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Should You Put a Humidifier System on Your Piano?

Should You Put a Humidifier System on Your Piano?

Prior to my 2018 move to Phoenix, I had spent all of my professional life in one river town or the other, and the question everyone seemed to want answered is how to better control the humidity surrounding a piano.  Is it better to install a humidity control system underneath the piano?  Is a whole-home system worth the expense?  What about room humidifiers?  Everywhere I went, I found myself answering this question.

Interestingly enough, however, my experiences in Phoenix (and the time I’ve spent with a number of local technicians, furniture store owners and performance venues) have changed my answer dramatically.  With that in mind, I thought it was time to revisit the idea of humidity control around a piano and address the specific scenario of caring for your piano in the Sonoran Desert.

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The Jim Brickman Experience

The Jim Brickman Experience

Five-Time Platinum-Selling Singer, Songwriter and Grammy-Award Winning Recording Artist, Jim Brickman, is returning to the Music Instrument Museum for a series of year-end concerts this December… and Riverton Piano Company is linking arms with his team to provide you an experience of a LIFETIME!  How would you like to meet a legendary pianist, get a personal autograph and even have some of your own music played on HIS social media outlets?!  Well now you can!

Members of Riverton Piano Company’s Piano Education Partnership (PEP) Program who purchase tickets to one of Jim’s shows will receive a FREE Jim Brickman CD and FREE access to Jim’s soundcheck – where you will meet the man himself and get your CD signed!

In addition to this incredible “meet and greet” opportunity, you’re invited to come into our Peoria store between Monday, December 9 and Saturday, December 21 to record your favorite holiday song using one of our Roland Digital Pianos.  Then, keep an eye on Jim’s social media – and you’ll hear YOUR performance!

Here are the upcoming show-times:

Excited to be a part of this incredible experience?  Contact Gary Gordon at (480) 905-8888 and sign up for The Jim Brickman Experience today!  Gary will setup your recording time, verify your ticket purchase and get you on the list for a FREE, in-person sound check with Jim Brickman himself!


* – You do not have to purchase a concert ticket to have your Roland recording played on Jim’s Social Media.  Ticket purchase is required for the in-person meet and free CD and greet at Jim’s soundcheck.
Black (Piano) Friday Sale!

Black (Piano) Friday Sale!

Attention, Phoenix!  Have you been considering a new or gently-used piano, digital piano or player piano for your special someone this Holiday Season?  Well, if so, Riverton Piano Company is transforming Black Friday into Black PIANO Friday – for TWO DAYS ONLY – and you won’t want to miss these incredible deals!  Our doors open at 10am on Friday, November 29 with wall-to-wall savings on every black piano in inventory!  Several pianos will be one-of-a-kind deals… so come early for the best selection and some truly awe-inspiring discounts!

  • NEW Pianos with 10-Year Warranty from $2999!
  • NEW Digital Pianos from only $999!
  • NEW Baby Grand Pianos from $7999!
  • NEW Player Pianos starting at $14,999!

Better yet – purchase a Roland digital piano and – ON TOP of the Black Piano Friday discount – enjoy a FREE accessory package (valued at up to $700)!  Purchase a Roland HP, LX or GP Series digital piano and get a FREE membership to our celebrated “Roland Owner’s Club” – which helps you get the most out of your piano with training videos, music downloads, custom setups and so much more!

Looking to finance?  Check out these incredible options!

  • 18 Months 0% APR* on ALL Yamaha Acoustic Pianos!
  • 12 Months SAME AS CASH on ALL Acoustic Pianos!
  • 12 Months SAME AS CASH on ALL Roland Digital Pianos!
  • Special LOW-INTEREST APR for 84 Months on ALL Acoustic Pianos!

That special someone in your life was born with a gift.  Help her unlock it with a new piano, digital piano or player piano from Riverton Piano Company this Holiday Season!  …but hurry.  Black Piano Friday  weekend ends at 6pm on Saturday, November 30.  Don’t miss your chance to SAVE before the 2020 price increases go into effect!

Happy Holidays!


* APR = Annual Percentage Rate.  On purchases of new and in-stock qualifying Yamaha pianos from November 29 – November 30, 2019.  Subject to credit approval.  Minimum monthly payments required.  0% APR if paid in full within 12- or 18-month period.  Interest accrues throughout the life of the loan at 12.99% APR.

