What Is A Piano Pitch Raise

What Is A Piano Pitch Raise

When you invest in a piano, it takes more than dusting it occasionally to keep it at its best. 

Chances are, you’ve heard that pianos must be tuned regularly for it to create beautiful music. Piano tuning is simply the act of adjusting the tension of the piano strings to ensure that each interval between strings – notes – creates the proper sound. If you’ve ever played a scale and had one of tune, you know how important this process is. 

But if you have a piano tuner into your home, adjusting your piano regularly, you might hear her talking about a piano pitch raise. And depending on how well she explains it, it might leave you scratching your head, wondering if a pitch raise is really necessary. 

Let’s simplify the process. 

When you tap a piano key, it connects with the piano strings on the inside in order to create sound. Each of these strings has a certain level of tension applied to it to create a specific sound. If you increase tension, the pitch rises. If you loosen tension, the pitch lowers. 

If you take a look inside your piano, you’ll notice the strings are connected to the soundboard and held in place with a tuning pin and a hitch pin. If all strings were the same, they would all play the same note – the same pitch. But as the tuning pin is adjusted, each string plucks out a different tone. 

The piano itself has, on average, 88 keys. Depending on the model, it will have around 230 strings. That’s because three strings are used for each of the tenor and treble notes, while the base notes only require two strings. 

For a treble note, all three strings must be adjusted to bring the note in tune. Tension may be removed from one, while adjusted and tightened for the others. As the technician makes changes to the pitch, you can think of this as a pre-tune. It’s something that doesn’t have to be performed every time you tune a piano, especially if you have your piano tuned regularly. 

Why would your piano require a pitch raise? 

  • The tuning pins have come loose
  • There’s been a change in the environment, with temperature or humidity conditions affecting the piano
  • You’ve moved your piano
  • You’ve been playing your piano more. 
  • You haven’t tuned your piano in years

Tuning a piano isn’t like tuning a guitar. Each of the 230 strings can hold up to 200 pounds of pressure. Combined, that’s close to 22 tons of pressure. And because of their close proximity and dependability on each other for sound, one change can have a significant impact on the overall playability of your piano. 

If you haven’t scheduled a piano tuning in a while, now is the time. Contact us today, we can help you keep your piano sounding great for life. 

The Benefit To Learning Piano With Headphones

The Benefit To Learning Piano With Headphones

When people pick up an instrument for the first time, it can be a precarious thing. We’ve all witnessed a child blowing into a trumpet, or banging on a drum until we’re ready to take the set away. 

But a piano is different. We all have an innate skill to hunt and peck out a basic tune. Tap a few keys and it doesn’t sound all that bad. Of course, that all changes when you sit down with a piece of music and attempt to play a longer song. Suddenly, the hunt and peck method shines through. You play a few notes over and over and over … Let’s just say your family is ready to push the piano into a closet and not let you near it for a while. 

Thanks to today’s technology, you can sit in the middle of family living space and play without others having to listen to your hunt-and-peck practice methods, until you’re ready to play the tune for an audience. By learning piano with headphones, you can actually improve the way you practice and play. 

Listen better

Sometimes playing the piano can be a bit distracting. It’s hard to hear yourself play because of the ambient noise. Use headphones will allow you to hear every note, every tone. You can also use them for playback and carefully listen to where you can improve. 

Avoid distractions

Even when you’re sitting in your home, distractions are everywhere. Family members ask questions. You remember something else to do in another room. By putting on headphones, they can act as a blocker against what’s happening around you, allowing you to focus on practice and the music. 

Play on your schedule

A lot of busy families have trouble finding the time to practice. With headphones, you won’t make a sound, so you can practice whenever you choose. Practice while others are doing homework. Practice early before everyone wakes up. Or practice before you head to bed. Just plug in and you can practice as much as you want to. 

Listen to the greats

Sometimes motivation can help you become a better player. If you’re trying to learn Mozart or Beethoven, use your headphones to listen to every note. You can concentrate on certain passages, and then use that as motivation to create your own music. 

Of course, you’ll have to invest in high quality headphones. In this case, price does matter. Be sure they are full-sized, over the ear headphones to ensure they block out all ambient noise, and allow you to focus on only what’s important – you’re playing. 

Have you ever tried learning piano with headphones? Has it made you a better player?

Finding A Piano Competition Near You

Finding A Piano Competition Near You

Want to take your piano playing to new levels? Find and enter a piano competition near you. 

You like to play. You love to listen to masters within the industry. Why not marry the two together and enter your own competition? 

You might think: Not me. Maybe you’re nervous about performing in front of others. Or maybe you don’t believe you’re good enough. Surely there are others better than you … right?

