Is Music Therapy The Answer?

Is Music Therapy The Answer?

The more we use music in a variety of daily activities, the more value we are discovering it has in our lives.

A project out of the University of Cambridge is looking at the impact music has on a variety of things in our lives.Is Music Therapy The Answer?

Can music control your empathy and learning styles? Can the type of music you listen to and prefer be an indicator of how your brain thinks? Can your musical engagement show how you prefer to interact with those around you?

Yes.

Have you always seen yourself as an empathizer? Someone who has a good ability to tap into the feelings and thoughts of others? Chances are you prefer romantic, relaxing, unaggressive and slow music such as soft rock.

Are you a systems person? Have you always leaned towards sciences and math? You probably listen to music for the structural qualities of it. You prefer sophisticated music with a flair of a rhythmic beat, classical compositions, or traditional. Jazz.

These traits carry on throughout our lives.

More importantly, they can help us through the good times … and the bad.

Ever played or listened to music to relax after a long day of work? Or to help you study for a big test? Or to help you adjust to tragic news?

Music may be the key.

Have a child with autism? A spouse with depression? A mother with Alzheimer’s?

Music may be an answer.

We’re on the cutting edge of finding out the answer music has in our lives. The best way to benefit from all that is left to discover is to bring the joy of music to your life right now.

Has playing the piano been a lifelong dream? Why not make it a reality 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

How Playing Digital Piano Will Effect Your Skills

How Playing Digital Piano Will Effect Your Skills

How Playing Digital Piano Will Effect Your SkillsDoes your child have a desire to learn the piano? Is there a reason to choose acoustic pianos over digital? After all, if their dreams are being a part of a rock band some day, chances are they’ll be playing digital pianos for life.

But what about learning? Is there a reason to start with an acoustic piano? How will playing digital pianos effect your skills overall?

Right now, digital pianos are the best they have ever been. And digital pianos are reasonable substitutes for acoustic pianos. The new technology and lots of R&D have made high end digital pianos closer in sound and playability, and will provide a lifetime of opportunity. And in many ways, digital pianos make good instruments for a student to learn with.

  • They have metronomes built in, to help students learn and internalize time.
  • They have recording capabilities, that allow you to record and play back to review your accuracy.
  • They offer the ability to experiment. With all the different sounds and tools a digital piano will come with, it can keep a new student captivated for a very long time.
  • They offer a headphone jack, which means a student can play anywhere without disturbing those around them.
  • They offer music on a budget. A high end digital piano is more than affordable. And taking into account they don’t need tuning, it can provide you with a good investment for the months ahead.

While digital pianos offer many things, it is important to remember that there are certain things you will never be able to learn on a digital.

  • Digital pianos come close in emulating the sound and feel of an acoustic piano, it will never be as good as the real thing. If you want full control over sound quality and composition, you’ll only learn from the best – on an acoustic piano.
  • Digital piano pedals have not replicated the abilities of acoustic piano pedals. You won’t find the same gradations of sound quality.
  • Playing a grand piano is a different experience altogether. If you want to be classically trained and move into a professional status, you’ll have to learn on an acoustic piano. It’s hard to get into the same zone with digital as you can with an acoustic.

Looking for the perfect piano to bring into your home and begin learning the skills of playing piano? Stop by today. Compare your options. And decide on the perfect piano choice 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

Why Piano Wires Brains Differently

Why Piano Wires Brains Differently

Playing an instrument has many benefits. Science continually is proving the good that comes from introducing music into your life from a very young age.

But is there a difference between instruments? Does playing a drum have the same benefits as playing piano? Evidence is consistently showing that piano is different.Why Piano Wires Brains Differently

Piano is the ultimate instrument when it comes to skill. It takes two hands working simultaneously together while navigating 88 separate keys. A piano player can play up to 10 notes at a time, creating a mirage of sounds independently based on which note they press.

Because a piano player must use both hands equally, they have to overcome right of left-handedness. In most people’s brains, they invariably show domination on one side or the other. But in pianists, the higher the level of playing, the more demonstrable their symmetry is. Because they consistently use both hands equally, they strengthen both sides of the brain on a regular basis. Meaning they reduce domination in one side over the other.

The frontal lobe is responsible for decision making. It has a minor role in problem solving, language, and social behavior. Because all parts of the brain are more equal, each of these skills is called upon throughout the day. Pianists integrate all areas of the brain more efficiently, and can tap into spontaneous creativity when applying it to daily tasks.

When piano players play, blood pumps to each region of the brain more than average. It helps refine motor skills, making the entire thinking process easier. More blood flow means less energy is needed to concentrate. And more of what we do every day comes naturally. Like creative and purposeful interaction. Better communication. Better multi-tasking.

