Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Child A Portable Keyboard For A Gift

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Child A Portable Keyboard For A Gift

It happens all the time. Well-meaning parents purchase a portable keyboard for their child as a gift, choosing to see if their kids will “stick” with piano before investing in something bigger. 

And so a child tinkers with it for awhile. They may even stick with piano apps or online instruction for a few months. And then things start to change. 

Nobody wants to invest thousands of dollars into something a child will push away from quickly. Most parents are willing to support their child’s hobbies – as long as they remain serious about moving forward. Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Child A Portable Keyboard For A Gift

And that’s where parents go wrong. 

Initial interest alone will not help mastery over a subject matter. You can’t pick up a book in a foreign language and expect to read it the first time you open the cover. It takes time, help, and experience to develop true musical talent that turns into a lifetime skill. 

You also can’t learn with something less than 100 percent. 

Ever picked up a foreign language app, a game that has you saying a few words in certain orders? You may pick up a word here and there. But can you really communicate in the foreign language if you were to step off a plane in that country?

Full immersion is the only way. 

The proper practice instrument is critical to success. Without the right tools in place, your child will never pick up the nuances of proper playing technique. 

And a portable keyboard isn’t a tool – it’s a toy. 

Studies show that over 80 percent of all students who start playing piano on a portable keyboard quit piano in the first year. That plays into parents’ fear of not investing money unless their child is serious about it. Unfortunately, their child never had a chance to enjoy making music because they never learned on a proper playing piano. They have:

Incorrect key action – there is little resistance when the keys are played. If she perfects a song on a keyboard and attempts to play it on the real thing, she’ll struggle. 

Not enough keys – most portable keyboards have 61 or 76 keys, compared to 88 keys on a piano. 

Keys aren’t full sized – they are often built on a small scale and don’t have the same reach or feel as a full size piano.

No pedal  – students begin using the sustain pedal in the first year of lessons. 

If you want to give your child the gift of music, ensure they have the ability to fall in love with it from the moment they bring it into their lives. 

Look at your options. A combination of an acceptable practice instrument, a compatible teacher, and family support can give your child an above average chance of making a full commitment to playing the piano. And turning it into a lifelong skill. 


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 Learning To Play The Piano As An Adult Can Teach You

What Learning To Play The Piano As An Adult Can Teach You

Most of us were taught music in some format as a child. Maybe you sang in the musical at school. Maybe you picked up an instrument to play in the band. 

But then life got busy and your attention turned in other directions. You still love music, but a musician you are not. 

That doesn’t mean it can’t change. You can still pick up your musicality at any age. 

Before you begin, set your goals from the beginning. As adults, goals help us stick with it, even when we get busy or stressed. Do it to:What Learning To Play The Piano As An Adult Can Teach You

  • Challenge yourself. Use piano practice as settling into a routine that can benefit your life.
  • Do something new. Learning music is easy no matter what your age. No athletic ability is necessary.
  • Play what you love. You don’t have to play the classics. Why not play music from your favorite band?

Goals can include things like:

  • Passing certain levels: a piano teacher can help set realistic goals for moving through different levels of instruction.
  • Improving your knowledge: take a trip through the ages by combining history with classical music lessons.
  • Playing a specific song: want to take your Guitar Hero to another level and play it just like your favorite musician?

Piano is difficult. It requires you to think in ways you’ve never had to before. You have to interpret music. You have to keep tempo. You have to variate speeds and sounds. You have to work both hands independently of one another. 

Oh, and you have to ensure the end result actually sounds good. 

But as you work at it, as you improve, you discover new things about yourself. You discover your creative side. You discover your imagination. You discover your ability to stick with a plan. 

And you’ll discover the music inside of you too. 

Looking for a new challenge this year? Maybe it’s time to pick up the piano. It’s something you’ll enjoy the rest of 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

Piano For A Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul

Piano For A Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul

Have you ever noticed that when a piano is in the room, we’re naturally drawn to it? Children of all ages will wander over, put fingers to the keys and start tapping out a tune. 

As humans, we have an innate ability to transfer our love of music down through our fingers and onto the keys. While we may not master the art of playing Bach at our first sitting, everyone can tap out beloved songs like Twinkle Twinkle or Chopsticks just by touching the keys. Piano For A Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul

For some of us, we choose to continue that love and play throughout our lives. When your fingers reach for the keys and music fills the air, it can be a release like no other. Piano has been proven to help you decompress after a busy day, relieving stress and helping you relax. Piano can be the perfect solution for creating a healthy mind, body, and soul. 

