Do You Need A Better Keyboard?

Do You Need A Better Keyboard?

Did you purchase a simple keyboard for your child to determine if they enjoy playing the piano before you invested more? Are you debating if now is the time to upgrade and purchase a better keyboard?

Many people start out as simple as possible. Before investing a lot of money into a piano, they prefer to get a few lessons under their belt before taking the next step. But practicing on a piano that is less than perfect can actually take away your ability and drive to move forward with your lesson plans. It can take away your goals and desires.Do You Need A Better Keyboard?

There are two primary reasons to upgrade and buy a better keyboard than what you’re working with now.

1. Your keyboard is old and worn out
Unless you have a professional keyboard, chances are your current keyboard may not be performing up to par. Beginning and mid-range keyboards are designed to last a few years at most. The more play and activity you give it, the faster it will wear out. Look for cracked cables and cords, or a faded or striated appearance. You can also listen to the music – is it starting to sound hollow or buzzy? Old keyboards aren’t designed to have repair work and last for years of time. At some point, it’s time to purchase a new one.

2. Your keyboard no longer fits your musical goals
If you’ve been playing for any length of time, chances are your ability has improved significantly. New piano players grow quickly in the first few months of training. And the more you learn, the more you’ll appreciate a better instrument. You should also take into consideration what your future goals are. If your child loves music and anticipates playing piano for years, now may be the perfect time to step into an acoustic piano. If your child has envisioned creating their own band, a keyboard with better action and a more piano-like feel will give them flexibility in both what they learn and how they transport it from place to place.

Evaluating your needs and determining the best choice for your situation can leave you feeling stuck and unsure. Stop by and allow us to help you to evaluate your needs and show you different opportunities that can meet your needs.


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

Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

As a piano dealer, one of the most common questions we receive is “How do I buy a good piano for a beginner?” Do a quick search online, and you’ll find the same question holds true. 

Because when you’re new to an industry, starting up a new hobby, you want to learn what you can before investing in the right equipment. Buying something you’ll outgrow quickly is never a good tactic. Digital Piano: Is There A Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate And Advanced Playing Needs?

And in there lies the problem. If you purchase a good digital piano as a beginner, how long will it last? Will you outgrow the digital piano in just a few short months? 

That could impact your budget big time. Which is why it may be necessary to add more questions as you search for the right piano. Instead of just asking:

  • What’s the best digital piano to buy for a beginner?

Follow it up with:

  • What the best digital piano that will allow me to grow from a beginner to an intermediate or advanced piano player too?

The difference between pianos will provide you with more opportunity not only for playability, but also for sound and function. 

People transition to higher digital piano levels because they have progressed into further understanding of music. They’ve moved beyond basic note letters, chords and compositions and most likely have more general knowledge of music theory. More advanced pianos have a wider range of rhythms and tones, along with more functionality and connectivity options for other platforms. 

By asking the question early in your search process, you can quickly learn what items make the biggest difference. It can also help you choose when to upgrade your requirements to choose a digital piano that can accommodate many of your needs. Possibly for years to come. 

What digital piano is right 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

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

Practice Sight Reading Piano Music

Practice Sight Reading Piano Music

The definition of sight reading is:

To read or perform without previous preparation or study

In reality, we all sight read every day. Pick up a new book and read it for the first time. That’s sight reading. It’s easy for us because we understand the English language so well.Practice Sight Reading Piano Music

But what happens if you pick up a book in French (providing you’re not also fluent in French)? The concept of sight reading is a little trickier. But if you study French for a bit, you can pick out some words you know. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

The same happens with music.

If you’re not a musician, understanding music may seem like a foreign language. That’s because it is. You might not understand where the notes lie on the staff, or the difference between bass and treble clef. But if you study it for a while, it becomes easier.

Mastery comes with practice. You don’t stick with the easy things; you expand and add more difficult concepts to your skill set all the time.

You can do that easily by training online. If you want new material, update your training materials so they don’t become stale. Look for sites online that have graduated exercises so that you don’t become bored at too easy of a level.

You can do that by purchasing method books. There are many books designed specifically for sight reading. They each take you through the practice methodically where each exercise builds on the one before. As it builds, it adds something new each time.

You can change it up every day. What makes you a successful sight reader is keeping it fresh every day. Read and play the music once. Then move to another song. Don’t jump beyond your skill level, yet focus in on things that will make you grow.

Be sure to look at the music all the way through before you play it for the first time. Not things like key signature, changes in clefs, and the dynamics of the piece. Look for chords and determine where they are. Also note the trickiest part of the piece – a series of sixteenth notes, for instance – and determine the speed you’ll need to play at to accomplish it all.

Then play, from beginning to end. Don’t stop if you make a mistake. Just keep playing. You’ll get better and better at it each time you try.


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’s Your Piano Playing Role?

What’s Your Piano Playing Role?

Every day, we assign ourselves different roles in what we do. We may label ourselves by who we are – accountant, doctor, lawyer – or a role we play – mother, sister, daughter. We also set ourselves up for failure by action words we’ve assigned ourselves over time. Ever been told (or considered yourself) a slow learner or a bad performer? Are you unmusical or someone who can’t sit still for normal practice routines?

