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Willis Music KMEA Preview

This week Willis Music will be in the Exhibit Hall at the 2017 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) Conference in Louisville, KY. Stop by our booth between 9am-5pm on Thurs. & Fri. to say hello and Experience Yamaha! Be sure to ask us about our KMEA PRICING on all items we will have on display.

The Willis Music staff planning to be present include, Chris Teesdale (manager of our Lexington location), Matthew Powell (Keyboard Specialist for our Lexington location), Chase Clark (School Service Representative for Central KY), and Michelle VanSickle (School Service Representative for Northern KY). In addition to other members of our Willis Music team, we welcome representatives from the Yamaha Corporation Keyboard & Pro Music divisions who will join us in our exhibit.

Below is a brief preview of what we will have on display for demonstration:

As the ONLY Yamaha Acoustic Piano dealer in Kentucky we are excited to feature
the Yamaha B2 Acoustic Upright Piano with Silent technology.
This piano is perfect for practice rooms, small performance venues, and even at home.

 

The CLP-585 Yamaha Clavinova is one instrument in the KMEA Exhibit Hall you will want to hear!
Experience the unparalleled sound quality of a CFX Grand & Bosendorfer.
“Quite simply, the finest CLP Clavinova ever made.”

 

Woodwind, Brass, and String musicians will find numerous Professional and Intermediate instruments on display at our KMEA booth and available for demonstration!
This includes Yamaha flutes, clarinets, oboe, saxophones,
trumpets, french horns, and trombones!
Plus, we will have Eastman violins, and Yamaha Silent Electric Violins!

Too many instruments to include photographs – so come check this out for yourself at our booth!
Looking for a specific item or want to know more?  TEXT US AT 859-474-2664.

 

 

The Yamaha TF Rack Digital Mixer is one of the newest and coolest products in the music industry for 2017
and we will have it for you to play with and learn about at KMEA!

This is perfect for any marching band program looking to amplify instruments and voices.
Plus, it works great in a theater or any portable environment!

 

Be sure to check out the affordable and dynamic Yamaha DBR Loudspeaker Series we will have in our booth at KMEA –
as well as Chauvet Lighting.
We offer free installation for any school environment needing pro audio or lighting!

 

Guitar has quickly become a large part of music classrooms in Kentucky!
In 2016 we helped fill up a classroom of guitars at Coventry Oak Elementary (Lexington),
George Rogers Clark High (Winchester), and East Jessamine High (Nicholasville).
Come strum a few chords with us this week at our KMEA booth
featuring some popular classroom guitars by Yamaha.
We also have their Transacoustic Guitar on hand for those of you who want to experience something really special on a guitar!

We plan to bring a few Kala Ukuleles with us too! Another great tool for music educators!

   

In 2016 Yamaha released the Montage synthesizer! It will blow your socks off!
Imagine the MOTIF and DX models combined – and it’s user friendly!
For KMEA we will have the Montage and a CP4 Stage Piano on display.

 

Percussionists, we’ve made sure to bring some fun items for you at KMEA as well.
A sweet sounding custom made Holloman snare drum, along with two BRAND NEW
concert snare drum sticks by Promark! We love these!

Featuring the Concert One and Concert Two drumsticks. Come give them a try!

 

And finally…. the Yamaha DTX Multi 12 pad! Used extensively in the Hamilton musical, as well as through out the marching band and indoor percussion activities.

Music Therapy With Melodic Connections

Starting at the beginning of the year, we have had the opportunity to work with the wonderful people at Melodic Connections. Melodic Connections DayMelodic Connections is a music therapy program, and they have been having a class in our Kenwood store every week since March. The class is set up as a “Career Module”, helping the students learn what it takes to work in the music business. We have worked on many things from cleaning band instruments, selling pianos, making change, and more.

 

Over the past few weeks we have been working on something that is really fun- assembling a drum set to put on display at the store!
Melodic Connections putting drum set together

 

We started out by learning how to put the set together, everything from assembling drum heads to attaching the cymbals. We worked on using teamwork to give each person a specific job, so that the whole group could work together!
Melodic connections
Next, we talked about what it takes to sell the drum set! We all made a sample flyer and price tag and choose from them all to see which one we thought was the best.

