Schooooooool’s Out. For. Summer!

At least for most of you, we’re sure. But as good as it is to have a break, that lag time between June and August sometimes leaves us feeling a little rusty – especially when it comes to learning a new instrument. This down time can be even more damaging for young learners. That being said, we have a few ideas to keep your students fresh on their instrument of choice – whether it’s the piano, the violin, or even the accordion.

1. The natural response to keeping up with piano practice is to keep your child in lessons. Even with a looser summer schedule, it can be important for your child to have a weekly appointment with their teacher. If this isn’t an option, encourage a daily or weekly practice schedule for your child. Sources recommend a morning commitment, but do what’s best for you!

2. OK, so you set up a schedule. But now you’re going on vacation! Chances are there’s not a piano in your hotel room or mountainside cabin. Unless AirBNB adds a new filter to their selection process. Luckily we have digital technology at our fingertips – literally. Because there’s an app for this. It just depends on what you need.

For a more realistic experience, we recommend the clean and crisp Piano HD app. For something that practices note reading and playing in a more “fun” atmosphere, the Piano Maestro app comes highly recommended. And if you just want your child to be doing something related to the piano while also managing to learn something, there’s more fun to be had in selections like Moana Rhythm Run, The Most Addicting Sheep Game, or Rhythm Cat – all of which stress the importance of understanding rhythm and beats, the latter actually forcing the player to comprehend some musical notations.

3. In an effort to keep the fun going, allow your child to have some fun with their instrument. For most students, there’s a pre-sanctioned setlist to practice during the school year. But during the summer, anything is fair game – so long as they’re playing! Ask what song they want to learn to play. Maybe it’s something on the radio, maybe it’s a song from their favorite animated movie, but chances are there are versions out there for just about any skill level. Let them play that. If they love it and enjoy it….they’ll practice more. And they’ll only get better. Plus, practicing will become their choice – not yours.

4. Be their audience. Sure, sometimes there’s just too much work to be done. But sometimes, all your child wants is to be recognized for their efforts. So take a few minutes and let them play for you. Applaud when they’re done. Give them a standing ovation. If you find your child really does crave an audience – set up a short show for them at summer’s end. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and let your child show off what they’ve learned!

5. But maybe your child doesn’t want the extra attention. In that case, it’s okay to reward them in other ways. Set up a system throughout the whole summer, tracking each time they practice and maybe even for how long (5 minutes doesn’t equal 30) with stars on the calendar. You can even set up a tiered system for rewards – maybe practicing 20 times is one reward, whereas practicing every day is something a little more extravagant. And for those of you who don’t believe in gifts, give your child an experience. A one-on-one day with Mom or Dad, a special afternoon at Chuck E Cheese with a friend. You know what motivates your child – let them learn how to earn it! In the end, it’s a win-win.

Piano teachers are used to their students coming back from a long break barely remembering anything they learned before. Many have programs in place to jog their students’ memory over the first month of back-to-school. But wouldn’t it be nice if that time didn’t have to be wasted? Wouldn’t it be great for your child to come back to their teacher with even more skills than when they left? We think it’s possible – it’ll just take a little bit of practice.

Burn, Baby, Burn

The other day, in searching for some “piano news” to share with you all, we came across some rather disturbing updates. It seems that pianos are being burned – and that they’ve been being burned for quite some time now.


Well, to start, the burning made news as a portion of the UK’s Royal Air Force Centennial Celebration. The varied festivities included a cricket match, a picnic and….wait for it….the burning of a “rather unattractive upright piano” (World Piano News). The military tradition goes back to World War II, though its origin is widely debated between several influences.  It is first supposed that the act of burning a piano pays homage to those who died defending the nation. But let’s be honest – that alone doesn’t exactly make a whole lot of sense, does it?

The more relevant story dates back to the British military believing that their pilots ought to learn to play the piano – for a cultural appreciation of the arts, but also to improve their manual dexterity and their cognitive performance in combat. Hmm. Well, that sounds reasonable!

However, the pilots weren’t too happy about the new requirements….and soon enough mysterious fires were breaking out in the airbases’ Officer Clubs. After some time, officers began dragging the pianos out of the practice areas in an effort to preserve the buildings, but continuing to burn the instruments beyond repair.

Kids, don’t try this at home.

It’s said that piano burning became an “unspoken act of defiance when the pilots felt the bureaucracy was dealing them some unjustice” (Fighter Sweep). And is untimely death not the greatest injustice of all?Therefore it might make some sense that fighter pilots still honor their fallen brothers with the burning of a piano, even if the destruction seems a tad excessive.

Nevertheless, after just a little more research, we also learned about the completely non-militaristic Square Piano Pyre of 1904. Many of us know that a square piano is a rare sight – and this isn’t just a recent development. Production of these massive instruments pretty much stopped in the 1880s to make way for newer models, making replacement parts hard to find and the older instrument somewhat irrelevant. A couple decades later, the increasingly frustrated Society of American Piano Manufacturers actually asked dealers and members to bring their old squares to their Atlantic City convention.

