Archive for the ‘Partners’ Category

Beverly Aiken, Central Coast Music Teachers Association, Piano Outlet of Nipomo, Ca. and Ric Overt

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

As many of you are already aware,  I manage a small store for the Piano Outlet of Oxnard, Ca.  www.thepianooutletco.com in Nipomo, Ca.  I have long been an advocate of music and piano teachers since I was with Baldwin Piano Mfg.  I believe that they are the key to the success of the piano/music business because the teachers are teaching people to play what we have to sell so, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the correlations.

Ric Overton

Yesterday, the Central Coast Music Teachers Association held a conference in the store here in Nipomo and I was delighted to host them.  I sat while one of the leading technicians of our area gave an hour lecture on the history of the piano “A comparison of pianos through the ages”.  It was very intriguing.  Those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis know that I write a lot about the history of pianos and their origin.  It was a very captivating hour.  She brought out points that I had not thought of and refreshed my memory on other points that I had simply forgotten.

It was a pleasure to listen to a knowledgeable person bring such an enlighting path of our history.  It brings me to a new point that I will be discussing in some upcoming blogs and articles about our business.

This bring me to the point that I wanted to discuss today.  Max Morgan of www.MaxMorganDesign.com has been working with me for several years now helping to (in most cases) read my mind about the direction that I have been wanting to take the PianoSD website. Through a series of trial and error and much discussion (MUCH DISCUSSION) I have finally decided to launch a new website in the next few days www.ricoverton.com where I will be able to discuss business strategies as well as personal muse in two new blogs.

In the new site I will have the opportunity to challenge the current thought process of the piano industry and the current mood of the industry and keep it more personal than non-commital than I would attempt to do on PianoSD.  PianoSD is becoming a “go to” resource on everything piano related and RicOverton.com will be my personal opinions about business and then some personal things I would like to be able to discuss.

I look forward to the challenge of keeping up with three blogs as well as what I am

Piano Outlet, Nipomo, Ca

Piano Outlet, Nipomo, Ca

doing with the companies in the U.K. that I am currently writing for as well as the one I am developing for France and Austria.  Additionally, I write for two other companies as well as a couple of artists too.  So, I will be busy.

See you soon.

Ric Overton

for www.PianoSD.com via www.MaxMorganDesign.com

Southern California and Beyond

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Having been a piano dealer in Southern California for several years and now more recently working as the store manager for The Piano Outlet on the Central Coast of California in Nipomo, a small town just south of San Luis Obispo and north of Santa Maria, I have seen and experienced my share of the business both the upside and the down.

I am very happy for the dealerships that continue to offer such great service and are able to simply keep thier doors open during these difficult times.

I is with this thought that PianoSD is branching out to offer a new service for the piano industry.  Within the next month PianoSD will begin to offer a national website service that will bring together all areas of the piano industry.  Whether it is for moving or teaching or tuning, we will be able to direct you to the right person in your area to provide the service that you are requesting.

With these changes comes a lot of intensive work.  We have completed the offerings in California and will soon be branching out to Texas, Florida and New York.  I hope that each of you who read this will tell your freinds that in the next few months we will offer a website service that will be 100% free to the people and will assist in providing music and music education to everyone who wants it.

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available and Iappreciate your patience with us through the changes.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.co

The Past Month

Monday, August 8th, 2011

The past month I have been out of touch for the blog.  We have been making many changes, one of which is going to be released by the end of the month.

I have long been concerned about the fact that shopping for pianos can be rather difficult when you are not sure what you are doing.  You’re not sure if there are questions that should be asked, if you are asking the wrong questions, the right questions, or if there is something thatis missing.

I have watched many customers that are not sure what to ask, get in a lot of trouble because they forgot the right questions or asked all together the wrong questions.  Searching for a piano can be exhausting to the person who knows nothing at all.

Searching for a teacher, tuner, technician, artist or any other thing in the piano business can be difficult at times.  In the age that we live in it is usually about electronic gadgets or cars that are all over blogs but, finding piano information can be challenging at very best.