 

Our Kenwood location does not stock drum sets, so that means it was time for a road trip! Melodic Connections arrived at our Eastgate location and got straight to work- loading the drum set into the store, deciding where it should go, putting it together, and placing the price tag. It was a great day! Again, we love working with Melodic Connections- they remind us every week that we work in the best industry around!
Melodic Connections Day

You can check out this cool timelapse video of the students from Melodic Connections from that day!

If you would like to learn more about Melodic Connections and what they do for the community you can visit their website by clicking here!

September Calendar of Events – Lexington

School is back in session and we are in full throttle at Willis Music in Lexington, KY! Be sure to come experience the thrills of September. It will be a fun month!

  • Our weekday hours are extended through September 16 to better serve you. We open at 10am Monday through Friday during the first half of the month.
  • Earn Double Music Money during Labor Day Weekend! Click here to learn more about how this works! Music Money is free money just for you! It’s also our 4 year anniversary of being at West Tiverton Way!
  • During the middle of the month we are honoring all military and first responders with special deals throughout an entire week! Please bring your ID, and browse through our entire store wide inventory to save money this month! Be sure to check out the new Fender Paramount Acoustic Guitars coming in this month.
  • Lexington Live, our open mic experience, continues on the 3rd Saturday or each month this fall!
  • Our monthly Yamaha Disklavier In-Concert Performance takes place on the 4th Friday of each month. This month we will feature the Tierney Sutton Band.  Click here to learn more!

 

September 2016

Lexington August Events

August Events in Lexington

This is going to be an exciting month at the Willis Music Lexington location! It’s BACK TO SCHOOL time which means we will be busy renting orchestra & band instruments, selling recorders for local music classrooms, and much more. In fact, its going to be such an awesome month that we have decided to open an hour earlier Monday through Friday, to better serve you!

Click on the calendar below to see all the performances & sale events planned for August.

Here are two events we are highly anticipating:

Friday, August 12 – We host our 3rd annual Live Streaming Event of the Drum Corps International World Championship Semi-Finals. From 2-10pm we will have video on a large projection screen, plus pro-quality surround sound to give you the ultimate DCI experience. It will be as if you were in the stadium!!  The event starts at 2:00pm and ends by 10:30pm. We will have free drinks & popcorn, plus door prizes! Come and go as you please, or get comfortable and join us for the entire day!

Friday, August 26 – Our first ever Yamaha Disklavier In-Concert Performance! Starting at 6pm that evening you can bring a friend and enjoy a piano performance unlike any other!  This month we will enjoy world-renowned classical pianist Claire Huangci. We promise you’ll love this!

August 2016

Willis Music Company Chosen For Top 100 Music Stores In America

The Yamaha Experience comes to Willis Music

We are excited for our biggest one-day event of the year!! It’s a great day for Music Educators and Music Enthusiasts alike! Come to Willis Music in Lexington, KY on July 15 for a day of musical fireworks!
A team of experts from the Yamaha Corporation will join our knowledgeable Willis Music sales team and school service representatives to share with you a variety of Yamaha musical instruments made to enrich your lives!
 There will also be door prizes from Yamaha & Willis Music given out during the event, in addition to catered food and beverages to keep you energized on this fantastic day!


