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From Pianos to Power Chords: A Look Back at Ernie Williamson Music's 89 Years of Harmony
The year is 1935. The Great Depression lingers, but in Pittsburg, Kansas, a different kind of melody takes root. That's when Ernie Williamson, fueled by a passion for music, opens his doors, offering musical instruments and supplies to a community thirsting for harmony. Nearly nine decades later, Ernie Williamson Music isn't just a store; it's a local legend, a cornerstone of the Ozarks' vibrant music scene. Ernie's early focus on band instruments and even records reflected the era's musical tastes. But as time marched on, so did the store's inventory. Guitars and even more band & orchestra instruments filled the shelves, catering to a growing population of aspiring musicians. Word spread about Ernie's knowledgeable staff, their dedication to quality instruments, and their unwavering commitment to music education. This wasn't just a shop; it was a haven for budding artists, a place where dreams took shape amidst the scent of freshly varnished wood and the promise of perfect pitch. The 200s marked a turning point. Acquired by Springfield Music, this new relationship cemented Ernie Williamson's position as a regional powerhouse. Partnerships with leading instrument manufacturers ensured competitive pricing and a diverse selection, attracting musicians from near and far. Expansion followed, with new stores being acquired in Ellisville, Missouri; Park Hills, Missouri; Shawnee, KS; and now even Emporia, KS. But Ernie Williamson's story isn't just about numbers and square footage. It's about the countless lives touched by music, thanks in part to their dedication. Today, they're the #1 Taylor Guitar dealer in Missouri and a Top 20 dealer nationwide. Accolades pour in, recognizing their exceptional customer service, comprehensive selection, and unwavering community spirit. They're consistently ranked among the top 100 music stores in the US, a testament to their enduring legacy. Looking beyond the retail aspect, Ernie Williamson Music fosters a thriving music ecosystem. They offer lessons, rentals, repairs, and host community events, creating a space where passion and skill intersect. Local musicians find support, encouragement, and a platform to share their talents. In essence, the store becomes an instrument itself, playing a vital role in the region's cultural tapestry. As Ernie Williamson Music embarks on its 90th year, the future looks bright. They're well-positioned to adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving music industry, their core values remaining their guiding melody. From humble beginnings to national recognition, their story is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the enduring love for music. So, the next time you strum a guitar, pick up a trumpet, or lose yourself in a piano sonata, remember the legacy of Ernie Williamson Music, a local legend that continues to orchestrate harmony in the Ozarks.
The Great Plated Debate: Silver vs. Lacquer - Does it Alter the Tone?
Ah, the age-old question for brass instrument players: silver plating or lacquer? It's a purely aesthetic choice, right? Well, not entirely. While the visual difference is undeniable, whispers of tonal variations have swirled around for years, leaving musicians torn. Let's delve into the science and subjectivity behind this shiny showdown. The Science of Sound: Both silver plating and lacquer are thin coatings applied to the raw brass of instruments. However, their interactions with sound waves differ: Lacquer: Acts as a barrier, slightly stiffening the brass and potentially absorbing some high frequencies. This could lead to a warmer, rounder tone. Silver plating: Bonds slightly with the brass, potentially increasing mass and reflecting more sound waves. This might result in a brighter, more projected tone. The Subjective Symphony: The perceived impact on tone is often subtle and subjective. Blind tests have yielded mixed results, with some players detecting no difference at all. Ultimately, your ears and playing style are the deciding factors: Silver: Favored by players seeking a crisp, clear sound with enhanced brilliance. Lacquer: Preferred by those who desire a warmer, mellower tone with greater focus in the lower register. Beyond the Binary: Remember, these are just tendencies. The actual tonal variations depend on several factors: Instrument design: Different instruments naturally have their own sonic character, which can mask or magnify the subtle effects of plating. Playing technique: Your breath control, embouchure, and articulation have a far greater impact on tone than the finish. Mouthpiece choice: The mouthpiece material and design play a crucial role in shaping your sound. The Verdict: The silver vs. lacquer debate is less about objective right or wrong, and more about personal preference. Experiment, listen closely, and choose the finish that sings to your soul. And who knows, maybe you'll even find yourself rocking both, depending on the musical mood! Bonus Tip: Regardless of your plating choice, proper instrument care is essential for maintaining optimal tone and longevity. Clean regularly, avoid harsh chemicals, and store your instrument in a cool, dry place. So, let the music (and the debate) continue! Remember, the most important thing is to find the instrument that inspires you to play your heart out, be it gleaming silver or gleaming gold (well, technically lacquer, but you get the point!).
Ernie Williamson Music Goes to Washington!
Nearly a decade ago, in part because of the work of delegates from NAMM, the language of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced No Child Left Behind as the primary education law in our country, was changed to specifically include music education as a part of what the bill defines as a "well rounded education." This important addition to the act allows for federal funds appropriated through ESSA to directly benefit students and teachers in music rooms across the country. Each year, NAMM continues to send delegates to the capitol to lobby members of Congress in support of music education. These delegates share their passion for music with our elected officials and ask for their support in continuing to fund our music classrooms through ESSA. Last week, as the budget deadline loomed once again, Ernie Williamson Vice President Amanda Rueter returned to the Capitol to meet with representatives from Missouri and Kansas and push to ensure that all students have equitable access to music education.