While the number varies from 15 to 1000, it’s said that the pianos were stacked in a large pyramid and burned right there to proclaim the end of the antique style instrument. (News Tribune) So whether it was actually an influential act or not, the moral of the story seems to be that people just like a good excuse to have a big ole bonfire. Even if they’re sacrificing something beautiful rather than attempting to preserve its legacy.

I mean, a square grand isn’t the easiest piano we’ve ever had to tune….but burning one to the ground? That’s pretty hard-core. And also a little sad.

Now it’s become tradition for those whose pianos have lost the will to live to give them a proper dignified sendoff. It’s an excuse for a party, as well! Some piano burning events even allow pianists to play while the fire burns. Anyone wonder what song they choose to sing while it goes down?

The 7 Love Languages of Music

Tis the time of the year to think about love songs; what they mean, where they come from, and which ones can best be played on your piano after a romantic dinner (wink wink). But alas, here’s the thing – love songs are varied. ‘Love’ doesn’t just mean one thing; it doesn’t just express one simplistic emotion. It can be portrayed in many ways, depending on the status of your relationship, the way you best interact with each other (or choose not to) and where you might be going.

The beauty of music is that it finds a way to express all of these emotions. So while we all know the 5 basic Love Languages, here are 7 categories that we’ve broken down into the Love Languages…Of Music:

The Soulful Serenade – Elvis, Bill Withers, Boys II Men….these guys know what they’re doing when they sing a love song. They’re ready to lure you in, make you feel like a lady (or gentleman) and romance you until your knees go weak. We know this kind of romance doesn’t suit everyone though, so for those who are a little less dramatic we have

The Too Cute To Handle – Think of those feel-good love songs that can mean a lot, but can also be a little silly. Great for the couple who likes to laugh together, or karaoke together, or sing along on a long road trip together. Early-era Beatles were great at this, as was Paul McCartney in his Wings days. But, if romance is too serious and cute isn’t the right fit, if you need more drama and excitement in your romance, then we present to you

The Pour Your Heart Out Belter – Whitney, Celine, Barbara. These women make you feel ALL the feels in the most emphatic way possible. We can belt their songs when we’re crazy in love….or when we’re broken to bits. Whatever it is, when you hear or sing these songs, there’s no doubt you’re feeling something. But for those with a more laid-back approach to their emotions,

The Sweet & Simple – might be just the right fit. Picture laid-back singer songwriters, old-school country artists, loving duets that make you sigh and feel good. There’s not a whole lot of instrumentation or big drawn-out notes needed to convey the love in these songs; you just know it’s real. Because if it’s not real, it might just be

The Come Hither – We’ve all heard it on the radio. And I’m sure many have felt it. Infatuation.Yes, one can be both infatuated and in love. But all those songs about getting it on in one night? Well, that’s something different. And if one person is more into the come hither, while the other is looking for something more, well then that takes on a new meaning that is PERFECT for our next category:

The We Broke Up, But I Still Love You – Because let’s be honest, there are a lot of unequal relationships out there. And not all break-ups are created equal. Some of the best love songs are about the love that no longer exists, or maybe never even existed in the first place. These are the gut-wrenching, chest-heaving, cry-in-your-PJs kind of songs that make you hurt. Until, that is, you discover

The I Love Myself, So It’s Okay – Sometimes, loving yourself is all that matters. That’s why we celebrate GALentine’s Day, y’all! So if you’ve come to terms with your singleness, or you’re just loud and proud and happy, then these are the love songs for you. In fact, these should be the love songs for all of us.







So Happy Valentine’s, Galentine’s and (whatever it is that single guys do to pass the day away) to all!

And if you’re thinking of putting any of these pieces to practice, well, don’t forget to make sure you’re all tuned and ready to go!

(Mention that you read this post for a $99 tuning if you book before Friday 2/16)



For Auld Lang Syne

With the traditions of Christmas now several days past due and the impending New Year of 2018 sitting just on the horizon, our radio stations have stopped playing the carols we can’t get out of our heads and switched to the generic playlists they were playing a month ago. But there’s one more seasonal song to be heard, and to be quite honest most of us will only hear it once….if we make it til midnight on New Years’ Eve, that is.

“Auld Lang Syne” is the kind of song that we only know in theory. I’m guessing most of us know the chorus, while many probably know the first verse….and all of us know it’s the song the saxophone plays after the ball drops and Ryan Seacrest awkwardly hugs Jenny McCarthy like they’re actually friends. But what about the origin? I find myself asking time and time again. And what does it truly mean?