Next month PianoSD is planning on a complete overhaul that will hopefully take the guess work out of buying a piano anywhere in the U.S.  finding a teacher in Los Angeles, or a tuner in San Francisco, perhaps you need to know more information about pianos in Sacramento I hope to help put the end of quess work for you.

As we move forward I would like to tell you how excited I am to now be handling all of the social media and internet marketing for Brodmann pianos in the U.S.  We have been talking about this for about 7 months and finally landed the contract in July.  As you know I am managing the Piano Outlet in Nipomo, Ca.  We are a part of a much larger branch in Oxnard.  i have been so happy with the area and what it has to offer. So if you are up in the San Luis Obis

The new PianoSD begins to take shape

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

PianoSD was a piano showroom in San Diego California for a few years.  After its closure last year there was some discussion as to what should be done with the website.  A brand new idea was created to form the Piano Social Directory with all of the information that was needed from around the globe for people to find inormation about the right teacher, tuner, school, artist, etc.

I am hoping that PianoSD (The Piano Social Directory) will be just that solution that people are looking for when considering anything at all regarding Pianos and/or Organs.  The plan is NOT to have a showroom but, a website that brings the entire community together.

Stay tuned to see the changes as they appear at http://PianoSD.com I hope you find this a useful tool.  It may take several months to complete.

In other news, I traveled north yesterday and visited San Simeon, Cambria, Cayoucos and Morro Bay, Ca.  It was such a fun day.  The sights of the coast of California are some of the prettiest sights I have ever seen.  However, I made a stop that I have to pass along to you.

THE BROWN BUTTER COOKIE COMPANY- Oh my!!!!!!!!THE BROWN BUTTER COOKIE COMPANY

This place is incredible.  I have a passion for two things in life.  One is pianos of course and the second is cookies.  Yes, COOKIES.  These folks have the best cookies I have ever eaten. Let me explain.

For several years I have traveled.  I was the regional manager for Baldwin Pianos for several years and at one point had 28 states as a territory.  I have tried cookies in every stop.  My favorite is Oatmeal/Raisin and I have made it a quest to find the best Oatmeal/Raisin cookie I can find.  Last year I found it.  It is on the corner of Gilman and 6th.  Incredible Oatmeal/Raisins.  Sheer perfection.  In a store called Jimmy Bean’s.  http://JimmyBeans.com

The problem with any of  the places I have been is that they would have a good Oatmeal/Raisin and an “okay” sugar cookie or choclate cookie.

I have made the most amazing discovery at Brown Butter Cookie Company.  http://brownbuttercookies.com Every single one of their cookies were delicious.  One of them, called the Sea Salt cookies were incredible. ABSOLUTELY, UNDENIABLY INCREDIBLE.  I would say “PERFECT”.  Order some TODAY.

You might be asking yourself what does this have to do with pianos.  Well, everything and nothing.  If you eat one of these you will play better AND if you dont – you wont care.

Hope to see you soon.

Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

I posted three videos

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

I posted three videos tonight that were really nice and thought I would share them with you.

The first one is about Estonia Pianos

watch?v=by62LOZh2B8

This is from Seth who has a cool video also his website is www.SethRye.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V91wxDTRmAM

And of course the famous Rosemary Bailey at www.RosemaryBaileyMusic.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKKgHKfNnyY

Thanks for being patient with the website as we start the major MAJOR changes.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com via http://MaxMorganDesign.com

Piano Teachers

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Of all of the things in the piano industry, I love piano teachers.  I know, I know, I love the manufacturers, piano builders, tuners, technicians, artists, etc.  but, teachers are the key to our industry.

Heres some facts.  Piano teachers generally speaking have the love and compassion needed to take kids into the next level.  They have to deal with young men and young women as they come into and out of the most important parts of thier lives on a much more personal basis than the average teacher.

As a child is going through the loss of a loved one, divorce of their parents, not to mention puberty and growing into young men and young women.  Then theres school, school functions girlfriends, boyfriends, best freinds, soccer, football, cheerleaders and such.  All the while they are doing their very best to work with the children through the situations.

