Give Your Child The Gift of Music – Start With Learning Piano

Give Your Child The Gift of Music – Start With Learning Piano

You want what’s best for your child. You want to give them tools they can use for a happy, healthy life. 

That’s why many parents place their kids in a variety of extracurricular activities, looking for things that stick. Will your child be the next athlete? Scholar? Musician? Each activity can add to their character and help develop a strong personality. 

The gift of music is one thing they will take for life. 

Music often starts at a very young age. You can help kids develop a sense of rhythm with simple instruments. A drum. A xylophone. Even simple hand-clapping and singing easy songs. 

As a child grows, their curiosity grows right along with it. This is a perfect time to introduce an instrument. Learning the piano is a natural progression because piano brings melodies to life. If they have a favorite song, the piano allows them to create the music they love. 

The gift of music comes from both listening and playing. Listening helps you develop culture, gives you a sense of community. Playing offers a variety of benefits, from promoting creativity to enhancing brain development. Studies from all around the world show that playing an instrument helps with:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Increasing test scores
  • Fine motor skills
  • Memory skills
  • Listening
  • Foreign language retention
  • Concentration

Learning the piano is a foundational instrument, which can help build music skills that can be transferred to other instruments. Because you learn both melody and harmony, it often retains interest longer, and pushes kids into wanting more. 

Looking to give your child a gift they can enjoy throughout their lives? Consider the gift of music. 

It’s the perfect skill to help them develop stronger personalities, for life. 

Playing The Piano – What To Do When Frustration Hits

Playing The Piano – What To Do When Frustration Hits

Do you imagine yourself playing the piano in front of friends? Starting a band? Being in a rock band?

Yet when you sit down to play, the only thing you get is frustration. You’ve been practicing for months! When will you be able to play the way you imagine?

Before we give you some tips to overcome your frustration, it’s important to note that every piano player goes through frustration from time to time. The important thing to remember is never to give up. 

If you want to improve, keep going. Whether you want piano to be a hobby or a career, there will always be periods of frustration, where you don’t seem to have the skills you want. 

The process is different for everybody. But when you find a way to step around your frustration, keep that in mind as you continue to improve your piano skills. 

Find your motivation – with every hobby you start, it’s important to find your why before you begin. Why do you want to play the piano? When you focus on that, it will help pull you out of moments when you question why you’re doing what you do. You can tell yourself that in your darkest moments. 

Do it anyway – don’t feel like playing? Do it anyway. Instead of working on a frustrating piece, play music you’ve learned and enjoy. That’s why instructors usually have several different tactics during each lesson. You may start with the basics, work on new music, and finish with a favorite song. It gives you a wide variety of things to work on over your playing time. 

Learn the language of music – there’s more to music than playing your favorite songs. Dive deep into piano to discover new things. Understand chords. Read classical music. Listen to several different genres. The more you expand into the art of music, the more you’ll appreciate all it has to offer. 

Get better equipment – if you’ve started on a hand-me-down keyboard, maybe it’s time to upgrade to an acoustic piano. When you have better equipment to practice on, it can sometimes make all the difference in how you play. This is especially true if you have a “toy” keyboard or one that doesn’t have the characteristics of an acoustic piano. Upgrade to one with weighted keys, a full 88 key range, and dynamic sound, and you may find your love for playing the piano all over again. 

If you’re frustrated with playing the piano, maybe it’s time to do something different. Stop by today, and we can show you our entire line of pianos. Whether you’re just starting out, or are considering piano as a career, we’ll help you discover the perfect piano to suit your needs. 

What If I Can’t Play The Piano With Both Hands?

What If I Can’t Play The Piano With Both Hands?

At first, it can seem like a frustrating problem. You have the desire to play the piano. You’ve invested time and money towards your new hobby. Yet no matter how many times you sit down to practice, you just can’t seem to get it right. 

What if you can’t play the piano with both hands? What if they simply won’t work together? And trying to read music at the same time? Forget it. 

Before you give up, read on. 

Learning to play the piano with both hands is one of the biggest learning curves of a beginning piano player’s training. 

Playing the piano with both hands takes concentration and practice. Ever tried to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time? It takes thinking and coordination to get your brain to tell your hands to each do something independently. 

That’s a similar tactic for piano playing. You’re not alone if you’re frustrated. It takes practice. And it takes time. You just have to wait for your coordination to catch up. 