Mental

When you sit down and play the piano, your mind drifts to the task at hand. You focus in on the work your fingers are performing, listening carefully to the music being created. That problem you had earlier in the day simply drifts away. 

Piano is a creative activity. It brings out your imaginative talents and helps break monotonous routines. And because it engages various senses throughout your body, it helps keep you mentally fit. Studies show that piano players have higher IQ levels, perform better on tests, and have less memory-related challenges. It’s truly a great activity no matter what your age. 

Physical

Keeping the mind in top condition invariably leads to keeping you physically fit as well. A mentally relaxed person is less stressed. That means muscles and ligaments are more relaxed. 

A stressed person often has anxiety built up inside. As that starts fading away, it can reduce the pressures throughout your body, including reducing your heart rate and respiratory conditions. When you are in touch with your creative side, it impacts your immune system and gives you the mental capacity to try new things. 

Inner Peace

When your mind relaxes and your body feels good, you’ll be more likely to find inner peace. Playing a song well can give you satisfaction at a job done well. It can help you leave your cares behind, and give you a new outlook on life. 

Whether you are just starting out or have played the piano for years, don’t just think of it as making music, think of it as a release for your soul. Playing piano is the perfect way for you to stay healthy, mind, body and soul.


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

Should You Enter A Piano Competition?

Should You Enter A Piano Competition?

What do some of the best piano players in the world have in common? They all have participated in piano competitions throughout their careers. 

Competition is often what drives humans to succeed. It has a way of making you into a better piano player by allowing you to see how well you stack up against others with the same drive. 

It puts pressure on to practice

The biggest benefit is it gives you a reason to keep up your practicing skills. You’ll have a clean and concrete deadline in front of you to motivate you into action. Knowing strangers will be watching and listening is often a very good motivator to keep you focused over time. Should You Enter A Piano Competition?

It gives you performance experience

Getting up in front of an audience is one of the most widely feared activities. While most of us dread the opportunity to speak in front of a large group, playing can increase your fears. It’s nerve-wracking to be in front of judges, but it also can be exciting. The more you participate, the more you learn how to control your fears. And that can have an impact in all areas of your life. 

It can give you more self-assurance

You have to be self-assured to enter a competition. Your self-assurance will build the closer you get to competition, and with the more competitions you enter. It’s not the outcome that matters most, but your ability to put your actions into place to do what’s necessary to get there. That kind of attitude can open up the world to you by teaching you to say yes to more things. 

If can introduce you to new people

By attending competitions, you’ll be introduced to other musicians, judges, and other people in the industry that can influence your piano goals and desires. Even if you don’t necessarily plan on pursuing piano professionally, you may be introduced to ideas you’ve never considered. Some consider it a great way for being referred to a gig, or finding a group of musicians to jam with from time to time. 

Want to get involved in piano competitions this year? We can get you started with a few links to piano competitions around the world:

 

Do a quick search for your local area. Or check with your instructor to find competitions near you. Don’t worry about how big or small they are when you begin. In the end, it’s about finding a way to reach your personal best. 


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

Recording Your Keyboard on Your Computer

Recording Your Keyboard on Your Computer

Your child is excited about the opportunity of transferring their music from a keyboard to the computer. They’re ready to make music and share it with the world.

But what does that mean? Do you have all the pieces you’ll need to record the notes played on a keyboard over to your computer?

Let’s get one of the most common confusions out of the way. Many people confuse the difference between making a MIDI connection from their keyboard, and actually recording live sound.

A MIDI interface will only transmit your performance data. This MIDI information can be used to play software instruments on your computer, but is not a recording of the sound.Recording Your Keyboard on Your Computer

Instead, if your keyboard has a USB-MIDI connection, you are set to go. Otherwise, you’ll need an interface with MIDI and Audio to make the connection. If you can connect your piano or keyboard to your computer via a USB port, then in most cases this will be the only connection you’ll need.

To record your keyboard, you connect the line output signal from your keyboard to a suitable audio interface. Then connect that interface to your laptop, desktop, iPad or smartphone. And that’s it! Simple, right?

Let’s go through the process to ensure it’s set up correctly.

Step 1: Where is the sound coming from?
Your keyboard may have speakers. But to record, you’ll need to find the line level output. Check the instruction booklet that came with your keyboard. It may be labeled “aux out” or “line out.”

