Flute Player Sidelined with Concussion!

OK, so I did a google search for this seemingly ridiculous headline and found nothing so I made it up. Concussions have become a serious concern in sports and I’m pleased the subject is getting it’s due attention.  But what I want to talk to you about is what always seems to be the topic when it comes to budget problems in our schools.  When cuts are made do we cut band or sports.  Unfortunately many times band seems to get the short end of the funding stick.  This article points out what most of us have known for years.  Involvement in music is vital to the total education of our children.  I know you will enjoy the article as I did and I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.


Education Week
Published Online: June 23, 2015
Football or Music? What’s the Best K-12 Investment?
By John R. Gerdy


In a perfect world, all high school activities would be fully funded. But to educators struggling to find the financial means to establish and pay for educational priorities, it is clear that we do not live in a perfect world.

Today’s schools are subjected to growing pressures from increased academic standards and the expectation that they will provide all of their students with an education worthy of the 21st century. These demands must be met, moreover, in a climate of sharply declining resources. The world is changing at breathtaking speed, and the challenges inherent in responding to that change are daunting. So, too, are the economic stresses on schools.

All that being the case, communities and school boards have to be more open, honest, thoughtful, and strategic in considering how to allocate scarce educational resources. When program cuts are necessary, priorities must be set and difficult choices made. Traditionally, one choice has been between fielding elite athletics programs and maintaining enriching programs in the arts—with the arts usually being the first to suffer. Because the challenges and funding gaps for schools will only increase, such decision making will become more and more difficult.

In such an environment, the fundamental question we should ask about program funding is this:
Which activities produce the best educational return on investment? And the first principle in making such decisions should be clear: We can no longer afford to sponsor activities based only on anecdotal evidence of benefit, or simply because we have always done so, or because a particular activity’s “lobby” screams the loudest.

The decisions also must be made with the recognition that the American economy has changed from one based on industrial might to one driven by technology, creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Simply put, every issue the nation faces, whether relating to health care, the environment, or geopolitics, bears the stamp—and holds the complexity—of an increasingly fast-paced and interconnected world. There is no way to effectively meet the challenges wrought by change and complexity without developing in our people greater creativity, social adaptability, and the ability to think more broadly and with greater depth.

What does this mean for decision making on priorities and funding? First, we must rethink the criteria we use. For too long, educators have relied primarily on personal experiences and anecdotal evidence in making decisions about extracurricular programs. That is no longer enough. Decisions must also be driven by fact, data, and research. Fortunately, there is a growing research base on the impact of both football and music on student learning and engagement, brain function, academic environment, and health (both individual and public) to draw on.

Because a more thorough understanding of the wide range of issues surrounding these activities is imperative, I recently conducted a return-on-investment analysis of the effectiveness as educational tools of football
(because it consumes by far the most resources of school athletic departments) and music
(because it is the arts-program component with which I am most familiar).

The purpose was clear and simple: to present a thoughtful, thorough, and clear-eyed assessment of the relative value of football versus music programs in providing students with learning experiences most suited to the 21st century.

As a life-long athlete and musician who believes in the power of both sports and music to change people’s lives, this investigation has been a long and, at times, disconcerting journey. But here’s where my experience and the data have led.

There are several areas—student engagement; development of positive character traits such as self-discipline, teamwork, and personal responsibility; and capacity to bring people together to build community—in which both football and music have similar positive impacts. There is little, if any, difference, for example, between the sacrifices made, lessons learned, and effort required as a sports-team member whose goal is winning games and a band member who is working to achieve a particular “sound.”

But from there, the similarities mostly end. When considering the broadest impact on education over the longest period of time, music programs are far superior to football programs in return on dollars invested.

Consider music’s pluses: the capacity to be a lifelong participatory-learning activity (football, for all but a select few, ends after high school); the fact that music is a universal language (football is uniquely American); its gender inclusiveness; a far lower cost-per-student ratio; the potential it offers as an essential platform for international and interdisciplinary studies; and its effectiveness in strengthening the brain’s neural activity and development (versus the possibility, if not the likelihood, of sustaining brain trauma). Finally, the effectiveness of sports as an educational tool has been steadily diminishing as athletic programs have become more about the end result—winning—and less about the process (learning).

Given contemporary social and economic realities, many have questioned the wisdom of continuing to teach with curricular offerings and methods more suited to the industrial needs of the 20th century. Would it not also be wise to question the activities we sponsor at schools in light of current needs? Are we sacrificing in budget battles and narrowed thinking the most effective tools in our educational arsenal for teaching creativity? I believe we are. Music produces results much more in sync with a creative, information-based global economy and world community.

This is not to say that football does not have a place in our society. It does. Rather, the question is whether that place should continue to be within our education system.

In the end, the dialogue about these funding decisions must be more thorough, reasoned, honest, and data-driven. With increased expectations and decreased resources comes a smaller margin for error. We have to make every dollar count.

When dealing with the programs and activities that add so much to the human dimension of learning, we need the courage and commitment to go where logic, truth, Visit Opinion. and data take us. Despite the fact that some of the answers to our sports-versus-arts conundrum may be uncomfortable or inconvenient, educators should welcome the discussion. If we approach it honestly, the end result will be better schools, serving our children and communities more effectively. Isn’t that what we all want and what our nation needs?

John R. Gerdy is the founder of the nonprofit educational organization Music For Everyone, in Lancaster, Pa., and the author of Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment. He can be reached at JohnGerdy.com.

December Band of the Month

Our December Band of the Month is Taylor Hughes!


Taylor Hughes is a local country/pop artist here in Lexington, KY. You can see her perform at places like Henry Clay’s Public House, Chatham’s, and Twisted Cork on a regular basis. Taylor is currently working on creating an album of original music – so stay tuned for that one!  Keep reading below to learn how she can save you money this month at Willis Music. Also, you can find out more about Taylor online using these links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Taylor-Hughes-Music

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/Taylor-Hughes-Music

Here are some FAQ about our Band Of The Month promotion:

What is it?

The Willis Music Band Of The Month is a new promotion offered by Willis Music in Lexington, where we offer perks to your band and your fans by using social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.

What do I get?

Your entire band will save up to 15% on products at Willis Music in Lexington for that month. We will also provide your band with easy, free publicity, as well as potential new followers on social media.

How does it work?

Each month we randomly pick who our Band Of The Month will be. We promote your band on our website, Facebook, and Twitter. We also promote you in our store for the month using any merchandise or flyers you provide to us. We can even play recordings of your music in our store!

Customers will get an instant discount of up to 15% of one entire purchase that month, if they “Like” your band on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or other social media sites. If they already follow your band the offer is still good. They can show this to our staff at the register!

What do I need to do?

Visit our store to talk with a member of our staff, fill out an entry form for your band, and you will be registered for the monthly drawing!

So stop by our location at 130 West Tiverton Way, just off Nicholasville Road in Lexington to sign -up your band today!

Piano of the Week: Boston UP118EEP Upright Piano

Our Piano of the Week is the Boston UP 118EEP. This 46 1/2″ upright piano is stunning! Boston uprights offer the same standards of excellence which characterize all instruments designed by Steinway & Sons. A Boston upright will give you the same opportunities to express your musical skill as a grand.

In comparison to other pianos, the Boston has less string tension. This reduced string tension allows for a larger, tapered soundboard, creating longer sustain, and more singing quality in the tone (as well as longer piano life). A wealth of other engineering enhancements, including optimal placement of ribs, braces, and bridges, also contribute to the Boston’s superior tone and greater stability.

Each Boston piano soundboard is crafted of Sitka spruce, long proven to be the most resonant material available. Boston soundboards are also precisely tapered, which allows them to vibrate more freely. In conjunction with a number of special technologies — unique patents of Steinway & Sons — the result is a powerful, sustained tone.

Call Willis Music Florence / Steinway Piano Gallery (859) 525-6050 Ask for Rick for a close look at this amazing instrument!



December Band of the Month – Eden Park Band

band of the month

Willis Music Florence is proud to announce that Eden Park Band is the December Band of the Month!

eden park band logo

Like any of their social media pages listed below, show your salesperson and receive a discount!! This months band is amazing and if you are able to go check them out, I highly recommend it. Their music is played on local stations including our partner, Class X Radio.

Eden Park Band performs Pop, Rock and R&B music from the 60′s-90′s and MORE!

Eden Park Band is a leader in LIVE music for corporate events, casino entertainment, fine dining establishments and music venues.

The bands members collectively appear on over 1 million records world wide, and have shared the live stage with musical greats Kansas, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, The Temptations, Bootsy Collins, Blessid Union of Souls and more. Performing throughout the Greater Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio area and beyond, Eden Park Band is quickly becoming one of the mid-west’s most sought after bands for live entertainment. The members of Eden Park Band know how crucial each performance is and are focused professionals on and off stage.

Eden Park Band endeavors to further establish themselves as one of the best corporate entertainment bands in the Mid West, USA and around the WORLD.

Tues Dec 01 – Grandview Tavern(Ft Mitchell, KY) 7pm “Trio”
Sat Dec 05 – Jack Binion’s Steakhouse Horseshoe Casino(Cincinnati) 8:30pm “Full Band”
Fri Dec 11 – View 162 inside Crowne Plaza Hotel (Dayton, OH) 9pm “Unplugged Performance”
Sat Dec 12 – Taqueria Mercado (8th & Walnut Cincinnati) 8pm “Full Band”
Fri Dec 18 – Silverton Cafe’ (Cincinnati) 8pm “Full Band”
Sat Dec 19 – Grandview Tavern (Ft Mitchell, KY) 8:30pm “Full Band”
Tue Dec 22 – Grandview Tavern (Ft Mitchell, KY) 7pm “Trio”
Sat Dec 26 – Jack Binion’s Steakhouse Horseshoe Casino (Cincinnati) 8:30pm
Thu Dec 31 – New Years Eve performance at Taft’s Ale House 15th & Race (Cincinnati) 9pm. By reservation ONLY. Price is $35 standing room and $90/table seat see taftsalehouse.com for details.
eden park band
Want to be our next band of the month? Email deniseb@willismusic.com to request info!
willis music

Instrument Petting Zoo @ Tween Night

On November 14, 2015 part of our staff at the Willis Music Lexington location, packed up several instruments and took them to the Explorium in downtown Lexington.  The city’s children museum hosted a Tween Night for about 100 children. As part of the event, Willis Music created an instrument petting zoo!

pic1  pic2  pic3  pic4


This was a great event to promote music education to the children of Lexington. We also used this evening to promote our music lesson program to everyone in attendance. We provided violins, trumpets, trombones, a guitar, ukulele, keyboard, djembe, a drum pad, and a melodica!


Congratulations to Sayuri Jones & students!

This is what making music is all about: Family, Friends and Community! Congratulations to Sayuri Jones and all the musicians that performed at the Sayuri Jones Music Studio Recital at the Willis Music Florence Performing Arts Center.  Well done! The piano that is center stage is the Steinway Model B (7′).


Concert & Artist Steinway Model B for your event!

Do you have the need for a Grand Piano for your special event? The C&A (Concert and Artist) Steinway Model B his been at the Symphony, Orchestra chambers, Universities & Colleges, Piano teachers associations, Professional teachers chapters and associations, Concert Venues, Recording studios, Television studios, Production companies (Community plays, Operas, Dance programs, Theatrical presentations), Entertainment at corporate events, political group events, Marketing company events, Convention Centers, Civic Centers, Fine Arts Centers, Religious and Ethnic organizations which present music programs, Churches, Synagogues, Cultural organizations and private parties! Call Willis Music Florence / Steinway Piano Gallery to reserve this performer’s choice piano. Ask for Rick Fuchs (859) 525-6050.


December Calendar of Event

dec 15-page-0

Pre-owned Kimball piano for sale!

This Kimball pre-owned spinet piano is perfect for the beginning student on a budget. Red Mahogany finish with a matching bench. Asking 1295.00. Call Willis Music Florence (859) 525-6050 Ask for Rick.


Unmatched Value In A Steinway-designed Piano

25th Anniversary Savings

Up to $2,500 Instant Rebate

Make an appointment or just stop in to view and play a Boston Piano:

    • Willis Music Kenwood
      8118 Montgomery Rd.
      Cincinnati, OH 45236
    • Willis Music Florence
      7567 Mall Rd.
      Florence, KY 41042

The Steinway-designed Boston piano is long unrivaled in its class and unmatched in value. Employing the unique patents and expertise that have made the Steinway name synonymous with musical excellence, Boston pianos offer the pedigree of Steinway engineering with the accessibility of a mid-priced piano.

Now, for a limited time, you can save up to $2,500 with an instant rebate on any new Steinway-designed Boston upright or grand piano in stock.* It’s all part of the celebration as we kick off Boston’s 25th Anniversary Year.

*Not applicable with any other offer. Piano must be in stock and purchased by 11/30/2015.


Features of the Boston Piano – Designed by Steinway & Sons

Piano of the Week: Steinway Model M

Piano of the Week: Steinway Model M (5′ 7″). This piano’s rich tone and responsive action is found not only in a great many homes, but in many schools of music and conservatories as well. Called the “Medium” grand, there is nothing medium about the sound from this instrument.

Features include: Exclusive use of Solid Wood, Continuous Bent Rim, Diaphragmatic Soundboard, Hexagrip Pinblock, Duplex Scale. Call Steinway Piano Gallery / Willis Music Florence (859) 525-6050 Ask for Rick to set your personal appointment.



Piano of the Week: Essex EGP-173C Classic Grand Piano!

Our Piano of the Week is a great home Grand Piano. The Essex EGP-173C is 5′ 8″ in length. The perfect size for a living room, great room or music room. Features include: Classic design with Tiered Encasement between the Rim and Leg Tops, Brass Pedals and Coved Lyre Box, Full-Perimeter Coved Toplid, Full Sostenuto System, Slow Fall Fallboard. Call (859-525-6050) Ask for Rick to check this beauty out!


Time to get your Sax on!

It’s time for Saxophone Day!


Willis Music is a Sax fan so this day is awesome for us! We love all types of music so anytime we get to celebrate, we will take advantage of it!

Was it is? Well check out what holiday insights.com says about it:

Date When Celebrated : Always November 6

Saxophone Day is today. The Saxophone is a classical woodwind instrument. It is an essential instrument in jazz bands, symphonic bands, marching bands and more. It’s only fitting that this great instrument has a day of recognition all to its own.

The Saxophone was invented around 1840. It was created by Adolphe Sax, a Belgian musical instrument maker.  The sax is made of brass.

Adophe Sax invented 8 types of saxophones: Sopranino, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Contrabass, and Subcontrabass. The first Saxophone ever created was the Bass Saxophone. A 9th type of Saxophone, the Soprillo Saxophone, was invented in 2004. It is the smallest Saxophone.

Some famous Saxophone Players (Alphabetical order):

  • John Coltrane
  • Stan Getz
  • Coleman Randolph Hawkins “Hawk”
  • James Moody
  • Charlie “The Bird” Parker
  • Lester Prez Young

Happy Saxophone Day!!!

Origin of Saxophone Day:

Adophe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, was born on this day in 1814. So, the reason for celebrating on this day is apparent.

We did not find any information on who created Saxophone Day, or when this special day was first celebrated.

There are numerous references to “Saxophone Day” for schools, bands, or special events. They are scattered across many different dates.

Kentucky State Marching Finals 2015

Willis Music would like to congratulate all the marching bands that participated in the State Marching Band competition and those whom placed.

High school marching bands from throughout the state competed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Marching Band Championships on Saturday in Bowling Green.

The five divisions and their final standings are:

    • 1A:
      • 1st: Beechwood
      • 2nd: Murray
      • 3rd: Williamstown
      • 4th: Hazard
    • 2A:
      • 1st: Estill County
      • 2nd: Garrard County
      • 3rd: Glasgow
      • 4th: Washington County
    • 3A:
      • 1st: Adair County
      • 2nd: Bourbon County
      • 3rd: Russell County
      • 4th: Boyle County
    • 4A:
      • 1st: Grant County
      • 2nd: Madisonville North Hopkins
      • 3rd: Anderson County
      • 4th: Hopkinsville
    • 5A:
      • 1st: Madison Central
      • 2nd: North Hardin
      • 3rd: Paul Laurence Dunbar
      • 4th: Lafayette

NKY Music Teachers Associations (3) Recitals!

The Northern KY Music Teachers Association (NKMTA) three recitals (in the same day) brought a lot of spooky piano players to the Willis Music Florence Location! Great Job to all the Students! Happy Halloween!

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“Why Take Lessons?”

Last night, I found myself sitting in a crowd of young people, ready to play the piece they had prepared for the Halloween recital. Seeing young people get up there and play is a great experience. There was even a young girl who composed her own Halloween song! And even more, I noticed the pride of the parents and grandparents who were there to see their children play. So I got to thinking, how do we get more parents to see the benefit of music education? So of course, I went straight to Google. I found myself reading all sorts of articles about the benefits of music making in young people. I’d like to share with you the article that I found on The Metropolitan School of The Arts Website. They list “14 Reasons Everyone Should Take Music Lessons”. I hope you find this list as interesting as I did.