Well, a quick Google search can most certainly solve that problem! And here’s the long and short of what I found:

The song is Scottish in origin, heralded as a traditional folk song dating back to some time before December 1788, when the poet Robert Burns wrote a letter to his friend, citing the tune and including the lyrics on the back of the paper. In this version, he took the original and “polished and burnished till it shone like a gem,” according to Mr. Len Murray, Dean of the Guild of Robert Burns Speakers. Burns, himself, even commented:

“Light be the turf on the breast of the heaven-inspired poet who composed this glorious fragment! There is more of the fire of native genius in it than in half a dozen of modern English Bacchanalians.”

Way to live up to the stereotypical poetic drama, dude.

All attitude aside, Robert Burns went on to perfect this old folk song and sent it to his publisher, who didn’t bother to publish it until 6 months after Burns’ death in 1796. Nevertheless, he lives on through his words proclaiming “For Old Times’ Sake” and encourages us all to take a deep breath as we ease out of one year and into the other, always hoping for the best and yet never forgetting what we leave behind us. The song is about preserving old friendships and remembering where we’ve been – important things as we move away from a year of sheer turmoil.

But why do we still sing it now, on New Years’ Eve? Well apparently in 1929, Guy Lombardo took the Roosevelt Hotel stage in New York City for a NYE performance. The show was broadcast on radio before and after midnight Eastern-time, and so in a transition from CBS to NBC radio, his band played the old Scottish folk song in an opportune moment. Hollywood went on to popularize the tune in iconic scenes throughout the decades, as you can see here.

Now go ahead and delight in discovering all the verses you’ve never heard before! It’s even more fun to feign a Scottish accent as you try and pronounce the words just as they’re spelled. But truly, take some time to listen to the words. Hold a loved one tight. And try your best to love the people you’d rather forget. It’s a beautiful message.


(Go on, go on…No excuses! I know y’all know the melody!)


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.


For auld lang syne, my jo *,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae mornin’ sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught +,
For auld lang syne.


Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.


And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago

And surely youll buy your pint-jug!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago.


We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered manys the weary foot
Since long, long ago.


We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since long, long ago.


And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!
And give us a hand of yours!
And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will
For long, long ago.


*sweetheart or darling

+ “a hearty swig of ale”. Yes, friends, this is a drinking song.


Why Get an iPhone…When You Can Get an Education?

These days, it’s no secret that music is good for the soul AND the brain! Of course there are emotional and communal benefits to listening, but there are even more when it comes to learning how to play an instrument for yourself. So why just play piano apps on the latest iPhone and punish yourself with more screen time when you can strengthen your mind instead? Technology is great….but it’s not always the best option.

Learning to play the piano is good for people at any stage of life! While many studies emphasize the importance of teaching children from an early age and encouraging music programs in schools, we hear from customers every single day who are jumping back into the hobby of piano playing for post-retirement enjoyment. And there are plenty of reasons why!

Continue reading

Labor Day Piano Sale!

This sort of thing doesn’t happen every day! But it IS happening this Saturday, 9/2 and Monday, 9/4.

Check out our stock online, then come into the showroom to see it for yourself. Whatever price you see…cut it by 10%!

Happy Labor Day!

We hope to see you here!

Back-to-School Shopping: What to Look For in Your Child’s First Piano

 “What do I buy?”

“Do I need to get something really big or can we just get a keyboard?”

“Is it really worth the investment?”

“What’s the difference between teaching them on a digital piano versus an acoustic one?”

Ultimately, the decision is going to be up to you. But for starters, we’re here to help navigate through just a few of your options and understand what you’re looking for. If you’re going to drop some dollars on an instrument, you at least want it to be a good investment that’s going to enhance your child’s musical experience – not hinder it. Here are a few of the details to look for:

  • Full Size: Whether it’s a baby grand or a digital piano, it will be best to make sure it comes with a full 88 keys (rather than a discounted 61). As your child hopefully continues playing and growing in their skill, you don’t want to have to upgrade your instrument simply because they can’t access all of the notes.
  • Weighted Keys: If you get a chance to stop by a piano showroom (which we highly recommend before purchasing anything), plunk your finger down on a keyboard…and then on an acoustic. You will feel a noticeable difference – the acoustic requires more pressure as you hit the key to transfer that pressure to the hammer and then the string. On a keyboard…it’s all just electricity. No real power is required aside from the power button! And why does this matter? Again, it’s a longevity of playing issue. One: it builds finger strength necessary to create a noticeable sound and Two: if your child only ever learns on a small keyboard, they’ll struggle once they transition to a larger instrument requiring more force.
  • Acoustic vs. Digital: This is really all up to you. Some players go their whole lives only ever playing a digital piano. And that’s fine! Most digital pianos have increased their technology to a point where their quality is much in line with that of an acoustic instrument. However, the best and fullest sound is always going to come from an acoustic – a spinet, an upright, a baby grand – you choose the size! Plus, that wooden piano will look a whole lot prettier and more elegant in your home – not to mention it will provide a better playing position. If you go the electronic route, make sure you add a bench and a keyboard stand to your purchase. Setting the keyboard on a table or a lap will disrupt the posture of the player and make it both uncomfortable and more difficult to play.
  • Find the Right Fit: Again, whenever you’re in the market for something as grand (no pun intended) as a piano, make sure you come into a showroom and give several different styles a test run. You don’t want to buy an instrument that’s so large your child can’t reach the pedals! Ultimately, there’s a decent chance that whatever piano you choose could alter your child’s learning experience and their musical future. And if the piano doesn’t sound good or is difficult to physically play, then the experience will be diminished and your child may walk away with only negative connotations. Learning to play the piano isn’t going to be easy – but it also shouldn’t be miserable. We want both you and your child to enjoy it!!

