Piano Stores, Teachers Adapt to Decline in Interest in the Instr - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Piano Stores, Teachers Adapt to Decline in Interest in the Instrument

Posted:

 SALISBURY, Md. - Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin wouldn't be thrilled to hear that fewer people are choosing to learn to play the piano than ever before. 

At B&B Music in Salisbury, people have been shopping for pianos since they opened 60 years ago. One think you won't see on the display floor in 2015 is a grand piano. 

"We used to have actual string pianos at one time," said store manager Mike Jarrell. "The way the economy was, it wasn't very feasible for a lot of people. They can cost up to several thousands of dollars."

The best year for new piano sales in the United States was 1909, when more than 364,500 were sold. Now that number has plunged to between 30,000 and 40,000 each year. 

Denise Crothers is on her 36th year of teaching people young and old how to play piano. She averages about 60 students per week. 

"I teach for half an hour, usually for each lesson and half of I teach them in the note because I think it's important to still know how to read. Half of it would be like the praise and worship and learning how to chord and how to play by ear," said Crothers. "They can play what they hear on the radio. Some of them don't even need me anymore."

Nationally, increased interest in sports or electronics is blamed for declining interest in learning to play the piano. Denise says lessons have evolved over the years in order to keep it fresh.

"I think it's important for teachers to be able to apply the real world into their teaching. Not maybe strictly Classical. Classical is wonderful, you know, don't get me wrong. I absolutely love it, but I think it's important for them to do fun songs and stuff like that," said Crothers. 

Rather than smashing old pianos on the curb, B&B Music is adapting to suit a more tech-savvy generation. 

"Our more common models are the digital style models with weighted keys so it's more like playing a real string piano. Then you start getting into more production type keyboards which are more for making your own scores and hip-hop beats and that kind of thing. It's more of a production opposed to performance," said Jarrell. 

Despite a national downward trend in piano purchases and lessons, those in the biz can't stress enough how important it is.

"In the music business, you're constantly learning. It's a never-ending thing," said Jarrell.

"Once you commit to something, really having the work ethic to keep going and keep learning, it's really rewarding and that's something I think our culture lacks sometimes, you know the 'stick-to-it-ness'," said Crothers.


  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Delaware Unemployment Rate Falls to 4 Percent in May

    Delaware Unemployment Rate Falls to 4 Percent in May

    Jun 19, 2018 7:18 PM2018-06-19 23:18:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 7:18 PM EDT2018-06-19 23:18:08 GMT
    DOVER, Del. --- Delaware’s unemployment rate fell in May to 4 percent, as the number of unemployed state residents fell below 20,000 for the first time in adecade. The last time was May 2008, when there were 19,449 unemployed. The Delaware DepartmenMore
    DOVER, Del. --- Delaware’s unemployment rate fell in May to 4 percent, as the number of unemployed state residents fell below 20,000 for the first time in adecade. The last time was May 2008, when there were 19,449 unemployed. The Delaware DepartmenMore
  • DNR Grants Money to Towns on Delmarva to Help with Flooding Issues

    DNR Grants Money to Towns on Delmarva to Help with Flooding Issues

    Jun 19, 2018 7:06 PM2018-06-19 23:06:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 7:06 PM EDT2018-06-19 23:06:04 GMT
    DEAL ISLAND, Md.- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today is giving $700,000 in Climate Resilience Grants to help communities across the state recover from flooding problems and climate-related impacts. DNR explained the grants are designed to More
    DEAL ISLAND, Md.- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today is giving $700,000 in Climate Resilience Grants to help communities across the state recover from flooding problems and climate-related impacts. DNR explained the grants are designed to More
  • Hot Weather Continues Across Delmarva

    Hot Weather Continues Across Delmarva

    Jun 19, 2018 6:00 PM2018-06-19 22:00:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 6:00 PM EDT2018-06-19 22:00:06 GMT
    Summer heat is hitting Delmarva and it isn't stopping people from soaking up some sun.More
    Summer heat is hitting Delmarva and it isn't stopping people from soaking up some sun.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New Details on Firefly Death, Medical Response

    New Details on Firefly Death, Medical Response

    Jun 18, 2018 10:36 PM2018-06-19 02:36:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 7:44 AM EDT2018-06-19 11:44:52 GMT
    DOVER, Del.- The 20-year-old Philadelphia woman who was found unconscious at her Firefly campsite was in cardiac arrest before she passed away, according to local officials. Kent County's Director of Public Safety says Firefly attendee Caroline Friedman wMore
    The 20-year-old Philadelphia woman who was found unconscious at her Firefly campsite was in cardiac arrest before she passed away, according to local officials. Kent County's Director of Public Safety says Firefly attendee Caroline Friedman wMore
  • Multiple Arrests Made During Firefly Weekend

    Multiple Arrests Made During Firefly Weekend

    Jun 18, 2018 4:57 PM2018-06-18 20:57:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 7:36 AM EDT2018-06-19 11:36:34 GMT
    (Left to right) William Rodriguez, Hassan Mceachin and Shakir Styles(Left to right) William Rodriguez, Hassan Mceachin and Shakir Styles
    (Left to right) William Rodriguez, Hassan Mceachin and Shakir Styles(Left to right) William Rodriguez, Hassan Mceachin and Shakir Styles
    Dover police made multiple arrests at the Firefly Music Festival this weekend.More
    Dover police made multiple arrests at the Firefly Music Festival this weekend.More
  • Updated: Woman Charged With Attempted Murder After Police Chase Injures Wico. Deputy

    Police Chase Injures Deputy in Salisbury

    Jun 16, 2018 10:04 PM2018-06-17 02:04:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:22 AM EDT2018-06-19 15:22:13 GMT
    Connie L. SchoffstallConnie L. Schoffstall
    Connie L. SchoffstallConnie L. Schoffstall
    A Parsonsburg woman is facing attempted murder and related charges following a Saturday morning police chase that left a Wicomico County sheriff's deputy injured.More
    A Parsonsburg, Maryland, woman is facing attempted murder and related charges following a Saturday morning police chase that left a Wicomico County sheriff's deputy injured.More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices