one that is designed to eliminate stress. 

And in many cases, the goal rarely lies with what the child wants. Parents see the light at the end of the tunnel as scholarships or even professional status which brings along with it fortune and fame. Whether it’s a child’s dream or the dream of his or her parents, it can quickly wane over time. 

The solution is not to curb a child’s participation in either sports or music, but to encourage a variety of activities that develop different skills and body parts. For instance, swimming can be a great activity for a young baseball player that hopes to pitch. Playing the piano can also help develop patience and focus. And because they all work together, your child will develop in more rounded ways. 

Just like we as adults look for ways to use everything we have in different ways, for young children it should be encouraged even more. It isn’t about putting a child on a narrow path for possible success, but instead sharing with them the love of being able to do whatever they chose to do. 


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 Succeeding As An Adult Piano Student

Tips For Succeeding As An Adult Piano Student

A child piano student has one distinct advantage for succeeding in learning to play the piano: a parent! As a parent, we gently nudge our children along to ensure they reach their goal. 

As an adult, life gets in the way. No one is standing off to the side, encouraging us to get things done. No one is setting the timer for us and assigning practice as a part of our daily tasks. 

It’s up to us and us alone. 

The goal of playing the piano is challenging. We all have dreams of sitting down and making beautiful music. But what started out as a dream can quickly become frustrating when you can’t play at the level you anticipated. Tips For Succeeding As An Adult Piano Student

Like everything, your goal of becoming a piano player is more than doable with a little planning involved. These are a few things adult piano students have in common. 

Long Term Goals

Why are you taking up piano in the first place? Are you hoping to carry your newfound talents into the future? Do you want to play for people or simply as a way for relaxing? Do you have particular pieces in mind? Work with your teacher to structure your long term goals into a timetable you can both reach out and explore. It will give you more patience and more focus, especially through the difficult times when you seem to be stuck in the process. 

Setting Up Piano Practice Routines

Like anything in life, the only way to become better at something is to work at it a little bit at a time. Consistency is crucial for long term success. Consider your daily priorities; where can you cut back to make the time for practice? Can you give up a group that no longer suits your needs? Can you shut off the television and invest a half hour into practice instead? Sometimes calendaring it is the best way to go, especially at the beginning. 

Practice Piano Well

Twenty minutes of quality practice is much better than two hours of mundanely striking the keys. Make sure your head is in the game every time you sit down to practice. Take a few minutes to stretch, reflect on the music, or simply listen to others playing as inspiration. Mindfulness is one of the best ways to become better at playing. Then sit down and concentrate on the music. Plan out what you hope to accomplish. It could be something as simple as perfecting a scale or a certain section of a song. Reward yourself for every achievement you make. 

Find The Right Teacher

As an adult student, you have many resources at your disposal. Finding the right teacher may take time and a little research, but it can mean everything to accomplishing your goals. Don’t fall into a routine, instead, talk with a teacher and ensure your needs are being met. Also look for someone who can incorporate all kinds of lesson plans into your schedule, from online to apps, to meeting in person. They should be willing to work with your lifestyle, not the other way around. 

What have you found helps you stick with your piano practicing routine? 


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

Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

As a parent, sometimes it’s difficult helping our children practice the piano. We want them to get better. To learn to love creating music and do it well. So we push. 

When they sit down, we listen for the details. We expect to hear warm ups – scales are usually in the mix. Then we expect to hear music. Possibly running through a song or two, or practicing a certain part. Over and over again. Practicing The Piano: Sometimes It’s About Reflection

We listen for it. We time it. We probe when we don’t hear what we anticipate. 

But sometimes there’s more to practicing the piano than hitting the keys and hammering out a tune. Sometimes it’s the introspect that makes a difference too. 

Imagine for a moment you’re making a fancy dinner for a special night. You’ve planned for this for days. You’ve shopped for the best ingredients. You’ve laid out the silver and china. You expect perfection. 

You add a little of this. Stir. Add a little bit more. It simmers. It blends. 

You take a spoonful and taste. You reflect. You determine it needs a little more of this. Or a little more of that. 

Reflection is a natural part of a cook’s repertoire. It’s something she does to ensure her meal turns out just the way she planned.  

The same can be said for a piano player. 

Music is something you create, you feel, and you hear. And each of those skills must be refined over and over again. 

Sure, you can practice several hours a day, beating out a tune over and over again. But what did you truly learn?

Instead, sitting down and feeling the music means the notes become an extension of who you are. That means understanding the music. That means feeling the notes. And reflecting on how you can put you into every step of the process. 

If you really want your child to love playing the piano and improve his or her skills, don’t just listen for the music. Ask about reflection. What does a song do for her? How does she feel it before she plays it? 

A little reflection can go a long way. It can help turn her into a lifelong lover of music. 


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 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