And the good news is it doesn’t matter when you begin. Give your child the gift of piano when they’re young, or take up piano as a hobby as you head into retirement. Either will give you every advantage of improving your brain.


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

So You Want To Play Piano In A Band

So You Want To Play Piano In A Band

Your teen has been hinting around they want to start playing the piano. It could be they want to play in a band.

Being in a band is cool. They envision themselves as the next member of Rolling Stones. But before they ever head out on tour, music has to become a part of their lives.So You Want To Play Piano In A Band

Playing piano in a band is different than playing for yourself. You have to rethink the way you play.

Rarely will you be playing things you learned, and instead will be making things up as you go along. You improvise. You invent.

Which means the art of playing comes to be. You start thinking as a “we” rather than a “me”. You have to compliment every other member of the band in order to create a sound that works together.

Because of the wide variety of sounds on a digital keyboard, they are often tasked with creating many different sounds. Learning traditional piano is important, but it also becomes beneficial to understand how to incorporate other sounds as well. The challenge is to play those parts as if you are the other instrument, not as if you are a solo pianist.

It takes training.

It takes practice.

If you are playing like a guitarist, you have to build chords like a guitarist. If you are playing like a horn player, you can’t play multiple notes at the same time.

You also have to be a better listener, a better ear player. Like any skill, the more you do it, the better you will become. Playing by ear is often called upon whether mimicking popular music, or creating new sounds. Chords come together and compliment each other throughout the song. As you listen to others, it becomes easier to implement your own ideas.

Is your teen ready to start up a band? The first step may be to get them into music. A quality digital piano is the best place to start. Stop by today and we can help you find the perfect instrument.


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

Is Your Piano Posture Correct?

Is Your Piano Posture Correct?

Is there an art for to sitting down to play the piano? Does it matter how you sit, what you sit on, and how you play?

If you want to play your best, and feel your best long after you get up from your practice session, the answer is yes.Is Your Piano Posture Correct?

Correct piano posture comes from a place where the functionality of your body meets the functionality of the piano. When both are at optimal level, you’ll create a beautiful sound with good technique.

Correct piano posture isn’t difficult. In fact, read through these elements once and you’ll understand the basic technique. The art comes from follow-thru every time you sit down to play.

Start with the proper state of mind
You should never sit down to play the piano because you have to. Instead, you should only sit down when you choose to. Relax before you play. Sit down and be happy to play.

Sit at the correct bench
Never pull up a chair or sit at a bench just because it’s there. A piano bench should be at the proper height. Make sure your elbows are aligned with the keyboard, or are slightly higher than the keyboard for more leverage. Place the bench far enough away from the keyboard so you have proper placement on the keys in front of you, with the ability to easily reach all the keys on the keyboard. Don’t use the entire bench; use only the front half.

Keep your back straight
You should never slouch when playing the piano. Keep your back straight, sitting with a dignified attitude.

Keep your feet on the floor
Never tuck your feet under the piano bench, or cross them in front of you while you play. You need stability while you play. Place your feet either on the pedals if you will be using them, or near the pedals for well grounded placement.

Keep your arms comfortable
Your arms are where the music comes from. If you tense up or use the wrong stance, you’ll feel it long after you are done with practice. Keep your arms relaxed. Keep your shoulders down and elbows a comfortable distance from your body. Keep your wrists flexible and without tension. Round your fingers and knuckles for easy playing.

If your piano playing posture is correct, you’ll feel good while you play and enjoy your practice more. You’ll protect your body from injury. And you’ll notice improved technique in the way you express your 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

Why Music Is Just As Important As Sports In School

Why Music Is Just As Important As Sports In School

Sports in schools gets a lot of press. And for good reason. Sports can improve self-esteem, teach kids team building skills, and keep them active for hours at a time. An important skill to have in today’s world with skyrocketing obesity rates.

Yet while value is consistently showcased on the positives of sports, the positives of music haven’t been as well publicized. And that needs to change.

Music has been a part of our lives as long as humans have been on planet Earth. Whether listeninWhy Music Is Just As Important As Sports In Schoolg, singing, or playing, music has the power to change our world. Yet despite the universal interest in music, many schools are doing away with music programs. Eliminating music isn’t just taking away an enjoyable experience from kids, it’s also taking away valuable life skills. Learning music is important on so many levels; to offer it to all kids from an early age brings a wealth of benefits not only to a child’s life, but also to the general population as a whole.

1. Music helps develop language and reasoning. Music makes kids think quicker on their feet, and enjoy exploring more about our world.

2. Music increases coordination. Playing an instrument helps kids develop hand eye coordination and improves their fine motor skills.

3. Music improves memorization skills. Even when using sheet music, a child must learn to memorize certain aspects of music to move along from note to note. This same skill carries over into schoolwork as well.

