Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Ultimate Worship Keyboard or Digital Piano

worship keyboard

In January of 2011, I wrote a blog called “Finding the Ultimate Worship Keyboard” hoping that my experience as both a worship leader and a professional piano consultant would help other Music Ministers better navigate the confusing waters of piano (and keyboard) retail.  To my surprise, that blog quickly exploded into the most read – and one of the most commented upon – blogs in Gist history.  Now, over six years later, new technologies and considerations have given me reason to revisit this topic and (perhaps) expand upon it.  As always, it is my sincere hope that my experiences will help you find the worship tool that best fits your needs and those of your ministry.  I am sure some folks will disagree with my conclusions, but (God willing) the meat of these discussions will nourish all of us!  Thank you for reading and God bless!

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Gist’s Louisville Store Remains Open During Road Work

[Update – 1/30/17]  Road work appears to have moved away from our store.  All directions to our building are currently open – despite some signs that still say “ROAD CLOSED.”  All roads are currently open (though they are a bit more bumpy than usual).  Please drive cautiously as always, but you should have no problems getting in and out of our store now!

[Update – 1/9/17]  Road work continues as MSD moves up and down our road.  Access to Gist is difficult, but still possible.  As of the end of this day, you will want to take the Taylor Ave. exit (Taylor Ave to Jackson Ave to Lincoln Ave) from Poplar Level to get to us.  See the map to the right for more info.

If you’re planning a trip to Gist Piano Center Louisville in the next few days, have no fear – despite appearances, we are still open and on our regular business hours schedule.

For the past few days, Louisville’s Metropolitan Sewer Department (MSD) has been upgrading the sewer lines in our section of town and – as a result – have had to shut down sections of Lincoln Avenue.  Specifically, the path between our store and Wendys is currently closed.  The ONLY way to get in and out of our parking lot is to take the Frisch’s Big Boy exit from Poplar Level Road (between Frisch’s and Speedway) and drive to our store from there.

Just ignore the “Road Closed” signs.  They won’t block you from our driveway.

If you get stuck trying to find your way to us, just call us at 502-451-1831 (ext 200) and we’ll help you find our store.

MSD hopes to have the work completed in the next few days, but we thought you’d appreciate a little “heads up” ahead of time. 

We are still here and ready to serve you in 2017!  Happy New Year, Louisville!

PS – This is a tricky intersection – especially right now – so we made this map up for you to help clarify what we’re talking about.  Thank you – in advance – for your patience as the City does its work.

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Gist Piano Center Discontinues DVD Recording Service

For the past several years, we have had the privilege of recording thousands of student performances as part of our Partners In Education Recital DVD program.  It has been our honor to preserve these memories for our PIE Families over the years and we are grateful for each and every one.

As technology changes, however, different media come and go (see image below).  …and just like the items listed below, DVDs have moved past their prime.

Walkman-iPod
 

Thus, due to the changing face of visual media, we have decided to discontinue our recital DVD service (effective immediately).  We thank you all for your years of talent and enthusiasm!

Stay tuned for further updates on new benefits coming to PIE Teachers and their families in 2016!

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Chocolate Party and Roland Announcement!

Open to the Public

Roland Digital PianoYou’re invited to join us for a MAJOR Music Industry announcement from Legendary Piano Builder, Roland Corporation.  A Roland representative will be onhand to announce how Roland is partnering with other industry legends, including Hal-Leonard, Alfred, Sheet Music Direct and more to change everything we know about the Piano Industry.  You won’t want to miss this historic event!

Chocolate PartyTo celebrate this announcement, Gist Piano Center and Roland are joining forces with famous Louisville-based chocolatier, Cellar Door Chocolates, who will setup a full chocolate buffet – FREE for event attendees!  Gist Piano Center will also offer champagne and sodas to age-appropriate guests throughout the evening.