Step 2: What device will you record on?
The audio interface is simply the box you need to take the sound from your keyboard and convert it into a digital sound transmittable into your computer. Be sure you purchase a device suitable for your needs – you don’t want one that connects via laptop if you’ll always be working with your iPad.

Step 3: Choose audio interface
You will need an audio interface to make a quality recording of your piano. There are hundreds online, so the critical components are that it must have two line level inputs. Without line level inputs you will not have a good recording when you are through.

Also, consider what else you want the interface to do/ Record vocals? Be sure you have a mic input. Record a guitar? Make sure the interface has an input suitable for directly connecting the guitar.

Step 4: Connect the cables
This is where it helps to ask an expert. They can ensure you have the right cables for the right connections. If you don’t have the right cables, your sound won’t be high quality as you input it into your computer.

Step 5: Software
Don’t get too hung up on software in the beginning. Many audio interfaces come with recording software, and that’ll be fine in the beginning. There are also plenty of free or inexpensive apps. Audacity is free and excellent on both Macs or Windows laptops. You can also use Garageband.

Step 6: Play with the results
As you record, listen to the recordings through the interface. You can plug in your headphones or listen through the speakers on your monitor. Remember that the sound quality is only as good as your equipment. Upgrade as you see fit.

Are you ready for a new keyboard?


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

Are You Ready To Book A Studio?

Are You Ready To Book A Studio?

Is your budding musician ready to move to the next level? Have they been asking for a way to record their music?

While some will be content to record their music from home, others will want to experiment with recording in ways beyond home spatial and technical means.

While every piano player envisions themselves being the next Bach or Beethoven, there are many steps between playing the piano for fun and creating a recording that can be shared with the public.Are You Ready To Book A Studio?

Am I ready?
The most important question to ask in the process is: Is my music ready? Do you have the ability to complete the songs in a high quality way? A music engineer can’t fix being out of tune or not having perfected arrangements. They can’t help you finish writing a song. Their jobs are to help edit and process it into a final arrangement.

What are you trying to achieve?
The first thing an engineer is going to ask you is what your objectives for the studio are. If you are paying money to create something, you should know your ultimate goal. Do you want a single or an entire album? This can also help you select the right studio for your goals. Have they worked with other artists like yourself? Can they provide resources to help you accomplish your goals? The more you know going in, the better fit the studio will be.

Do you have the resources?
Studio space is expensive. If you don’t have realistic expectations, you might blow your budget long before you get your final results. A good studio will help you create a realistic budget and help you move along on schedule. Be sure you understand the process and how you’ll proceed if things go off track.

Do you have the right equipment?
Is your piano in tune and recently serviced? There’s no excuse to enter a recording session without having instruments playable and at your expectations.

Before you head into the studio, you might choose to play with your own recording devices. A quality digital piano can help you play better and record your music to digital output, which can be edited using online resources. It’ll give you a better idea of what you want to create once you book studio time and head in for your first recording.

Are you ready to book a studio for the first 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

5 Reasons A Guitarist Should Learn The Piano

5 Reasons A Guitarist Should Learn The Piano

Have you been playing the guitar for years? Maybe it’s time to take up the piano too. 

Many guitarists dismiss the piano as a bulky instrument, more of a piece of furniture. And let’s face it, fans scream over guitarists, not piano players. There is something inherently sexy about playing a guitar; a piano, well, not as much. 

Yet as a guitarist, learning the piano can make you a better musician.

You’ll become a better composer

The piano is the gold standard for composition, especially if you are writing for other instruments. With the piano, you can cover everything from bass lines, melodies, chords, and vocal arrangements and hear how it all comes together. Thus the writing process becomes more efficient. 5 Reasons A Guitarist Should Learn The Piano

Music theory is easier to comprehend

On a piano, every note is laid out in front of you. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of fingering and playing. With guitar, it’s not so easy. It’s a quirky instrument when it comes to how the notes are arranged and how a song is played. Because the notes are in front of you on the piano, it’s easier to learn along the way, especially when getting into complex music theory, such as inversions. 

You can try out new sounds

Playing a guitar can provide a lifelong learning experience. Yet it can’t hold a candle to the different sounds and experiences you can create with a digital piano. It’s a lot of fun experimenting with different rhythms, different instruments, different options, and you’ll find yourself understanding composition in new ways. 