4. Music is a natural stress release. Whether you attend a concert, zone with your iTunes and favorite artist, or sit down at the piano to practice, the stress quickly begins shedding away as you hear your favorite melodies.

5. Music increases pattern recognition. Patterns are built into all STEM classes, including math and science. Music improves the skills of recognizing patterns and being able to apply it to the most complex tasks.

6. Music improves test taking skills and helps them do better on the SAT. Studies consistently show that children that participate in music activities do better with test taking skills, and SAT scores can be as much as 60 points higher on both the verbal and math portions of the tests.

7. Music builds imagination. Music, like reading, fosters a positive attitude towards learning and curiosity.

8. Music prepares for a creative careers. Employers no longer want doers, they want thinkers too. Studies show that music majors make the best medical students. And an education rich in music helps bring artistic expression to just about any job. That need will increase in our future as we face more complex tasks and higher growth into technology and the unknown.

9. Music teaches risk taking. Performing a piece of music in front of an audience allows a child to conquer their fears and take risks to prove how much talent they really have.

10. Music encourages self confidence. With encouragement from teachers and parents, students can take pride and confidence in the skills they learn.

And what’s most magical is these skills will continue to build over a lifetime. Music is something you can invest in as easily at 10 as you can at 100. And it will keep improving over time.


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

Why Are There Black and White Keys On A Piano?

Why Are There Black and White Keys On A Piano?

Some of the questions we receive about pianos surprise us. Yes, we expect the questions about choosing between a new and a used piano. Or how often a piano really needs to be tuned. Yet it’s certain questions that are unexpected, and the more we think about them, the more we realize how complex they really are. Take this one for instance.

Why are there black and white keys on a piano?Why Are There Black and White Keys On A Piano?

At first glance, one of the easiest answers would be that by combining the two keys, it makes the keyboard more functional. If there were only white keys, you would have to start at the bottom and count up to find the keys needed to begin and play a song. By adding the black keys, it gives you a visual cue or repeating patterns to help you stay on track as you play.

But that’s a simple answer. And as it turns out, there is a more complex, historic answer as well.

When you look at the keyboard, by combining the black and white keys, they are laid out in a repeating pattern of groups of two black keys and groups of three black keys. When played, the white keys form a C major scale in a series of half steps – two keys together, one key between. When you play the scale from C to C, you’ll have a perfect set of twelve pitches – all half steps – that create the perfect pattern for most of the music we listen to today.

If you use only the white keys, it gives you all of the notes of the diatonic scale, which means that by transposing to C major, you can play any major key melody using only the white keys. And in fact, if you head back to the 13th century, you will find that most keyboards were white key only, with no “black keys” at all. Most religious music of the time only used C major scale pitches, so it was easy to compose on these keyboards.

Music changed when it began separating from the church, and music became more improvisational in the process. Different scales were run, and experimentation begun, which started creating faster pieces of music that became impossible to ignore the key signature sharps or flats. When people began valuing having a perfectly tuned chromatic notes that could easily be played at higher speeds, the keyboard changed in order to keep up with the demands of the music being created. While experimentation has continued throughout the centuries, this became the perfect – or the standard – in all keyboards, and it’s what we still use today.

Have any other questions about how the piano works? We’d love to hear from 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

Quick Tips For Learning The Piano Keys

Quick Tips For Learning The Piano Keys

The very first time you sit down in front of a piano, it can be a little intimidating. With that many keys, how will you ever learn them all?

Chances are you’ve heard of middle C. Middle C is the C closest to the center of the piano. This is the key that keeps you anchored when you play. It’s usually about where you sit, and it will be an active part of the majority of your songs.Quick Tips For Learning The Piano Keys

Middle C is usually found under the brand of the piano located above the keys.

  • On a 61 key piano, it’s the 3rd C.
  • On a 76 key piano, it’s the 3rd C.
  • On a 88 key piano, it’s the 4th C.

The music alphabet runs from the letters A through G. A always comes after G, and begins the alphabet over again. And every letter to letter of the alphabet is an octave – A through G is one octave.

When you sit down and play an octave – A through G – the tone will never change. The range will sound different, and be lower or higher depending on the range of notes you play. But overall, you will hear the same tonal quality from octave to octave.

A piano’s black keys always form the pattern of a set of 2 followed by a set of 3. Find any set of 2 black keys; the white key in the middle will always be a D. From the D, you can move up and down the alphabet, filling in the letters.

The black keys from the sharps and the flats. They are a half way point between the tonal quality of a note. If you move to the black key to the right of the G, for instance, you will press the G sharp key. The black key to the left will give you a G flat.