Visit our Lexington location at 130 West Tiverton Way from Noon-5pm on Friday, July 15 to experience demonstrations on the following Yamaha instruments which are also available for purchase at a special one day discount:
– Brass, Woodwind, & Orchestra instruments
– Marching Percussion  (Snares, Tenors, and Basses are in-store that day! Come try them out!)
– Concert Percussion   (Snares, Keyboard instruments, and more will be on hand!)clav2
– Disklavier & Silent Pianos
– Clavinovas
– Acoustic & Hybrid Pianos
– Montage Synthesizer (new!) and other workstations
– Portable Keyboards and Digital Pianos
– Acoustic Guitars
– DTX and Acoustic Drumsets
– Pro Audio Speakers & Mixing Consoles

 

Some of the Yamaha Corporation team present will be:

– Michael Brumit: Keyboard Division
– Phil Clendeninn: Senior Product Specialist
– Steve Hauer: Pro Music Division
– Scott Slocum: Band & Orchestra Division
– Troy Wallwage: Percussion Marketing Manager
Yamaha Music Experience Flyer

Summer of Music Education in Lexington

Our Lexington location has a summer full of
Music Education 
opportunities on its’ schedule.

Save these dates!

 

Saturday, June 4 – D’Addario Woodwind Workshop

Clinician, Krista Weiss, will present a workshop from 11am-3pm on clarinet & saxophone
fundamentals & equipment. Plus you can come test out  D’Addario products for yourself!

Tuesday, June 28 – Carolyn Miller Piano Workshop

Composer, performer, and piano teacher, Carolyn Miller, offers a morning full of
piano pedagogy tips and best practices from 9am-Noon. You won’t want to miss this!.

Friday, July 15 – Yamaha Music Educator Experience

Music Educators: Join us from Noon-5pm for a day of musical fireworks, as a team of
Experts from the Yamaha Corporation share their products made to enrich your life!

Friday, August 12 – DCI Semi-Finals Live Streaming Event

For the third straight year we invite you to pull up a chair, bring a friend,  and enjoy Drum
Corps International live on a big screen and in a thrilling surround sound from 2-10:30pm.

Saturday, September 10 – Young Percussionists Workshop

Created for 5-8 graders percussionists, this workshop featuring local percussion educators
will focus on fundamentals & musicianship for concert percussion & drumset from 1-5pm.


All of these events are free of charge and will take place in the John Thompson Recital Hall at Willis Music.
RSVP to lexington@willismusic.com

Sabian: A New Generation-Florence

sabian_lobo

 

Sabian has been redefining cymbals and cymbal accessories for decades, and they haven’t skipped a beat yet (buh-dut-tss).  There is a reason why famous drummers like Terry Bozzio, JoJo Mayer, Neil Peart and Mike Portnoy play Sabian.  That reason you may ask? Quality.  More so, quality, consistency and passion.  The Sabian brand has moved mountains to get where they are today, based on those qualities and many more just like them.  Lucky for us though, they brought some new toys with them.

 

This year, Sabian has delivered a new line, simply titled, the XSR Series.  With this new series, players will get thinner, quicker crashes, tasty balanced rides for better stick definition and tone, and a variety of other beneficial gear as well.  With these cymbals, Sabian has included their pure Sabian B20 Bronze, utilizing the same “trickle-down technology” incorporated in their award winning Evolution and X-Plosion cymbals.  The best part about these cymbals though?  XSR delivers a better price point than most any other cymbal out there.  It’s almost a no brainer when you think about it.  High quality cymbals at a fraction of the cost? Sign me up!

 

sabian-introduces-new-best-in-class-xsr-series_large

 

Luckily, here at Willis Music in Florence, we carry this impressive line.  All you drummers out there should come check them, and let me know how you like them in the process.  Drum on folks!

April Band Of The Month – Cincinnati

Brain Clinic consists of Robby Wakeley (vocalist/bassist), Marty Hail (guitarist), and Jesse Maher (drummer). Brain Clinic was formed two years ago in Mason, Oh. They have played venues such as Thompson House, Mad Frog, Vertigo, Backstage Cafe, and The Underground. The band continues to play shows in the tri-state area. All of the members met through the awkward beginnings of Craigslist. Check out their music at www.reverbnation.com/brainclinic .
Message them directly on Facebook for any show offers.
Now that you have met the band, go check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you can find them online! Come in to Willis at Moeller Music West Chester and show an associate that you “Liked” their music page on Facebook by clicking here and receive discounts!

 

If you want to find out how to be next month’s Band Of The Month, Click Here!

headshot of kevin cranley

What’s kept us going for 117 years?