What’s Your Piano Playing Role?We receive labels throughout our lives. They start in our own families from a very early age. They often are introduced to new areas before we ever begin. If you tell a piano teacher before the first class that your child is highly disorganized and a slow learner, the labeling has already begun. And in most cases, these labels are self-fulfilling at best.

It takes practice to release ourselves from labeling. It takes changing things up and looking at everything you do in a slightly different manner. Here are some strategies you can use:

Paint a new picture
Put a child in an environment where they can thrive and build confidence along the way. If they aren’t good at performing in public, ease into it slowly. Allow them to play duets to have a friendly set of hands alongside them. Create a low pressure situation – one with family only.

Let them see their abilities differently
Change up how you approach new things. If someone is classified as a slow learner, introduce things in more chunkable ways. Instead of introducing new pieces, give sections to learn instead. This way a child can accomplish things at a much quicker pace, and develop more confidence early on.

Model behavior
Children often become bored with certain aspects of playing. Acknowledge it, but also demonstrate and show them how experience can pay off. Show them how slowing practice sessions can help them achieve greater proficiency, making it more enjoyable to play when their focus is on the details.

Accumulate special moments
Students will achieve different results over time. In some cases, it’s easy to forget all you achieve. Build up processes and help students see all they have achieved. It can help motivate them to put in more effort on more difficult tasks, knowing the results are more than possible.

Have you categorized the way you play? Have you labeled your child or your student in specific ways? How can you change them at your next practice session?


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

Playing The Piano: Moving Beyond Bad Habits

Playing The Piano: Moving Beyond Bad Habits

What stops a lot of people from continuing with the piano? Bad habits.

Bad habits can make creating music a difficult task. And when the joy begins to fade, piano playing follows suit.Playing The Piano: Moving Beyond Bad Habits

From early on in a beginning piano players routine, stuttering can be a problem. Stuttering is caused by stop and go practice in which a student stops playing when they reach a section they don’t play well, replaying it again and again when there is a mistake. If you make a mistake, always continue through to the end. Don’t stop and correct it. Instead, make a mental note of where the mistake was, and when you are through, go back and work on the troubled section. Stopping in the middle cuts out the rhythm of the tune. It stops your focus and concentration, putting it on the mistake rather than on the melody. It puts too much emphasis on the problem rather than the joy of the music.

Poor tone quality is another common problem. During practice, no one is listening so tone doesn’t matter. Tone can quickly degrade without having to correct it for those around them. And if they ignore it in practice, it’s more difficult to correct down the road. Good tone cannot be produced by a poor or untuned piano; the first step is to have a high quality piano in which to practice on. If they learn to practice with high quality sound, they will quickly recognize when a piano performance isn’t up to par. It’s also important to record proper piano tone from time to time, so that the player can get a good feel for problem areas, sound quality, and the difference between the two.

Still another bad habit is playing at the wrong speed. Music is created with a certain tempo in mind. The right speed is determined by many factors, including the difficulty of the piece, the condition of the piano, technical ability, what the audience is expecting, etc. If a person tries to play a piece that is too difficult for their ability, they may end up with many mistakes, or be timid and play it too slow for enjoyment. Perform a piece too quickly and it removes the performance factor of the music. The key is in practicing to perfection, and understanding your connection to the music. If you learn to think of presentation first, you’ll have a better performance overall.

The worst thing about bad playing habits is the time they take for correction. Nothing accelerates your learning curve more than developing good habits over bad. If you give yourself every advantage from the beginning, you’re more likely to enjoy the process every step of the way. Get the best equipment, ask for help, and have fun making 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

Need A Gift? How About A Piano App

Need A Gift? How About A Piano App

There’s a new way of learning to play the piano. It isn’t with flash cards or manual metronomes or hand clapping to learn notes and rhythms. Instead, you can learn all that and more through an app.

Kids of all ages are using their smart devices for many different things. An iPad or tablet is no longer optional, in many cases, they are used for everything in our daily lives. From reading the news, to finding a recipe for dinner, to planning your next vacation, most of us can’t imagine not having smart technology easily within reach.Need A Gift? How About A Piano App

So it comes as no surprise that piano apps are also growing in popularity. Piano apps held do everything from learning music in a fun way, to understanding complex music theory, to helping you write and compose your own melody. All of which can not only make you a better piano player, but can also help you love music that much more.

What apps should you consider?

Melody Cats

These fun apps help kids and adults learn how to read notes and rhythm. They have three apps available: Treble Cat and Bass Cat that are designed to help you identify notes in the treble and bass clefs, and Rhythm Cat which is designed to help you read the most commonly used rhythms.

Midi Sheet Music

This app gives you the ability to see your music in an entirely new way. It allows you to display your sheet music from MIDI music files. You can print it or save it as PNG or PDF files. Display the note letters next to each note, or display them in different colors to be more effective in learning how to play. This app will have you playing better in no time.

JoyTunes

JoyTunes has created three apps that allow learners to enjoy the learning process more while keeping teachers informed of progress. Piano Dust Buster is a great starting point for kids just starting to learn. Piano Maestro provides an in depth educational tool to further your music education. Simply Piano helps learn the basics, from sight reading to playing with both hands.

What piano apps have you found useful?


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