Now that you understand what each piano key represents, learn to recognize them quickly by reviewing often, and applying it to the way you play every day.


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 Music Can Impact Your Health

How Music Can Impact Your Health

Music can have a profound impact on your life in many ways.

But study after study shows that music can go way beyond, and actually make an impact on your health as well.How Music Can Impact Your Health

Take, for instance, what some have called the Kenny Rogers Effect.

When people suffer brain injuries, such as strokes, when they listen to music while undergoing standard therapy, they fare better in their progress towards recovery.

Listening to favorite songs helped people perform better, and thus activated more therapeutic effects that lasted for the long term, helping them improve at a faster rate. While scientists tried a variety of music in a variety of genres, they found the songs that provided the greatest benefits were performed by artist Kenny Rogers, thus the Kenny Rogers Effect was born.

While studies continue to determine the long-lasting effects music has on the brain, other studies continue as well.

Music May Help Prevent Seizures
Seizures can be very damaging to the body. It has been shown that music by Mozart played on the piano has seizure reducing effect in the brain when played within five minutes of exposure. In some cases, it has also worked with patients in comas. While experimentation with other forms of music is still at a minimal level, it may be a reason to bring out the classical music the next time you sit down to play.

Helping Combat Parkinson’s Symptoms
Music is good for the brain, its been shown to be true over and over again. But what about the body?

Victims of Parkinson’s suffer from muscle spasms, locking muscles and problems with balancing. By using music therapy, it has been shown to resolve many of the physical issues faced by many victims currently suffering with Parkinson’s.

Have you ever listened to music – even music you don’t enjoy – and found your foot keeping beat to the music? Its because portions of your brain that deal with rhythm and movement are so automated, we require little thought to feel the beat. This movement isn’t handled by the same process we use to make other moves, such as walking up the stairs. Instead, the brain associates music with movement, and sends the movement signal to your legs. In some cases, music can trick a broken, unresponsive body into movement and action, and bring balance back into the lives of people that may have lost it.

Do you have any stories on how music has helped with the health of someone important in your life? With so much growing evidence showing the benefits of music, why not make it a regular part of your 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

How To Break Your Piano Practice Bad Habits

How To Break Your Piano Practice Bad Habits

We all have them with everything we do. We start out with the best of intentions. But something gets in the way. And soon, our bad habits stand in the way of us achieving the kind of results we’ve always desired.

Yes, I could be talking about anything. After all, how many of us really want to stick with that diet we started when fresh baked chocolate chip cookies are put in front of us?How To Break Your Piano Practice Bad Habits

When it comes to playing the piano, we all start out with the best of intentions. After all, the goal is to play beautiful music with one of the most versatile instruments around.

But like all great intentions, things can go array. And before long you may be finding yourself dreading practice, questioning why you ever wanted to play the piano in the first place.

Problems with practicing the piano usually fall into one of several categories:

  • Timing issues
  • Playing issues
  • Goals

Timing

Playing the piano means practice. If you don’t set up a routine to practice on a consistent basis, you will never improve your skills. One of the most common bad habits is not incorporating practice into your weekly routine. Its easy to “get busy” and have something else take its place. But if the piano is truly important in your life, the only way to make it happen is to practice on a regular basis. While it doesn’t have to be every day at a certain time, you should be able to carve out time every week. Once you find a routine that works for you, stick with it and make it a priority. When you see the results, you’ll be more likely to keep the pattern.

Playing

Many people try and learn piano on their own. They watch a few videos, read a book or two, or refer back to lessons they’ve had in the past. The problem with doing things on your own is you may not be doing things the right way. If your posture is wrong, it may be causing problems with your arm or hand movement. If you don’t understand the music, you may be playing with the wrong tonal quality. With every task you do, every new hobby you try, the only way to perfect it is through practice and critique. A piano teacher’s job is to give critique; to help you through the bad habits and turn them into good. If you’ve been stuck for a while, it may be a simple “a-ha” moment that can help you make a few leaps.

Goals

When it comes to playing the piano, is it simply to play a piece of music, or enjoy playing a piece of music? If your goal is to simply play it, the enjoyment may be lost. You practice to get the notes right, playing it through again and again to make it from beginning to end.

Music should never be approached in this manner. It doesn’t matter the difficulty of the piece of music, how many songs you can learn in a period of time, or how quickly you advance into difficult pieces. Instead, its about letting the music flow through you. When you “feel” the music, it accomplishes a lot. It gives you enjoyment, it takes away stress, it fills you with a sense of accomplishment. Take a look at your true goals; are they on target to enjoy the music you make? Do you have the things necessary to make this a reality?

Whether its trying a new song, or creating a new music room that will allow you to play to your full potential, without the right goal in mind, you may just be setting yourself up for failure.


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