Music: We’re Losing An Important Part Of Our Culture

Music: We’re Losing An Important Part Of Our Culture

Having a child today comes with a lot of responsibility. What will you teach her? What activities will you guide her into? What will fill her time?

Parenting used to be a hands-off approach. With lots of kids around, kids simply did what kids do. They played together and went to school. Parents provided a firm hand as necessary. 

But with fewer children per family, many have become integral parts of their children’s lives. They drive here and there. They sign up for lessons. They set up playdates and events. They keep busy morning, noon, and night. Music: We’re Losing An Important Part Of Our Culture

That means there are more choice than ever for a child’s attention. And peer pressure may also have a guiding hand. Join the soccer team? Yes. Practice the piano? No. 

It’s easier to provide group instruction. It’s also more lucrative. Why teach one child when you can teach multiple at the same time? 

And besides, teams give kids important skills about communication and being together with others in your peer group. That’s the best way to go, right?

Well…

There are two sides to the coin. Of course, kids can learn a lot when joining a team. There’s nothing wrong with physical activity. Whether it’s soccer, or swimming, or gymnastics, it offers many different characterizations for a growing child. 

However, it’s important to remember your child needs work from the inside out too. 

That’s where many parents are overlooking one of the most successful ways of helping to develop a young brain – learning an instrument. 

A piano specifically is one of the best instruments to learn on, offering the player the chance to play both the melody and the accompaniment. 

And it’s more than learning how to play an instrument or making music. It’s also about improving your brain. 

Studies show musically inclined individuals are better students, do better on tests, and perform better at learning multiple languages. You’ll find some of the most successful students in med school majored in music. 

And those characteristics last a lifetime. Playing the piano improves cognitive abilities. It’s been shown to lessen the effects of memory-related diseases.  

When you need to destress and decompress, nothing can satisfy like sitting down at the piano.

So why aren’t we pressing more for piano lessons for young kids? Maybe it’s time to make it a priority. 


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 Use An iPad For Your Piano Music?

Should You Use An iPad For Your Piano Music?

If you took lessons as a child, you probably remember getting new books of music every few weeks. Your teacher would present you with new music, and you’d carry it back and forth as you learned to play. The music would stack up on the side of your piano or in your piano bench as you worked your way through different music. 

Things have changed since then. In many cases, people no longer carry along a file folder of music, but instead tuck away all of their music on an iPad. It’s easier to carry your entire library conveniently in one place. Should You Use An iPad For Your Piano Music?

Today’s iPad comes in four sizes: 12.9, 10.5, 9.7, and 7.9 inch retina displays. Each size comes with its own benefits and upgrades. While the smaller version is less expensive and is easier to tuck away into your bag, it’s also the most difficult to see, especially if you place your music several feet away. The larger size makes reading music more convenient. It also comes with a higher price tag. 

It also extends beyond the screen. There are many apps and attachments that can help you get even more out of your digital experience. 

Start with a Bluetooth foot pedal. With the PedPro, you can quickly and silently turn the pages all with a tap of your foot. And it comes ready to work right out of the box – no setup. 

You can place your iPad on a traditional music stand. However, there are many digital stands available that give you more flexibility when moving your music around. iPad’s are heavy; putting them on a traditional stand can be risky. iPad mounted stands keep your iPad secure and make it easy to move and turn your music, depending on your needs. 

Another tool to consider is the Apple Pencil. As you progress with your music, you’re more likely to write notes on the scores. Apple Pencil is easy to carry around and gives you the ability to mark up your music whenever you desire. 

Finally, there’s the music. iPads make it easy to carry your entire library in one convenient place. If you have traditional music, snap a photo or upload a screenshot and keep it safe in one place. Plus you’ll never need a music light to see your music; it comes already in place. 

A quick search will give you ample suggestions for places to find piano music. Consider using a variety of apps to help organize your sheet music, help your practice routine, and help you become a better player. Try:

forScore – the music reader for iPad. It gives you the power to organize all of your music into one convenient app. 

Notion – allows you to compose, edit, and play scores anywhere your iPad can go. 

Tenuto – a music theory app that requires no internet access – great for playing on the go. 

Genius Scan – lets you scan any document, any time. Perfect for digitizing all of your music into readable documents. 

GoodNotes – this allows you to take down notes, store them, and have them fully searchable forever. Try creating your own music using the music template. 

How do you use iPad to help you play piano better?


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 It Takes To Learn To Play The Piano By Ear

What It Takes To Learn To Play The Piano By Ear

What’s easier: learning to play the piano by ear or focusing in on learning to read music?

That, of course, depends on the person. 

In most cases, parents today take the path of teaching their kids to read music. They start young by putting their kids in piano lessons. And most teachers prefer to teach visual skills and music comprehension rather than focusing in on playing by ear. 

To play by ear, you have to work on developing two major skill sets: listening comprehension and aural skills. What It Takes To Learn To Play The Piano By Ear

Can you recognize the chords and notes that you hear in a song?

