Benefits Of Learning Piano As An Adult

Benefits Of Learning Piano As An Adult

Many people think of the piano when it’s time to get their small children involved in activities. However, many adults could benefit as well.

Maybe you didn’t take them seriously as a child and gave piano lessons up long before you learned the mechanics of playing. Maybe it’s been a lifelong desire. In all cases, it’s important to realize it’s never too late. There are many benefits to learning to play as an adult.

One of the biggest advantages is relaxation and stress reduction that comes along with playing an instrument. Many people have high demanding jobs and look for ways to calm and settle down when they return home for the evening. Playing music facilitates relaxation and renewal after a challenging day. benefits-of-learning-piano-as-an-adult

The opposite is also true. If you have a mundane job where repetition is key, playing the piano on your off hours can put challenge into your life. It can push you to learn new things and give you a little creativity boost into an otherwise lackluster day.

Another benefit comes from learning something new. Increasingly, studies are showing that playing music can impact brain health. It’s been proven to help in all kinds of situations, from helping children test better, to improving stability in Alzheimer’s patients, to becoming a helpful therapy in a variety of cases.

It can also induce a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from being able to play a complex instrument. Playing the piano takes time and practice to become proficient. It’s a skill that can be worked on for the rest of your life. The beauty of it also lies in the fact that for most, they can play the piano at all ages. Compare that to other hobbies, such as riding a bike or joining a softball team.

It can also provide the creative outlet you’ve needed to boost your career. One creative activity often leads to others. It can help inspire you to add magic to your sales presentations or design a new piece of computer code. It can help you discover answers to problems and find the new approach you’ve needed to move forward with a demanding customer or employee.

Is this the year you learn to play 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

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

Tips For Being A Better Church Pianist

Tips For Being A Better Church Pianist

Even if you’ve been playing the piano for years and consider yourself to be an expert piano player, there are some things you should consider in order to become a church pianist. Church music is designed to add to the choir and the service, not dominate. 

To be a better church pianist:

Puts heart into the musicTips For Being A Better Church Pianist

Church music needs to be soothing and relaxing. It doesn’t need to be difficult or complex. Work with other members to develop a program that enlightens the topics at hand. If you play joyfully and from the heart, it will show in the final results. 

Practice, practice, practice

During a service, there will be a lot of distractions. You’ll be accompanying singers as well as following leads from other members of the program. Practice in advance so that you know your music really well. Be comfortable with the surroundings so you can be more flexible in the way you play. 

Learn the songs

Because the choir and the band often follow a pianist’s lead, it’s important to come out strong in your performance. Start with songs you know and are familiar with. Work them to the point that you play them well. Then continue to add songs over time. If you memorize chords, there is less likelihood of making mistakes. 

Choose appropriate songs

Like any music, church music has different tones. Light and uplifting or powerful and to the point all bring different meaning to a service. Be sure you match the tone of the day to add even more to a service. 

Be creative

Being creative is a part of a pianist’s nature. But that doesn’t mean you have to make things overly difficult. Simple transitions can often be the best to build interesting bridges between songs and music. 

Play to complement the voice

In many cases, you won’t be the sole sound. You’ll be complementing voices in the choir or even other instruments. Be aware that you are a part of a team. Practice to ensure the right voice appears at the right time. 

All churches have different services and arrangements, so it’s important to be enthusiastic and energetic as you approach each new service. You’ll quickly become an integral part of the team. 


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 Boosting Summertime Piano Playing

Tips For Boosting Summertime Piano Playing

Summertime means stepping away from the daily rush we experience all year long. It means vacations. It means slowing down. It means having fun. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget everything you’ve spent the past year learning. If you’ve been adding piano lessons into your weekly routine, how do you ensure your child stays at his or her best during the lazy summer months? Tips For Boosting Summertime Piano Playing

Start A Reward Program

Kids often have things they want while they are away from school. Maybe it’s something from the store. Maybe it’s a trip to the amusement park. Work out a system where practice earns stars. If they earn enough stars, they can turn them in for prizes. It’s a great way to teach them about savings too. 

Download an App

Even when you’re traveling and on vacation, make piano playing fun. Check out one of the many piano apps you’ll find for your phone or tablet. Be sure to pack headphones for in the car or on the airplane to ensure everyone stays happy. 

