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
Flute Player Sidelined with Concussion!

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

Summer Music Camps at Willis!!!

Willis Music in Lexington is excited to offer 3 Summer Music Camp experiences this summer for children ages 6-10!  Piano and Violins players of any ability are welcome and encouraged.

piano-camp-pic.jpgFive-Day Piano Camp
For children ages 6-10 years old

June 23-27

$150 registration


Twice Weekly Piano Class
For children ages 6-10 years old

July 8-31
(Tuesdays & Thursdays)

$100 registration for 8 classes


Twice Weekly Violin Class
For children ages 6-10 years old

July 8-31
(Tuesdays & Thursdays)

$100 registration for 8 classes



Dr. Erica Rumbley is a pianist who is passionate about music and life in general. She began studying the piano at the age of six. At 12 she took up the violin and had lessons during junior and senior high school, played in the Evansville (Indiana) Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and later with the Olivet Nazarene University Symphony. She graduated with a degree in piano performance from Olivet, and then received a Master’s in Musicology and a Masters in Piano from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Rumbley just completed a Ph.D. in Musicology at UK. She frequently gives recitals, serves as a faculty pianist at Transylvania University, and instructs undergraduate music classes, as well as teaching piano and violin lessons. In 2012, she performed in Kiefersfelden, Germany, as part of the International Performing Artists Institute. Erica enjoys getting to know new students and strives to make the lesson experience fun as well as productive.


If you have a question about our Summer Music Camps please email us at [email protected]


Would You Like to Help Advocate for School Music?

KC Goes to DC for Advocacy


From Image from the Architect of the Capitol

Want your voice heard about music advocacy? Have a solution or idea on supporting music in the schools? Not sure that your voice is being heard? Let Kevin “carry your tune” to Washington!

“NAMM’s annual Advocacy Fly-In gives NAMM Members the opportunity to advocate to their Members of Congress for policy and funding to support music and arts education. This advocacy effort includes one day of preparation at the Kennedy Center and another day of personal meetings with representatives and other influencers. Sessions are preceded by an issues briefing and training, after which NAMM Members hit the halls of the U.S. Capitol and Congressional office buildings to lobby their representatives about the importance of music education and needed changes to assure access for music learning. During the trip NAMM Members are also trained on developing state-level advocacy efforts for music and arts education that they can take back to their communities in time for school budget season.”

Kevin Cranley, Willis Music Company President, will be traveling to Washington D.C. with NAMM members on May 18, 2014 to fight for the right of Music Education.

Follow Kevin and Tweet your questions/comments/concerns about Music Advocacy through…

Twitter: @cranleyk #musiced #willismusic

Follow Willis Music on Twitter: @WillisMusicCo #willismusic

Follow Willis Music on Facebook:

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Piano Rentals at Willis Music

Not quite ready to commit to owning a piano? Don’t worry there are other options!  Willis Music now has pianos available for RENT!

Digital Pianos rent for $89 a month.

A Yamaha Arius YDP-181 or other digital piano of equal quality will be available.
ydp-181.jpgAcoustic Upright Pianos rent for $129 a month.

The brand/height/finish will vary depending on availability.


The first six (6) months of rental may be applied to the purchase of the piano at retail price.

An additional fee of $224 is due at time of rental for Acoustic Pianos. This additional fee includes delivery to home, tuning, and return delivery. The return delivery fee will be credited if the instrument is purchased.

Rental application must be completed and approved prior to delivery. The first month’s rent is due at time of delivery and will be charged to your credit card or supplied checking account on the 15th of every month. The rental period is a minimum of three (3) months. There is no maximum rental period. A proof of insurance is required. Additional terms & conditions apply.

Come stop by Willis Music on West Tiverton Way in Lexington, KY to learn more!


7 Reasons to Buy Your DRUMS at Willis Music

Are you wanting to purchase a drum set? How about a djembe? Cajon? Or your first snare drum?

Here are 7 Reasons why you should buy your drums here at Willis Music in Lexington:

1. All drums are Detailed and Inspected.

2. All drums are Assembled by our percussion product specialists.

3. All drums are Tuned by our percussion product specialists.

4. All drum sets include an Evans Power Center Premium Snare Head

5. All drum sets include an Evans EQ Bass Drum Beater Pad

6. We give you the Manufacturers Warranty EXTENDED for 1 Full Year!

7. We provide a Free “How To” Class for First Time Buyers.**

This is a $119 Value that is INCLUDED for Free with your Drum purchase at Willis Music!


** The First Time Buyer’s Drum Care Class takes places on the Second Saturday of every month at 10:30 A.M. EST.  Classes are conducted by our percussion product specialists.

This class is a $39 value. Learn how to:
– Tune your drums
– Care for your drums
– Change a drumhead
– Know about cymbal, stick, and drumhead selection
– Use a metronome and learn the importance of meter

You will also be able to participate in a Question & Answer session, and receive a free pair of drum sticks!