Instead of letting your frustration win, you can practice through your frustration and give your hands a chance to figure out how to work together. 

Start by practicing each hand separately. Practice the piece with your right hand and learn it well enough for comfort to set in. Then let your left hand catch up. Practice it until you get comfortable with what both hands need to do to complete the song. Not put the two together. You’ll hear what both sides need to do, and have a better chance of putting them together. 

Focus on the rhythm. Clap it out if you need to. Get the 1-2-3-4 rhythm down, and build that into your mind before you start playing the song. Feel the beat. And let that come through to both your right and left hand. Using a metronome may help too, so that you can have the constant beat in the background. Slow it down if you need to. 

Choose music you know. It’s sometimes a lot more challenging to play a song you aren’t sure of. If you pick music you know, you’ll have an easier time letting both hands find the right beat, and pick out the right notes. It can allow you to look at the music differently. 

Keep trying. You don’t have to play a song perfectly the first time you sit down. Maybe you can practice a few lines at a time. Or play small sections until you get it right. Skills grow if you commit to fully learning the song over time. Keep it up, and you’ll eventually play it well. 

And you’ll have the skills necessary to start on a new song!

Learn To Play The Piano Now – Why Learning Is Better as an Adult

Learn To Play The Piano Now – Why Learning Is Better as an Adult

There are many times in our lives where we sit down and create lists to help us find our passions. We may do it as we enter college. As we become more secure in our jobs. When New Year’s Eve rolls around each year. As we retire and have more time available to find outside interests. 

It usually starts with a wish: I wish I could …

What’s your wish? 

We often give our kids the gift of music. We push them to start piano lessons, or join the school band. 

But what about as you age? Are you too old to start up something new? Is it too late to learn to play the piano? 

Not at all!

In fact, it may be even easier to learn to play as an adult. 

Why? Because as an adult, you have more drive and determination. As a child, a lot is vying for your attention, and it’s easier to get pulled into different directions by a lot of outside influences. There isn’t enough time for a child to do every after school activity they wish to do. Something has to give. And it might be making music. 

But now, your focus has changed. It’s not a race. It’s about following through on something you choose to do. 

Stop worrying about if it’s possible. It is! You just have to sit down and play, and move forward one piece of music at a time. 

Purchase a piano and place it in an area that is conducive for playing. 

Don’t think of it as practice. Simply enjoy that you get to play the piano every day. 

And set small goals. Move from the first level of piano playing into the second. Find things that entertain you, and help you keep going. 

But most of all, do it for you. 

Because that’s really the biggest advantage of learning anything as an adult. You have what it takes to set goals and see them through. 

Why not start playing the piano today? 

Remember When It Was Fun To Play The Piano?

Remember When It Was Fun To Play The Piano?

Studies show playing the piano can bring back fun into our lives, reduce stress, and help with anxiety. Could it be the release we need as we move forward? 

We’re only beginning to understand the implications the pandemic has had on mental health. 

Statistics show that 4 in 10 adults have reported anxiety or depressive disorder symptoms, up from 1 in 10 during the same time period pre-pandemic. For young adults ages 18-24, the reports of symptoms are even higher, at 56 percent. 

The pandemic has also taken its toll on kids, with more than 25 percent of high school students reporting worsening emotional and cognitive health, at a time where pediatric mental health care coverage is declining too. 

Where do kids retreat to when they need time to relax and unwind? For many, they turn to music. It’s an integral part of our culture, and an emotional communication method that grasps us throughout our lives. How many times have you heard a song and instantly been transported back in time? 

Those feelings further increase when you connect with the song. Playing the piano allows you to connect in a way that listening can’t. You put fingers to the keys, and feel the emotion in your arms as you play. 

Learning the piano is more than tapping out the song on the keyboard. Learning the piano helps you understand every aspect of music, providing both rhythm and structure to how you look at music. 

It’s a gift that allows you to open up and look deep within yourself about how music impacts the world. It’s an outlet for creativity, an emotional expression that once learned, never leaves. It gives you a way to destress and calm down even after your busiest, most stressful days.  

If you’ve ever learned to play the piano as a child, remember how much fun it was to be able to create music? To sit down and relax without the stress of the outside world?

Why not give that gift to your child now when they need it most? 

Learning to play the piano might just be the best activity you can give them as we move forward in this world. 