Colleen Cranley
Education Coordinator

According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.” There is continually more evidence that musicians have organizationally and functionally different brains compared to non-musicians, especially in the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music. Some studies show that playing an instrument can increase your IQ up to 7 points.
Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory. A study was done in which 22 children from age 3 to 4 years old were given either singing lessons or keyboard lessons. A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities. The results showed that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children. Not only that, but researchers said that the effect lasted long-term.
Reading music requires counting notes and rhythms and can help your math skills. Also, learning music theory includes many mathematical aspects. Studies have shown that students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who don’t.
According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music, “Children exposed to a multi-year program of music involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.” It’s not surprising to hear results like that because music involves constant reading and comprehension. When you see black and white notes on a page, you have to recognize what the note name is and translate it to a finger/slide position. At the same time, you also have to read what rhythms the notes are arranged in and force your tongue to produce the correct pattern
Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of pride. When you first start learning how to play an instrument, it seems like just holding a note for a couple beats or hitting a high pitch is an amazing accomplishment. Many small successes will eventually breed long term, innate self-confidence.
Listening to and playing music can promote stimulation to areas of the brain that promote increased joy and decreased stress. During the past decade, the investigation correlation between music and the brain has proven that music can modulate activity in parts of the brain that are known to be crucially involved in emotion. The potential of music to modulate activity in these structures has important implications for the use of music in the treatment chronic stress.
The art of playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. By reading musical notes on a page, your brain subconsciously must convert that note into specific motor patterns while also adding breathing and rhythm to the mix.
Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, which teaches patience and perseverance. Musicians have to work through difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before they can play it correctly. Practicing often and working on the hard parts requires perseverance. The best musicians in the world are masters of discipline.
Cooperation is an important aspect of being successful in life. Playing an instrument requires you to work with others to make music. In band and orchestra settings you must learn how to cooperate with the people around you. Also, in order for a group to make beautiful music, each player and section must learn how to listen to each other and play together.
Maintenance and care are very important in keeping an instrument in working condition. Each instrument has different procedures to keep it functioning properly, but most instruments need cleaning and some form of oiling/greasing. In addition to maintenance responsibilities, there are other aspects such as remembering music events (like rehearsals and performances) and making time to practice.
Music reflects history and gives us insight on what it was like to live in the era and geography of its creation. Each piece of music has a unique history that is explored upon learning it. The more diverse your musical knowledge is, the more informed you are about a variety of cultures, eras and geographic influences that shape the art form as we know it today.
Playing an instrument requires you to listen very carefully. You have to learn to hear when you’re playing a wrong note in order to correct yourself. Tuning your instrument means hearing if the pitch you’re playing is high (sharp) or low (flat). When playing in an ensemble, you have to listen for the melody and play softer if you’re the supporting part (accompaniment). Training listening skills teaches us how to be reflective and thoughtful.
Air is one of the key components in making music. In order to play music correctly when playing an instrument (or sing music with your voice), you’ll need to take huge breaths and learn how to expel the air properly to make the desired sound. Breathing exercises are highly recommended for musicians, and they can strengthen your respiratory system.
When you become a musician or a vocalist, you become a part of a bigger community. Not only is it fun to play music that you enjoy, but it feels wonderful to join together with others to create a unified sound. Friendships and relationships are strengthened through common interests and artists typically find that their most meaningful (and longest lasting) relationships are found through those they meet through the sharing their art form.

“The Sound of Learning: 14 Reasons Everyone Should Take Music Lessons – Metropolitan School of the Arts.” Metropolitan School of the Arts. N.p., 27 July 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.

UC Blue Ash College Songwriting Contest Sponsored By Willis Music

Contest Requirements and Other Information

  • Open to college and high school students in the Greater
    Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.
  • Any theme, subject, or style is acceptable*
    Participants may submit up to three songs, performed by the songwriter or another group.
  • Songs must be submitted in both recorded form (.mp3, etc.) and typewritten form (lyrics only). On a separate page, type your song(s) title(s), your name, address, phone number, email address, and school or university affiliation. Name the performer(s) if other than you.
  • Deadline: December 7, 2015. Winners will be announced in March and will be invited to perform their work in March as a part of the UC Blue Ash Poetry Cafe. Winning lyrics will be published in the Blue Ash Review, the college literary magazine.
  • Submit entries online at: ucblueash.edu/songwritingcontest
    Questions: rhonda.pettit@uc.edu

*Note Well:
Songs will be judged anonymously by UC Blue Ash faculty for quality of lyrics, music, and the interplay between the two. Judges are not obligated to select winners if none are forthcoming. Judges’ decisions are final. Song submission materials will not be returned. Submissions not following the contestant requirements will not be considered. We cannot accommodate large and excessively loud bands at the Poetry Café. If you submit a non-acoustic song (heavy metal, garage, indie, punk, etc.), plan on performing an acoustic version of your song. Contestant participation grants UC Blue Ash the right to publish work in the Blue Ash Review (print and online editions; all rights revert to authors) and use contestant names and work to promote Poetry Month events.

Gemeinhardt and Willis Music Present PROJECT Trio

PROJECT Trio is a passionate, high energy chamber music ensemble comprised of three composer/performers from Brooklyn, New York. Blending classical training with an original sound and masterful performing skills. PROJECT Trio engages audiences of all ages by combining classical repertoire with elements of hip-hop and popular music, bridging the gap between high art and pop culture. They have been viewed more than 80 million times on YouTube and have been featured on NPR, MTV, and have played along side the St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and schools across the country.

It was our pleasure to host PROJECT Trio last week at CCM, NKU, Winton Woods High School and Walnut Hills High School. They bring with them the importance of music education as well as stories of their many experiences. With the help of Gemeinhardt we gave a flute to both high schools and did a drawing for a piccolo at both CCM and NKU. We want to congratulate all the winners and thank PROJECT Trio for two days of great music, great ideas and a lot of fun!

Thanks for listening and CHECK THESE GUYS OUT!

Roland Digital Pianos are at Willis Music Florence!

As the premier digital piano maker, Roland has lead the way through innovation and technology. Now Willis Music has partnered with Roland to bring to our customers the best in digital pianos. We have several Roland models on the showroom, but we recently received Roland’s flagship: LX-17. This is great for Churches, Schools and the home player. Call (859) 525-6050 Ask for Rick for a close look at this state of the art piano!



Yamaha U1 Studio Piano!

This factory re-conditioned Yamaha U1 Studio upright is the piano of choice for aspiring musicians and pro players. This model is made in Japan and was re-conditioned at the factory. When you buy this Yamaha U1 you’ll pay less than half of a new model. Asking $3999.00 in Excellent condition. Call (859) 525-6050 ask for Rick to experience this great piano!


Piano Deal of the Week! Essex EUP-116CT

Piano deal of the week: This beautiful new Essex EUP-116CT is a Steinway & Sons designed piano.

Features include: Finely Molded Toplid with a Grand Piano Style Top, Classic Bi-fold Fallboard, Designer Music Rack, Picture Frame Upper Panel, Delicate Curved and Contemporary One-piece Leg and Arm – Post Design, Brushed Nickel Hardware Throughout, Hand Selected Sapele Mahogany Veneer.

Call (859) 525-6050 for a closer look. Ask for Rick.


Willis Music Florence Steinway Piano Gallery!

You are cordially invited to the Willis Music Florence Steinway Piano Gallery! We have the finest selection Steinway & Sons Family of Pianos (Steinway & Sons, Boston and Essex).  We also offer the top names in used pianos, Roland Digital pianos and Yamaha Digital pianos and keyboards. Ask for Rick Fuchs for all your piano and keyboard needs.



New Sign on Mall Road says it all “Just Play”!

Willis Music Florence Super Store has a new look! We at Willis Music want to share with you the great benefits of music making. Take the first step and visit us in the store and experience our passion for music and helping you “Just Play”!







Kids Got Talent Contest 2015

Does your child have a musical talent that you brag about every chance you get? Great! Enter them into our Kids Got Talent Facebook contest!

Here are the contest guidelines (the boring stuff!):

  • How to enter: Take a video of your child showing their music skills and then submit it at facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany. Make sure to take the video sideways!
  • How to win: Now we get to the good stuff! The Video with the most “Likes” is the winner and that child will get a $50 Willis Music gift card!
  • Where: facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany
  • When: November 1, 2015 through November 30, 2015 at 8 AM
  • Who: Anyone between the ages 0-18!
  • In the event of a tie the $50 will be split between all winners.

    Here are some of the awesome entries from last years contest if you need some ideas!
    Here is one of our winners Cooper, age 7.

    This was our other winner Joseph, age 15.

    This is Hattie, age 7 1/2 playing cripple creek.

    As you can see we had some truly talented kids enter the contest last year. We can’t wait to see your kid’s musical talent. Get that phone out and start recording!

    Laura Barrowman

What’s up musicians?

Hey friends!!

Denise Burkhardt here. I just wanted to stop by and say hey to everyone. Some of you I may know but in case you don’t, I just wanted to let you know who I am. I am currently the manager at Willis Music Florence! I have been with Willis for 15 years. I started in the Florence Mall location and then went to Lexington where I became assistant manager. After being there for about 10 years, in 2011, I came and commanded the Florence location until May of 2014 where I went to manage the Eastgate location. As of October 1, I am now the manager at Florence! I love helping people enrich their lives through music and getting people great deals on gear!

I am excited for the future of Willis Music Florence and would love for all of you to stop by and say hey. Over the next few months, I hope to make some great changes in the store and get some great new products in the store. Willis Music is a family owned company and has been around since 1899. We love to support the community!

Hope to meet you or reconnect with you all soon!


Cincinnati Willis Music Band of the Month

Moeller/Willis Music Band of the Month

Our store has the privilege of featuring “The Stagger Lee Band” as our band of the month for October!

The Stagger Lee Band was formed April of 1981 when band founder Bobby Joe Mueller named the group after the 1958 hit song made famous by Lloyd Price. For many years they have performed, and still play for plenty of loyal fans. The Stagger Lee Band plays clubs, concerts, and all over the tri-state area. They have also been seen in recording studios making some magic here and there! They are very thankful for their ongoing success in the music business and pride themselves on consistency, hard work and professionalism.

Cammy Award’s “Best Band in Cincinnati” for two years in a row, The Stagger Lee Band continues to bring great music to the people. Now, for a little introduction.
Drum roll please…

Front man, Bobby Joe Mueller plays acoustic guitar, harmonica, and percussion. He sings that smooth soulful style of country music! Don’t be fooled though, he can also belt out a rocker when he wants. An entertainer and a guy who likes to get the crowd involved, ladies and gentleman, Mr. Bobby Joe!

KJ Summerville is a very accomplished guitar player as well as vocalist. He joined Stagger Lee in 1994 and has been a very strong force in Cincinnati’s musical community winning “Best Instrumentalist” for two years in a row according to Cammy Awards.

Steve Falearos joined the band in June of 2013. Steve’s primary instrument is bass guitar. He also owns his very own recording studio in Franklin, OH called “Babblefish Studios.” Babblefish has recorded over one thousand projects including Stagger Lee’s new release “Brotherhood.”

Pro Drummer Mike Tapogna is the man behind the kit. With over 30 years of continuous playing, studying, and recording, Mike is more than qualified for his job. He has shared arena stages with big name artists and played dives with friends. A true musician, Mike continues to do what he does best, play the drums.

Now that you have met the band, go check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you can find them online! Come in to the store and show an associate that you “Liked” their music page on Facebook and receive discounts!


Click here for the rules to be the next Band Of The Month!

Want to Be Our Band of the Month?

What is band of the month?

Each month we will randomly pick who our BAND OF THE MONTH will be. We will promote your band for the entire month on our website, Facebook, & Twitter. Do you have merch? Bring it in, and we will proudly display it! Do you have a record of your music? We will play it in our store so that people hear your music! Your entire band and fans will get up to 15% off one entire purchase for that month if they “like” your band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media sites!


Simply fill out the BAND OF THE MONTH submission form and hand it to a Moeller/Willis Music Rep. We’ll draw the BAND OF THE MONTH the first of every month!

New Teacher Alert

Here at Willis Music we are always excited to add new teachers to our education program. Here are a few of our teachers to consider when choosing the teacher that is right for you. To sign up for lessons now, click here.

Jason Easter
West Chester Location

We are very excited to have Jason aboard. His love for the trumpet is evident in everything he does. He has taught at this location before with the Moeller Music Company, and is excited to be back. “I attended Miami University and Wright State university for a double performance major in voice and trumpet. I had moved to New York briefly and played with several salsa, jazz and funk bands in Manhattan and Brooklyn. I have experience teaching beginners as well as junior high school and high school level private lessons.”

To sign up for lessons with Jason, click here.

Deborah Hodge
Lexington Location

Deborah is a great find here in the Lexington location. Here experience really speaks for itself. “Hi, I am Dr. Deborah Hodge, and though I have resided in New York for about 25 years, I am a native of Lexington, Kentucky. I am a certified music teacher and I recently relocated back to Lexington after teaching music in New York for a numbers of years. I also taught music for approximately 10 years in the Fayette County School District. My teaching experience includes vocal, instrumental (band and orchestra), keyboarding (recording), and marching band (Assistant and Director). I have taught on both the elementary and secondary levels.

To sign up for lessons with Deborah, click here.

Turkey Foot’s Mrs. Bromley wins KMEA District Award

Band of the Month…

Turkey Foot Middle School Band Under the Direction of Mrs. Jana Bromley!

The Administration in the Kenton County School District really understands the importance of music in their students lives and take that understanding and put it into action. In this District Band is a co-curricular activity, in that it is a class that meets daily during the regular school day, but also offers many opportunities for students to perform outside of school. This is not the norm in most of our Districts which offer Band either before school or after school and see students once or twice a week! Well at Turkey Foot Middle School students ​begin their instrumental curriculum in the 6th grade, with no prior knowledge necessary, and the musical training builds from one year to the next as students transition from skill-building to a truly aesthetic daily experience.

The success of this Band is due to the students who give it their all and to Mrs. Jana Bromley, Director Of Bands at Turkey Foot. We would like to take this time to congratulate the 7th grade band who last year received an Exemplary Distinction at NKU and to Mrs. Bromley, who was named the Middle School Teacher of the Year at the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) District Meeting. She will now be in the running for the state-level award.

Practice and good leadership always makes a difference between something that is just OK and something that stands out in a crowd! You will find no better example of this then in Mrs. Bromley and the Band Members of the Turkey Foot Middle School Band. Find out for yourself by attending one of their many wonderful concerts, (see Turkey Foot’s website for dates and details.

Congratulations for being Willis Music’s Band of the Month!

Cindy Hicks

Sheldon Cooper

More news on Big Bang Theory’s Warm Kitty

As I reported to you in May, Willis Music is connected to the show Big Bang Theory through the song Warm Kitty. Sheldon’s Mother used to sing it to him when he was sick and through 9 episodes Sheldon convinces others to sing the song to him. Willis Music owns the song which is in a book from 1937 called Songs for the Nursery School.

As the song and show have become more popular we decided it would be fun to produce a separate sheet of music based on the original song. The challenge for any arranger is that the original song contains just 8 measures. Several folks tried their hand at it before we turned to Composer Glenda Austin to take on the challenge.

Glenda is world famous for her educational piano music. Glenda continues to create music that helps teachers inspire their students and encourages students of all ages to practice by giving them music they enjoy playing. Glenda has recorded her music and the music of composer William Gillock in Nashville with a visiting Japanese recording team. She later toured Japan playing and teaching to the delight of hundreds of Japanese piano teachers.
You can see Glenda’s music at by clicking here.

I recently spoke to Glenda about her project of recreating the magic of Warm Kitty.

How familiar were you with the song and the show before we asked you to get involved?
First of all, I have NEVER watched Big Bang Theory. Heard of it, yes, but never tuned in. However, since the Warm Kitty, Theme and Variations project, I’ve seen excerpts online, mainly the clips where Warm Kitty is sung. I may have to start watching it!

When you agreed to give it a try what was the process you went through?
When asked to arrange Warm Kitty, of course, my first thought was to learn it (since I was not familiar with the tune)! IMMEDIATELY after seeing and hearing it, I realized I would have to put on my thinking cap to create something from 8 measures! That’s not a lot to work with, especially when you’re trying to turn it into a ‘stand alone’ solo! Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was a THEME and VARIATION. And having just done some of John Thompson’s Theme and Variations at my workshops this summer, I knew that was the way to go.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?
I’m not a terribly competitive person, but occasionally, I like a challenge. And the challenge here was to see if I could really come up with something substantial! Once I focused on the project, it materialized quickly. Improvisation is how I compose. So that’s how 8 measures grew into 128 measures of a waltz, tango, jazz and more!

Thank you, Glenda, for taking on this project. Since the music will be released in early October, you can be one of the first to see it. In addition, if you would like to hear Glenda play her new creation click below:

Be one of the first 5 people to post a comment to this blog and receive a free copy of Glenda’s Warm Kitty.

Gillock Association of Japan

We recently received a note with pictures from Mr. Takayuki Nii who is the editor for Zen-On Music in Japan. Zen-On has represented the Willis catalog in Japan for decades. Mr. Nii attended the 25th anniversay of The Gillock Association of Japan. Willis Music sent a special gift for Ms. Hiroko Yasuda as a thank you for her support of our Gillock books in Japan. Ms. Yasuda founded the Association and has done a tremendous amount of research on Bill’s life and music.

She wrote:

Dear Kevin,

I attended the reception for the 25th anniversay of the Gillock Association of Japan (chairperson Ms. Hiroko Yasuda) in Osaka on the 29th of August.
One hundred members were there from many areas of Japan and the party was really successful.
We were able to share Gillock’s music through talking to each other, playing instruments, and dancing.
I gave Ms. Hiroko Yasuda the gift from you on the stage. She was so excited and glad to have it and all the participants were impressed by your thoughtfulness.

The year after next is the 100th anniversary of Gillock’s birth. Zen-On will do its best to get many more Gillock fans, in cooperation with the Gillock Association of Japan.

With my best regards,
Takayuki Nii

Thank you Takayuki for sharing all the great things happening with Willis publications in Japan.


Zen-On is the largest specialist music publishing company in Japan. Their publishing house was founded by Teiji Shimada in 1931 in Tokyo, and the private enterprise was reorganised to a joint-stock company on September 13th, 1947. Since the foundation, they have been distributing, particularly, educational materials not only music, but also intruments which are fitted, right, secure and good quality for the educational purposes.

Popular Used Pianos for Sale

Here at Willis Music in Lexington, KY you can always find a great selection of Used Pianos made in the USA!