Ring In The New Year Sale
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Anatomy of a Clarinet
The clarinet is comprised of five parts from top to bottom: the mouthpiece, barrel, upper joint, lower joint, and bell. Each part is fitted and aligned to one another in this order by four cork-covered tenons that hold the five parts of the clarinet tightly together. The mouthpiece is the top part of the clarinet, which holds the reed and has an opening for air to pass through the instrument. The reed is a thin strip of cane that is mounted on the table of the mouthpiece and held in place by an adjustable band called the ligature. The area where air enters the clarinet is known as the tip opening, which is located between the reed and the mouthpiece tip. As air flows through the clarinet, it causes the reed to vibrate and create sound. Mouthpieces for clarinets come in a wide variety of styles and brands, often made of either plastic or hard rubber. The barrel is responsible for connecting the clarinet's mouthpiece and upper joint while also shaping and directing the sound produced by the instrument. The barrel's material, weight, and taper all influence the sound quality of the clarinet. To prevent the tenon corks from damaging the barrel, barrel rings are used to constrict its ends. Upper & Lower Joints – The upper joint and lower joint of the clarinet are the two main parts that make up the body of the instrument. When assembled, they contain small, round keys that cover and uncover the tone holes. These keys are mounted on metal rods and consist of padded metal rings, covers, and levers. The clarinet has tone holes which can be covered or uncovered by the player. The notes are produced by covering or uncovering these holes with keys in different combinations. As you or your student progresses on the clarinet, a fingering chart will likely be used as a handy reference for learning the proper combinations to achieve the desired notes. Bell – The bell, which is responsible for projecting the sound, is the final component of the clarinet and is attached to the lower joint. It comes in various lengths, weights, bores, flares, and materials, similar to the barrel.
5 Tips for Beginning Band Parents
Congratulations! Your child has just joined their school band, beginning an exciting journey into the world of music. While seeing your child getting interested in music is fantastic, you may be wondering how you can best support and nurture their musical growth. Music is a discipline that requires time, effort, and consistency. As a parent, your encouragement and guidance can help your child succeed and enjoy their musical journey to the fullest. To assist you, we’ve compiled a list of five tips to make sure your child gets the most out of their band experience. 1. Help Your Child Establish (and Maintain) a Regular Practice Schedule Learning to play a musical instrument takes time and dedication. Help your child create a practice routine that works for both of you by finding a time each day that doesn't conflict with their other activities or your commitments. Encourage your child to stick to this routine, and be understanding if they occasionally need a break. Regular practice will help your child develop their skills and gain confidence in their abilities. Establishing this routine early on will set them up for success throughout their musical journey. 2. Supervise and Hold Your Child Accountable Taking an active interest in your child’s progress will show them that you are invested in their success. This can involve listening to their practice sessions, offering constructive feedback, and helping them set achievable goals. It is important not to be overly critical, as this may discourage them from putting forth their best effort. Rather, focus on recognizing their progress and emphasizing the importance of perseverance. By being involved in their practice, you can also make sure they are not cutting corners or skipping over techniques they may find difficult. 3. Encourage Your Child to Focus on Fixing Mistakes No musician is perfect, and your child will inevitably make mistakes as they learn to play their instrument. Help them understand that mistakes are a normal part of the learning process and encourage them to view these moments as opportunities for growth. When they struggle with a particular technique or piece of music, remind them to take it slow and break it into smaller, more manageable parts. Celebrate their improvements and instill in them the idea that persistence and hard work can overcome any challenge. 4. Make Sure Your Child Uses a Metronome A metronome is an essential tool for every musician, as it helps develop a strong sense of timing and rhythm. Encourage your child to practice with a metronome at a variety of tempos, starting slow and gradually increasing the speed as they become more comfortable. This will help build their confidence in their ability to play at different speeds and make it easier for them to adapt to tempo changes in their band music. Additionally, practicing with a metronome can help your child develop better listening skills, as they must pay attention to the metronome's ticking while they play their instrument. 5. Stay in Touch with Your Child’s Band Director Your child’s band director is a valuable resource for understanding your child's progress and identifying areas where they may need additional support. Make an effort to maintain open lines of communication with the band director, attending parent-teacher conferences, and volunteering for band events when possible. The band director can guide you in how to best support your child and may offer suggestions for resources or specific practice techniques to work on. By staying informed and involved, you are demonstrating to your child that their involvement in the band is important and valued. Supporting your child as they embark on their musical adventure can be both rewarding and challenging. By following these tips, you can help your child develop strong musical skills, promote a growth mindset, and enjoy their time in the school band. Remember, your encouragement and involvement can make all the difference in your child's musical journey. So grab a comfortable chair, listen to their progress, and enjoy the beautiful music they will make!
From Pianos to Power Chords: A Look Back at Ernie Williamson Music's 89 Years of HarmonyThe year is 1935. The Great Depression lingers, but in Pittsburg, Kansas, a different kind of melody takes root. That's when Ernie Williamson, fueled by a passion for music, opens his doors, offering musical instruments and supplies to a community thirsting for harmony. Nearly nine decades later, Ernie Williamson Music isn't just a store; we're a local legend, a cornerstone of the Ozarks' vibrant music scene.
As Ernie Williamson Music embarks on its 90th year, the future looks bright. We're well-positioned to adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving music industry, our core values remaining their guiding melody. From humble beginnings to national recognition, our story is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the enduring love for music. So, the next time you strum a guitar, pick up a trumpet, or lose yourself in a piano sonata, remember the legacy of Ernie Williamson Music, a local legend that continues to orchestrate harmony in the Ozarks.