Piano teachers are teaching our kids to play the piano but also are adding to thier imaginations.  Most people dont realize that learning to play a musical instrument helps kids increase their ability to learn.

I have had a lot of pleasure teaching adults.  Like teachers that teach kids I have listened to stories about everything from marriage problems to kid problems and financial problems and every possible topic in between and loved every minute of it.

Teaching adults to play has been very rewarding because they are learning to do something they have wanted to do all of their lives and never had a chance.  Take for example one student that I had who was in his early 70’s and had never played before.  When he played the first  bars of When the
Saints Go Marchin In, you would have thought he had just won a lottery.  Yet, he had it in him all along and simply needed an avenue and permission to get it out.

At the Piano Outlet in Nipomo, Ca.  I have begun classes that are for adults and another teacher is teaching the children.  If you are interested in joining one of our classes or are interested in learning on line, please contact me and I will get you into one of our classes.

Hope to see you soon.

Ric

posted by Ric Overton of www.PianoSD.com  via www.MaxMorganDesign.com

What’s the difference in pianos

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

I am probably asked at least once during a sales presentation the difference in pianos and why one may be $2500.00 and the next piano of comparable size is $7500.00.

Pianos now come from at least three main areas of the globe.  #1 by far is the production that is going on in Asia.  Whether Japan, Korea, Indonesia, China or Vietnam (yes, Vietnam) the largest percentage of piano being produced now are from Asia.

Years ago when you spoke of an Asian piano it was with some disdain that you even mentioned it.  While some still don’t like it, the truth is that they are doing a really good job in building pianos.  For some time we have identified Asian pianos with a really bright, almost “tinty” sound.  Today we are seeing many pianos such as Pearl River’s Rittmueller, Perzina, Brodmann and others that are arriving from China in a near perfect tuning, good regulation and a European smooth sound.

It has been an incredible change in production that we have witnessed right before our eyes.  I for one am constantly amazed at the differnce in quality of the piano as well as the quality of sound that is being produced in Asia.

I will continue to discuss the various areas of the world that pianos are currently being produced in and the sound textures and differences that you can/should expect.

Eventually in the transition of PianoSD I will be discussing various pricing and with the help of some others I will start to hopefully explain piano name brands and give my opinions on what you can and should expect with each.

While pianos are my passion, I have a great love for piano teaching and a respect for the piano teachers and hope to promote thier craft.  I am certainly trying to bring music education to Nipomo, Ca.  where I presently manage The Piano Outlet.  You can find us at www.thepianooutletco.com .

I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I enjoy bringing it to you.

Ric

posted by

The future

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

www.PianoSD.com is undergoing some changes.  You most likely have noticed that I have not had a lot of posts over the past few weeks.  The reason is that Tim and I have moved to the San Luis Obispo area to work for The Piano Outlet under the direction of Bob Auletta.  We arrived in Nipomo, California several weeks ago, remodeled a store here and have opened the doors at the Nipomo, California branch of  The Piano Outlet.  www.ThePianoOutletCo.com

Nipomo is a beautiful town situated north of Santa Maria and south of San Luis Obispo, California in the beautiful wine country of the Central Valley Coast.  There are only about 13,000 residents here and it really has a “hometown” feel.  We are quickly getting settled and life is moving along nicely.

PianoSD in San Diego has a lot of fond memories where we met people that will be our lifetime friends.  I hear from many in the teaching community on a regular basis and truly miss the comraderie of them.  Because of my love for the teaching community we have decided to take www.PianoSD.com and turn it into a site that will direct people to teachers across the country along with tuners, techs, artists and dealers.  While we update the site it may seem to have no direction at times but in the end it will have a complete resource of places for enthusiasts to go and get the help they need for all of thier musical interests.

This has been a very challenging year and if I had been asked a year ago if I would be here today I would have never believed it. However, I believe that we are right where God wants us for the present.