Our pianos all include delivery to your home, as well as one in-home tuning!


Come see our current selection of a few of our pianos in stock today:


Aeolian Console



Kimball Console



Story & Clark Console – Made in 1962

Story & Clark

To learn more about our entire Used Piano selection at Willis Music go HERE.




Used Hallet Davis Pianos at Willis

At the Willis Music location in Lexington, KY you can currently find 3 premium quality Used Upright Pianos at an affordable price!

We have 3 Hallet, Davis & Co. pianos made in 2013, that are technician approved and ready for a new home. These pianos include delivery to your home and one free in-home tuning.


Hallet, Davis French Console Satin Cherry Upright



Hallet, Davis Studio Chippendale Cherry Upright



Hallet, Davis Studio Mahogony Polish Upright


To learn more about our entire Used Piano selection at Willis Music go HERE.

Used Technics Electric Organ

Have fun making music with this Used Technics SX-SN2 Electric Organ we now have available for purchase here at Willis Music in Lexington, KY.

Technics Organ

This organ is in extremely good condition, and lightweight!


Some of the features include:

  • Upper & Lower Keyboard Sound Select
  • Auto Play Chords
  • Music Style Arranger
  • Rhythm Track
  • Transpose Button
  • Tremolo Button
  • And much more!!!


To learn more about our Used Piano selection at Willis Music go HERE.

Used Samick Player Piano

At Willis Music in Lexington, KY, we have a beautiful used Samick 5’4″ Grand Piano for sale. It’s quickly become a customer favorite, and won’t be here long!

This SG-161 model was made in Korea and is in excellent condition. It is technician reviewed & approved.

A Piano Disc PDS-128 Plus player device is included with the piano, as well as a matching bench.

Delivery and one free home tuning is also included.




To learn more about our Used Piano selection at Willis Music go HERE.

Randall Faber Concert

Concert Details


Randall Faber has appeared at the Gilmore Festival, the Wasserman
Festival, the Portland International Piano Festival, the Korean Piano
Adventures Convention in Seoul, and has toured Taiwan, Southeast Asia,
England and Australia. While in Korea, Faber appeared on the popular
television show Heart-to-Heart, which is broadcast in 188 countries, and his
solo recital in Chicago was broadcast live on WFMT public radio.

In recent seasons, Faber toured Southeast Asia, Taiwan, North
America, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. He was
a Convention Artist for the Music Teachers National Association
Conference and master teacher for the World Conference on Piano
Pedagogy, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the National
Piano Teachers Institute. He gave recent recitals in Denver, Kansas City,
Chicago, Austin, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Alberta, Seoul, and Jakarta.
Faber is a Steinway Artist.

Randall Faber holds three degrees from the University of Michigan
and a Ph.D. in Education and Human Development from Vanderbilt
University. In 2005, he presented his scholarly research at the 9th
International Conference on Motivation in Lisbon, Portugal.
Dr. Faber is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Seoul Arts
College in Korea. He has presented as Visiting Artist at universities
throughout North America and Asia.

Randall and his wife Nancy are well known as authors of the bestselling
Piano Adventures® teaching method and their many publications for
the piano. They are co-founders of the Faber Piano Institute.

Need Something To Do This Fall?…

Let’s March!

Fall is the perfect time of year when the heat of summer has past, the leaves are full of color and the crispness in the air wakes you up. The pools are closed so if you are looking for an outside event, why not support your local School Marching Bands by attending a contest. You will hear and see great bands along with some really good hot chocolate, carmel corn and there is always something good to eat. The fee at the gate supports the music programs and we all talk about the importance of music in our schools so lets get up, get out there and attend a contest and support them financially too!
Here are some great contest you might want to attend…

  • Northern Kentucky Marching Band Festival held at Campbell County High School in Alexandria, KY on September 19th, 2015.
  • Tournament Of Bands held at Ryle High School in Union, KY on September 26th, 2015.
  • Mason Marching Band Invitational held at Mason High School in Mason, Ohio on October 17th, 2105.

I will list more as soon as the dates are confirmed. Have a great time and I will be in the stands with my blanket and hot chocolate rooting for my favorite bands!


If you know of any marching band competitions please reply with the name and date and I will get it posted.

Throw Another Book on the Barbie

One of the most interesting trips my wife and I have been on was to Australia, although it was too short. If you schedule a trip, plan for at least a 2 week adventure. It was 3 years ago and we learned so much about the country even though we were there for only 6 days. I had the honor of speaking to 3 groups of music retailers and manufacturers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. We even had the opportunity to be close enough to pet some kangaroos. One of the highlights of our visit was a hike on top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. You can see the hikers on the right side of the bridge dressed in blue from one of the lookouts. And of course, what would a visit to Sydney be without a tour of the famous Sydney Opera House.

As many of you know, Willis Music publications are used and produced all over the world. One of my projects this year was to secure the future of Willis Publications in Australia and New Zealand for years to come. One of the great models I inherited from my father was to find a very capable partner in other countries and let them market for the company. The reason I mention this is that being a smaller company there is no way I can effectively learn the intricacies of each market and sell our product efficiently or effectively without the help of that capable partner. This year I had the difficult decision on deciding which company would represent Willis for the next few years. I’m pleased to say that Hal Leonard Australia will accept that responsibility and I’m very excited. We have always been represented in these important markets very effectively and I believe Hal Leonard is the right choice to carry on. As in other parts of the world, the Willis piano methods are the bestselling methods in their market – names like John Thompson, Edna Mae Burnam and many others. Hal Leonard also represents Willis in North and South America and many other parts of the world and I look forward to using that collaboration to fully serve the Australian/NZ market.

Exciting news for Italy:

Music Sales Corporation has represented Willis for many years in the European Union and recently they have been extremely active in developing new products and translations. The bestselling piano method book in Europe has for years been the Easiest Piano Course by John Thompson. It is printed in many languages and just this summer Italy is getting their own translation.

One of the most interesting aspects between books in America and Europe is the different notation. Music is the universal language yet in Europe they have different names for some common notations.

Here are a few that you might find interesting:

  • U.S Note Name
  • Whole Note
  • Half Note
  • Quarter Note
  • Eighth Note
  • Sixteenth Note
  • Thirty-Second Note
  • British Note Name
  • Semibreve
  • Minim
  • Crotchet
  • Quaver
  • Semiquaver
  • Demisemiquaver


Camels on the Red Carpet, WHAT?

Congratulations to the Campbell County Band of Pride who preformed in the Major League Baseball All Star Game Red Carpet Parade on Tuesday, July 14th. The parade began at 5th and Vine and ended at the Great American Ballpark.

As we all know this was a major event for the city of Cincinnati and the Tri-state area. It was great to see and hear the Fighting Camels presented worldwide. A special thank you to all the students as well as Mr. Nick Little, Director of Bands at Campbell County High School and Mr. Stephen Dietsch, Director of Bands at Campbell County Middle School for representing our great city.

Back To School

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I think we all remember that old Staples commercial showing parents gliding through the store on a shopping cart while the song, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” played and the kids look as though their best friend just moved away. “Well, it’s back!”, or at least it’s on it’s way, “Back To School will be here soon”! ?As you start to look for those back to school cloths, shoes, backpacks, paper and pencils, remember your child’s music supplies.

Willis and Moeller have all your band and general music supplies in their stores and they are ready for the season. Items like reeds at 30% off and recorders at $4.99. You can’t beat these deals anywhere! ? Oh, and don’t forget your marching band student. We have lyres, folios and plenty of drum heads! Just remember, even if you have everything you need we are here to support you and your child. Whether your child is a beginning band student, their first time on the field or going for their Music Ed degree, let us know when we can help along the way.

I hope everyone has a great 2015/2016 school year.


Good Partners and Good Music – Bluegrass

I just completed my third year of running sound at the Appalachian Festival. The Festival is a three-day event held at Cincinnati’s Coney Island. I’ve had the opportunity to mix sound for some great bluegrass and Appalachian concerts in the last three years. Reflecting back after a month or so, I began wondering: why Cincinnati and bluegrass music? I know bluegrass has a strong presence in the area. I also wondered, what is the purpose of the Appalachian Festival? With this in mind I started to do some investigation….

First, let me tell you about this year’s Appalachian Festival. Willis Music is proud to sponsor it for the 4th straight year, and along with Ric Hopkins from The Sound Workshop, I have run sound for the last 3 years. There are two main stages of the festival, where we use state of the art equipment like QSC K Series speakers and Presonus mixers. We can set delays and balance the sound so it is pleasing to listen to, while being able to hear the clarity needed for bluegrass music.

The Appalachian Festival is always on Mother’s Day Weekend and runs for three days. Music goes from 10 in the morning until 9 at night (groups play a 1-hour show with 15-minute breaks for setup). As you can see, there is a ton of music for people to enjoy. Some of the groups that played this year are: Rabbit Hash String Band, Sternwheelers, Pops & Patriots (Big Band Swing), Missy Werner, Appalachian Grass, P’s in a Pod, Good’le Boys, Retread Bluegrass Band, Wayfarers, NightFlyer, Dry Mill Road, Black Water, Steve Bonafel, Haddix Family Gospel, Evan Lanier & Bluegrass Express, Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers, and Oberst & Dowel. The last show on Sunday is always a real treat – the Bluegrass All Stars play as the house band, and all the other groups come back in a festival review concert.

Besides music, there is a living history section with Indians and Mountain people that teach on the old ways. There are lots of craft booths to pick up the perfect Mother’s Day present. Story tellers tell great stories with an Appalachian flair. And let’s not forget about some amazing food.

One story teller that is a treat to listen to (and you will walk away scratching your head) is Uncle Mike Carr. He told me a story that went like this:
A man was sitting at a picnic table eating his lunch. Sitting on the ground was a dog. A little boy walked up and ask “Mister is your dog friendly?” and the man replied, “Yes my dog is very friendly!”. The little boy reached his hand out to pet the dog and the dog growled and snapped at the boy almost biting him. As the little boy jerked his hand back he spouted, “Mister, I thought your dog was friendly!”. The man replied, “ He is friendly, but that ain’t my dog!”.

So what is the Appalachian Festival all about? It is about supporting the people from Appalachia. They raise money from the festival that then gets returned in the form of grants to help schools, community centers and artist studios throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. So far, the Festival has raised $150,000 for the Appalachian Community Development Association (ACDA), which administers these grants. Willis Music is grateful to be a part of keeping the Appalachian culture healthy.

Again, this is a great cause to keep history alive. If you are not usually a bluegrass listener, give it a try!  I have found a ton of bluegrass music that I thoroughly enjoy and some that are even inspiring. Here are a couple of local artists with inspiring songs:
One-Iota with Steve Bonafel – “Last Parade from Anthem” from Of A Family Tree
The Moron Brothers – “Story Of A Song” from More On The Morons album

Another great local artist that I have became very fond of is The Missy Werner Band. I have mixed sound for them at least 8 times, own 3 of their albums, and just enjoy the sound of Missy’s voice. If you are at a show that I am mixing, you will hear me use one of her albums during set-up.

Visit the Appalachian Festival website and help keep bluegrass music alive. Without bluegrass, where would music be today? As Henry Winkler says in the movie Here Comes The Boom, “Without music, life would be a mistake!”

Keep Playing,
Bill Phipps

I asked the president of the ACDA to tell us a little more about the Appalachian Festival, and here is what he wrote:

ACDA & Willis Music

The Appalachian Community Development Association formed a partnership with Willis Music to enhance the music at the Appalachian Festival on Mother’s Day weekend each year at Old Coney Island. By providing excellent PA equipment for the music and Storytelling venues, the patrons have come to expect the great value added sound provided by Willis Music.

The ACDA, a 501-3c was formed over 46 years ago by the Junior League of Cincinnati for the purpose of helping Appalachians and their descendants adjust to the urban life, far from the hills of Appalachia. It is hard to believe that after all these years the need for this help is still needed in urban as well as rural communities both near and far from Cincinnati. Recently the board of ACDA, an all volunteer staff, narrowed the focus to accommodate other 501-3c groups who provide food or education directly to those in our Appalachian region who desperately need help.

Our Festival itself works very hard to provide a learning environment through entertaining events, displays, music, storytelling, crafts, demonstrations and living history. The story of Appalachia and its legacy in our region must be told and remembered. The Festival is the sole income provider for the ACDA. Without the participation from our friends such as Willis Music, Kroger, Messer Construction, Midwest Polaris, Burger Farm and Garden, and Edudoc, our funds would be very small indeed.

Please know that patronizing Willis Music assures this valuable participation will go on for years to come. We thank the management and staff at Willis Music for their time and effort at helping others in our Appalachian Community.

Thank you again,
Ron Simmons
President, ACDA

Visit the Appalachian Festival website to sign up for a grant, and learn more about the festival itself.

Willis Goes to Washington

From the second my plane touched down at Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington, DC, it was a whirlwind of activity. The National Retail Federation sponsored the trip and I was honored to be one of 51 Retailers from around the country to receive the distinction of America’s Retail Champions 2015. My focus was with a group from Kentucky who I worked with on the Retail Across America Project.

I arrived on Monday evening, July 27th, and Tuesday morning we began a day of education. We began with a talk presented by Ohio Representative Steve Chabot. I have met with the Congressman in the past and have always found him to be receptive to small business concerns. Throughout the day we learned some interesting facts such as:

  • Retailers directly provide 29 million American jobs.
  • Retail generates 2.59 Trillion in total GDP. 1/6 of the US total.
  • 98.6% of Retailers in the US employ fewer than 50 people.
  • 95% of all Retailers operate 1 location.
  • Retail includes at least 20% of the jobs in each state.
    1. Kentucky is 23%
    2. Ohio is 24%

After all the education, we headed to dinner at the Newseum which is a museum dedicated to news and headlines over the years. When you visit Washington, DC, I would recommend a trip to the Newseum.  Just be aware that it’s one of the few attractions that require payment for admission.

Wednesday was the reason we were all there and we anxiously approached the Hill with visits to a variety of offices. We spoke about concerns we have as retailers and spoke directly to our representatives. Since I was there with a group of Kentucky retailers we focused on the southern side of the river. I appreciated the active participation each member of Congress and their openness in sharing. I will follow up with each of them and continue the dialogue about our industry.

Although I have done similar trips with NAMM over the past 10 years, this was my first time with the National Retail Federation. The NRF had a tremendous program and I want to thank them for their outstanding hospitality.

Now for the fun part – when your state holds the office of majority leader and you have a meeting with him you are escorted into the Capitol and into some pretty famous offices. While we were waiting, the receptionist told me that we were in the very room where Thomas Jefferson was sworn in. She also added that the floor was new because of the fire set by the British in 1814. I have to admit just sitting there looking around and realizing someone like Thomas Jefferson stood there and was sworn in as our 3rd President was pretty amazing.

Regardless of your political feelings or party affiliations, I encourage you to visit our nation’s capital if you have a chance and take a walk back in time.

Kevin Cranley

Ryman Auditorium – Feel the Power

Earlier this month, I traveled to Nashville for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Summer Conference. While there, I had the awesome opportunity to visit the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman Auditorium is the original Grand Ole Opry. What an experience of great music and history.


The Ryman Auditorium is located right in the middle of Nashville, where you can get great barbeque and great music in every 20 steps or so. If you have never been to the Ryman, it is an experience. You might never guess that this building is an amazing concert hall, because it is a repurposed church built in 1892 as The Union Gospel Tabernacle. It seats 6000 after the Confederate Gallery balcony was completed in 1897 for the Confederate Veterans Association. Every seat in the Ryman is still an original pew installed by The Indiana Church Finishing Company. So if you are going to a concert, you may want to take something soft to sit on or purchase a Ryman seat cushion on your way in.

The Ryman has had many speakers, such as Teddy Rossevelt, Helen Keller, and Charlie Chapman. Harry Houdini and Will Rogers have also performed at the Ryman. The Grand Ole Opry officially moved to the Ryman in 1943.

My Experience

The concert I attended was Hot Rize and the Gibson Brothers. I have to say after walking in I was like a child in a daze on Christmas morning, because I knew I was going to see and feel something special. It was almost like sensory overload. The Gibson Brothers performed first and when the sound came on it was like, WOW. The sound was so smooth and clear. I could here every note of every instrument as clear as sitting in my living room. I know The Gibson Brothers are a great traditional Bluegrass band but there is something magical about the sound in the Ryman. It’s almost like it has a soul of its own.

During intermission I got up and walked around and found my way up to the stage and looked around at the sound equipment (Kind of geeky that way) and when I turned around and looked back at the pews I couldn’t imagine what the artist emotions were like because of how I felt as an audience member.

The other great thing about the Ryman is everyone in the audience is happy and just as overwhelmed as you are. I met an awesome man from Canada that wore an American Flag bandanna on his belt loop. This was his second time to the Ryman this year. He had to come back and bring his son because of the first experience he had with his wife. If that doesn’t explain the magic, what does?

Hot Rize was the second band that played. They also had a great sound and are great musicians. They are not a traditional Bluegrass Band, but nonetheless unbelievable and a joy to listen to and watch.

What I noticed from both bands was they were so honored to play in the same place their role models had played. They were just as taken in by the nostalgia as I was, which drew me in to be part of the show rather than just an audience member watching a show. I think the music could have been less than amazing and I still would have had an unbelievable time.

If you have a chance to go to Nashville, make The Ryman Auditorium a must stop. Take in a little music history and feel the power. Words of telling someone can not explain the feeling.