Why Headphones Can Help You Be a Better Piano Player

Why Headphones Can Help You Be a Better Piano Player

Thinking of investing in a new piano? Ensure you select one that accepts headphones. Headphones can actually help you be a better piano player. Here’s why. 

More practice – one of the greatest challenges of practicing is finding the time and place to do so. In a busy household, you may have to wait until some are through with homework, or another is off a conference call. With headphones, you’re the only one who will hear your music. That means you can get more practice at a time that’s convenient for you. 

Hear a fuller range of tonal quality – have you ever noticed you hear music differently when it’s on a car radio compared to when your headphones are in place? The same works when you’re playing the piano. You’ll hear the little nuances that make up a song while you’re playing it. 

You’ll be less distracted and get more out of practice time – what makes a better piano player is higher quality practice sessions. With headphones on, you’re less likely to be distracted from outside noise, or conversations of the people around you. You’ll pay more attention to what you’re doing with your music. 

Use the piano anywhere – headphones are now available on a variety of instruments, from acoustic to digital pianos. By being able to plugin headphones, you can place your piano anywhere and listen to the music you create. 

Alone or together – headphones aren’t just for individual practice. They can be used to help refine what you play. Many classrooms now manage more refined training by having each student wear headphones to help create a unique learning experience. It allows students to be more focused on their own training, while learning on a larger platform. 

If you grew up with an older acoustic piano and never learned the benefits of having headphones as an option, come in today and see what they can do for you or your child’s piano playing ability. 

Turn Your Love Of Piano Into a Career

Turn Your Love Of Piano Into a Career

When you push your kids towards extracurricular activities, it’s with the hope that they’ll gain knowledge for the future. 

  • Will it give them team building skills?
  • Will they learn goal setting strategies?
  • Will they find a career?

Studies show that when parents push their kids in sports, they have high goals for what’s possible to achieve. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, only a small number of high school athletes actually go on to play professionally. Yet the dream is real, with 39 percent of parents believing in the dream. 

Music can provide a bigger, more achievable dream. While there is a low chance of your child ever becoming a rock star, many careers in music can lead to sustainable lifestyles. 

There are classical piano jobs:

  • Concert pianist
  • Piano teacher or instructor
  • Piano player in a band
  • Church musician
  • Music arrangement
  • Solo performance artist
  • Theater productions
  • Backup band member

There are also jobs where you can incorporate your love of piano into a worthwhile skill:

  • Piano technician
  • Piano sales
  • Composer
  • Music therapist
  • Early education
  • Music review and creative writing
  • Historian

While your child might not be the next musical prodigy, there are many different ways they can incorporate music into their lives every day, and get paid for it too. 

Piano teachers can be a good side business, teaching a few students out of your home each week. Or take it further and become a university instructor, helping students take their skills to the next level. 

Music therapy is also a growing field, especially piano skills, which can be used by people in every age bracket. Many studies showcase how music helps with mental illnesses, and can make strides in everything from autism to Alzheimer’s. 

Want to give your child a gift that can keep on giving throughout their lives? Consider signing them up for piano lessons. While they might enjoy the relaxation that comes with it, they may also turn it into a career. 

Do You Really Need Weighted Keys To Learn The Piano?

Do You Really Need Weighted Keys To Learn The Piano?

Want to learn the piano? Why not pick up a small keyboard on sale at your local big box store. 

There’s a reason why that may not be your best course of action. 

Inexpensive keyboards, toy pianos, and other electronic pianos that aren’t designed with actual playing in mind are missing one important detail that can harm your learning skills: weighted keys. 

What are weighted keys?

Weighted keys are created in digital pianos to mimic the playable action used in an acoustic piano. If you’ve ever sat down and played an acoustic piano, you may have noticed the way the keys feel as you press down and lift them back up. This is caused by the way a piano is created. 

The keys are connected to hammers, which snap against piano strings to create sound. There’s a slight tension in the action, and it enhances your playability, your overall technique, and increases your playing habits. Touch a key lightly, you’ll hear a faint sound. Add more force, and you have more voice in the outcome. 

If you continue to grow in your piano abilities, you will move to acoustic pianos. Uprights, grands, and concert pianos will all use weighted keys. If you learn on a keyboard without weighted keys, it changes the dynamics of how you learn to play. 

Do you need weighted keys to learn?

In short, the answer is: Yes. While you can learn the keys and where they are located, you can’t pick up the complete structure of making music. The basics will be there, but the in-depth instruction can’t be learned. 