Finally, Gist Piano Center will introduce the all-new FastTrack program and demonstrate some exciting new things coming to Kentucky this Fall!  Here are the dates and times:

  • Monday, October 12:  6-8pm (Louisville):  Roland Launch Event (Open to Public)
  • Tuesday, October 13:  10am-Noon (Lexington):  Piano Teacher’s Event with Roland
  • Tuesday, October 13:  6-8pm (Lexington):  Roland Launch Event (Open to Public)
  • Wednesday, October 14:  10am – Noon (Louisville):  Piano Teacher’s Event with Roland

Piano Teachers

Join us for an unforgettable session JUST for you on Tuesday, October 13 (10am – Noon) in Lexington and Wednesday, October 14 (10am – Noon) in Louisville.  Piano Educator, Clinician and Roland Education Consultant, Laura Zaruta, will be here to show you how this new announcement from Roland, Hal-Leonard, Alfred and Sheet Music Direct can change the way you teach!  You’ll learn about incredible new apps, exciting technologies, our new FastTrack program and more!  This meeting will thrill you to the core!  Don’t be left behind.  Make time to be here and see how “This changes EVERYTHING!”

Roland LX-7 Digital PianoAlso, bring your smart phone and tablet.  We’ll be suggesting a TON of new music apps that will make your life easier and we’ll even help you see how EASY some of this new stuff is to use!

RSVP to Heather Hamilton (for the Lexington meeting) or James Harding (for the Louisville one).

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Ask James – How Did Halloweekend Come About?

Halloweekend Logo - old vs newVery few people know that Halloweekend actually began in 2007 as a piano sale.  I was working for a music company in Iowa at the time and, as luck would have it, we were forced to reschedule our Fall event due to a scheduling conflict.  The only available weekend was the weekend before Halloween, which is not a traditional time to talk about piano playing.  As I was setting up for the sale (and struggling to find a marketing plan for the event), I received an iPod player piano system (new technology at the time) and I decided to make it the centerpiece of the entire weekend.   Friday and Saturday night, we hosted “ghostly performances” by “Ludwig Van BOOthoven” (who performed “not quite live” in our recital hall).  The kids were in awe of what looked like a ghost playing the piano.  The concerts were very short, we gave out some free candy and we even hosted a pumpkin decorating contest.  It was a fun weekend, but not a great piano sale.

Halloweekend 2008

Susan McPeters from WQPT Television (Quad Cities, IA and IL) reads spooky stories to Halloweekend families (2008)

Early the following year, one of our piano teacher friends (a member of a program that I would eventually retool and call Partners In Education or PIE) mentioned to me that she would really love to have a fun and informal performance event around a theme.  Christmas was too busy… so we needed another holiday that would make sense.  My mind immediately went back to Halloweekend.

Thus, in 2008, we launched our first Halloweekend piano recital.  It was a simple matter (without all the “SAVE YOURSELVES…a ton of money” puns), but the kids LOVED it.  We even invited a local TV personality to come in and read spooky stories to the kids.  We didn’t have all the flashy lights and our tiny fog machine was too small to make any difference, but Halloweekend 2008 is still one of my favorite memories from Iowa.

The Halloweekend Staff

James Harding, Heather Hamilton and Matthew Presley are searching for missing students at Halloweekend 2012.

In April of 2009, I moved to Louisville and joined the Gist Piano Center family.  My first priority was reaching out to piano teachers and their students as I had done in Iowa.  With some help from the very supportive and enthusiastic folks at Gist, I was able to build what is now our Partners In Education program – the largest piano student and teacher outreach program of its kind in the US.

Over the years, Halloweekend has grown into the largest Halloween-themed piano event in the United States.  This year, we’re expecting over 300 students to participate…if they dare.  Halloweekend has been featured in national magazines, area newspapers and even the local TV news. Everyone who has participated in the spooky fun has gone home with some lasting memories.

Who knows what horrific future awaits us at Halloweekend 2015?!  Only those brave enough to attend will find out…

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