Can you reproduce it quickly and without error?

Developing the ear doesn’t mean sitting down at the piano and tinkering around with the keys until you have the music correct. Instead, true aural skills involve understanding music well enough that you can sit down and play, knowing exactly which keys to press to play the song. 

And that takes skill. 

It takes extensive knowledge of music theory. You have to understand scales, chords, and how music is created to be able to put it together quickly in your mind, and transfer it to your fingers on the keyboard. 

If you want to be able to play by ear, that means increasing your knowledge of music theory. It also means learning that the keys are not the notes. A-sharp is B-flat on the piano keys. But that doesn’t make them the same note. They may sound the same, but they have different meaning in music. And if you don’t have an understanding of how they fit together, you’ll never be able to transfer that to the keyboard. 

It takes training. It takes studying. It takes practice. 

Have you trained yourself to play by ear?


Since 1960, Coltharp Piano World has represented the finest pianos in Memphis, Tennessee, the Midsouth and the world. In addition to quality sales and service we offer moving services, restoration services and master piano tuning. We offer the best new, used and vintage pianos anywhere. And our prices simply cannot be beat. Come and see our newly remodeled showroom and our beautiful new concert hall. We specialize in piano restoration for the southern United States. We welcome your call.

We are located at: 4447 Summer Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38122 Call us at 901.682.1172

Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

Have a child you’re trying to motivate to stick with playing the piano? There’s an app for that. 

For as long as the piano has been around, parents have worked hard to keep their kids motivated for practice. Today the problem is only amplified with our technological advances. Smartphones, tablets, computer games and even television are far more exciting than the average practice book. It can be tedious at best, especially when so many other things are vying for attention. 

Instead of fighting it, why not give into it instead? New digital tools can liven up your child’s practice routines in new and exciting ways. After all, smartphones have made almost everything in our lives better, why not practicing the piano? Why Piano Apps Can Help Motivate A Piano Player

It only takes a few clicks to open up a world of opportunity. Piano apps can help motivate a child through games or let them become the next maestro by conducting an orchestra. They can help a child write their own music or combine different sounds and record their own songs. We’ve even given you a few of our own favorites right here – and here – on our blog. 

There’s something fascinating about using a smartphone or tablet. You’ll see it in the faces of even the smallest child. Being able to slide, tap, and click away to play in a magical world is exciting. With the inclusion of a tablet into your weekly practice routine, it can add to the “coolness factor” that makes learning the piano even more thrilling. Before a child even knows it, they’ve improved their skills. And they can easily convert their knowledge from something they learned in a game to real world practicality. 

As a parent, it can be difficult to know the difference between playing and practicing. Your child’s piano teacher is a great resource for finding high quality apps that can help in the process. You can also learn more on your own by doing a few simple searches online. Innovative tools are being added all the time and are often just what a child needs to turn even the most frustrating practice sessions into fun again. 

Want to learn piano yourself as an adult? Not a problem. We typically have two things in common. We want to learn fast, and we don’t have a lot of spare time. That’s where an app can help. Apps can provide an interactive learning environment that engages you and provides feedback on your process. It can allow you to understand the nuances of your practicing in far more efficient ways. 

Want to learn the piano? There’s an app for that. And we’re sure you’ll be amazed at how beneficial they can become. 

What are your favorite piano apps?


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 or Sports, Which Is Better For Your Kids?

Piano or Sports, Which Is Better For Your Kids?

For a few years in a child’s life, parents run through the activity list as if it were a marathon. A busy child is a safe and happy child. They can’t get into as much trouble if they are active. And if they’re with friends, they’ll enjoy the activities they are in. 

So as a parent, we try a little bit of everything. T-ball. Gymnastics. Swimming. Soccer. 

What about piano? Piano or Sports, Which Is Better For Your Kids?

The piano is the ultimate instrument in terms of skill and demand. It requires two hands playing together simultaneously while navigating 88 keys. At any given time, two hands can play up to 10 notes at a time. All of those options require the brain to think in a unique way. 

Pianists have to overcome something innate in all of us: the ability to use both left and right hands equally. In most people, we have a dominant hand that we favor throughout the day. Pianists have a demonstrably more symmetrical brain than others when put to the test, possibly because they continually build their brain muscles by putting the two together on a frequent basis. 

Studies show that the more experience a piano player gains, the more efficient their brain becomes. That means a person who plays regularly can be more effective as improvisation skills needed to navigate the day, including problem solving, language, spontaneity, and decision making tactics. Pianists tend to integrate all of the brain’s intake and make more efficient decisions in the process. 

It doesn’t stop there. 

Trained pianists work every day with a complex instrument that taxes the whole brain. Scans show that the longer they play, the more efficient the blood flow becomes as it moves into the brain. Less blood flow means less energy is needed to accomplish the same tasks – to concentrate, to perform certain tasks. When less blood flow is needed in one area, it increases the ability to send blood to other areas. It allows other areas to remain active and engaged at the same time. It can completely change communication skills because it allows the brain to respond in different ways. 