Transferring your skills to a keyboard with weighted keys will feel different from the beginning. You’ll notice the tension there each time you press down on a key. 

Weighted keys give you the ability to add more depth to your music. It’s what makes you a better player. 

Is it time you invested in an acoustic piano? We can help you find the right piano to suit your needs. 

Getting Over Stage Fright Before Your Piano Recital

Getting Over Stage Fright Before Your Piano Recital

How far do you wish to take your piano lessons? Do you want to become an accomplished musician? Before you play at your first piano recital, you might have to work at getting over stage fright. 

A lot of pianists face this every time they play. Even the hundredth recital can evoke fear. 

Stage fright is also sometimes referred to as performance anxiety. It isn’t limited to making music; you can find it in all kinds of fields. If you’ve ever had to get up in front of people, you know how knee-knocking it can be. It’s only natural to be scared of the spotlight, to have everyone around you staring and waiting for what you have to provide. 

Especially in today’s world, where a lot of us have learned and performed in the online world. We’re no longer used to having to share skills with people surrounding us. 

Piano often takes the spotlight from other instruments on stage. Piano is the only instrument that regularly plays both harmony and melody. It’s almost always noticeable. It’s difficult to hide mistakes. Piano rarely blends in with the rest of the instruments on stage. 

That alone can make you stand out, even if you’re performing with a group. 

And when it comes to recital time, all eyes are on you. 

Stage fright is nothing more than your brain moving into protection mode, to try to help you from being noticed by people around you. Humans by nature don’t want to stand out, and risk becoming a social outcast. If you’ve ever made a big mistake and had people take notice, you know how it feels. Stage fright is the internal battle you have with yourself, to push forward and do something your brain is saying yes to, while your inner voice is trying to protect you. 

What part of you will win?

It’s not just a case of nerves. Stage fright can be debilitating. It can stop you from moving forward with something you love. 

If you want to move forward, realize it may take work to get over your stage fright. Do different things along the way – rarely will one suggestion work for everyone. You have to find what works best for you. People have found a variety of things to work, including:

  • Finding a friendly face in the crowd.
  • Imagining everyone in the audience in their underwear (yes, it really works, as it can bring even the scariest person down a notch).
  • Practice, practice, practice. The more prepared you are, the less you’ll have to fear. 
  • Do it anyway – what have you got to lose? 
  • Develop a warm up routine that helps remove tension from your body before going on stage. Some call this “getting into the zone.”
  • Change your diet – too much caffeine can cause jitters. 
  • Visualize your success before you ever step onto the stage. 

You’re not alone in your quest to overcome stage fright. Every person on earth has experienced it from time to time. The key is in choosing to move forward anyway. 

What works for you to reduce anxiety before your piano recital? 

Make Piano a Part of Your Self-Care Routine

Make Piano a Part of Your Self-Care Routine

Need a mental health activity? Looking for something to add to your self-care routine? 

Why not create music, and sit down at the piano to relax? 

The last couple of years have taught us a lot about mental health. We’re starting to realize that mindset can help with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Stress relief is necessary to maintain a positive mindset. And what better way to do that than with discovering the musician deep within? 

A 2020 study of music and stress suggests listening to music can lower heart rates, improve our sense of well-being, reduce physical and emotional stress levels, and reduce stress-related symptoms. 

Playing the piano can increase the benefits, with studies linking music making to a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy life. 

If you’re looking for an activity to help bring peace back into your life, it may start by improving your listening skills. While you might already enjoy certain genres of music, play it up and discover new music. Explore jazz, classic, Celtic, and contemporary music. You can find playlists on your favorite music platform that promise calmness, and are designed for the sole purpose to help you relax. 

Then take it to the next level. Why not learn to play the piano to take an active part in removing stress from your life? A few minutes a day becoming actively involved in creating music can set you on a different track. 

Any time you learn to play an instrument, you’re actively involved in also increasing your confidence. Why? Because it takes confidence to work up music to a point where you share it with others, even if it’s only with family and friends, and your piano teacher. Take it to the next level and play at a recital, and you’ll give yourself an added boost of confidence. It takes a lot of small wins to become an accomplished pianist. 

Whether you choose to make your piano playing a social activity, or prefer to stick closer to home, the sense of accomplishment every time you sit down to play can be the perfect addition to your self-care routine. 

Have you always wanted to play the piano?

Maybe this is the year to make it a reality.