Keep Playing,

Yamaha U3 Studio Upright Piano

Yamaha U3 Studio Upright Piano

These units are previously owned and refurbished university grade Studio Upright Pianos, straight from Japan. We buy them and present them for sale at our stores at half the price of a new one. Huge savings and amazing value accompany great sound and workmanship. Stop by one of our stores and check one out to see why they are the #1 choice of Asian schools, teachers and students alike. For an appointment, contact Frank Raymore at Willis Music Florence Store #859-525-6050


Yamaha U1 Studio Upright Piano

The Yamaha U1  now available at The Willis Music Co. @ Florence

These units are previously owned and refurbished university grade Studio Upright Pianos, straight from Japan. We buy them and present them for sale at our stores at half the price of a new one. Huge savings and amazing value accompany great sound and workmanship. Stop by one of our stores and check one out to see why they are the #1 choice of Asian schools, teachers and students alike. For an appointment, contact Frank Raymore at Willis Music Florence Store #859-525-6050


Mariemont selects a New Band Director

Willis Music would like to welcome Angela Pontious to Mariemont and our band director family! Angela has over 10 years of teaching experience as Director of Instrumental Music & Performing Arts Department Chair at Highland High School in the Salt Lake City School District in Utah. There she instructed concert band, marching band, jazz band, percussion ensemble, string orchestra, chamber orchestra, beginning piano and music theory. Her performing groups have participated in region and state events and have consistently earned excellent and superior ratings.

Man, where does she find the time?

Angela earned her Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Ball State University and her Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Florida State University. She brings a lot to the table and Willis rep Michele VanSickle is excited to help her make her first year a big success!

We would also like to congratulate Rick Canter, Mariemont’s current band director, on his new position at Walnut Hills High School.

Congratulations to all!

Cindy Hicks

Baseball time in Cincinnati

This is an exciting time for baseball in Cincinnati and Willis Music is proud to be associated with the Reds. Our connection with the Reds lives on in several fronts and I want to tell you about a few.

John Schutte, organist extraordinaire for the Reds used to work at Willis Music and in fact directly with me. John used his varied musical talents to organize and develop our in-house music typesetting department. John later left to pursue a career in firefighting where he continues today in Saint Bernard. Back in 2010 John and his band, The Rusty Griswolds were playing at the stadium and he questioned if they still had an organ. They did, although it had not been played in a few years. He mentioned that if they ever needed someone, to give him a call. To that they responded, “What are you doing Sunday?” John has been playing with the Reds ever since.

Through our association with John and the Reds we became aware that they needed better equipment for John to play on in the booth. We contacted Yamaha and began working on a solution. Before long John was playing on a brand new Tyros 4 all donated by Yamaha and Willis Music.

But probably the most interesting project we did with the Reds was with the Cincinnati Reds logo organ Willis donated and decorated. We had an organ in stock that we decorated for use around the park. It was an interesting project and involved a wrap like you might see on a car. I think it turned out great and you might see John before a Saturday afternoon game playing in front of the stadium on the Red’s organ. Make sure to stop by and listen.

Baseball is a great tradition in our hometown and has always been a big part of my life. I was fortunate to be in high school during the 70’s and the glory days of the Big Red Machine. If you were there you know how special that was. But my father, who grew up in Boston, played for the Red Sox farm team after the war. He decided the major leagues were not in his future and turned to the music business. Unfortunately I didn’t pick up his baseball ability but I wouldn’t trade the joy and fulfillment the music industry has brought me for anything.

Go Reds

Kevin Cranley

Walton-Verona High School Percussion Ensemble

Taking it “On The Road”

Walton Verona High School, under the direction of Mr. Chris Miller, started a Percussion Ensemble Program in 2012. It is a class made up of percussionists and wind players from the Walton-Verona High School Band. This year the Ensemble was the featured group at the very famous “Day of Percussion” at Marshall University in Huntington, WV.

They participated in a variety of percussion workshops in the morning, including several with renowned percussionist and composer Nathan Daughtrey. Their afternoon performance included Detour by Brian Blume and Millennium by Chris Brooks. A very special thanks goes out to Chris Miller for allowing us to share his successes with everyone.

Cindy Hicks

Lessons you don’t pay for…count me in!

Saturday, May 23rd was Free Lesson Day at Willis Music. All of our stores offered a free guitar/keyboard lesson to anyone interested! I decided to take advantage of this! I have never played a musical instrument. You are probably thinking: “hold on…a music company hired someone who doesn’t play an instrument of any kind?” Yes they sure did! I mean I can’t even sing (believe me you don’t want to hear me try!). But, I have wanted to learn because it is never too late to learn. I always wanted to play an instrument, but I have never had the courage to learn. To me, it just seemed too difficult. When we decided we were doing Free Lesson Day, I thought to myself, “why not take a Ukulele lesson…start off small!” So I am writing a blog about taking my very first lesson!

I walked into the Willis Music-Eastgate store with my husband and incredibly cute niece in tow! My husband played as a child and my niece’s mom is a very talented flute player so of course it is just in their blood! (Lucky them). My family… well let’s just say we don’t have any Mozart’s in the fam! So I was totally new at this. I told Denise Burkhardt ,the manager, I wanted to take a Ukulele (aka “Uke”) lesson. She asked Mike Bachelier to give me a lesson! By the way, Mike is a great teacher! He grabbed a uke and a chord book and sat down to teach me. Now, he opened the book to the first set of chords he was going to teach me and it might as well have been Latin! No worries though, Mike showed me what strings and frets matched with those in the book and what fingers I was supposed to use on each. Here are a few pictures and a video of him showing me.

Pretty soon he handed the Uke over to me so I could try on my own. I got the first chord ,an A chord, down with no problems! Then I thought I was super cool so I was going to try the more difficult E chord… four fingers… psh I got this! Or so I thought! Darn small hands! I know it is great to have small hands to play a Uke, but apparently I have infant hands! My poor fingers couldn’t reach all of the strings! Mike made sure I had my fingers properly placed and assured me with time you get better… let’s hope so. Here is Mike placing my fingers (and stretching them as far as they could go) in the right places. Before long I had a few chords down. Here I am strumming a little!

It doesn’t sound like much, but hey, it was my first time actually playing real chords instead of me just pretending to play. I am pretty excited to buy my first Ukulele and learn more. I am proof that you are never too old to pick an instrument up and take lessons.
Here are a few pictures from others joining in on the fun! This is Leah Decatur getting a guitar lesson and my adorable niece Izzy starting off young! (Hey you are never to young to start right?)

Laura Barrowman

Magical Moments

I’ve met some interesting and famous people in my life and this one for me was truly magical. Henry Z. Steinway represented to me one of the most honored and outstanding brands the world has ever known. He carried the family name of a product that is universally recognized as the finest, period.

The year was 2007 and while attending the NAMM convention in Anaheim, I had the opportunity to travel to Carlsbad, CA to attend the dedication of the Steinway Gallery at the NAMM Museum of Making Music. (If you are ever in the area, Carlsbad is just north of San Diego and it’s a wonderful museum.) At that meeting I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Henry Z. Steinway. We had a chance to discuss his early days in the business and what being a ‘Steinway’ meant to him. Henry was born in New York in 1915 and while he was the great-grandson of the founder Henry Engelhard Steinway he didn’t necessarily have an interest or desire to enter the family business. He graduated from Harvard College and thought ‘maybe I’ll give this piano thing a try’. As he spoke about this time in his life I was reminded of my growing up in the family business (Willis) yet not really sure what I wanted to do with my life. He started on the shop floor doing whatever needed to be done and ended up working in various departments. As he worked, his passion developed all the way to the recognition he received in 2007. In November of 2007, he received the National Medal of Arts presented by President George W. Bush. Henry credited his time with the Steinway skilled craftsman in his early years as more valuable than any amount of study he would have done.

I think one of the more interesting periods in his life was during WWII. As the war broke out, Henry became a factory manager. In 1942, his career was paused as he was drafted and assigned to work on Governor’s Island at the Army’s Counter-Intelligence Corps headquarters. That’s when he met his wife Polly. After the war, he returned to Steinway and Sons and became president in 1955.

As I sat and listened to Henry, I felt like I was experiencing a slice of American/World history first hand. I sensed a wisdom that comes from years of experiences, both good and bad. He was gracious and although there were many people at the opening, when he spoke with me he was totally tuned into our conversation, which I greatly admired. Henry Z. Steinway is missed but his spirit and passion live with me.

One interesting side note is that we were in the museum that Henry was a founding member of and served as its first president. See and hear Henry in a clip from his historical interview at the museum. Notice his extreme humility. Click here to see information about Henry Steinway on the NAMM page.

I do remember telling him as we finished that Willis would one day represent Steinway with great honor. Happily, we were able to reach that goal three years ago. Steinway and Sons is a valued partner and we look forward to representing them in this region for many years to come.

Kevin Cranley

Band Director skydiving

Who said Camels Can’t Fly!

This is the most unusual thing I have ever seen a band director do. To get his students motivated Mr. Stephen Dietsch, Director of Bands at Campbell County Middle School, home of the Camels, promised he would jump out of a plane if his students earned a Distinguished Rating at the Kentucky Music Educator Association state assessment. Boy oh boy did he keep his promise. Check out this video!

Great job Mr. Dietsch, and thank you for showing our young people the importance of honoring a promise!

If You Sing or Play, It’s All Music To My Ears!

Last month I neglected to mention the Choral Assessments and I would like to correct that this month. There were over 35 middle and high school choirs that performed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association District 7 Choral Performance Assessment. Students came from Campbell, Boone, Kenton, Bracken and Grant counties. Most people do not realize that choral students go through the same process as band students and Choral Music is very strong in our Northern Kentucky School Districts and here’s why…
Congratulations to the Campbell County Camel Singers and Camerate Choirs who both received Proficient ratings.
Another Congratulations goes out to the Campbell County Select Choir who received three Distinguished Ratings and a Proficient on sight reading.
Keeping with the Campbell County theme here is a big shout out to the 8th grade Choir who received Distinguished Ratings.

All-Stars, And I am Not Talking Baseball!

Choral students from all four Kenton County Middle Schools participated in a concert that was hosted at Turkey Foot Middle School. It was a pleasure to attend and I would like to thank Mrs. Debbie Brown, Secondary G/T Specialist for choosing Willis Music to supply the music for the All-Star Chorus. A special congratulations for a job well done are the choral teachers who put in so much time and effort into making the concert a success…
Debbie Sager at Summit View Middle, Allison Peeno at Turkey Foot Middle, Sherry Clark (the sweetest person in the world) at Twenhofel Middle and Nancy Bailey at Woodward Middle. You ladies rock!

Cindy Hicks

Laura and Lindsay Martin Clinic

A girl, her shoes, and a lot of Martin guitars!

Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending the Martin guitar clinic at our Florence location. At first, I wasn’t too sure about attending. You see, I am not a guitarist. In fact, when I pick up a guitar I just make a lot of crazy sounds…sadly, nothing that sounds good. So, now I find myself attending a clinic about guitars…and really NICE guitars at that. Maybe you are thinking: “okay why did you go?” Well, I am the face behind our social media sites! And I was going to cover the event. Another thing making me a little skeptical: I sit behind the computer all day talking to the world via social media. Now I am going to have to talk to people at this event!

Even with my nerves all worked up and my lack of knowledge of guitars, I went. I got there early to take pictures of the set up and empty auditorium to hype the event up on twitter. Now the cool thing about this clinic was that Martin had their artist Lindsay Ell attending. If you don’t know who she is then that is your loss because she is a fantastic person and artist! So…go check her out!
This is Lindsay.

I was mostly nervous about meeting her! How do you talk to someone when you don’t know the first thing about guitars and when you sing it sounds like a bunch of dogs howling? Lindsay got there early as well, so I worked up the nerve to go introduce myself. And she was a completely normal girl! How about that?! First thing she did was gave me a big hug! How did our conversation start off? Well, with our shared obsession of Snapchat and Twitter, of course! We immediately went to all of the super awesome Martin guitars and took a Snapchat and a “selfie.” Okay let’s be real: we are girls and our hair had to be just perfect so we took a few “selfies!” In today’s world that makes us new BFF’s! Here is the selfie we finally settled on!

She is originally from Canada, but now lives in Nashville, and this girl loves Chipotle. They made a stop at Chipotle before the clinic and of course she had to add a few snaps to her Snapchat story. Lindsay’s guitar of choice that night was a Martin OM-28. She also has a Martin OMJM at home, but her favorite guitar this year was this little beauty! It was one of the guitars on display and it also seemed to be a crowd favorite as they were eagerly waiting their turn to try it out.

I couldn’t help thinking to myself why were you so nervous because she is so easy to carry on a conversation with? Of course I was in my own head. Anyway, we sat down and she let me ask her a couple of questions. I bet you want to know what they were, don’t you?
Okay, I will tell you!

Me: What sparked your interest in music?
Lindsay: When I was six my mom put me and my brother in classical piano. When I turned 8 I thought it was a lot cooler to play Shania Twain on my guitar and I never looked back. My dad played, so I went to bluegrass camps with him. That is what interested me in playing lead guitar. There just aren’t enough lead female guitarists in the world! When I was 10, I started writing and playing shows. I was the first one crazy enough in my family to play guitar for a living!
(What girl in the 90’s didn’t love Shania Twain? I am guilty of shamelessly belting our her lyrics at the top of my lungs).

Me: Do you have any pre performance rituals?
Lindsay: Other than the normal ones like warming up, me and the band pick a word of the day. Before we head on stage we get in a circle put our hands in a say the word really loud. Like ‘SNICKERDOODLE!’ The people in the front row can hear so they are all probably like “what is going on?”

Me: What is your favorite place to perform?
Lindsay: Can I give you a two part answer?
Me: Sure!
Lindsay: Well, my first place is performing solo acoustic at the original Ryman in Nashville. There is a certain magic performing there that most rooms can’t touch. My second favorite is at Stagecoach. That is the biggest music festival I have ever seen! It is so big when you look out at the crowd you can’t even see the edge of the crowd! That many country music fans in one spot is contagious.

Me: I saw on your Twitter page you like Shoes and guitar pedals..
Lindsay: Yes I do!
Me: Do you have a favorite pair of performing shoes?
Lindsay: (Smiling, she says:) “It changes a lot, but right now it’s these running shoe heels. I feel like I can still be a girl, but also a runner and they look like moon shoes on stage!” Shoes and guitar pedals are my weakness. I can always find a way to buy shoes and pedals.

After that, she had to go warm up…but not before she handed me her CD. I also found some guitar picks she dropped before returning them I took this “artsy” photo!

As Lindsay was doing her warm up rituals, the crowd started to file in and test out the Martins on display. They were asking the Martin Rep., Jay Meyer, all kinds of questions about them! You could tell how excited everyone was to try out all of these beautiful guitars. I did not touch them I just looked no one wanted to hear the mess I would make! I left it to the guys who knew what they were doing! It took a minute for the clinic to get started because everyone was so excited about testing out the guitars.

Then, Lindsay took the stage and Jay started the clinic. It was incredibly informative and interesting. If you missed this event, you really missed out on some good stuff! That’s okay…I will fill you in on the highlights!

What did we learn?Well, a lot. Jay took us on a virtual tour of Martin’s history. Where they started, how they ended up in Nazareth, PA, and how the guitars are made. One of my favorite things I learned-and something that makes me want to tell everyone to buy a Martin-is how Eco-friendly they are! They find a way to use every single piece of material! Nothing is wasted by just throwing it away! Take this coaster for instance. This is made from the wood used to make the sound holes on the guitars! And the facility…wow! Jay also took us on a virtual tour of the facility where their guitars are hand-crafted with the utmost care. They do tours of their facility and they highly recommend you add this to your bucket list! I know I am adding it to mine. One attendee Rachel Schrand said, “It was a lot of fun! I learned a lot about guitars that I didn’t know before and I got to meet a very sweet and amazing singer, Lindsay Ell.” Speaking of Lindsay Ell she performed 3 songs in between Jay’s presentation. She sounds amazing! She sang a few of her own songs including one she wrote for a dear friend of hers who has muscular dystrophy and went through a tough time. The girl really is a great person. You walk away thinking, “man I wish I was her best friend.” She is so humble I was blown away watching her interact with the fans! She was down on the floor talking to the kids and taking pictures with everyone and didn’t even think twice about it!

There is not a bad thing anyone could find to say about her. If you didn’t get to check out this clinic and hear her I took a few videos for your viewing pleasure.

    Here are some other cool facts I learned:

  • Martin uses wood from all over the world to build their guitars
  • They spend a lot of time experimenting with different types of wood. They use 100 different species on their custom guitars and more than 300 on their in-house guitars.
  • The D18 and D28 got their names because they costs $18 and $28 when first built.
  • In 1931 Martin came out with it’s first Dreadnought..it was a 12 fret.
  • In 1937 They came out with the 14 fret Dreadnought.
  • Before this Martin built only small body guitars.
  • The parlor guitar got its name because they were originally built for women to play for the men in the parlor…(we know ladies…but it’s okay, times have changed!)
  • They use hide glue rather than tight bond because it resonates more even though it’s more difficult to build with.

These are just some of the fascinating things taught at this wonderful clinic. You can check out these videos to here a little of Jay Meyer’s presentation!

    Things I am taking away from this clinic:

  • I need to stop being such a chicken!
  • Lindsay Ell is an incredible artist.
  • Martin guitars are awesome and they are a great company!
  • Next time we have a clinic, come by and check it out…you never know what you will learn and who you will meet. Follow us on twitter @WillisMusicCo for all of the updates!

    Laura Barrowman

Sheldon Cooper

Soft Kitty – Where does it come from?

Warm kitty, soft kitty, little ball of fur, Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr! purr! purr! I trust many of you have heard this song although with slightly altered words. What I’m guessing is that almost all of you don’t know the connection with Willis Music.

Willis Music is an international music publisher in addition to the retail stores you are familiar with. We publish the most used piano course in the history of piano methods. The name of that course is John Thompson’s Modern Course for the Piano. It along with other books by John Thompson and many others are published all over the world and in 17 languages and counting. Since 1899 we have published over 13,000 individual titles.

