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

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

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

How Do You Feel About Playing The Piano?

How Do You Feel About Playing The Piano?

We all have different reasons for wanting to play the piano.

A child may be playing simply because a parent signed them up for lessons.

An adult may be fulfilling a lifelong dream.How Do You Feel About Playing The Piano?

Even a piano teacher may have the desire to play for enjoyment while sharing that passion with those around them.

But no matter the reason you started playing in the first place, playing the piano today has to come with a love for the art of playing. If you don’t know why you’re playing, its hard to enjoy it and strive always to do better.

Asking a few questions can set the stage for helping you strive for more.

How did playing that piece (section, measure, etc) feel? 

Sometimes playing music feels fine. Sometimes the hand movements feel awkward. Sometimes it’s flat out frustrating. Getting down to the feelings can help you move forward and fix things that may not be going correctly. Maybe you’re holding your hands in the wrong position. Maybe you’re holding back from learning a new pattern. It’s easy to gloss over a situation if you don’t dig down to how you handle it.

What did I do well? What can I do better?

We’re all creatures of habit. We all enjoy being the best we can be. Which means we enjoy playing well and hate it when we haven’t picked up a new skill easily. Recognize what you do well. Acknowledge what still needs work. Then spend the time bringing undeveloped skills up to par. It can empower you while helping you focus in on things that still need work.

How can I approach this struggle?

Sometimes it takes work to overcome a problem. It might not be solved in one practice session. Or two. Or three. Address the struggles and search for helpful suggestions. It may come from a teacher, a book, or even a quick search online. Don’t expect to solve the problem in one day. Instead, look at it as a journey that will help you become better all-around.


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 Will Make You Smarter

Playing The Piano Will Make You Smarter

It sounds like a claim almost too good to be true. And yet study after study shows that’s not the case.Playing The Piano Will Make You Smarter

If you play the piano on a regular basis, it will make you healthier and smarter. Here’s how.

Music keeps you young

The longer a person plays the piano, the longer they are involved in creating music, the less likely they are to experience aging symptoms. Piano lessons and playing regularly keeps the auditory cortex healthy, and prevents age related changes.

It alters your brain

Studies show that people that take music lessons and play the piano add neural connections in the brain differently than those that don’t. This is prime for developing human communication at different levels, helping with speech, languages, memory and paying attention.

It helps with language skills

Musicians are also better in learning to incorporate sound patterns for new languages into words. They process speech in noisy conditions easier, and often do better with developmental issues such as dyslexia or ADHD.

It keeps your brain fit

In order to keep your body fit, you exercise every day. And in order to keep your mind fit, its important to have musical training regularly as well. Music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness, one that can begin helping with learning in school, and continue into old age by helping prevent and lessen the damage from cognitive disorders.

It is a stress reliever

Sitting down to the piano regularly can allow the stress to melt away. It can also reverse stress damage at the molecular level, according to studies performed in various medical schools.

It breeds success

Playing the piano helps develop strong discipline skills, patience, coordination, dedication, as well as the ability to memorize things in detail. Piano playing also reduces the incidence of depression and anxiety, and can help anyone of any age put more focus into their daily life.

Is it time for you to begin taking piano lessons?


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

The Life Lessons You’ll Learn From Piano Lessons

The Life Lessons You’ll Learn From Piano Lessons

I was watching an interview from a man who was approaching his 100th birthday. When someone lives that long, the most logical questions to ask are things like:

What is the secret to living so long?The Life Lessons You’ll Learn From Piano Lessons
What have you learned along the way?

And while his answers were inspirational, they were also very simple. Living a good life doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact it’s usually just the opposite. There are a lot of things you can learn just by being an active participant. But then again, its like that with many things.

I’ve played the piano for decades, and along the way I’ve discovered that learning the piano can teach you a lot about living life. If you play the piano, chances are you have had many years of piano lessons, even if you are simply learning on your own. That’s the beauty of playing the piano, there’s always something more to learn. And you can do so whether you are 10 or 100, and it will all help you grow and become just a little bit more.