Guitar Group Lessons with David McLean START THURSDAY!

Ready to get a full understanding of how to play the guitar? Tired of learning tabs to other people’s songs?  Beginning this Thursday March 13, come participate in an EIGHT-WEEK GROUP GUITAR CLASS with David McLean.  Each week you will go home with a better understanding of how to play!  All classes are held in the Performance Hall here at your Willis Music of Lexington.

Group Class Schedule
5 p.m. – LEVEL 3 GUITAR
6 p.m. – LEVEL 2 GUITAR
7 p.m. – LEVEL 1 GUITAR
8 p.m. – LEVEL 4 GUITAR

(All times are Eastern Standard Time.)

The entire 8-week course costs $110 for adults / $100 for children.  WHAT A DEAL!!!

See you this coming Thursday evening!


Product Spotlight: Yamaha ARIUS Digital Piano

Whether you are looking for a piano to practice on or to use in performances, make the Yamaha ARIUS Digital Piano the instrument of choice for you!

Perfect for beginning and experienced players alike!
An authentic sound. A natural touch. And an absolute joy to play!

What more could you possibly want with a digital piano?


ARIUS Yamaha Digital Piano YDP-181

The Tone of a Yamaha concert grand piano.
The Graded Hammer Standard Action just like an acoustic piano.
The ability to interface with a variety of computers or mobile devices.
Premium key stability, response, and repetition.
Synthetic Ivory Keytops make the white keys easy to “grip.”

The entire Yamaha ARIUS series of digital pianos is superb, but today we are highlighting the YDP-181 model (pictured above in our showroom.)  This model is the best of the best! Here’s why:

  • It has 14 Voices! Experience the sounds of Strings, Electric Piano, Acoustic Guitar, and more.
  • It has a Full Control Panel!  You will have access to the features you need most within an arms reach as you play!
  • It has a LED Display!  Bad vision? No problem! This is clear & crisp, and shows you everything from tempo to transposition tools, and more!
  • It has 16cm speakers! Centemeters have never looked, or more important SOUNDED so good! These speakers deliver more bass for a full, powerful sound.

At Willis Music our team of associates are excited to share with you the benefits of owning such a fantastic instrument! Come visit the Willis Music store closest to you and experience the ARIUS digital pianos made by Yamaha. You will be glad you did!


Annual Yard Sale Event


Thursday, September 19 through Sunday, September 22

– Receive FANTASTIC DEALS on new, fully warrantied (including the Willis extended warranty) items!
– Receive 10% of purchases over $500 or more ON A GIFT CARD to be used with a future purchase!
– Receive DOUBLE entries on Willis Music Money cards!
– Receive extra FREE goods on certain closeouts until supplies run out!
– Receive mega discounts on HUNDREDS of accessories!
– Receive 50% OFF vintage sheet music titles!

You do not want to miss out on this event! See you next week! RAIN or SHINE! COLD or HOT!
We are located at 130 W. Tiverton Way in Lexington, KY.

For a sneak peek of our YARD SALE instrument deals visit:

Annual Yard Sale Event


Thursday, September 19 through Sunday, September 22

– Receive FANTASTIC DEALS on new, fully warrantied (including the Willis extended warranty) items!
– Receive 10% of purchases over $500 or more ON A GIFT CARD to be used with a future purchase!
– Receive DOUBLE entries on Willis Music Money cards!
– Receive extra FREE goods on certain closeouts until supplies run out!
– Receive mega discounts on HUNDREDS of accessories!
– Receive 50% OFF vintage sheet music titles!

You do not want to miss out on this event! See you next week! RAIN or SHINE! COLD or HOT!
We are located at 130 W. Tiverton Way in Lexington, KY.

For a sneak peek of our YARD SALE instrument deals visit:

Kevin Cranley: Willis Music President, NAMM Chairman & Music Education Advocate

Kevin Cranley visits Washington D.C.

“NAMM and a group of it’s members venture yearly to Washington to meet directly with our Congressman and their staffs.  It’s vitally important that we keep access to music in our schools for all children.  Research consistently shows that children involved in a music program do better with their studies, are more motivated, work better in teams and develop their imaginations and creativity.  Simply put music participation leads to a more fulfilling and happier life.  This year we were very fortunate to be joined by musicians Bernie Williams (former NY Yankee great) and Scott Grimes (actor from ER, Band of Brothers and Robin Hood)”


Kevin, Former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, Executive Director of the National School Board Association Dr. Anne Bryant


Joe Lamond, President of NAMM, Former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, and Kevin

Kevin and Hall of Fame NY Yankee Bernie Williams outside Representative Geoff Davis' Office


Kevin and Actor/Musician Scott Grimes (ER, Band of Brothers, and Robin Hood)