In 1937 we published a book called Songs for the Nursery School and we sold tens of thousands of copies. It is a hardbound book of over 150 songs for children. The book was written by Laura Pendleton MacCarteney. In that book on page 27 is Warm Kitty.

Warner Brothers and I worked together to secure the rights for the show The Big Bang Theory and they have been using the song ever since. The writers wanted the song because one of them remembered it as a child. They also wanted to slightly change the words and I’m really not sure of the reason for that change. Here is the original and the Big Bang version.


Warm kitty, soft kitty, little ball of fur, Happy kitty, sleepy kitty, purr! purr! purr!

Big Bang:

Soft kitty, Warm kitty, little ball of fur, Sleepy kitty, happy kitty, purr! purr! purr!

The storyline of the use of the song is that Sheldon Cooper’s mother used to sing the song to Sheldon as a child whenever he was sick. Over 8 episodes Sheldon has convinced various other characters to sing Warm Kitty to him when he was under the weather. I love the show and especially like hearing Warm Kitty.

The song has become so popular that you can find t-shirts, stuffed animals, hats and many other items with the words.


Kevin Cranley

Have You Heard About Free Lesson Day?

Have you heard about Free Lesson Day?

We do many exciting things here at Willis Music- but I personally am really excited about this. We have decided that the best way for you or your child to decide if lessons are right for you- is to try them out- for free! So we invite you to come to any of our stores from 1:00-3:00 on May 23rd.

There we will have teachers ready to give you a short lesson to decide if private instruction is right for you. We will be focusing on piano and guitar. It is going to be a really fun day- introducing people to music is what we are here for. It will be a great way to meet some of our fantastic teachers. We can’t wait to see you there. Contact the store nearest you for more information.

Here is a short video telling you all about Free Lesson Day!

Assessment Recap

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Assessment at Northern Kentucky University. For those of you that might not know judges record the school’s performances and provide them with immediate feedback. The bands and their directors are also asked to sight-read. They have a few minutes to view the music before they perform in front of a judge. Wow, I would think that would be the most stressful part of this event! All the judges scores are combined for an overall rating. Here a re few highlights we would like to mention…

The following ensembles were named exemplary groups by the adjudicators:

– Gray Middle School 8th Grade Band – Bill Kidwell

– Turkey Foot Middle School 7th Grade Band – Jana Bromley

– Highlands High School Chamber Orchestra – Kathy Anderson

– Beechwood High School Symphonic Band – Joe Craig & Adam Proctor

– Ryle High School Honors Wind Symphony – Bob Elliott

​A special mention and thank you go out to Mr. Chris Miller, Director of Bands and Walton-Verona High School for serving again as this years Assessment Manager.

It might be April Fools Day, but it’s no joke!

It might be April Fool’s Day, but it’s not joke that this year makes our 116th birthday! Yea we know… we are old. Here is what was happening in the U.S. when Charles H. Willis founded Willis Music at 41 East 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati 116 years ago: William McKinley was president

(Look at that scowl… It’s so handsome!)

There were only 45 states in the U.S.

Our flag was short a few stars back then.

The Cincinnati Reds finished their season 85-67 (we hope they do better this year!).

A few things that happened on this day in history around the world other than the most wonderful music store opening:

  • In 1905, Paris and Berlin were linked by telephone
  • In 1929 that awesome, yet totally frustrating, toy the yo-yo was invented by Louie Marx
  • In 1930 Leo Harnett of the Chicago Cubs broke the altitude record for a catch by catching a baseball that was dropped from the Goodyear blimp 800 feet over Los Angeles, CA. Good thing it wasn’t a bowling ball!
  • In 1938, The first commercially successful fluorescent lamps were introduced and the baseball Hall of Fame was opened in Cooperstown, NY.
  • In 1957, The Soviet Union launched Sputnik scaring the rest of the world for no reason!
  • (Poor kids… That doesn’t look like fun at all!)

  • In 1960, The U.S. launched TIROS-1. It was the first weather satellite.
  • In 1976, Apple Computer began operations.

As you can see, we share a birthday with some pretty cool events that have happened in history.

If you think those were cool, check out some of the things a little closer to home… We did say we are pretty old.

Willis Music is older than:

  • Cincinnati Union Terminal (built in 1933)
  • Skyline Chili (established in 1949)
  • The Lincoln Memorial (built in 1922… sorry honest Abe, you may be older than us, but your memorial isn’t)
  • The Empire State building (built in 1929)
  • (We fibbed a little, King Kong has never been on the Empire State Building… but how terrifying would that be?!)

  • The first World Series was won by the Boston Americans (1903)
  • The Ford Motor company (established in 1903)
  • The first powered flight by the Wright brothers (1903)
  • The Boy scouts were established in 1910. -Fenway Park was built in 1912.
  • War War 1 was from 1914-1918.
  • Mount Rushmore was built in 1927.
  • The FBI was established in 1935.
  • The famous Ohio River Flood of 1937.
  • The St. Louis Arch was built in 1963.

Wow! How incredible is that!? We have had our doors open through a lot of cool events in history. Thank you for shopping local with Willis Music and giving us 116 great years! We look forward to spending many more with you and seeing a lot more cool stuff happen.

Click here to read about the history of Willis Music.

The History of the Willis Music Company

Beginning in 1899 through today, Willis Music’s focus has always been on music education. From their internationally known educational piano catalog to one of the top retail music chains in America this focus on education has always remained. Here’s how it began…

On April 1, 1899, Charles H. Willis, a veteran of the sheet music industry, founded a small business at 41 East 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati. For the next 20 years Mr. Willis and his son William grew the business through hard work and a keen focus on the needs of music educators. During that time the company acquired several music publishers such as The John Church Company and George B. Jennings and Company. In 1919, Gustave Schirmer bought the Willis Music Company, making it a branch of G. Schirmer of Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1923 John J. Cranley, a fiery, redheaded Irishman from the Boston Music Company, became general manager of the Willis subsidiary. John began as a stockboy at Boston Music and now was leading Willis Music with his hard work and love for the music business. He turned this small organization into a major corporation in very quick order. Little by little, he acquired more than 50% ownership in the company through stock options and then purchased all the remaining stock. John continued running Boston Music, Schirmer Music and Willis Music. Under his leadership, Willis Music became “The Publisher” for teaching methods and solo pieces. The John Thompson method, “Modern Course for the Piano” was added to the catalog in 1936 and quickly became, and still is today, the most widely used piano method in the world, published in 17 languages. He then added names like Edna Mae Burnam and her prolific “Dozen a Day” series as well as William Gillock.

John’s son, Edward, became president of the Willis Music Company in 1965. Like his father he grew up in the business at Boston Music. After serving in the Navy during WWII and Korea he moved his Family to Cincinnati to join Willis in 1955. He worked all departments, sharing his Dad’s enthusiasm while continuing the success and growth of the organization. In 1969 the Company’s headquarters and publishing operation moved to Florence, Kentucky.

After graduating from Xavier University in 1980, Kevin Cranley, Ed’s son, joined the company full time. In 1990, Kevin succeeded his father as President and continues in that role today. Kevin also served as the Chairman of NAMM, the industry’s International Trade Association from 2011-2013.

In the past 10 years Willis has gone through tremendous positive change. In 2005 Willis partnered with the Hal Leonard Corporation who now handles product development, production and distribution for the Willis catalog in the Americas and beyond. Hal Leonard provides an unmatched stable of popular songs and talent that have enhanced the iconic Willis Piano Methods.

In 2012 Willis became the exclusive representative for Steinway and Sons Pianos in the Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton markets. Willis services university music departments, local symphonies and music enthusiasts with the world’s finest pianos.

With the 2013 acquisition of Moeller Music, Willis strengthened its commitment and dedication to school music programs in all markets. At the same time Willis began representing the renowned Yamaha Band and Orchestra line of instruments.

Today Willis Music stores provide everything musicians of all levels need and desire. With performance spaces in several stores Willis is frequently the venue for beginners, rising stars and Steinway Artists.

Cick here to read what else happened the day of our inception!

Kevin Cranley

A Summer Full Of Music

I think it is safe to say that we are all ready for summer. Don’t get me wrong- I used to think snow was really pretty- but not anymore! Spring is one of the busiest times of year for a lot of people, so summer is that promise of a little relaxation. Even through the hustle of getting the kids out of school, final exams, and work deadline, there is still the promise of a great summer at the end of it all.

That being said- summer was so much more fun we you were young. So here at Willis Music- we want to help you plan the perfect summer for your children- and maybe you can even get involved too! We are planning several different summer group programs in our different locations.

The benefits of group music making are endless. While one-on-one instruction is crucial to the learning process, starting with a group can be a great way to shake off the nerves. Starting something new is scary, but starting something new with 10 other people doesn’t sound so bad. We have had several group classes here and we love them.

We are planning all sorts of group lessons for the summer. We are still developing some- but here is a little bit more about one I am really excited about

In our Eastgate location, we will be holding a kids keyboard class called “Teaching Little Fingers to Play”. The class will be taught by our very own piano teacher Mike Bachelier. Mike teaches Piano, Guitar, and Voice several days a week at Willis Music and is excited to do some group work. The class will be on Monday mornings, 10:30-11:30, and will last for 6 weeks starting on June 15th. The price of the class will be $100. Space is limited so sign up in store or give the store a call at 513-752-6341.

More information on other group classes will be coming soon. If you would like to stay in the loop, make sure to visit www.willismusic.com/lessons or stop in a store today to find out what they are planning for you this summer.

Playing music in a group is a great way for your child to excel, as well as make new friends and learn new skills. You don’t have to take my word for it- check out this video of brothers who have always played music together and are proof that hard work and practice can really pay off!


Kentucky Music Educators Association Conference

Annual Show in Louisville, KY

“KMEA (Kentucky Music Educators Association) holds a professional development conference every year in late January or early February. It is always held in Louisville at the Kentucky International Convention Center and is open to music teacher of all types. This event attracts teachers of general music, middle school, high school, universities and orchestra. They leave no one out.

Every year Willis Music hosts a booth at the event trying to bring something different every time. This year was one of the best! We partnered with Personus and opened Directors’ eyes to what new technology can do to enhance their programs.

It was wonderful to see everyone there in an atmosphere of relaxation. We also had an opportunity to hear great performances by some of Kentucky’s best elementary, middle and high school ensembles.

Below are some of the photos that we took. We look forward to seeing you there next year!”

– Cindy Hicks, Willis Music Director, Institutional Sales/Rentals/Bids

The Willis Music Booth Featuring Presonus and QSC at KMEA

willis music kmea booth 2015

Willis Music Booth at KMEA 2015

From the Vendor’s Point of View…

Gary Mielke

Gary Mielke, TechRep Marketing (Presonus and QSC)

Recently I had the pleasure of working with Willis Music at the KMEA show in Louisville. I am a manufacture representative for Presonus, and while I do enjoy my job I can also say that trade shows are more often than not, the toughest part. The people at Willis helped to make the booth one of the best we have had at any trade show of this type. They spent a lot of time at set-up, making sure the booth was laid out just right based on their experience with this customer base. It was obvious to me, based on comments from teachers and students that Willis Music has an outstanding reputation for customer service. This made it that much easier for us to share the Presonus EDU message, and show the solutions we can provide through Willis Music. There are many music stores that can sell gear, but it takes a more serious commitment to provide solutions, and it is clear to me after spending a few long days with the Willis sales staff, that they have made that commitment.

Thanks to everyone at Willis for making the KMEA show an enjoyable experience for me and a successful one for Presonus.

Gary Mielke, TechRep Marketing

From the Band Representative’s Point of View…

Michele VanSickle and Tim Lautzenheiser kmea 2015

Michele VanSickle and Tim Lautzenheiser

This was my first year at a music educator’s convention as a vendor. I had been to conventions as a director many times. It was enjoyable to be at the booth and see directors from all over the state. This was a terrific time to talk to them without limitations of time. Discussing needs, specific program information, and possibilities of utilizing new ideas for assessment and creativity through electronics were the hot topics with whom I interacted.

I saw this as my chance to talk with directors whom have very busy schedules at school. I also had fun introducing myself to directors, and retirees, NOT in my area but might need a connection to supplies, music, or equipment. Finally, meeting parents of All-Star Band and Choir members, was fun as they were excited for the same reason we were… the opportunity to see the results of music education.

My favorite experience was to have the honor of passing out packets for Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser’s Essential Elements session, then listen to him speak. I have always admired his work and his ability to remain passionate about teaching music to all students.

Michele VanSickle, Willis Music Education Representative

Pictures From the Show…

AJ Gatewood from Twenhofel Middle School and Kevin Cranley

AJ Gatewood from Twenhofel Middle School and Kevin Cranley

Chris Hedges from Williamstown High School with Michele VanSickle

Chris Hedges from Williamstown High School and Michele VanSickle

Derrick Turner from Fairdal High School with Bobb Sears

Derrick Turner from Fairdal High School with Bobb Sears

Chris Peterson from Connor High School with Kevin Cranley and Cindy Hicks

Chris Peterson from Connor High School with Kevin Cranley and Cindy Hicks

Scott Taylor from Newport Middle School with Michele VanSickle

Scott Taylor from Newport Middle School with Michele VanSickle

Chris Bednar at the booth

Chris Bednar, TechRep Marketing (Presonus and QSC), at the booth

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Trombone

This post is the final installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the trombone.


The most important element to trombone maintenance is the slide. There are several slide lubricant options, but the important thing to remember is to keep it moving freely. Whenever you are playing, be aware of your surroundings so you don’t accidentally hit your slide on your chair or stand. The smallest dent or bend in the slide can make it not function properly, and this is an issue that needs to be taken to a professional repair person.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Slide lubricant (your teacher may recommend one of the following):
Slide oil
Slide cream and water spray
Formulated product (like Slide-O-Mix)
Slide grease (for tuning slide only)
Bore snake
Mouthpiece brush

Optional Care Supplies:
Polishing cloth

Water Key:
You should CONSTANTLY empty your water key (spit valve). This means every several minutes while you are playing, and especially before you return the trombone to its case. Simply press the water key to hold it open, and blow air through the instrument so moisture will leave through the valve (it might be handy to keep a paper towel to empty your valve onto so you don’t leave a puddle).

Main Slide:
It is extremely important to keep your main slide well lubricated – both for the condition of the instrument, and for ease of playing. Your slide will need to be lubricated FREQUENTLY, probably each time that you play. There are several different options:

  • Slide oil: the most straightforward option, and may be best for beginners. Simply extend your slide, apply slide oil to the inner slide, and move the slide in and out to distribute the oil.
  • Slide cream: slide cream requires water to work properly. Apply slide cream to the inner slide, and spray some clean water (from a spray bottle) to the slide before moving it to distribute. Some musicians like this method as it allows the slide to move very fast, and the cream does not need to be applied as often – only the water spray. The downside to the slide cream is that residue tends to build up on the slide faster than with oil, so you may need to clean your instrument more frequently.
  • Formulated products: there are many other products out there (one of the most popular is called Slide-O-Mix). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on any type of product.

Tuning Slide:
REGULARLY, move the tuning slide on the instrument. This will prevent it from “freezing” (getting stuck). OCCASIONALLY, you should grease your slide to clean it and keep it moving freely. Simply remove the slide (pay attention to which direction it faces so you can put it back correctly), apply a small amount of slide grease to the inner slide, and replace it. Wipe off any excess grease. (Note that this is a different type of grease than the one you use for your main slide)

OCCASIONALLY (every 6-8 weeks or so), you should clean the inside of your trombone. Mark Flegg has a great article on thoroughly cleaning your trumpet (http://markflegg.com/instruction/how-to-clean-your-trumpet/) that can apply to the trombone as well. The good news is that your entire trombone can be submerged in water! Fill a bathtub with warm (not hot) water (you can also add a small amount of dish soap). Remove the main slide and tuning slide from the trombone and place them in the water. Let them soak for a few minutes, then use your bore snake to clean the insides (insert in one end and push through until you can pull the whole apparatus through the other end). Next submerge the body of the trombone in the water and do the same. Use whatever combination of snake and brushes you need to in order to clean the inside of all of the tubing. Rinse each part of the instrument with clean running water, and allow to air dry. Grease your slides with the appropriate materials, and reassemble.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your trombone. The oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

We hope that this has been informative for our young trombone players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Good luck!

The Little Drummer Boy

How many of us can say at 8 years old we could keep a sick beat on the drums? This kid can!

Cooper At the Drums

This is Cooper (Aka: one of the coolest kids you will ever meet!). He is 8 years old and can drum like no one’s business. His awesome talents helped him become one of our winners for our Willis Music “Kid’s Got Talent” contest. This little guy can also read music, sing, and play drums at the same time!

I had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing Cooper… Jealous? You should be! This kid seriously knows what he is doing! Before the interview started we put him at a drumset that is on display in our West Chester store… He knew how to set it up better than we did! He went right to work adjusting everything to fit him and happily let the master go to work!

It seems Cooper was destined to be a drummer from the day he was born. Cooper’s mom, Lisa, said that Cooper was born on December 21st so they were playing Christmas music in the O.R. as little Cooper was being delivered. The song that was playing ironically was “The Little Drummer Boy.” Lisa told me she turned to her husband Brian and said “well, here’s our drummer!” Little did she know at the time that would actually come true!

Cooper’s interest in drums came when he was only 9 months old! I asked him what sparked his interest to become a drummer and he said he was “…too young to remember…” hey, who can blame him he was only two! So I asked his mom, because who would know better than her? She said at 9 months old Cooper could “…keep the beat anytime he heard music and loved watching bands on television.” She said like most young kids do he would “…pull out all of the pots and pans, but he would try to set them up to resemble an actual drum set!” She said he loved to bang on whatever he could, but rather than it just sounding like a bunch of loud noise, he actually sounded good. When he was two years old they began talking about getting him his very own drum kit. So the morning of Cooper’s third birthday, that is exactly what he got! His mom said he was the happiest kid she has ever seen! There is a video of Cooper playing “White Room” with his dad, who is a bass player, only a few days after his birthday. Seriously, how cool is this story?