General opinions seem to be in agreement that the better a piano sounds, the more likely a student will continue to play, thus making the investment “worth it”. However, keep in mind that digital and electronic options won’t require any tuning, or as much special and financial investment. At the same time, investing in an acoustic style could be the first step towards a lifetime of beautiful playing. You’ll pay for it, but you’ll have it forever if you choose. Ultimately, it all comes down to what you want and need.

Okay, okay…so that’s all good and great. But maybe you just want some suggestions. Maybe you just want us to tell you exactly what to buy. Well, we can’t exactly do that, but we can offer some popular options. Here goes:  Continue reading

Summer Lovin’….Ways to a Happy + Healthy Piano


Summer: a time of relaxation, good food, bikini bodies and hot temperatures. We all have a strong sense of keeping ourselves healthy during these few months of the year, but what about other things? Like say, our pianos?

Yes, you heard it right – there’s a special set of rules that come into play when it comes to keeping YOUR piano healthy. And for the most part, it’s pretty easy. Like any health-driven decisions, you just have to stay mindful. Keeping your piano in good shape is the best thing you can do for it in the long run. And the more you can do “in the moment,” the less repairs you’ll have to face later.

Here Are Our Top Tips:

  1. Avoid Direct Sunlight: We’ve all been there. Sitting in the sun feels good for a little while, but too much exposure can easily lead to burning headaches and reddened skin. Eventually, the effect of the heat on your body becomes too much handle, and it’s no longer enjoyable – in fact, it gets a little miserable! The same goes for your piano. Too much sun not only bleaches the finish, but lends to overheating and drastic changes in temperature – none of which is good for it.


  1. Defend Against Humidity: One of the biggest complaints we get between the seasons is the quick and drastic switch from perfectly tuned to perfectly OUT of tune. And the biggest cause? Humidity. Here in Tennessee, our springs and summers experience that perfect blend of rain showers and rapidly changing temperatures – and it’s not very good for your instrument. If your home experiences high humidity, a dehumidifier can actually be installed within the piano that will activate when it encounters too much moisture in the vicinity.  And if low humidity is your problem, a humidifier will do just the opposite. Either one will help keep your piano in its sweet spot.


(See Here for more information and come to us if you’re interested!)


  1. Move It, Move It: If your piano is sitting against an outside wall, move it! The closer it is to the outdoors, the more easily affected it will be by changes in temperature that are out of your control. Even the subtle change between night and day is enough to leave it just a little too uncomfortable, at any time of year. So move it towards an interior wall, or at least a couple feet out from that exterior wall if you can.


  1. Keep It Constant: Maintaining as constant a temperature as you can in your home is always a good idea for your piano. Sure, it’s nice to turn off the AC and let in the natural air (or vice versa), but doing this will affect temperature and humidity levels and leave your piano sounding a little wonky after a while.


  1. Maintain: Overall, the best thing that you can do for your piano is to simply make sure that it’s being properly maintained by a professional. We’re not just pushing our business on you – but annual tunings work miracles! Depending on how often you play, we recommend having someone out to properly tune the piano at least once every year or two, along with a good checkup on the key components that keep it working. Neglect your piano, and it will neglect you – or at least leave you with more than a few problems to deal with in the future.


  1. Show It Some Love: Along with regular tunings, just try and make sure your piano is being loved on – if you play yourself, practice. If you’re hosting a party, invite someone to tickle those ivories. And if the kids are out of school, give them some homework! Keeping the piano keys moving will help prevent stickiness and dullness – and will help keep it happy inside and out. Plus, you’ll be much more apt to realize when something isn’t right so the piano isn’t stuck sitting around and enhancing the problem any longer than necessary.


Yes, it may seem like a lot – but really, it’s not! Just follow these easy tips and your piano will not only survive – but  flourish – throughout your summer. And if you can’t remember your last service, schedule a tuning with us this summer to make sure your piano is feeling right and get it ready for the start of the school year. We’re offering a 10% discount to all customers who book before July 28th!