Track Progress and Set Goals

Life is slower in the summer months. That might mean notching down piano learning goals too. But you can still set goals and help your child achieve them. Select songs they’ve wanted to learn and motivate them to practice a little each day. Be enthusiastic; how about a concert on family night? This is the time for them to have a little fun with it and learn things that will keep them happy on those long, boring days. 

Team Up

Chances are friends or cousins are having a hard time sticking to a schedule too. Why not team up for double duty practice and playing? Encourage your pianist to have a friend over to practice songs together. Duets are exciting when you have a friend to giggle with. 

Piano playing is supposed to be fun. And the more enjoyable you make it throughout the summer months, the more they’ll be ready to hop back into the normal routine come fall. 


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 Tuning Facts and Myths

Piano Tuning Facts and Myths

Can upright pianos be tuned to concert pitch?

A piano is designed to accompany every instrument you’ll find in a band or orchestra. Band instruments are all designed and tuned at concert pitch so that they are harmonious together. Now imagine trying to play a piano that wasn’t tuned at that level – the instrument will sound awful. To play instruments together, it’s important that they are tuned at the same level. Grand or upright, all pianos have the capability to be tuned to concert pitch. To ensure a player “hears” what they are playing correctly, staying in tune is an important part of the process. Piano Tuning Facts and Myths

What is pitch raising?

Pitch raising usually comes into play when a piano hasn’t been tuned in a while. It’s the process of gradually stretching out the strings when they are badly out of tune. It is similar to tuning in that every pin must be turned or tuned. A string relaxes on average about one-half as far as it is stretched during pitch raising, and should not be stretched more than ten cents per tuning. If badly out of tune, it may require multiple tunings to bring it back to concert pitch. 

Will pitch raising hurt the piano? 

If your piano is still in great shape, pitch raising won’t hurt the inner workings. It is important to work slowly, however. A technician will be able to tell how out of tune your piano is and what it will take to bring it back into tune. Excessive tuning or pitch raising at one setting may break strings or break bridges or the soundboard, so it’s important to take your time bringing it back into tune. 

How long does a piano stay in tune once it is tuned?

A lot factors into how long a piano will stay tuned. Any time pitch raising is completed, the piano will go out of tune within the next 6 to 12 months. Because it required extensive work, it is more likely to stretch back out of tune. It’s important to stick with a schedule until your piano stabilizes – retune your piano within the first three months, and every six months to follow. 

Is a piano that is played frequently more likely to be out of tune than one that isn’t? 

How frequently a piano is played has little to do with how quickly it will go out of tune. A piano that is played can often stay in tune longer because it stays in motion. In either case, it’s important to realize that to ensure your piano stays in good working conditioning, maintenance is an important part of the process. And tuning is a part of that process. 

How can I ensure my piano stays in tune?

Regular maintenance. In ideal circumstances, your piano will be tuned at least once per year to keep it tuned and up to pitch. Your piano should also be played at least once per week, playing to keep string tension uniform and the relationship between octaves even. Also keep your piano on an inside wall, away from drafts, direct sunlight or moisture, which can lead to more damage.

What questions do you have about 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 Sound Production

Piano Sound Production

The modern day piano comprises many different things:

A keyboard made of 88 wooden keys covered in plastic. Black keys make up sharps and flats and are narrower and offset back from the white keys. 

A mechanism called the action that provides for hammers to strike the strings when the keys are pushed. 

All 230 strings are corresponding to individual keys to produce sound when they are struck. Strings are struck in groups of two or three to produce sound. Piano Sound Production

A pinblock is used for tensioning and tuning individual strings. 

The soundboard is created from wood to withstand vibration when the strings are struck. Vibrations are coupled to the soundboard via the bridge, a curved piece of wood and metal that serves as the displacement node for the vibrations. 

During the action process, when a note is played, the action lifts the damper felts from the strings so they can resonate when struck. The string will be struck by the hammer that is determined by how hard and how quickly the key was struck. The return of the hammer occurs immediately after the strike so as not to interfere with the vibrating strings. 

Thinner, shorter strings are used to produce higher sounds, with the strings thickening for the lower sounds. Two strings typically are used for upper notes, with two strings used to create lower sounds. 