It is so great seeing a kid as young as Cooper taking such a great interest in music. It is also great for him to have a family who are proud of his musical talents and support him! Here is Cooper with his family! Don’t they look great!

Now that you know a little about Cooper check out this interview he did with me and him testing out some drums in our store!

Want to see more of Cooper… we know you do… I mean come on… he is awesome! Go check out his YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/brianonbass

This Is How It Gets Done!

Walton Verona Middle School started their beginning band class off with a big bang! Mrs. Hedges, Director of Bands at Walton Verona Middle School, knows how to get her students and their parents involved and excited about making music.

walton verona beginning band meeting

Right before Christmas break, students and parents were invited to a hands-on meeting where students had the chance to actually make a sound on several instruments. Parents loved watching as Mrs. Hedges helped each child choose an instrument that best fits them.

walton verona beginning band meeting

Some crazy sounds were heard on that day. Mrs. Shana Gatewood, (yes, she is the wife of band director A.J. Gatewood from Twenhofel Middle School and … a great trumpet player/teacher that also helps Willis Music out with many parent meetings and student demonstrations), had students making great sounds! Trumpet was a big choice for several students. Shana did a great job fitting the students! She ROCKS!

walton verona beginning band meeting

We all know how important making music is in our kids lives. We all also know music education improves recall and retention of verbal information, advances math achievement and boosts reading and English skills. And of course… we all know it increases average SAT scores. With all that we know it’s the band director of your child’s school and the directors of beginning bands all over the world that have the most influence on students and can help change their lives through music. Amber Hedges is one of the best and she knows how to get things done in her school!

An Insider’s Account of This Year’s NAMM Show

winter namm 2015I just attended my 35th January NAMM show. Yes, my first one was at 21 years old. For those of you who are unaware of NAMM, it’s the trade association of the $17 billion dollar music products industry. NAMM began in 1901 making it 2 years younger than Willis Music.

Our yearly pilgrimage to NAMM is always a welcome retreat from our cold winters. We go to sunny Anaheim and this year the weather was fantastic. I travel with 3 buyers from Willis (Paul, Bill and Mike) and my wife Debbi. Our buyers spend most of their time visiting vendors like Yamaha, Fender, Steinway, Hal Leonard and hundreds more; placing orders and learning about new products. My time at NAMM is involved with meetings with some of our larger vendors along with meetings with each of our foreign sub-publishers. As many of you know Willis owns a catalog of educational piano music with names like John Thompson, Edna Mae Burnam and William Gillock. Those publications and more are in great demand in other countries so I use the NAMM show to meet with our partners representing the countries of Japan, China, England, Australia, South Africa and other parts of Europe. In some cases working with translators which I always find interesting. Our John Thompson Piano Course is now printed in 17 languages.

That’s a bit about our main jobs at the show but there is much more. For me, the show is a reunion of some of my best friends. I was fortunate to be asked to serve on the executive committee of NAMM for 8 years which ended in 2013. My final 2 years I was the Chairman of NAMM and traveled around the world meeting so many great people. I love reconnecting with all of them each year at the NAMM show. In a later edition I’ll write about some of our most memorable experiences during that time. For me, this year’s highlight was the annual Yamaha concert. They hold a concert every other year or so in DisneyLand at the Hyperion Theater. The artists are unbelievable. This year’s highlight for Debbi and me was Jamie Cullum. If you don’t know Jamie, do yourself a favor and check him out. Also performing were The Piano Guys, James Blunt, Jonathan Butler, Bob James, Colbie Caillat, Nathan East and others. The MC was Sinbad and he was a riot. The show was 3 1/2 hours long and was amazing. Jonathan Butler was the surprise for us; such an amazing voice. And Colbie Caillat has such a clear distinctive voice, she was really good too.

One last thing, check out this video of The Piano Guys at a retirement home. Watch the change in the residents as the Piano Guys perform, it’s amazing. The benefits of music in action.

Paul (one of the Willis buyers) attended a concert put on by Vandoren called VandoJam. Several Grammy winning Jazz artists really killed it. It featured Paquito D’Rivera, Eric Marienthal, and Jerry Vivino, with special guests Felix Peikli and Farnell Newton. That is one of the most exciting things about the show. Artists are everywhere and each company tries to provide the best performances you will ever hear. You can be walking the halls and see Jason Mraz, John Mayer or even Stevie Wonder. I was fortunate enough to meet Stevie last year. I remember one year when Stevie Wonder just started playing in the Yamaha booth; not planned… just spontaneous artistry at it’s best.

Make today a musical day.

Kevin Cranley

It’s All About That Band!

It is that time of year. School is in full swing, and school band is something that your child is going to stick with. We have always found that private lessons are the best way for your child to succeed in band class- some band directors even require that all students take private lessons outside of school. Here at Willis Music, we are always on the look out for the best musician to help your child grow. We are always expanding, especially when it comes to band. Here are just a few of our many new band teachers. To find out more about lessons for you or your child, click on the location nearest you, or on one of these great teachers below!

Willis Music Lexington

Willis Music Florence

Willis Music Eastgate

Willis Music Kenwood

Moeller/Willis Music West Chester 


Armond Luckey- West Chester Location

I started playing trumpet when I was 12 so I’ve been playing for about 16 years. I attended Miami University on a full ride scholarship. While there I had the opportunity to connect and play with several musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty, Wayne Bergeron and Jon Faddis. While at Miami I was the lead player for the Miami Jazz Ensemble as well as the jazz trumpet ensemble called the Lickitysplits. I was also a part of the Miami Wind Ensemble, Miami Marching Band, and Miami Orchestra. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Click here to register with Armond


Chase Clark- Lexington Location

As an educator, Chase has taught at various schools and music camps throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. Teaching with his first instrument, the trombone, Chase has appeared as a guest instructor at prestigious music programs such as Lafayette High School, Beaumont Middle School, Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, and John Hardin High School. Chase also has taught at the Annie Moses Band’s Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, TN since 2010. This fine arts camp trains 200-250 students in which Chase is the primary trombone and low brass instructor, jazz big band section instructor, and a member of the faculty performing groups. As well as teaching across Kentucky and Tennessee, Chase maintains a successful trombone studio of emerging talent in the Lexington, Kentucky area. As a performer, Chase has appeared with an extensive variety of musical groups such as the University of Kentucky’s Opera Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, the Annie Moses Band, Wycliffe Gordon, and Grammy-award winning artist Bob Mintzer. Chase also recorded with Bob Mintzer on the album “Go” which released in 2011. Chase also joined with the Annie Moses Band to perform in Carnegie Hall in 2012 and the Grand Ole Opry House in 2013. He currently can be heard as lead trombone/soloist with local artists in the Lexington area such as the jazz big band the MetroGnomes, the oldies rock group Big City Groove, and the Lexington Community Orchestra.

Click here to register with Chase


Stacey Krimmer- Eastgate Mall location

STACEY KRIMMER received both her Bachelor of Music degree in education and her Master of Music degree in flute performance from the University of Wyoming. In addition to running a private flute studio since 1986, Stacey was the instructor for the flute program at Colorado Academy in Denver. She also taught Suzuki flute, penny whistle, and recorder at Colorado Academy, and was an instructor of flute ensembles at the Suzuki Association of Colorado’s Winter Workshop. She also served as board president of the Colorado Flute Association. Stacey’s performance work includes Wind Images Woodwind Quintet, the ballet orchestra to premiere “Winter Moons,” the Denver Opera Company Orchestra, the Colorado Wind Ensemble, the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Blue Ash Symphony. She also worked and performed with School House Symphony, a small ensemble dedicated to providing in-school performances by combining teaching with performing.

Click here to register with Stacey



Ashley Martin- West Chester Location

A native of Mason, OH, Ashley Martin holds degrees in music education and oboe performance from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. At Ohio State, she studied oboe with Professors Robert and Bailey Sorton, and had the opportunity to work with Joe Robsinson, the retired principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic. Ashley has performed on both oboe and English horn in numerous ensembles, including the Ohio Capital Winds, Columbus Childrens’ Theatre, and the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra. She currently performs with the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, and can be heard in a Naxos Label recording performing with the Ohio State University Wind Symphony. As an educator, Ms. Martin specializes in concert band instruction in addition to oboe. She spent two years teaching 5th through 12th grade band for Crestwood Local Schools in northeast Ohio, and currently teaches beginning band at VanGorden Elementary School in the Lakota school district. Ms. Martin has been teaching oboe privately in the Cincinnati, Akron, and Columbus metro areas for over seven years. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Ohio Music Educators Association, Women Band Directors International, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Click here to register with Ashley


Steinway & Sons: Worth More Than a Song


Steinway & Sons: Worth More Than a Song

Times Change – Markets Rise & Fall

For more than 150 years, every handmade Steinway has increased in value.

Since 1853 Steinway has been setting the standard for uncompromising quality. Steinway pianos have been built to a standard, not a price.  A Steinway piano is not only an incomparable musical instrument, but also an investment instrument.  Owning a Steinway piano is a rare opportunity to invest in beauty, craftsmanship, endurance, performance, and joy.  The fact is, “… a 10 year old Steinway in good condition, usually sells for about 75% of the current retail price, which goes up about 4% each year.” – Reuters, November 2003.

Here is a testimonial from one of our Steinway Representatives:


I got your email. Welcome home. I hope you will stop in the Gallery the next time you come home for the weekend.

We’ve not talked since you were in Europe so I have never told you the story of my Steinway model M. On Dec.17, 1969 my father had heard from my mother (an extraordinary pianist) “I really wish I had a Steinway.” for the last time. He told her to go out and buy one. I have the bill of sale showing that she paid $4,250 for the piano. I have the piano today and it is magical.

The cabinet model is known as a Mid-Century Contemporary and has round legs and is simple in its design. I have since found out that it was produced between 1953 (my year of birth) and 1973 with a total of about 4,000 made in that period. The style is not particularly my preference but, hey, it was my mother’s.

I was in New York last month at the Steinway factory for training, a phenomenal experience in itself. During our 3 days of training and orientation, they presented material about the Steinway line of special order and limited edition pianos, some of which are one-of-a-kind. You really should go to www.steinway.com and explore that link. Upon returning home, I decided to view a DVD about this line of pianos and, low and behold, my piano was pictured. After inquiring at the factory about it, not only did I find out that it is available still on a special order basis, but that they are building one for someone right now (it takes a year to build a Steinway grand piano). The price tag? $75,900. A traditional M in ebony satin today is $61,800. Since Steinway dealers do not engage in the practice of marking up its products for the sole purpose of showing a big discount. That is the price across the whole country.

Why am I telling you all of this?

On March 31, 2013, I retired from a successful 30-year career as a financial advisor. One can safely say that I understand appreciation and rates of return, so I ran the numbers.

For my piano, the compound rate of appreciation retail-to-retail works out to be 6.77%. Since my piano is estimated to have a market value of $50,000 (2/3 of the price of a new one), the retail-to-market calculation works out to be 5.51%. The traditional design of a model M in 1969 was approximately $3,700. Running the same retail-to-retail calculation over the same 44-year period yields a very similar appreciation rate of 6.61%. Assuming the same 2/3 relationship, the market value of a traditional M bought in 1969 would today be around $40,000. That translates to a rate of return of 5.56%.

What is my point, you ask. This is my point. My father had money and he was smart with his money. He bought a Steinway. People with money who are smart with their money should own a Steinway grand piano. It is sort of an alternative investment. Now is when I run the risk of putting you to sleep.

During the period of 1970-1985 which, if you are anywhere near my age you will remember for the high rate of inflation we experienced, the retail price of that same M rose from $3700 to $15,900, a compound rate of 10.21%. If you think current monetary policy will eventually result in high inflation, which many believe is the case, now is the time to buy and perhaps not in 2-3 years.

I realize this is long-winded and I am assuming it all makes sense to you, but I really believe there are compelling reasons not to wait. I would enjoy discussing it with you and getting to know you better. After all, your mother bought my Baldwin.

I look forward to meeting you in person soon.



Does That Guitar Need a Little “More?”

Got the amp you want, got the guitar you want, but it’s still missing that certain sound? Try adding some effects pedals! We stock all kinds of different brands, but our favorite is the Rotosound. They are hand wired in Great Britain and are awesome looking and sounding. Come on in and check these out!

RFB1 – 1960’s Fuzz Reissue
A faithful reproduction of our original 1960’s unit using the same circuit configuration as the original design.
Combined with modern resistors, capacitors and original germanium diodes.
The new pedal combines yesterday’s mojo and tone flavour with the reliability and stability of today’s technology.
The original prototype pedals were only ever available in limited numbers and never released for general sales.
Nonetheless these pedals were found all over the place – there is even a picture of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page playing one.
This is the only original Rotosound fuzz pedal of the era and should not be confused with the lesser cheaper copies currently available.
New circuitry designed by Dr. Barry R. Pyatt (of BBC & Rediffusion history)
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

Vintage optical attenuator
High headroom
Smooth wide range control of rate and depth
Unique control of silicon and germanium signal path
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect rate speed
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

High headroom
Smooth wide range control of rate and depth
PEAK is a regeneration control for a wider range of phasing effects
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect rate speed
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

High headroom
Smooth wide range control of low, mid and high EQ frequencies
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s and 70’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Silicon and germanium signal paths
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect on
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram a.k.a. “The Father of British EQ” of VOX & TRIDENT fame
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

High headroom
Smooth wide range control of rate, feedback and depth
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Traditional analogue Bucket-Brigade delay
Audio dynamics controller providing noise reduction
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect on
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

High headroom
Smooth wide range control of ratio, compression on one control and expansion on another
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Audio dynamics controller providing noise reduction
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect on
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

High headroom
Smooth wide range control of rate and depth
Chorus effect can be mixed from min to max with LEVEL control
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Audio dynamics controller providing noise reduction
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect rate speed
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

You Received A Musical Instrument For Christmas…

Now What?

Congratulations!!! If you received a musical instrument for Christmas, someone really cares about you. You now have in your possession the gift that keeps on giving. The gift that does not care about your age, sex, race, religion, class and so one. Although you may go through many instruments, the music itself will last most of your lifetime.


It’s never too late to learn! This is one of our mantras. Watch these videos, get inspired, then read further.

Now that you’ve seen the videos, it’s time for you to start your journey of making music.


Whether you opened up a humanatone or a Steinway Grand Piano from under the tree, the instrument is only the facilitator of your music making process. YOU are the music.

With that being said, do you have everything you need to play, maintain, clean and store your instrument? Over the next few days we will feature different articles pertaining to your instrument. Check back often for your instrument category.

  • There was a guitar under the tree just for me! COMING SOON
  • I got a drumset for Christmas! COMING SOON
  • I opened a violin from under the tree! COMING SOON
  • There was a woodwind instrument under the tree! COMING SOON
  • There was a brass instrument under the tree! COMING SOON
  • I got a keyboard for Christmas! COMING SOON

Please note if you received an instrument for Christmas that is not listed above, comment on this blog or send us an email and we will reply with a personalized list just for you!


If you are not doing it already, we encourage you to do lots of “listening.” Always be listening and never stop listening. Are you listening? If you are, your next question might be, “What should I listen to?” As stated by one of the greatest american composers, Duke Ellington:

There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.

We highly suggest listening to “Good Music.” You should try and listen to music that features your instrument but you should at least start with what your “ear” tells you.

Remember when we said “anyone can listen to music?” We really meant it. Here is an example.

Bottom line, think about this: If you don’t listen to music, how do you know what you want to sound like?


How do you learn something new? Do you research on the internet? Do you just hope and guess? Whether you are a “self-taught” type of person or not, EVERYONE must practice in order to learn/improve upon a skill. “Talent” only gets you so far.

How do I know if I am getting the most efficient results from my practice time? Wait, what is “practicing?” I don’t own a “woodshed,” what does it mean to go there? I was progressing really quickly but then one day it just stopped; what happened? If you have asked any of these questions, then Music Lessons are definitely for you.

If you are a beginner and have never asked any of the above questions, Music Lessons are also for you. Did you know that it is impossible to break a habit? You can only form a new habit that hopefully supersedes the bad one. Start with good habits. Start with music lessons.

For information about our Lesson Programs, click HERE.


Add listening to music and playing a musical instrument together, and the result is described in this video:

Recapitulation (ask your new lessons teacher about this word)…

Music is a combined effort of your learning, listening and lessons. You may catch on to this whole music thing real quick or real slow. The truth is, it does not make a difference. The amount of fun and enjoyment you will experience when you play your instrument should be the same for the beginner as it is for the professional. In fact, it gets better the more proficient you get at your instrument.

Before you click on the sign to the right and schedule your lessons and start practicing, we will leave you with another quote by T.S. Elliot:

You are the music while the music lasts.

Follow us on Twitter for exclusive offers, promos, pictures, and just all-around information!

Carol of the Ukes

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

From our Willis Music Family here in Florence to yours, we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!

Here’s Your Present!

In honor of Christmas, here is an original arrangement of the classic “Carol of the Bells” created by all of us here at the store.  Enjoy!!


Walton Verona’s Beginning Band Meeting

Students Make Some Great Choices

walton verona beginning band meeting

“Willis Music was invited to Walton Verona’s beginning band meeting by Mrs. Hedges, Director of bands, where new students found themselves making sounds on many different instruments, all while trying to select the one that best fits them. Shana Gatewood, (a Gateway College Music Teacher) was instructing ‘soon-to-be trumpet players’ while Colleen and Michele (from Willis Music) made lots of noise instructing clarinet and trombone. Parents were happy and some great choices were made.”

walton verona beginning band meeting

“Mrs. Hedges starts her students after Christmas break on January 8th. Also new in 2015, she will give birth to her fourth child the around the first of February. Don’t worry, she will have a great substitute and will be greatly involved even after the baby is born. Our congratulations goes out to her and her husband Chris Hedges (Director of bands at Williamstown) and we wish them a happy, healthy baby next year.”

walton verona beginning band meeting

From the desk of Cindy Hicks, Willis Music

View Our Stores’ Inventory Online!