The Medical, Emotional and Cognitive Benefits of Piano Lessons

piano lessons

Imagine your life without music.  Imagine watching a movie with no soundtrack.  Imagine a long drive with nothing but traffic noise to keep you company.  Imagine all the things in your life today that depend on music.  Now imagine giving the gift of music to someone else.

If your imagination is up to the challenge, you can begin to get an understanding of just how important music is to our humanity.  It’s the language that connects us.  It’s the community that accepts us.  It’s the tool we all use to measure the intangible things within.  …but what you may not know is that music is more than just a social glue.  It’s an important emotional and physiological vitamin that changes us – that enhances our development – from an early age.  It is, in fact, the greatest medicine science has ever studied.

…and we have barely begun to understand it.

What we know, however, makes a strong case that active participation in music (not simply listening, but participating in music study of some kind) is essential to our emotional and cognitive development.  It is the original “core curriculum” and we can no longer afford to ignore its impact on our society.

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What is an Audio File and What Can You Do With It?

family playing digital grand piano

Audio files are exactly what you think they might be: a collection of sounds. For example, if you purchase a song from iTunes and play it on your phone, your phone will produce sound. Songs from iTunes, Pandora, Spotify and similar services are stored as audio files.


Audio and mp3

Uncompressed audio files are typically stored using a file format called “.wav” or “dot wave” (these were commonly found on CDs) and they are literally changing the today’s musical landscape. Modern digital pianos can read these files, giving students a chance to play along with a full band accompaniment. Not only is this much more fun than practicing alone, it also enhances listening skills, promotes even and regular tempo, and dramatically reduces the time it takes for students to learn a song. Playing along with audio files can be a great reward piece for teachers. “Practice hard and, when this song is ready, we’ll play it with a full band…” (certain Bluetooth apps can also speed up, slow down or change the pitch of audio files – in case you’re not ready to play a song at full speed.)

Yamaha Clavinova CSP digital piano

The CSP-Series Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos can “listen” to your iTunes songs and generate play along notation so you can play with your favorite bands even without printed music!

Mp3 files, however, are compressed versions of audio files. Most commonly associated with programs like iTunes, these files contain sound, but take up much less space than their “.wav” brothers. Many of the music books printed today come with companion audio files (often in mp3 format) that can be quickly downloaded to a mobile device and played wirelessly through a Bluetooth-capable digital piano. With the right Bluetooth app, you can still change both tempo and pitch – making these files great for learners or piano hobbyists who love playing along with their favorite bands. Some Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos even record in mp3 format so players can easily share their original music.  Other models can “listen” to mp3 files and produce a play along score – making it possible to play with your favorite bands even if you don’t have printed music!  This feature is called “Audio to Score” and it is available on select Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos.

Whether you’re looking for an authentic “live band” experience (with play-along apps like Sheet Music Direct Play Along) or you just want to control your party playlist from your smart phone, make sure your digital piano is Bluetooth compatible – regardless of our musical skill.  All of the major lessons series (Alfred, Faber, Hal-Leonard, Bastien, etc.) have companion audio files that can help you learn to play better and faster than ever before and you won’t believe the fun you’ll have!  Why not give them a try? You might just be one click away from your next musical obsession!

Get Your Photo Taken with a WILD and FAMOUS Piano!

Get Your Photo Taken with a WILD and FAMOUS Piano!

Baldwin American Flag Grand PianoOur Peoria Grand Opening celebration has begun and we’re kicking it off in style with an UNFORGETTABLE FREE opportunity for area piano students.  Call us at (480) 905-8888 and schedule your FREE 30-minute “Baldwin Artist Piano Encounter.”  You’ll meet four extremely unique pianos, including “Silverglitter” – a piano with all the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas; “Tuxedo” – a black and white formal affair that you will have to see to believe; “American Flag” – If Captain America were to own a piano… and – last but certainly not least – the Miley Cyrus piano.  This breathtaking grand piano is covered in gold mirror and is one of only a handful of pianos to share time with Miley on The Silver Screen.

These instruments are one-of-a-kind and PERFECT for Instagram!  …so call us today and schedule your “Baldwin Artist Piano Encounter” before our time slots fill up.  You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to see and play these world famous pianos!