Maybe you’re thinking about it in the wrong way. 

Piano competitions aren’t just about winning prizes. It’s not about ranking you in order based on who shows up for the event. A piano competition can provide you with so much more. 

Critiquing

Up until now, you probably haven’t had a lot of critiquing of your piano playing. Your instructor has their opinions. Family and friends will most likely say: you’re great! When you step onto a stage, you’ll be heard by new people, new judges, all that can look at your work and make suggestions for ways to improve. You can also listen to what the judges say about others: how can you use that in your own practice and training? 

Meet others in the industry

Who exactly is your competition? By attending one, you can start to see the other talent in your local area. And as you talk to other players, you might discover further ways to improve your own work. Are there better instructors that can help you grow? Other competitions you can attend? Scholarships to attend local, national, or international schools? Ask questions and keep your ears open to learn all you can as you attend. 

Training

Just because you’ve entered a competition doesn’t mean you can’t learn as well. A lot of competitions offer masterclasses from judges or others in the industry to give you a wealth of knowledge. Make plans to attend everything you can; sometimes, they hold these classes a day before or after the competition. Sign up if you can, and ask lots of questions to improve your own talent. 

How to find a piano competition

You can start by asking your current piano instructor. Check in with your local music store. If your local college has a music program, you can contact them too for insight into regional competitions. Don’t forget Google – a few searches will bring up a wealth of information. And ask around every time you play in competition – what others would people around you recommend? You’ll be surprised at what you can find once you open up and start searching. 

Piano competitions are a great way to pursue excellence and get a chance to practice your craft in front of a live audience. You might just find yourself in ways you’ve never imagined before. Make 2020 the year you improve you by entering a piano competition. 

Why You Should Learn To Play The Piano – Science Agrees!

Why You Should Learn To Play The Piano – Science Agrees!

Imagine trying to learn a new sport – football – at the age of 85. 

That’s not going to happen. No matter how well physically an 85 year old is, the thought of running up and down a field probably isn’t reality. 

Now imagine an 85 year old sitting down and learning to play the piano. A little more realistic, right?

Musicality isn’t something that ever goes away. You can pick up an instrument and learn how to play, whether you’re 5 or 85. You bring different things to the table. You learn for different reasons. 

And once you learn to play the piano, you’ll have a lifetime to perfect it. It will stay with you and be a part of who you are until the day you die. 

It’s not just musicians, educators, or piano dealers that say this. It’s backed by science too. 

Playing the piano can fine tune your brain, both biologically and neurologically

You don’t have to look farther than some of the greatest musicians on earth to know that they remain sharp well into their sixties, seventies, eighties, and beyond. Think Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger. A study out of Northwestern University confirms it too. There is biological evidence that keeping music in your life has a good impact on the aging process. It impacts everything from retaining memory to hearing. 

Playing the piano gives you a full body workout

When you listen to music – especially classical music – a whole host of benefits occur in your body. But when you engage in the actual act of creating music, it ramps up and helps you even more. Think of it as a whole body workout, mind and body. It strengthens multiple areas of your brain, increasing concentration, focus, and memory. It carries forward discipline into multiple areas of your life. 

Playing the piano reduces stress and anxiety

Do you have stress or anxiety in your life? It almost seems like a silly question, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t? But studies show that adults who sit down at the piano have a therapeutic way of reducing stress and anxiety. The simple nature of sitting down and practicing can help calm your nerves and improve your self-awareness. It gives you a chance to breathe deep and take the focus off what’s not working in your life. 

Playing the piano changes your brain structure and mental awareness

The great thing about playing the piano is you can pick it up at any time, no matter how old you are, and the results are instantaneous. Multiple studies confirm that playing music can change the way their brain processes information. Your brain stays stronger and you become more mentally aware of your surroundings. You don’t have to be good at it, or even reach a certain level before it kicks in. This is something you do for you. It’s something that works for a lifetime. 

Why You Should Play Classical Music On The Piano

Why You Should Play Classical Music On The Piano

A lot of people start playing the piano because they have a desire to play a favorite song. But playing the piano is more than playing your favorite pop tunes on the keyboard. If you really want to develop your skills as a pianist, it’s important to play classical music on the piano too. 

According to an article by Primphonic, classical music doesn’t have a popularity problem. Instead, it has an accessibility problem. When asked, up to 31 percent of Americans state they enjoy listening to classical music. That rises with age as well as education levels. 35 percent of those with a degree enjoy classical music, while 48 percent with postgraduate degrees enjoy it. 

But listening isn’t the only thing that benefits your life; playing classical music has a variety of benefits too. 

It enhances concentration levels

Classical music requires almost all areas of the brain to be activated to play it correctly. It requires you to concentrate on tempo, pitch, rhythm, note duration, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination as you read through the music. 