That gives the brain more energy to multi-task and to jump into different situations with less doubt and hesitation. 

While there is a need to keep kids bodies healthy and active through exercise, the same can be said for keeping their brains healthy by giving it an activity that can help them develop and become smarter over time. 

Maybe it’s time to encourage them 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

Playing Piano And Engaging Your Brain Two Hands At A Time

Playing Piano And Engaging Your Brain Two Hands At A Time

With most actions, we perform them one hand at a time. Pick up a pencil, write a sentence, or tap out a rhythm and you’ll be operating one hand at a time. 

But when you sit down to play the piano, things get a bit more complicated. Your right hand plays one part while your left hand plays another. And for many just trying to learn, it can be complicated at best. Playing Piano And Engaging Your Brain Two Hands At A Time

Some instructors will have you practice right hand and left hand separately before bringing them together. But is it the best way?

There are two different aspects to playing hands together that make it difficult. When you play two separate pieces of music with two separate hands, each is vying for your attentional resources. Each hand has to figure out what key on the piano to strike and what rhythm to give each note. You also have to keep in mind the details like dynamics and articulation. There’s only so much attention to go around, so focusing often becomes a problem. 

Learning involves attention; if you have to give resources to two parts, it takes double the effort and more time to learn. You must focus on learning one part to success before giving time to the other part. But once you learn one part, it becomes more automatic, giving you more time to spend on the other. In some points of view, this makes sense. 

However, it’s also important to note how the brain works. The left side of the brain controls the right hand, left hand controlled by the right side of the brain. As an infant, humans have a natural tendency for mirror movements. You’ll see this in a small infant as they routinely make hand movements together. But over time, your motor control takes over, and you learn to control this through interhemispheric inhibition. And when you use only one hand, it becomes more pronounced. 

When you bring the two hands back together, it still feels a little difficult and clumsy. 

Surprisingly, there are very few studies to determine which is the best method: hands separate or hands together learning. In a study conducted by Roberta Brown back in 1933, she found that it was more efficient and more enjoyable in using the hands together approach. 

A study by Robert Duke also concluded that when pianists practiced music with both hands together method, it led to a better performance. 

While there certainly isn’t a right or wrong approach, it’s important to remember that piano is a two handed instrument. That means the sooner you bring the two hands together, the quicker you feel the music as it works together with both hands, the more effective piano player you will become. 

What’s your experience with playing piano with both hands?


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

8 Tips For The Newbie Piano Teacher

8 Tips For The Newbie Piano Teacher

Every piano teacher remembers giving their very first piano lesson. Nervous? Yes, just a little bit. Excited? More than anything. 

Especially in today’s world with so much vying for a student’s attention, it’s more imperative than ever that you dive into teaching with eyes wide open. But what does that mean? Where should you begin?8 Tips For The Newbie Piano Teacher

Tip #1 Start with a vision

Most newbie piano teachers have a goal of finding one piano student. And once number one is booked, the focus moves to number two. But have you ever defined what these students look like? What do you want your piano teaching business to look like five years from today? If your idea of a piano student is “anyone who wants to learn to play the piano” it’s time to redefine. Will you become an expert for retirees? Will you focus on children under the age of eight? Give yourself a specific target client, and you’ll have an easier time finding them. 

Tip #2 Continue with a plan

Clearly defining your students will help you develop solid plans. If you are working with adults instead of kids, for instance, you can begin building a strong plan to help them get into the music from day one. Keep things simple and focus on what you’ll do day one. Then move to day two. 

Tip #3 Take your time

Take your time and never rush things. You have years of experience; your student does not. Slowing down means they have enough time to truly grasp the concepts. You’ll know when they’re ready to move on. 

Tip #4 Be creative

Playing the piano isn’t just about striking the notes and hearing a tune. Playing the piano is all encompassing. Teach through improve, singing, playing by ear, stories, games – there isn’t a right or wrong way to teach and learn. Try things and see what sticks. 

Tip #5 Enjoy yourself

A student learns better from a teacher who is highly engaged and having fun throughout the process. 

Tip #6 Pace yourself

Going from 0 to 60 may be great when driving a car, but not in building your piano business. Never get overwhelmed with the number of new students you bring in. Bring in enough that it keeps you focused on helping the beginner and having resources to be able to engage them along the way. Then leave wiggle room to allow you time to read, reflect and plan all over again. This “grow, hold, grow, hold” method will help you evaluate and test, and make changes along the way. 

Tip #7 Don’t forget this is a business

If you’re doing this for a living, you have to make a living. Be sure to spend time on the things that matter to your business. You are a business owner; never forget it. 

Tip #8 Keep learning

We’re all in this together. You never stop learning, you simply find ways of transferring your increasing knowledge to those around you. Real and listen to others that have “been there, done that” and never be afraid to try something new. 


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 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

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