Piano Lessons Open House

If you’ve been thinking about taking piano lessons, now is the time!  Noted composer, arranger, pianist and piano teacher, Nancy Carol is moving her studio to Riverton Piano Company Peoria and she has NEW openings available!  Better yet – join us any time on Saturday, September 14 from 10am – 2pm and see our Peoria facility!  You can meet Nancy, see her lesson space, find out about our exciting upcoming events, and select the lesson time that best suits your schedule!

Nancy’s lesson times will fill up fast, so get here early.  You’ll be glad you did!

For more information, contact Nancy at (623) 640-4608.  We look forward to seeing you Saturday, September 14!

What is MIDI and Why Should You Care?

general midi music

Just like people, computers are capable of speaking to each other in different languages. MIDI (short for Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is one of those languages. …and, like all languages, MIDI has a number of different variations.  Luckily, two organizations (including such famous operating system developers as Microsoft and Apple as well as famous music companies like Gibson, Roland and Yamaha) got together in the early 90s and agreed upon a “generalized” MIDI standard.  “General MIDI” as it became known, allowed instruments made by different manufacturers to communicate with each other for the very first time.  Thanks to General MIDI (now in its second generation as “General MIDI 2”), keyboards could speak to computers, rack-mounted control units could speak with guitars and musicians could easily translate their performances into printed score.  It’s not an overstatement to say that General MIDI revolutionized the global music industry.  …but to understand how, we first have to understand what MIDI is.

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The Perfect Classroom Piano

The Perfect Classroom Piano

It’s no secret that technology is quickly becoming a music teacher’s best friend.  Especially with today’s shrinking budgets and increasing workloads, more and more music teachers are relying on technology and software just to get through the day.  As times change, our perception of the “ideal” classroom piano changes as well.  …and – before we unveil our ideal instrument – let’s take a brief tour of what makes up a “perfect” school piano:

  • Reliably Good Sound and Touch. No school can afford to tune or regulate their pianos as often as they should, and that means that – more often than not – your classroom piano is out of tune or has a few technical problems that prevent it from playing “well.”  The ideal piano would always be in tune and in perfect playing condition.
  • Sufficient Warmth and Projection. Your classroom piano will have to be loud enough to “cut through” singers and other instrument sounds.  It should be warm and pleasing to the ear, but not easily drowned out by other sounds.
  • Easy to Move and Amplify. Rarely is a classroom piano a stationary object.  Most classroom pianos move from room to room or double as performance pianos when the need arises.  The perfect piano would be easy to roll around and easy to amplify for larger applications.
  • Durable Cabinet with 10yr Warranty. Pianos are not inexpensive and – especially with budgets as they are these days – your piano needs to last a long time.  Ideally, a classroom piano should be built to withstand the rigors of school life and come with a 10 year “safety net” warranty.
  • Record and Playback. File sharing has become a new reality in modern school systems and your perfect piano should give you access to recordings made by friends, colleges, students… and even your own!  These recordings can then be used by substitute teachers, TAs or independent studies as needed.
  • Budget-Friendly Price. In a perfect world, we could all have handcrafted grand pianos, but in the world of funding accountability, we rarely get a “redo.”  Make sure the piano you request is affordable, but not cheap.  The key word to purchasing the best equipment for your classroom is “value.”  …and value = price + function + longevity.

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How Often Should I Have My Piano Tuned?

tuning hammer and pins

Easily the most popular question my clients ask me is how often they should tune their piano.  Understandably, folks who spent the money to purchase a quality instrument want to make sure the value of their investment won’t diminish due to neglect.  It’s no different from a first-time car buyer asking the dealership how often (s)he should change the car’s oil.  Most people understand the importance of protecting their investments.  Unfortunately, while it’s common knowledge that a car requires an oil change every 3000 miles, most people have absolutely no idea how often they should tune their piano.

Unfortunately, pianos don’t have “service engine” lights to warn their owners that they are slipping out of tune.  So players continue to play and nobody notices the gradual detuning.  Eventually, the proverbial “frog” “boils to death” and the piano becomes un-tunable.  Even worse, most churches, schools and (yes) even piano teachers fail to properly maintain their instruments.  It’s hard for piano students to develop their musical “ears” because all they ever hear are out-of-tune pianos!

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