You’ll have more opportunities

If your goal is to incorporate music into your career, you’ll have more opportunities if you play the piano. Piano is used in many different ways – singers need accompanists. Dancers need something to dance to. Even community productions often use the piano when they are creating their entertainment. 

You’ll become a better guitarist

With a piano, your hands get more of a workout. They stretch and reach to capture every note in specific rhythm. With a piano, it’s important to play every note evenly and distinctly as you stretch and reach for every note. You build evenness and speed, accuracy and strength. All of which will help you when you pick up the guitar once again. 

The piano may be one of the most difficult instruments to learn. But if music is a part of your life, the benefits far outway the costs. Learning something new stretches and gives you new opportunities. And that can mean better playability 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

Is Listening To Mozart As Good As Playing The Piano

Is Listening To Mozart As Good As Playing The Piano

When you have your first child, your life becomes a whirlwind of reading and educating yourself to be the best parent you can be. And at some point, you probably ran across an article or two that said how good listening to classical music is for your baby. 

It’s called the Mozart effect. And it’s been studied for a long time. 

Back in the 1990s, a group of researchers at the University of California Irvine performed a test in which they divided students into three groups. They played Mozart for one, self-hypnosis audio for another, and the third sat in silence. Then they were each asked to perform a series of tests. Those who listened to Mozart averaged higher performance than the other two groups, and the “Mozart theory” was born.  

From there, a whirlwind of products were created touting the benefits music had on our lives. Things like Baby Einstein videos were developed, allowing parents to put educational toys and videos in front of their children, and allow a few moments of guilt-free parenting opportunities to help them get through their busy days. 

It became so ingrained in our society, that even the governor of Georgia recommended that every child born in his state get a free classical music CD. Is Listening To Mozart As Good As Playing The Piano

Studies continued. And slowly it was proved that listening to Mozart might not be as beneficial as everyone once thought. It won’t hurt; being cultured in music can only help a child’s development. And if it calms everyone in the family down and eliminates stress, all the better. 

The bottom line is products like Baby Einstein won’t “educate” your child, and simply listening to Mozart won’t create a stronger, more fine-tuned brain. That takes education. That takes work. It takes action; doing instead of merely listening. 

And that’s where playing the piano comes into 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

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

How Playing A Concert Piano Changes Sound Quality

How Playing A Concert Piano Changes Sound Quality

What’s your dream as a piano player? Do you desire to play in some of the best concert halls in the world? 

As a musician, you develop a special appreciation for your instrument. Violinists, trumpet players, flutists – they all search out the perfect instrument that will allow them to create beautiful music. 

But piano players are different. In most cases, a piano player walks into a concert hall and performs on the instrument already on stage. 

That first touch establishes connection. You play something. A chord. A bar from your favorite song. And you begin to feel with the piano. How Playing A Concert Piano Changes Sound Quality

Most piano players will tell you they’ve played on good pianos – and not so good. They’ve plucked out tunes on all sizes and shapes, all manufacturers, all price points. And they will tell you that most of it doesn’t matter. Smaller can be better. There are hundreds of variables that go into the final decision. And even then, it’s often at the discretion of the piano player. 

From the first notes, a player will understand the capabilities of the piano in front of them. The more they play, the more they will adjust their playing ability. But nothing will change a bad piano and make it better. It doesn’t have tonal quality. It doesn’t have a rich sound that can be pulled from a good one. 

A piano that feels like it’s a continuation of their hands, from their thoughts to their hands to their fingers to the keys, that will help create beautiful music. 

When playing a piano in a concert hall, a pianist will sit and warm up. They will play to build that connection with the instrument. They will request the help of a good, trained technician to adjust the tonal character here and there. Working with a skilled technician can take hours, even days to build the perfection between musician and piano. 

For a pianist, the piano should sing, have a rich and varied tone, every note rounded out in perfect tune. What they don’t like, what sounds flat or unvaried, that’s why they request changed. That’s where the work is done. 

But even after all that practice and work and fixing, something changes once again when the concert hall fills up, and the pianist sits down to play with the orchestra or band. It changes once again. 

The hall’s acoustics change with the change in attendees. Suddenly it’s no longer empty seats, but living, breathing warm bodies that change the acoustics once again. Silence may still be silent, but it is interlaced with breathing, coughing, humming. The music fills the spaces in a unique way. You can feel it. You can hear it. 

And when the concert ends, you stand up and walk away. Another concert, another town. And it begins again. 


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