See What We Have In Our Stores From Anywhere

We should qualify our above statement by adding… “Anywhere ‘with internet access,’ YOU can see what we have in our store locations!”


When you are searching through our site, you will notice text that says “Available for In-Store Pickup” directly under the price of products on the category pages. See the example just below.

Faber Piano Adventures books available in storesFaber Piano Adventures books available in stores

If you see that text in red you can click on that link, choose the location that is closest to you, fill out the form fields completely and have it waiting for you when you go to the store.

Also, if you are looking at a single product, look for the red text located just below the “Add to cart” button. See the example below.

Snark Tuners available in-store and onlineWe have Snark Tuners in-stock at our stores

Just like above, if you see that text in red you can click on that link, choose the location that is closest to you, fill out the form fields completely and have it waiting for you when you go to the store.


“What if the ‘Available for In-Store Pickup’ option isn’t shown?” That means that we probably have it at our warehouse. Add it to your cart, choose your favorite shipping option and we will ship it to your home (or your preferred shipping address). It’s just that easy.

Click HERE to start your shopping experience!

Follow us on Twitter for exclusive offers, promos, pictures and just all-around information!


Care and Feeding of Your Band Instrument: Trumpet

This post is the fourth installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the trumpet.


Care of any brass instrument is fairly straightforward. The most important thing to remember is to regularly empty water, and keep valves and slides lubricated.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Valve oil
Slide grease
Bore snake
Valve casing brush
Mouthpiece brush

Optional Care Supplies:
Polishing cloth

Water Key:
You should CONSTANTLY empty your water key (spit valve). This means every several minutes while you are playing, and especially before you return the trumpet to its case. Simply press the water key to hold it open, and blow air through the instrument so moisture will leave through the valve (it might be handy to keep a paper towel to empty your valve onto so you don’t leave a puddle).

Valves should be oiled REGULARLY: at least once a week, and every time they don’t move freely. To oil the valves, unscrew the valve caps at the top of each valve case (be careful not to unscrew the valve buttons!). Pull the valve straight up out of the valve casing. Apply a few drops of valve oil to the lower part of each valve (the part with the holes, usually a darker metal). You don’t need oil in the holes, just on the outside of the cylinder. Be especially careful when replacing the valves – if they are in the wrong order or not aligned correctly, your trumpet will not work! Usually, the valves will have a 1, 2, and 3 printed on them. More often than not, the numbers on the valves should face the lead pipe. There is also an internal mechanism called a valve guide – it should make the valve lock into place when it is in position if it is gently turned in the valve casing.

REGULARLY, (once a week or so), move each of the slides on the instrument. This will prevent them from “freezing” (getting stuck). OCCASIONALLY, you should grease your slides to clean them and keep them moving freely. Simply remove the slide (pay attention to which direction it faces so you can put it back correctly), apply a small amount of slide grease to the inner slide, and replace it. Wipe off any excess grease.

OCCASIONALLY (every 6-8 weeks or so), you should clean the inside of your trumpet. Mark Flegg has a great article on thoroughly cleaning your trumpet (http://markflegg.com/instruction/how-to-clean-your-trumpet/). The good news is that most of your trumpet can be submerged in water! Fill a sink or bathtub with warm (not hot) water (you can also add a small amount of dish soap). Remove the valves from your trumpet and set them aside. Remove each of the slides from the trumpet and place them in the water. Let them soak for a few minutes, then use your bore snake to clean the insides (insert in one end and push through until you can pull the whole apparatus through the other end). Next submerge the body of the trumpet (minus the valves) in the water and do the same. Use whatever combination of snake and brushes you need to in order to clean the inside of all of the tubing. For the valves, gently clean the bottom section with the ports/holes (where you put valve oil) with the water/dish soap. DO NOT submerge the valves in water – the only part of the trumpet that shouldn’t get wet is the felt rings at the tops of the valves. Rinse each part of the instrument with clean running water, and allow to air dry. Oil your valves, grease your slides, and reassemble.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your trumpet. The oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

We hope that this has been informative for our young trumpet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next care and feeding lesson: the trombone!

Tips On Getting The Best Deals At Our Warehouse Sale

The Warehouse Sale Survival Guide

We are already deep in to the Holiday season. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is rapidly approaching. Your weekends of “free time” are running out. Some questions running through your head might be: “Did the kids study for their tests next week?”, “When do the in-laws come in to town again?”, “Did you order the turkey?”, “Why are these clothes still wet?”, or “Where’s my phone?!” We can’t answer all of those questions, but we can make it just a little easier when you come to the sale this weekend.

November 20 – 22, 2015

We know your life is hectic right now, so here is a list of tips you need to know before coming to our sale:

1. Get here EARLY…
The warehouse sale is a “first come, first served” event. We typically have a line about an hour or so before we open to the public. Don’t wait until Sunday, you might lose out…
2. Purchase Sheet Music by the Pound!
That’s right! All of the sheet music for sale is sold by the pound! There will be a scale for you to weigh and tally all of the music before you get to the register. We will also have boxes and will assist in taking your purchases to your vehicle.
3. Ask questions…
There is so much product here, it is hard to comprehend. Ask anyone with a name tag and they should be able to help you find what you are looking for.
4. The prices marked are the lowest they will be… ever.
Come ready to “pull the trigger.” There is nowhere else for the prices to go except up.
5. Get here early…
I know we already mentioned this, but it is so important we needed to say it twice. The best deals are the ones that go first…

Click HERE for more information about the Warehouse Sale.

Also, Follow us on Twitter for updated pictures, more information and future exclusive deals! For this event, use or search for #willismusic and #WarehouseSale

Feature – ” Kid’s Got Talent “

Tired of Watching People You Don’t Know on TV

Here’s the solution – Willis Music Presents ” Kids Got Talent ”

Featuring young talent right from your own neighborhood and the teaching studios of  Willis Music – here is “Cool Hand” Luke playing “Indians”

Remember to “Like” Luke on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Saxophone

This post is the third installment of the “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the saxophone.


Like all woodwinds, one of the most important things to remember is that woodwinds and water don’t mix! There is a small disk of a soft material covered by a film or leather under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer. The other big element to saxophone care is the reeds, which will have its own section below.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Cork Grease

Optional/Occasional Care Supplies:
Mouthpiece brush
Key brush
Polishing cloth
Reed Guard

After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your saxophone. The swab should consist of a piece of material (and perhaps a piece of foam or bristle) attached to a long string with a weight on the end. Remove your reed, mouthpiece, and neck. Make sure the swab is unfolded completely, and drop the weight through the bell. Turn and gently shake your saxophone until the weight drops out the other end, and pull the fabric through. Gently shake moisture from the neck (if the swab will fit through the neck, swab it as well).

The other option is a pair of items, often called a “Padsaver” and a “Necksaver.” These are flexible, fuzzy rods that are inserted into the instrument and left there to wick moisture from the pads. These are acceptable as well.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher – it is not made to handle the heat and will warp and be ruined.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your saxophone. Pay special attention to the keys – the oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

The first several times you use your instrument, then EVERY FEW USES after that, you should grease your neck cork. The neck cork is a tube of cork on the next where the mouthpiece is attached. It creates a seal so that air cannot escape when the instrument is assembled. Apply a small amount of cork grease to the neck cork to make the mouthpiece easier to attach, and to condition the cork so it will last longer.

Reeds are one of the most important (and can be one of the most frustrating!) elements of caring for your saxophone. They are both the most fragile part of the instrument, and the part essential for creating a good sound (or any sound at all!). Take extra care when handling reeds and assembling your instrument not to let the tip (thin end) touch anything. The tiniest chip or crack will cause problems with your reeds. Proper storage when not playing is also essential to keep the reed from breaking or warping. NEVER leave your reed on your mouthpiece when you put your instrument away, it should always be removed and stored in its own case. Most reeds are sold in individual plastic protector sleeves – these are effective in preventing breaks, but can still allow the reed to warp as it dries. I recommend a reed case (like those made by Rico, LaVoz, or Vandoren), as they will prolong the life of your reeds.

We hope that this has been informative for our young clarinet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next week’s care and feeding lesson: the Trumpet!

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Clarinet

This post is the second installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music.  This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the clarinet.


Like all woodwinds, one of the most important things to remember is that woodwinds and water don’t mix! There is a small disk of a soft material covered by a film under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer. The other big element to clarinet care is the reeds, which will have its own section below.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Cork Grease

Occasional/Optional Care Supplies:
Mouthpiece brush
Key brush
Polishing cloth
Reed Guard

After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your clarinet. The swab should consist of a piece of material attached to a long string with a weight on the other end. After removing your reed, make sure the swab is unfolded completely, turn your clarinet upside down, drop the weight through the bell until it drops out the other end, and pull the fabric through. (Depending on how long the string is, you may need to swab your clarinet in 2 sections)

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water (just be sure to dry the cork very carefully and allow it to dry completely before you put it back in the case). DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher – it is not made to handle the heat and will warp and be ruined.

Use your key brush (small, cylindrical) AS NEEDED to gently clean any buildup that may occur in your finger holes.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your clarinet. Pay special attention to the keys – the oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

The first several times you use your instrument, then EVERY FEW USES after that, you should grease your tenon corks. Tenon corks are the rings of cork that are found where each section joins together (including on the mouthpiece). They create a seal so that air cannot escape when the instrument is assembled. Apply a small amount of cork grease to the tenon corks to make the instrument easier to assemble, and to condition the cork so it will last longer.

Reeds are one of the most important (and can be one of the most frustrating!) elements of caring for your clarinet. They are both the most fragile part of the instrument, and the part essential for creating a good sound (or any sound at all!). Take extra care when handling reeds and assembling your instrument not to let the tip (thin end) touch anything. The tiniest chip or crack will cause problems with your reeds. Proper storage when not playing is also essential to keep the reed from breaking or warping. NEVER leave your reed on your mouthpiece when you put your instrument away, it should always be removed and stored in its own case. Most reeds are sold in individual plastic protector sleeves – these are effective in preventing breaks, but can still allow the reed to warp as it dries. I recommend a reed case (like those made by Rico, LaVoz, or Vandoren), as they will prolong the life of your reeds.

We hope that this has been informative for our young clarinet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next week’s care and feeding lesson: the Saxophone!

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Flute

This post is the first installment of the “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the flute.


As far as the woodwinds go, the flute is the most straightforward when it comes to care and maintenance. The main thing to remember is that woodwinds and water DON’T MIX. There is a small ring of a soft material covered by a film under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Cleaning rod
Rod cloth (cotton, flannel, or felt)

Occasional/Optional Care Supplies:
Microfiber Polishing cloth
Key brush
Key cleaning papers
Treated dry polishing cloth for silver
Fine steel wool

After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your head joint at the very least. If there is visible moisture inside of the body or foot joints, these should be swabbed as well. To swab your instrument, thread a corner of your rod cloth through the loop of the cleaning rod. Drape the rest of the cloth over the rod loop, and turn it around the rod to cover any exposed metal/plastic/wood (the exposed rod could scratch the inside of your instrument). Insert the rod/cloth assembly and gently turn to wipe moisture from the inside of the instrument.

After EVERY to EVERY FEW uses, you should wipe down the outside of your instrument with your rod cloth or a microfiber polishing cloth to remove any dirt or finger oils that may have gotten on the instrument while playing.

OCCASIONALLY, you may want to clean and sanitize the lip plate of your head joint. You can use rubbing alcohol or a mouthpiece cleaning spray with a soft cloth or paper towel for this.

AS NEEDED, you may want to polish the outside of the instrument with a dry treated silver polishing cloth to remove any tarnish that may have developed. This should only be done occasionally, as polish will remove a small layer of the silver plating. Take care not to get any residue on the pads. Only use a DRY cloth intended for this purpose – DO NOT attempt to use a liquid or cream silver polish intended for jewelry.

Tenons are the two joints where the parts of your instrument come together. If they become dirty or bent, it may be difficult to put the instrument together or the joints may become loose and wobbly. When assembling the instrument, take care to be sure that the joints will go straight together, and that you are not putting pressure on the tenon at an angle. If it becomes difficult to assemble your instrument, the tenons may be dirty. Clean them with your rod cloth or polishing cloth, or if they are especially bad, you can gently use fine steel wool to remove any residue. DO NOT attempt to lubricate the tenons with Vaseline or cork grease, as they are not intended to need it. Having a substance on the tenon will attract dirt and make the problem worse. Simply keeping the tenons clean should be sufficient to keep them working well.

We hope this has been informative for our young flute players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Keep an eye out for “Care and Feeding of your Clarinet,” coming soon!

Williamsburg Homecoming Parade 2014

Kevin Lockwood Takes The Wheel

Willis Music Band Representative, Michele VanSickle, is fantastic at her job. Don’t take our word for it, check out the pictures of her “ride” below, on loan to the Williamsburg Marching Wildcats for their Homecoming parade. Michele asked the Director, Kevin Lockwood, why hold a parade for homecoming?

[It’s] tradition and it provides great support for the school.Kevin Lockwood, Director, Williamsburg Jr/Sr High School Band

Michele also asked, why did you invite us to your event?

[I]… Appreciate the fact that Willis Music supports music education.Kevin Lockwood, Director, Williamsburg Jr/Sr High School Band

Michele said, any finally words?

[I was]… happy to drive the car to be supportive of a local company as they are supportive or our program.Kevin Lockwood, Director, Williamsburg Jr/Sr High School Band


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The NEW Steinway & Sons Sterling D

Steinway Sterling Edition Piano


Steinway & Sons Sterling D

Willis Music is proud to have accepted delivery of a brand new Steinway & Sons Sterling D. What is a Sterling D you ask? Steinway & Sons has taken their iconic Model D (the concert instrument choice of 98% of pianist world-wide) and given it a more contemporary look in these rare, exceptional instruments. It features all Nickle Hardware, Nickle Decals on the side and fall board, as well as the unique silver plate. This almost non-existent example of a Steinway D is the first of it’s kind to enter the Cincinnati Market and resides exclusively at the Willis Music Steinway Gallery. Take a moment to come and check it out…

Steinway & Sons Sterling D
Steinway & Sons Sterling D
Steinway & Sons Sterling D

Steinway & Sons Sterling D

Steinway & Sons Sterling D

Piano Just Traded In

Have you ever wanted the sound of a grand piano in your home,
but you just don’t have the budget or the space?

Here is the answer – We just traded in a
52 Inch Millennium Edition Kohler & Campbell Studio Piano in Polished Ebony.

IMG_6002 IMG_6006


For more information call Joe @ 859-525-6050×5

New Teacher Alert!

We are excited to welcome Krista Weiss as a new teacher in our Kenwood and Florence locations. Krista teaches Clarinet and Bass Clarinet. Read more about Krista below and click here to register for lessons today!

Krista Weiss currently serves as principal clarinet of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and second clarinet of the Richmond Indiana Symphony. An active freelancer, Krista has recently performed with the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Opera, Lexington Philharmonic, Kentucky Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and New World Symphony, as well as on dozens of recordings for the Hal Leonard Corporation. Krista attended Indiana University where she received both her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Clarinet Performance. She has also spent several summers participating in music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Chautauqua Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and Marrowstone Music Festival. During the 2010-2011 academic year Krista served as the clarinet instructor at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana, teaching a full studio of undergraduate and graduate students and performing with the ISU Faculty Woodwind Quintet. She currently serves as a Reserve Method Clinician for D’Addario Woodwinds and has traveled to dozens of schools across the Midwest to give clinics on clarinet fundamentals and equipment. Krista enjoys teaching clarinetists of all ages and abilities and maintains a private studio in the Cincinnati area.


Wow… “Kid’s Got Talent!”

Parents, can your child shred on the guitar? Can they play a sick beat on the drums? Can they strum a tune on the banjo? Or are they masters at playing the pots and pans? Whatever musical talents they have, we want to see it!


Let’s face it parents… you never pass up an opportunity to brag about your kids so here is your chance to brag as much as you want! Hey…no judgement from us, we say “the more bragging the better!” We want to see videos of your kids playing their instruments and showing off their mad skills on facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany and the winner could win your family the big bucks…when we say “big bucks,” we mean in the form of a $150 Willis Music gift card. Can you imagine what your child could get with a $150 gift card?!

Does your kid ever dream of being a star when they grow up? Here is the chance to make their dreams come true. Adults out there: we know you might be a kid at heart but this contest is JUST for children so please spare our eyes and refrain from dressing in a diaper and posting a video of you playing an instrument! We don’t want you scaring the children… or us for that matter. We know there are plenty of kids out there who are musically talented and we want them to be seen. Just think kids… all that time during Thanksgiving break when you will be sitting in front of your video games with clammy hands withering away or getting stiff thumbs… you could make a video and win some ‘moola’ instead! So kids, are you ready to rock n’ roll? Tell your parents to bust out their cameras (or camera phones) and film you “meltin’ some faces!”

Need some examples to get you fired up? Here you go! Check out these kids awesome skills!

Contest Details
Here is how to enter the contest: Take a video of your child playing their instrument and then Submit it at facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany. The Video with the most “Likes” will be the winner and that child will get a $150 Willis Music gift card! This contest is for children only – No Adults!! No sexual innuendos or inappropriate content either please. This contest is kid friendly.

Where: facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany
When:October 1, 2014 through November 30, 2014
Who: Anyone between the ages 0-18!

Here’s A Great “Reed!”

Reserve reeds are crafted using naturally-grown cane from D’Addario’s own fields. D’Addario has pioneered the first practical and precise system to digitally measure and cut the incredibly complex geometrical patterns necessary to reinvent single reeds. These reeds are cut to the tightest tolerances, offering the most consistent performance.