Wishing doesn’t make it so

Remember all those New Year’s resolutions you’ve made over the years, promising yourself you’ll accomplish more and do new things? How well did that work for you? Wishing doesn’t make it so. The only way to make it so is to put action behind it. If you’ve had a lifelong desire to play the piano, to become better at creating music, the only way to get there is to do it. Buy a piano. Invest in piano lessons. Put in regular practice. No matter what your ability, no matter what your age.

We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thoughts

How many people have sat down to play the piano and have thought, “I’m not very good”. Yep, and you’ll never be any good as long as you continue to think that way. Who defines what good is? Good can mean many things. You don’t have to play at Carnegie Hall to prove your playability. Playing for your enjoyment can be good enough.

Sometimes your instincts tell you to do something, something that may seem crazy and unbelievable. Follow your instincts.

If a small child wants to learn to play the piano, it’s our jobs to give them the chance. And when they dream big, it’s our job to give them more of a fighting chance to turn it into a reality. That’s where the greatest piano players of our time are created. It doesn’t matter that only a select few will ever be at the top of the business. There are many ways to develop a talent into a lifelong love. What is important is to follow through on the things that bring us the greatest joy.

What are your favorite life lessons?


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

Piano Playing … A Lifetime Commitment

Piano Playing … A Lifetime Commitment

So you’ve decided to take up the piano? Congratulations. Nothing can be as rewarding or as fulfilling as being able to sit down to the piano and play music. But also keep in mind that mastering the piano – any instrument for that matter – is not easy nor is it fast. It’s a long journey that can take a lifetime to master.

And that’s half of the enjoyment!Piano Playing … A Lifetime Commitment

If you’re expecting instant results after a week or two of practice, you’re sure to be disappointed. Because playing the piano isn’t something you can pick up from playing a game on the computer, or conquer with a master class in piano over a long weekend.

It takes work. It takes performance. And it takes action day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Enjoyment of the arts and fulfillment in your ability to play the piano does not come from rushed goals, tensed efforts, or the desire to quickly please your parents or win a competition. If your piano goals are to reach a certain expectation in a quick manner, you will be disappointed.

Part of mastering the piano comes more from having the desire to create beautiful music no matter what level you can currently play. It comes from the dedication to play again and again until you hear the musicality in what you are doing. Piano playing brings:

  • Joy to your life
  • Fulfillment in what you can do
  • Maturity in knowing you can stick with a project
  • Wisdom to help you grow as a person
  • Meaning to your life

At the same time, it does also take sacrifice and compromise. You have to continue when you just aren’t feeling it; have faith that you will reach your goals when it feels like you never will.

Mastering piano is not easy … there is a long road ahead. But we believe the road is one well worth traveling; one that will grow and help you define who you are throughout 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

Playing The Piano – Its All In The Wrist

Playing The Piano – Its All In The Wrist

Think for a moment as to how you play the piano. Is it with your fingers? Or does your whole body need to be present to get the sound you are looking for?

Kind of a trick question. Obviously you whole body needs to be present, focusing in on the notes you are striking and the sound you are creating. Yet as a beginner, its easy to forget that its more than your fingers that make the final sound.

Its not the hunt and peck method that will achieve success. Instead, it’s the movement and rhythm of how your arms and your wrists connect with your fingers and the keys that will ultimately bring success. Playing The Piano – Its All In The Wrist

Your arms provide the weight. Your fingers connect with the keys. But its your wrists that provide the action to get the job done.

If your wrists are immobile and tensed, the weight of your arms will never connect with the tapping of your fingers, and the end result will be a sound that is shallow instead of deep and beautiful. And if you separate the movement being made from your arm to your fingertips, you run more of a risk of injury to both your hands and your wrists.

When your wrists are relaxed and flexible, there is a natural flow between your arms and the keyboard. You’ll have a comfortable feeling and create a comfortable sound from beginning to end. And you’ll have no tension, no injuries, and ultimately no pain in the long run.

How do you ensure you are playing the piano the correct way? Before you sit down the next time, do a few things before you connect with the keys.

Take a few deep breaths and relax.

Flex your arms, wrists, hands and fingertips to relieve any pressure.

Warm up! Yes, just like you can’t run a marathon at top pace without stretching and warming up, you should never sit down to a piano playing session without warming up and being prepared. Stretching, a few scales to release tension and get into the “zone” will improve your chances of success.

And make sure you are ready to make the most beautiful music 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