March Cincinnati Band of the Month

 

Misnomer was born in basements. Originally from the northern suburbs of Cincinnati, Misnomer is a band full of interesting individuals that set out to break down the conventional boundaries of popular music. By implementing various influences and styles, Misnomer offers a familiar sound that exists within the paradox of “contemporary” versus “classic”.  They refuse to recycle, yet retain a sense of familiarity and freshness. The music that is produced by their individualistic, non-generic format has the effect of making an audience want to shake their booties, bang their heads, and groove with euphoric melancholy, through a sound that has never reached ears before.

In the early years of the band, Randy Clark (drummer) and Kyler Davis (guitar/vocals) formed a strong relationship based solely around a mutual love for the art, craft, and expression of music. After developing their abilities further, they decided to recruit Dominic Franco (bassist) to the line-up. As a 3-piece, they established themselves and developed an identity through their interesting and unique sound and approach. Misnomer added the fourth member, Logan Brown (multi-instrumentalist), after collaborating with him to independently record and release their first full length album.

Misnomer has played in the Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky circuit for roughly 4 years. After finally picking up momentum, they decided to release their first full-length album in early 2016, which will be followed by an extensive tour in the summer.

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

Misnomer keeps their fans updated with the latest news, music, merchandise, promotions and whatever through various social media accounts.

 

http://misnomermusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MisnomerOfficial/

https://twitter.com/misnomermusic

https://www.instagram.com/misnomer_official/

Want to be the next Band Of The Month in Cincinnati? Click Here!

Free Drum Workshop – February 13

Is your child playing percussion at school?

Does your child need extra pratice & tips on mallet percussion, snare drum, or auxilary percussion?

Have you always wanted to play the drums?

Did you get a drumset for Christmas, and it’s started collecting dust?

workshopphoto

On Saturday, February 13, 2016, Willis Music in Lexington, KY will host a hour long Workshop for beginning percussionists from 4-5pm! And it’s FREE!

The workshop will made given by Willis Lexington staff, Chris Teesdale and Dillon Garnett! Door prizes will be given out for all participants!

Chris is our store manager, but also a percussionist & music educator who has taught at many schools in KY.

chris

Dillon is a part of our sales team, but also a member of the drumline and pep band at the Univ. of Kentucky!

dillon

 

Come learn basic technique, get an introduction to different drumming styles including rudiments, and discover how to adjust/put together hardware and other parts of your drumset. That’s not all! We will be providing instruction on auxilary and mallet percussion instruments – perfect for any child playing at their school in grades 5-8 in the Lexington area!

To pre-register for this workshop you can stop by the Lexington Willis Music location, send us an email, or give us a call at 859-273-4063.

We look forward to seeing you on February 13! Be sure to bring your own mallets/drumsticks and practice pad!

Workshop participants will also receive a special discount for the day of the workshop on drumsets, cymbals, and more!

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
COMMENTARY
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.

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

“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

1. INCREASE YOUR IQ
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.
2. INCREASE THE CAPACITY OF YOUR MEMORY
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.
3. INCREASE MATHEMATICAL ABILITY
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.
4. IMPROVE READING COMPREHENSION
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
5. BUILD SELF CONFIDENCE
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.
6. REDUCE STRESS & BE HAPPY!
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.
7. ENHANCE HAND EYE COORDINATION
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.
8. LEARN PERSEVERANCE & SELF DISCIPLINE
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.
9. INCREASE COOPERATION
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.
10. LEARN RESPONSIBILITY
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.
11. LEARN CULTURAL HISTORY
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.
12. BOOST LISTENING SKILLS
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.
13. ENHANCE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
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.
14. MAKE LIFELONG FRIENDS
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.

14th Annual Warehouse Sale

I recall last year talking to a customer who has marked this sale on her calendar for years to come. It’s always the weekend before Thanksgiving. She thanked me for keeping this tradition going and said this is the one sale she looks forward to each year. In a world where sales, discounts or even free items don’t mean that much anymore, it’s good to know that people appreciate this sale for what it is.