It teaches discipline

Learning to play classical music on the piano is one of the most challenging things you can take on. It requires frequent practice and discipline to stick with the task at hand until you achieve success. 

It’s great for your joints

Any type of movement is great for your body, and piano playing is no exception. It helps keep the joints of your wrists and fingers agile while improving your posture as you sit. It also allows your joints to remain loose, aiding with degenerative diseases such as arthritis. 

It’s great for your memory

The more you play classical music, the more you stimulate the brain. And according to research, it can help improve your memory as well as help you retain larger amounts of information. It enhances the ability to memorize things. 

It gets your creative juices flowing

Classical music is some of the greatest music ever produced. Sitting down and mastering it will allow you to express yourself creatively. Whether you do it for yourself or perform in front of an audience, you’ll begin to see the world in new ways. 

It’s fun!

The more you learn to enjoy playing the piano, the more you’ll want to explore. Classical music lets you play with all kinds of styles, tempos, and rhythms, giving you a chance to have fun with it no matter what your experience level. If you want to be a better pianist, give classical music a try. You’ll love the way it teaches you to play. 

Why Piano Practice Is Important

Why Piano Practice Is Important

Why do we need to practice? The most obvious answer is: to get better. 

But it really goes beyond that. 

Piano practice gives you the ability to dive into the music and perform it to the best of your ability. Whether your performance is only for yourself, or you have dreams of playing in Carnegie Hall, our desire to get better stems from the ability to perform. 

Practice might seem like an easy thing to do. Just sit down at the piano and play. But it’s more complicated than that. With only a few strategies in place, your piano practice will improve, and you’ll enjoy playing and performing even more. 

Listen

Playing the piano isn’t just about touching the keys and making a sound. It’s also about hearing what you’re playing. To improve the music that you make, you have to listen to what you do. It’s also important to listen to others that play too. 

Are you trying to improve the way you play classical music? Listen to it. Pull it up on your Spotify and listen on your way to work or school. Feel the way a classically trained musician puts it all together. You’ll be surprised at how much listening can improve the way you play. 

Focus

There’s so much more to playing music than focusing on the notes. It’s also about the tiny details that change a piece of music from good to great. The more complex music you work with, the more the direction they’ll have written in the music. Are you taking all of those details into account while you play? It might not come easily, but focus in on every detail. Play sections over and over again, paying attention to a different detail each time. Slowly, you’ll see progress in the way you play, and hear it in the final melody. 

Beat

Consider the last difficult piece of music you worked on. Certain parts flowed while others were more difficult to carry through. You played to tempo in some areas where others dragged. One of the best ways to overcome that is to set the beat. Use a metronome to create a workable rhythm, and then play the entire piece up to speed. Work on the difficult parts until you can play them well. You’ll see improvement every time you sit down to play. 

What tips do you have to make your practice better?

Keep That Resolution – Learn Piano This Year

Keep That Resolution – Learn Piano This Year

A lot of people add “learn piano” to their resolution lists each year. Yet only a small number succeed. Want to change your odds? 

Try giving yourself even better reasons to learn to play. There are many benefits to learn to play the piano; it will change your life in more ways than one. 

Encourages creativity

Playing the piano takes a lot of thought and an equal amount of hand-eye coordination. It triggers the part of the brain responsible for creativity. When you activate your mind by playing and practicing, you’ll see it carry over into other areas of your life. 

Increases organization

If you want to learn to play the piano well, you have to build it into your life. And that takes both time management and organization skills. It’s a fun way to develop lifelong skills. 

Improves concentration

Scientists have proved that it takes discipline to play music. It activates different parts of your brain every time you sit down at the keyboard. It increases your patience as well as allows you to be more focused on everything you do. 

Improves coordination

It takes a lot of skill to play the piano well. Your left hand plays one tune while your right hand plays another. Your eyes watch the music as your brain takes in the notes. 

Prevents hearing, processing, and memory loss

Continued research shows that the auditory skills required to play the piano slow down things like hearing, processing, and memory loss. Piano has also been used successfully in a wide variety of music therapies, including use for cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s or neurological disorders like autism. 

Improves learning

When piano lessons are taken in conjunction with regular school activities, there is increasing evidence that it improves abilities such as reading, language skills, math, and reading comprehension. 

Increases self esteem

It takes a lot of work and dedication to play the piano well. When you master new songs or put on a performance, it can raise your confidence levels and make you more sure of your abilities. 

Is this the year you learn to play the piano?

Keeping Up With Piano Practice Over The Holiday Season

Keeping Up With Piano Practice Over The Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … 

It’s also one of the busiest times of the year. 