With all of these pieces and action occurring all at once, things can go wrong to impact the sound quality. 

Inharmonicity – piano strings can be “off” by as much as one half-tone, with this changing over time. If one plays two notes an octave apart, the inharmonicity of the second octave will cause the sound to be “off” to a listener. To “solve” this problem, octaves are stretched, meaning that a note up an octave will be tuned slightly more to the frequency of the octave below. This ensures you “hear” the sound correctly. 

Aging – piano hammers are covered with felt, with the purpose being to spread out the impact of the hammer strike. These felts dry out, harden, and disintegrate over time. This serves to emphasize a decreasing quality of sound. 

Polarization – pianos are never a perfect instrument. The mechanism changes all the time. And while the action is built with vertical motion, eventually horizontal motion occurs as well, throwing the sound “off.” 

Think your piano isn’t producing the proper sound? Call us 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

Why Pianos Go Out Of Tune

Why Pianos Go Out Of Tune

The most common questions we have about piano playing is about the tuning process. 

Does my piano need tuning if no one is playing it?

Does my piano need tuning if we play it every day?

Does my piano need tuning on a regular basis?

Yes, yes, and yes. 

Pianos go out of tune for many different reasons. But if you own a piano, it will require tuning on a regular basis. Why Pianos Go Out Of Tune

The Strings Stretch

When a piano is new, each steel wire is put into place. It is tightened and designed to stretch as each note is played, popping back into place. Especially when it’s new, the strings haven’t adjusted to their new location. Very quickly they begin to stretch. And as they stretch, they sag, dropping in frequency even after just a few times played. This is why a dealer will suggest tuning multiple times the first year, to bring the strings into place where they are capable of staying in tune. 

Environmental Changes

Cold, heat, humidity and dryness all play an important part in the overall sound of a piano. Wood handles differently depending on the condition. The sound board must be free to vibrate to create the beautiful sound you come to expect from your piano. But imagine what happens if moisture gets into your piano? Or if warm air blows on it constantly from your heat vents? Even if your piano is never played, these conditions impact the overall quality of your piano. They will impact its playability with every change. 

Poor Tuning

Not every piano tuner has the same level of experience. Worse, some DIYers attempt to handle the job themselves. Piano tuning is a delicate and difficult task, one that takes professional tuners a lifetime to master. An inexperienced tuner can tighten and loosen a string much more than necessary. When this happens, it is impossible to leave an equalized string. Which means the string is not set and will quickly go out of tune once again. 

Normal Use

Even tuning from a top professional won’t last forever. With every strike of the key, the more a piano is played, the more likely it is that the tuning pin will turn slightly and pull the string out of tune once again. That’s why professional piano players or piano teachers will have their pianos adjusted several times per year. 

Moving

Any time a piano is moved, whether it’s across the room or across the country, the tension will be disturbed, changing the string dynamics. Not only is it impacted by “bouncing around”, but it can also be impacted by the change in environment. Imagine being moved from a temperate home to a cold moving truck and back into a home with new humidity levels. It has an impact. 

When was the last time you tuned 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

Why Adult Piano Lessons Help With Aging

Why Adult Piano Lessons Help With Aging

Want to keep your brain young and healthy? Want to bring a little bit of fun into your life?

Consider piano lessons. 

Many people believe they reach an age where they no longer can try something new. Where their ability to learn new skills is too difficult a task to take on. It’s simply not true. The real problem lies in that most don’t want to go through the awkward first steps of struggling to bring something new into their lives. They don’t want to embarrass themselves in front of their peers. Why Adult Piano Lessons Help With Aging

But developing new skills is vitally important in maintaining cognitive strength. And there is no time limit to starting. 

Learning to play music helps to guard against cognitive decline, memory loss, and the loss of being able to distinguish consonants and spoken words. And it’s not just a child this helps. It helps the first time learner, no matter what age they begin. 

Musical training helps to create lasting neural pathways in the brain. Learning and practicing give a person motor control and coordination, as well as listening skills that can boost the brain’s capacity later in life. This impact has been measured through a study that shows professional musicians have significantly more gray matter than non-musicians. And because music requires both the left and right brain for processing, it stimulates many different parts of the brain in a variety of ways. 