It all started 14 years ago when we were trying to find an innovative way to get rid of older scratch and dent items and discontinued products. We thought we would try having a sale at our main warehouse in Florence. My Father built this building in 1969 and it was later expanded. From here we manage all our stores and our publishing business, which is international. Over the years the sale has expanded, but the concept remains the same. We did have some difficulty early on because the industrial park we are in did not allow sales to retail customers. We had to get special permission but now after 13 years I think the other members of the industrial park look forward to the sale.

This year the merchandise for the sale includes not only pieces from our stores, but from manufacturers who recognize this sale as an opportunity to move items they have sitting around. Just last week we received 8 skids from a guitar and accessory manufacturer. We have merchandise from music stores that we bought or stores that went out of business. We have band instruments from our rental program that we have taken out of our rental pool. One particular band director from Indiana comes in each year to replenish his inventory for his students. He buys instruments with small dents or cosmetic problems and fixes them up himself.

Last year we added free hot dogs and drinks on Saturday, we’ll repeat that. Many of you have been here before so you know to park around the back of the building and come on in. I’ll be there and look forward to seeing many of you. Click here for details or call 859-283-2050.

Take a look at some of the pictures and videos from last year.

Say hello to Judy, she loves getting away from her desk for 3 days.
The deals are so good that Willis Employees and Teachers make time to find some deals.
Anna Marie loves this sale so much we have to bring her lunch to her.
Don’t miss out! Be one of these people.
Behind the scene setup.
What to expect.

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”!

 

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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!

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

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!

Cindy

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

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.

Sincerely,
Cindy

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

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!

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

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

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


 

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.

Learn…

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.

Look…

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!

Listen…

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?

Lessons…

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.

Combine…

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!


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!”

How?

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.

WAIT!!!

“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!


 

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


Annual Warehouse Sale 2014

It’s Back… And Better Than Ever!

Do your internet price research; check on eBay, check on Craigslist… You Won’t Find Any Better Pricing Than These Three Days! We will even have better deals than Amazon!

Your “Dream” Instrument Could Be Here

Think about the last time you were infatuated by an instrument you saw online. You thought… “this is perfect.” You could picture yourself playing it right at that moment. You could even faintly smell that subtle “new instrument case” aroma of vinyl and wood as you imagined holding the facilitator of your musical dreams. Then your eyes catch the price… reality sets in and you immediately feel your shoulders get heavy. You think about your budget and now the “dream” instrument slowly slips away to unattainable…

WAIT!

You’re a smart person! You realize… “maybe I can find this instrument USED?!” Now begins the frantic clicking on all of the major websites that show up in your Google search. Then the light bulb goes off. The moment of clarity presents itself: A Warehouse Sale! An event of massive proportions that has used gear, scratch and dent, unclaimed repairs, old stock and just about every other form of instrument you can imagine. This is your chance to find “the” instrument that has “your” sound at “that” price.

Your Questions: Who, What, When, Where and Why?

Our Answers: Us, A Warehouse Sale, November 21 – 23, At our Warehouse, Because we must…

Click HERE for more information.

Follow us on Twitter for updated pictures and more information. Use or search for #willismusic or #WarehouseSale


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

December Newsletter Highlights – PERCUSSION

December Percussion News

50% off Cymbals from Now Until December 8th!

As a “cymbal” of our holiday spirit, starting this week, we have a tremendous blanket discount for anyone looking to purchase a cymbal as a gift or just for their own collection. Willis currently has a tremendous selection of over 600 in-stock Zildjian, Sabian, Meinl, Dream and Amedia cymbals just ripe for the picking.

Purchase any cymbal now through December 8th, 2013 and get it at 50% off the list price!

Click HERE to find a Willis Music location nearest you!

From the desk of Paul Finke, VP Sales and Purchasing

November Newsletter Highlights PERCUSSION

November Percussion News

We’re announcing a few Black Friday specials early just for our e-mail/blog customers. We have two, never before heard/seen deals that might cause you to “crash” so please sit down and take a breath before continuing reading further… Are you seated? Good!