If you’re having trouble finding the time to fit everything in between parties and activities and dinners, don’t let piano practice be the one activity that takes the hit. It’s easy to push piano practice aside, figuring it can wait until the new year when things return to normal. 

And while kids need a break from the same old routine, stepping away from the piano means a lot of the work they’ve done up until this point will be forgotten and disappear. 

Instead of taking a breather from playing the piano, change up the routine over the holidays instead. You can change the way your child practices the piano by doing these four things instead. 

Encourage mini recitals and sing-a-longs

Have you ever noticed you do more singing around the holidays? That’s because the most well-loved songs come out and become a part of our daily lives. Have your child work up a selection of music appropriate for their skill level. Then have them either play it in mini recital format, or create a family sing-a-long. Either way, it’s a great way to have your child show off their skills. 

Surprise your piano teacher

While you might want to give your piano teacher a special gift for the holidays, what they’d like even more is if you surprise them with a new song on the day of the first lesson after the holidays. Work ahead in your practice book, or find sheet music of a song you love. 

Download a new app

When was the last time you looked in the app store for piano apps? You might be surprised at the number of new apps that have been added. Help your child select a new app – find a game that helps them practice, or an app that lets them create their own music. You’re sure to find something that keeps their creative juices flowing. 

Go shopping for new music together

It’s easy to stick with the piano lesson books assigned by your piano teacher. But when was the last time you browsed through the available sheet music at your favorite music store? Let your child select a few songs appropriate for their skill level, and let them work on something new during the holidays. 

How Playing Piano Can Create Mindfulness

How Playing Piano Can Create Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the process of becoming fully aware of the present moment. It’s about becoming fully aware of thoughts, feelings, and actions, and using them to stay calm and focused on where you are. 

While how well mindfulness impacts a person’s health is still out for question, studies show that it does have impact with everything from anxiety and depression, to post traumatic stress disorder. 

When people think mindfulness, they usually think of meditation. But increasing evidence suggests that playing the piano can have a similar effect. Playing the piano offers proven benefits that more people are paying attention to – both physical, mental, social, and emotional impact. 

Physically, when you play the piano, it can have therapeutic results. While you play, anxiety, heart rate, blood pressure, and even immune responses decrease right along with it. 

Mentally, playing the piano may increase your thinking ability. A study conducted by one researcher showed that when kids were active in different after school activities, those who were given piano lessons saw the largest increase in IQ

Socially, piano gives you more focus and perseverance. Playing the piano takes time and effort. It’s not something you’ll accomplish in a matter of weeks; it’s a lifetime endeavor. It takes practice and patience, and makes you a better team player. 

Emotionally, playing the piano increases your listening skills. When you play, you listen for distinct differences in tone, speed, even quality of the music. This transfers over to both voice and body language of the people around you. Piano players make better listeners at reading different situations.

Want to give your child mindfulness early in life? Maybe it’s time to have them start playing the piano.  

Why You Should Consider A Silent Piano

Why You Should Consider A Silent Piano

Playing the piano in a busy household can sometimes be a problem. More people quit the piano because – “I don’t have time to play.”

It’s not necessarily they are too busy and are never home to sit down in play. Instead, it comes down to having the time to practice when no one else is around. 

Practicing the piano isn’t like turning up your audio equipment and listening to some music. 

Practice is choppy – you play slowly trying to master the tune. 

Practice is repetitious – you might practice the same line over and over again. 

Practice is boring – from the outside, it can be quite tedious listening to someone practice. Scales, short stanzas, and simple tunes aren’t always exciting for people listening. 

Especially if those family members have an agenda of their own. 

Ever had each of your kids trying to do something at the same time? One can’t concentrate on getting homework done while the other is practicing. 

That’s why digital pianos are popular. You can plug in headphones and only the person wearing them will hear. 

But there is another way. The silent piano is still an acoustic piano, but it has the possibility of muting the sound enough where only the person wearing headphones can here. 

That’s perfect for homework sessions, or if you feel like practicing in the middle of the night. 

You can usually pick out silent pianos in two ways if you visit a showroom floor. 

Look for the acoustic piano with a headphone lying nearby. 

Look for the acoustic piano with a console attached underneath the keyboard either on the right or left hand side. It will give you access to plugin a headphone jack with an audio-out option. 

This is made possible by having the console producing sound digitally when the silent piano mode is used. Because the samples are produced using a high-quality acoustic piano, it will sound similar to when you play without the silent mode. Signals are used to go between the two units, so as you touch the keys on the keyboard, it calculates what sound to produce in silent mode. 

These units also allow you to record your performance, which can be a great way of critiquing your practice sessions from time to time. 

Is a silent piano the right choice for you?