  • Ideal for the advancing student and professional
  • Expertly designed and made in the USA (from foreign materials) by a team of top musicians and engineers
  • Available in half strengths, from 2.0 to 4.5
  • Offered in boxes of ten and packs of two reeds

What Can You Expect From Playing Reserve Reeds?

  • A rich, warm tone
  • A heavy spine that promotes dynamic flexibility and exceptional tone quality in all registers
  • A narrow rail slope to produce consistency of response
  • A traditional tip thickness for ease of articulation

Why Willis Music Likes Reserve?

It’s simple, you save money in the long run with less waste in the box than other brands because of the quality control and better machinery used in making the Reserve reeds. This is not just another reed! I like them so much that I worked out a special deal with D’Addario so that I can offer you a chance to try them out with no risk. I challenge you to prove me wrong!

How Can You Try Reserve Reeds For Free?!

From now until November 30th, Willis Music will give you a free 2 pack of Reserve reeds for free for every 10 or 12 pack of Rico “orange box” or 10 pack of Juno reeds that you purchase. This will let you try these amazing reeds without one more penny coming out of your wallet.

I can only offer the 2 packs for free in the strengths of 2.5, 3 and 3.5 for clarinet and alto sax. Sorry tenor saxes, maybe next time.

I am not responsible for side affects that this may cause. The only known side affect is that you will love ’em.

Where Can I Go To Get These Reeds?

-Go into any Willis Music Store!

That’s how it works; easy as pie! One thing to note with your online order, you do not have to add the 2 packs to your cart. We will automatically ship them at the strength of the Rico “orange box” or Juno reeds that you buy, unless you send us a follow up e-mail with a different request. Place your orders before November 30th!

Brought to you from Billsworld.


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Parents, Are You Listening?

Calling all parents…

How You Can help school Music Programs

Do you ever hear about your child’s school band? Unless your child is in the music program at school, would you know about it? That is an important question to ask. We know about sports in schools because that is what is pushed within the school advertising methods. They use flyers, announcements, rallies, social media and more. Ask your child when was the last time the morning announcements included a song from the band? I don’t remember any when I was in school (full disclosure: I’m in my late thirties). I think this is the norm because musicians and novices have been pigeon-holed in to a “secret society” full of stereotypes and preconceived notions… but that is for another blog in the future. The leading question is: why can’t we share our plays like the football team? Why can’t we share our successes and failures? I’ll tell you why! Musicians aren’t good at marketing. What if when a song is performed in class, it is recorded and shared through out the school? What if a recording of the music concerts were shared with the world (while still abiding by copyright policies)? What if parents could here the improvement of there children through out the year? What if all of these answers could also lead to raising a little money for the school program along the way?

These are all possible with the advancements in recording technology. You can get great recordings with only a little investment in equipment and without an extensive learning curve. Looking at Presonus product: you get the recording interfaces, the editing software and the ability to post to a cloud service to share. This opens the door for getting the music out there.

All it takes is one proud parent posting the concert to their Facebook page and the whole world can hear it. You don’t need to be a recording engineer anymore to share some quality music. If the band director doesn’t have the time to do the recording, start a recording club!

I would think with the world being so technology tethered and with all these classrooms using iPads and laptops, I am sure there are grants that will fund music technology. All we have to do is ask. If a grant can’t be secured, I say, as parents, let’s all join the PTA and push for funding technology in music.

I did not receive this epiphany until my daughter started middle school and I saw her choir instructor struggling. I immediately volunteered my services and whatever she needed… of course with Billsworld flair! I can see the Christmas production now: flaming lights and enough sound to fill a stadium!

In conclusion, If we want music, we have to drive it without relying on the school and the instructors. It is up to us as parents to make it fun and cool… just like we had it when we were in school!

Brought to you from Billsworld

Help Music Education In Your School!

Willis Music donates 5% of sales to schools…

The benefits of a good music education are being threatened. When schools are forced to make cutbacks they historically look first to the Arts and Music programs. Music is an important part of a complete, well rounded education and needs your help.

It’s time to make a difference.

Willis Music will donate 5% of your purchase towards future purchases to the school music program of your choice.

How can you help?

Pass this information on to your school administrators, teachers, booster organizations, students, private teachers and churches. Tell everyone you know. Drop your receipt with the schools name on it into the vessel at any of the Willis Music stores. All purchases from the stores or online can be used. Together we can make a difference!

Repairs, Rentals, Lessons, and Steinway do not apply.

Brought to you by Billsworld

Who Ya’ Gonna Call…?

…Willis Music!

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/

Well, actually you are gonna go to our website instead of calling us…

In celebration of the thirty year anniversary of Ghostbusters, we are offering our customers 10% off of their order on our website. How? It’s easy! Just don’t cross the streams. That would be bad. (insert light chuckle here)

To receive your discount, all you have to do is use the first name of one of the four Ghostbusters characters as the coupon code and voila… you will receive your discount! You must act quickly though, before “the gatekeeper and the key master” get together… This discount only works on Thursday, August 28, 2014 until 11:59 pm.

As a bonus, we are offering two 30% discount coupon codes on a first come, first possessed served basis. However… we are only going to tell you that the coupon code is a character, animal, mineral or vegetable from one of the movies…

Here’s the recap: Thursday Only, you have the paranormal ability to receive a minimum of 10% and up to 30% off your purchase on our website. We are also advising people to stay out of haunted libraries and buildings too. And as a final thought, if you are ever asked if “you are a god, your response should always be ‘yes!'”

Don’t forget to go see the re-release of the movie this weekend. Check your local theaters for times.

What You Need To Know About Renting An Instrument

We Tapped Our Knowledge Base To Find The Top Inquires

Your Questions Answered


Why should your child be in a band or orchestra class? I could write for months about the benefits of music but I think this video below really gives a great introduction.


Who has to rent the instrument? The parent or legal guardian must be present to fill out the rental contract. We have monthly and yearly rental options available. For more information about the rental contract, please contact a Willis Music Sales Associate.


What do I need for my child’s band class? Typically the band director will provide a list of essentials which will include a Band Method book (click HERE to see more info on that subject). Besides the method book, other essentials will be different depending on the instrument that is being rented. Here are a few examples:

  • Woodwind instruments such as clarinets and saxophones require reeds for that instrument to produce sound. A typical rental comes with one reed to get the student started. Your child will go through these reeds at a pretty good pace so purchasing reeds throughout the year is common and expected. Each instrument has specific reeds and specific sizes/strengths. Buying reeds in boxes is always more cost effective. Please consult with the band director on the specified reed sizes/strengths.
  • Brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones will require specific oils/lubricants to maintain it’s continuity. A typical rental will come with a small bottle of oil. Not unlike reeds, your child will go through oils/lubricants throughout the year and it is a common recurring purchase. Most band directors do not require a specified oil for these instruments, so please consult with a Willis Music Sales Associate or your child’s private lessons teacher for recommendations. (Is your child not taking private lessons? Click HERE for information)
  • Percussion instruments will require specific sticks or mallets throughout the year. A typical rental will come with a basic set. Sticks and mallets are also a common purchase recurrence during the year. In many cases, the band director will specify the brand and size for their students.

The constants for every instrument are cleaning kits (specified for each instrument) and a music stand. The music stand holds the music and band methods in a proper position for practicing their instrument at home (which is just like doing “homework”). The cleaning kit is exactly as it sounds; a kit to clean the instrument. It is very important that your child’s instrument is cleaned consistently. Don’t believe us? Check out this article. Full Disclosure: All of our rental instruments go through a strict anti-bacterial sterilization process before they are rented to the general public.

Parents, treat these accessories just as you would school supplies; they are necessary for your child’s development.


When can I rent an instrument? Right NOW! We rent instruments throughout the year. But this is typically the busiest time and we do have somewhat of a limited supply. If your child knows what instrument they want to play, the time is of the essence: come in and rent that instrument.


Where can I rent an instrument? ALL Willis Music locations and Moeller Music have the ability to rent instruments for your child for band class. Click HERE for store locations.

How Do I Choose A Wireless Microphone?

How Do I Choose A Wireless Microphone?

That is a “loaded question” depending on who you ask. Having been in the industry 25+ years, the only way I know how to answer is to share my opinion in this blog.

The first option and least expensive wireless microphones (mics) are VHF transmitter wireless units. VHF stands for ìVery High Frequency.î These will be the least expensive mainly because the microphone manufacturers have discounted the quality of these mics. The reason being is because of interference from products that we no longer use today. Now that technology like cordless phones and TVs have gone digital the interference of these bandwidths are almost non-existent. VHF signal is incredibly strong, if not the strongest signal of all the wireless choices. The downside is the major manufacturers stopped producing VHF systems over a decade ago so finding a quality VHF system that will last and be durable is a difficult talk. Yet another downside is the amount of systems you can run simultaneous without interference; four systems are about the limit.

The second option you have is UHF systems. UHF stands for ìUltra High Frequency.î These are very viable systems that, with recent technology, are very easy to setup and use. Most major venues are using UHF systems because they give you the ability to run unlimited systems due to the bandwidth being so wide. Even entry level systems can use up to 8 units. The downside to the UHF systems is the government. A couple of years ago the US government seized the 700mhz bandwidth in response to 9/11. They said it was for emergency broadcast reasons, but then wound up auctioning off 80% of it to TV stations and in turn making billions. This put most of the microphone manufacturers in the 600mhz range which made the broadcast pie smaller. We all know where there is money, there is greed. I predict that within the next three years part of the 600mhz bandwidth will be seized and sold, making a ton of these systems obsolete. With this being said I have read on the FCC website that as long as the system emits less than 50mw, is not a licensed transmitter, and is not interfering with emergency broadcastsÖ you are safe to use them. My concern is how it is interpreted by those enforcing the laws; so better safe than sorry. You will see the UHF system continue to go up in price as the bandwidth gets smaller and the manufacturers have to spend more for the licenses to operate in them.

The third option for wireless and the fastest developing on the market right now is digital. Currently most digital units you can be used with 8 simultaneously. I am sure this number will increase as technology improves. These units are easy to link together and, one of the best benefits, they work anywhere where UHF and VHF frequencies have to be purchased by region. The digital units have all the ìbells and whistlesî like the UHF units as well at the great sound.

In review, for most situations, I would choose the digital systems. You get major brands with quality, all the feature sets that make wireless mics easy to use, and no worries about the government making the bandwidth obsolete. This will give you many years of worry-free use.

Now all you have to is decide if you want handheld, lavalier, head-worn, or instrument systems. Pick your preference and make some noise.

Brought to you by Billsworld

Used Baldwin Acrosonic Piano

SOLDWe just received this Used Baldwin Acrosonic Piano on a trade-in at the Willis Music – Lexington, KY store. It sounds fantastic! Come see for yourself.

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Amelia’s “Newest” Band Member

Hello World!

Mrs. Aimee Schrameck, director of bands at Amelia High School, gave birth to her first child, Norah Anne Schrameck on June 14th, 2014. Pictured holding the now two plus week old Norah is Willis Music Band Representative Jeff Mellott. He is excited with the possibility that what he holds could very well be a future drummer… notice the hands…

Everyone at Willis Music sends their Congratulations!

The New Yamaha Silent Brass Reviewed

We Tested the Yamaha Silent Brass for Trumpet…

As a loud, abrasive and sometimes obnoxious instrument, it is easy to see what draws people to the trumpet. There is no doubt that the trumpet (or some variation) has a long history with actions such as breaking down walls, warding off evil spirits, announcing royalty, sending troops in to battle, opening a funeral march, facilitating the birth of jazz, and many others “sho-far” (trumpet pun). I could wax poetic about the pure awesomeness that is the trumpet and it’s aural distinction forever, but instead I will stay “silent” on the subject.

When I first saw the newest version of the Yamaha Silent Brass, my first impression was… okay, another practice mute… I’ve got half a dozen… that I don’t use… But when I tried it, I could not have been more wrong. Measuring at 5 1/2″ long and 3 1/2″ wide at the base, it is definitely one of the smaller practice mutes out there. One of the biggest differences between the previous version of the Silent Brass Mute and the current version is the back-pressure. There is a significant reduction in back-pressure in this current model! Couple that with the new “Brass Resonance Modeling” in the “Personal Studio STX” pack included, and you have a complete “keep-me-from-getting-evicted-while-I-practice-repetitive-lead-charts” package!

Here’s What Yamaha Says About The Silent Brass…

“Yamaha’s next generation SILENT Brass delivers greater playing enjoyment, anytime, anywhere.
The new SILENT Brass consists of a smaller, lighter, free blowing Pickup Mute™, and the Personal Studio™, which features Yamaha’s exclusive Brass Resonance Modeling™.
Used together, the two deliver the natural acoustic tone you hear when playing without a mute, making it feel as though you are playing mute free.”

Here is a video without the brass resonance

Here is a video with the brass resonance

“Connect the output from an audio player, smartphone, etc. to the AUX IN jack on the Personal Studio and enjoy playing along with your favorite recordings or “minus one” practice aids. The PHONES jack can also be used as an output jack for recording what you play. *Do not use the AUX IN jack when using the PHONES jack as an output jack”


Here is another video about the Silent Brass System for trumpet:



Purchase the Silent Brass SB7X for Trumpet and Cornet by visiting one of our locations.

Trombone Players! We didn’t forget about you! Here is a video of the Silent Brass System for trombone:



Purchase the Silent Brass SB5XC for Trombone by visiting one of our locations.

12 Things You Should Never Say To A Musician

Saw this article the other day and had a nice laugh so I thought I’d share it with a few notes of my own added.


1. So Are You Trying To Be A Musician
I am a musician. Not trying. Trying to be a musician is watching the first YouTube video on how to hold a guitar. Not what I have done for the past 15 years. That is BEING a musician. Why don’t people understand just how much work it takes to be a musician?  How many hours and late nights and how much sweat and pain goes into it? Most professional musicians have WAY more education than your average executive and certainly way more than your average plumber yet barely can scrape by.

2. You Sound Like…
I know you’re trying to be nice by putting me in good company, but musicians want to feel original. We don’t want to hear we sound like everyone else. That we’re unoriginal. It’s fine for you to sell your friends on listening to someone new by comparing them to well known artists, but when talking to a musician, the best compliment is “you sound like YOU and it’s awesome.” Unless you’re talking to a pop producer, then yeah, “it sounds like Katy Perry” is probably the best compliment you could give.  At one point in my life I actually stopped learning other people’s guitar solos because I’d get so into figuring out what made that person sound the way they did that I’d end up sounding like them for a couple of months.

3. You Should Try Out For American Idol
I will slap you.  The odds of making it there are so slim, really?

4. When Am I Going To Hear You On The Radio?
When your radio plays better s**t.  More likely when I happen to run into the right person and the sun and moon align just correctly so that a record company executive just happens to fall into my lap and invest a huge amount of money to make that happen.

5. You Should Be On The Voice
Because that’s a career builder. Right Jermaine? See American Idol comment above.

6. You Must Love Karaoke
No, actually, I hate karaoke because I have to listen to you sing. Or I just need a good laugh.

7. Can I Get On The List? Plus 1?
You don’t have $10 to support my music, but you have $50 for the round of shots you just bought everyone? I could barely afford the gas to get here.  Do you give me free stuff from your work?

8. What’s Your Real Job?
It’s this little field called music. It’s way more real than those TPS reports you put together for the Bobs. No my job is plastic, made from entirely synthetic material engineered by an evil corporation bent on world domination.

9. What’s Your Backup Plan
What’s yours? Selling stuff in a music store. 🙂

10. It Will Be Great Exposure
Meaning, it doesn’t pay. No thanks. Really bar/restaurant owner, can you cater my next party for free because it may be great exposure for your restaurant?  

11. I Have A Great Idea For A Song
And I have a great idea on how you can fix my faucet better. But let’s keep these things to ourselves. And please tuck your shirt in and pull your pants up.

12. Free Bird
That stopped being funny in ’97. My band used to have a Skynard medley ready for this situation, including the end of the live version of Free Bird where the guitar solo goes on for like 10 minutes.  We also had a Metallica one ready.  Be careful what you ask for…..

Kohler and Campbell 48″

Currently for sale in our Florence location is this Kohler and Campbell Millennium upright. This instrument was built in Korea and is 48″ tall.  It has been gently used by students in our lessons studio. Priced at $4,849. Come check it out!


Hallet Davis Upright 46″

This Hallet Davis upright piano is for sale in our Florence location. It has been gently used by students in our lessons studio. It is 46″ tall and finished in polished ebony.  Priced at $2,199.


Samick Grand 5’1″

This beautiful Samick grand piano was pre-owned by Miami University’s music department. It was built in the 1980’s and is finished with an ebony polish. It is 5’1″ and priced at $5,999.  Come check it out at our Florence store!




Used Baldwin Upright-$2,199

48″ Cincinnati-built Baldwin from 1951 in walnut finish for sale. This piano has been used for lessons in our studio. It has been technician reviewed and approved. Great tone and touch! Priced at $2,199.





Steinway & Sons Sheraton (45") $11,500

This rare 1993 Ebony Satin, Steinway and Sons Sheraton (45″) has rare silver hardware, one owner, recently voiced/regulated/tuned. Solid Piano in a beautiful furniture case. $11,500

Steinway & Sons Sheraton (45")  Steinway & Sons Sheraton (45")Steinway & Sons Sheraton (45")Steinway & Sons Sheraton (45")

Yamaha GC1 (5’3") $11,500

2005 Yamaha GC1 (5’3″) Grand Piano. Excellent Condition. One-Owner Technician Reviewed. Black Ebony Polish

Yamaha GC1 (5'3") $11,500   Yamaha GC1 (5'3") $11,500 Yamaha GC1 (5'3") $11,500  Yamaha GC1 (5'3") $11,500