If you’re looking to step up into a professional level crash cymbal, or would just like to add another option into your set-up, you gotta check these out! We have two Sabian options for you:

  • AAX Ozone 16″ Crash (with a 20″ cymbal bag included) valued at $338.00 and normally priced at $199.99 (SB21600XB)
  • AAX XPlosion 15″ Crash valued at $306.00 and normally priced at $184.99 (SB21587XBSD)

YOUR CHOICE: $99.99 EACH!

Call or visit a Willis Music closest to you for availability. Click HERE for locations.

From the desk of Paul Finke

Annual Warehouse Sale is BACK!

FOR 3 DAYS ONLY, WE OPEN OUR DOORS TO THE PUBLIC….

The Annual Willis Music Warehouse Sale is notoriously known as one of the best events of the season. In its 12th year running, this sale will continue to drop jaws and raise eyebrows at all of the incredibly low prices and immense inventory that will be on display. You’ll  find Brand Name, New, Used, Old Stock, Overstock, Scratch-and-Dent: Band Instruments, Guitars, Basses, Drums, Cymbals, Amps, PA and Pro Sound Equipment, Keyboards, Pianos, Sheet Music Books, Accessories, Cases and more… all at phenomenally low prices. Come on out and see us at our Warehouse Location for some of the best deals of the year! We look forward to your visit.

When?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013 from 12pm (Noon) to 6pm

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 from 11am to 4pm

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 from 1pm to 4pm

Where?

Willis Music Company
7380 Industrial Rd.
Florence, KY 41042 
 

Click HERE for directions to our Warehouse Sale


View Larger Map

Questions?

Call: 800-354-9799

Email: willis@willismusic.com

Click HEREfor a printable version.

October Newsletter Highlights PERCUSSION

October News – Percussion

LP City Wood Congas 10

Percussion – Latin Percussion (LP) and Willis Music introduce the brand new City series conga set. Great quality 10” & 11” drums made from Siam oak logs gives you nice tone and great volume & projection. We have them in a classic vintage sunburst finish. Fully tune-able and complete with an adjustable height stand. If you’ve ever thought about owning a set of conga drums, check these out!

LP646NYVSB @ $299.99

From the desk of Paul Finke, VP Sales and Purchasing

Indoor Yard Sale 2013!

Indoor Yard Sale!

September 19th – 22nd, 2013

Our Annual Customers’ Most Favored Sale of the Year!

Manufacturer’s Samples, Demos, Unclaimed Orders, Scratch & Dent, Open Box, etc.

Major Categories and Brands Represented throughout!

Bookmark this post and check back often as we will be posting gear, locations, and more!!!

August Newsletter Highlights PERCUSSION

August News – PERCUSSION

Yamaha DTX522K

Yamaha DTX522K Electronic Drumset

*bass drum pedal is not included

Yamaha’s new DTX522K electronic drum kit offers familiar kit configurations, but take a closer look and you’ll find VASTLY IMPROVED sound quality, expressive playability, and user-friendly functionality. Featuring twice the Wave ROM of its predecessor, advanced features like cymbal muting and natural swells and eight training functions that challenge you no matter what your current skill level, this new kit is the perfect solution for home practice, live performance or integrating with your acoustic kit using the built-in trigger inputs.

YMDTX522K @ $999.99

 

From the desk of Paul Finke, VP of Sales

March Newsletter Highlights PERCUSSION

March Newsletter Products…

Percussion

Developed and engineered by a percussionist frustrated by a scarcity of quality instruments, TreeWorks Chimes was founded in 1996 to provide musicians with, unquestionably, the finest chime that can be made. It has been said that they go too far to create the perfect chime – as if your music didn’t matter. TreeWorks Chimes are handmade in Nashville, Tennessee USA.  Currently, these are now proudly displayed in all Willis Music stores for you to check out. Don’t believe us? Come on out and try them for yourself. Listen. It matters!