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>>

  • Assateague Mares Tested for Pregnancy

    Assateague Mares Tested for Pregnancy

    Wednesday, November 21 2018 9:44 AM EST2018-11-21 14:44:14 GMT
    Wednesday, November 21 2018 9:44 AM EST2018-11-21 14:44:14 GMT
    Adriana's Yankee Prince (Photo: Assateague Island Alliance)Adriana's Yankee Prince (Photo: Assateague Island Alliance)
    Adriana's Yankee Prince (Photo: Assateague Island Alliance)Adriana's Yankee Prince (Photo: Assateague Island Alliance)
    Assateague Island--A new generation and a bigger herd for Assateague Island. Park rangers are conducting pregnancy test for ponies to see if more of them will be walking the shoreline of Worcester County. Park ranger, Mike Coughlin, has been collecting stMore
    Assateague Island--A new generation and a bigger herd for Assateague Island. Park rangers are conducting pregnancy test for ponies to see if more of them will be walking the shoreline of Worcester County. Park ranger, Mike Coughlin, has been collecting stMore
  • UMd Freshman With Adenovirus Dies, 5 Other Cases Confirmed

    UMd Freshman With Adenovirus Dies, 5 Other Cases Confirmed

    Wednesday, November 21 2018 8:47 AM EST2018-11-21 13:47:06 GMT
    Wednesday, November 21 2018 8:47 AM EST2018-11-21 13:47:06 GMT
    (Photo: MGN Online)(Photo: MGN Online)
    (Photo: MGN Online)(Photo: MGN Online)
    A freshman at the University of Maryland, College park has died of complications from a respiratory virus with which the university says five other students have been diagnosed.More
    A freshman at the University of Maryland, College park has died of complications from a respiratory virus with which the university says five other students have been diagnosed.         More
  • American Legion Loses Building, Funding from City of Cambridge

    American Legion Loses Building, Funding from City of Cambridge

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 5:14 PM EST2018-11-20 22:14:39 GMT
    Wednesday, November 21 2018 8:09 AM EST2018-11-21 13:09:37 GMT
    American Legion Post #91, Photo: WBOCAmerican Legion Post #91, Photo: WBOC
    American Legion Post #91, Photo: WBOCAmerican Legion Post #91, Photo: WBOC
    The American Legion Post 91 in Cambridge, Maryland is about to lose a big part of its funding.More
    The American Legion Post 91 in Cambridge, Maryland is about to lose a big part of its funding.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