Music also helps reduce the difficulty many older people have with discerning conversations in noisy situations. This skill is most likely derived from the preciseness required and developed during music training. Memorizing notes, playing tunes, and improvising throughout the process helps tie cognitive skills together. 

In order to keep your body fit as you age, exercise is an important skill to take on in a variety of ways. The same holds true with your brain. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. 

The damage done to cognitive function by age can be reduced by stimulating the mind and encouraging the brain to continue to work in new ways. How you do that is up to you. 

Learn piano 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

Digital Piano: Mac or PC?

Digital Piano: Mac or PC?

People invest in a digital piano for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons we love them is because of the many built-in tools available for learning and making music. 

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is: How do you record actual sound of your keyboard onto your computer? There really isn’t a difference between Mac or PC; what software packages you prefer is up to you. What is important is to understand the connection process and how to make it a reality. Digital Piano: Mac or PC?

There is a difference between a MIDI connection from your keyboard and the process used to record sound. If you want to record the actual sound, a MIDI connection will not do the job. A MIDI interface will only transmit your performance data to software on your computer. This includes things like which notes you have played, or how loudly you play your music. 

If you want to record your actual sound – the music you produce by playing the keyboard – you need to connect the line out from your keyboard to your Mac or PC. 

The way you do that depends on your budget. 

The easiest and least expensive way is to connect an audio cable from the audio output on the keyboard to the mic port on the computer. If your computer or iPad doesn’t have a mic port, you can buy an external sound adapter that has a separate headphone and mic port and connect this to your USB port. While not the highest quality way to connect, it is the easiest and gets the job done. 

 A more cost effective and reasonable quality sound solution is to invest in a linelink, or an out-USB interface that bypasses your existing soundcard and outputs studio quality audio directly to your computer. A y-cable converter allows left and right stereo sound to be sent from your keyboard and produce a higher quality sound to record. 

The best approach would be to create a high quality professional recording studio using a professional audio interface. You can find all-in-one home recording studio packages that connect your keyboard to your computer, giving your freedom to record a variety of inputs, from vocal and maybe guitar. Most complete systems will pack everything – audio interface, microphone and headphones all in one box. They all come with their own software packages as well. 


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 It Matters If Your Piano Is In Tune

Why It Matters If Your Piano Is In Tune

Have you ever attended a concert performed by an orchestra? Before it begins, one person will provide a note to tune to. Then the rest of the members take the time to ensure their instruments are in perfect balance. 

Can you tell the difference between an out of tune instrument with one that is in tune? It depends upon your musical ability. 

We walk before we learn to run. We start out with 101 classes in college before we progress to 400 level coursework. We don’t start out as experts at anything we choose to do. We must start at the beginning, learning the fine details as we go along. Only after we experience different levels do we start to understand the nuances within a niche. And that’s what makes all the difference. Why It Matters If Your Piano Is In Tune

Take a bottle of wine, for instance. Place an award winning bottle next to a boxed wine from your supermarket. Is there a difference? Of course. But to someone untrained in the nuances of wine tasting, they may not understand these finer points. They may purchase the box solely based on price. They may purchase it because they lack the knowledge of what makes a Merlot different from a Pinot Noir. Or what the difference is from a table wine from one more refined. 

If you want to learn more about wine, you have to study wine. That means trying different grapes from different regions. Learning about perfect growing conditions. Understanding what wines are paired best with different types of foods. 

Over time, your skills are refined. You understand the differences and quickly can tell one from another. You can pick out what makes one better than the other. 

That same experience is found within music. That’s why the musicians will all tune to the same note before a performance. It’s also why every musician invests in the highest quality instrument to give them the results they are looking for. 

Because as our knowledge grows, our senses improve. And the more aware we become, the better our experiences become. 

We perceive music on a deeper level, and the experience attained from the performance becomes inspiring in more ways than we might have previously appreciated. 

Sure, a child can play just about any keyboard or piano you put in front of them, no matter what condition it’s in. But to have a child begin to hear and feel the difference, perceive music on a deeper level, and very quickly improve their levels of understanding, quality is everything. 

Are you going to trust that to a free piano you found on Craigslist?


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