I hope to hear from you in the next few weeks about things you would like to see in a piano website and musical instrument website.  We are open for all of your suggestions.

I will be making some more announcements in the next few days about things that are going on behind the scenes with us that are very exciting.  I love this industry and will attempt to do everything in my power to help build it.

See you soon

Ric Overton

post by Ric Overton of www.PianoSD.com via www.MaxMorganDesign.com

Visit in Germany

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Russell Kassman, a dear friend of R Kassman Pianos in Berkely, Ca. is in Germany and was nice enough to put in a post on the world famous www.PianoWorld.comabout his trip to Germany.  I was so jealous but, after reminding myself how beautiful Nipomo, Ca. is I decided to be satisfied with my present surroundings and live vicariously through his experiences in Germany.  I contacted him via www.Facebook.com, of course, and asked his permission to re post his report of his trip to the home of pianos.  Here it is-via R Kassman Pianos, Berkely, Ca www.RKassman.com

Repost from www.PianoWorld.com

AN EXPENSIVE DAY IN BAYREUTH!!!
w
I just left Bayreuth and the Steingraeber & Sohne factory and am on my way to the Black Forest to visit the Sauter piano company. I was honored to be the first person outside of factory workers to play/test the new Steingraeber 192. THIS is going to be a fantastic piano! I am posting a picture for you to have a look. It is remarkable, and has the same action as the Steingraeber 212 – very quick and decisive and an immense amount of power for the size… think Steingraeber 170 on Steroids. All of you going on the PW European tour might be able to try it as well (if you beg and plead with Udo smile)I also played (for several hours) three Steingraeber Concert Grands and selected one to replace the one we just sold to composer Gordon Getty. The new one I selected is a fabulous instrument with majestic power and a depth of tone like the Grand Canyon. I am really excited about this instrument, BUT I am doing cartwheels about another piano I bought! During my “testing time”, two factory workers rolled in a 232 (7’6″) that had just come from being used for a recording. I sat down to try it and COULD NOT pull myself away from that piano for nearly one hour. IT IS FABULOUS. After begging, pleading, and SEVERAL glasses of Schnapps, I got Udo Steingraeber to agree to sell it to me. Anyone who wants to hear one of the finest pianos I have EVER played in my many years should either go on the PW Tour and ask Udo to play Russell’s D-232 or you can beat a path to Berkeley when it arrives.

Now, on to the Black Forest area tomorrow morning for a visit to Sauter Pianos. Wow, what a great trip but my Mastercard is screaming!

and now if I wasnt jealous enough – Post from Sauter from www.PianoWorld.com

As if my visit to Bayreuth, and the Steingraeber factory weren’t enough to cause serious damage to my credit card, my visit to Ulrich Sauter, and the Sauter factory, resulted in me being waken in the middle of the night by my credit card shreaking in agony!First, you should know that the drive from Bayreuth to Tuttlingen is quite beautiful, and as you leave the city of Stuttgart and head into the Schwarz-Wald (black forest) the scenery becomes everything you imagined as a child reading Hansel and Grethel. The Sauter factory is located in Spaichingen, which is a small town in the larger series of “stadts” of Tuttlingen (best known for the worlds most advanced surgical devices – and coo-coo clocks) and Rotweil (as in the dogs, the Romans, and the oldest community in Europe). It is also the home of the Lake of Constance which has borders on France and Switzerland, and it is where the Danube River begins – so you get the influence of German baking, French sauces and Swiss presentation. My hotel was at the wood bridge over the mouth of the Danube (you should be jealous about now). I spent my first evening, after my drive, gorging on Venison in a lingonberry sauce served with Spaetzel (sort of noodles) and Spargel, which is white asparagus that is in season. Of course, we had to have something to wash all of that down, so Uli ordered a wonderful local white wine that went perfectly with our meal. Ah, life is good. Of course, dinner was followed by more schnapps.

The next morning, a lite mist was over the valley when Uli picked me up from the hotel and we headed to the factory a few minutes up the road. My goal was to just take pictures of two pianos I already have on order for customers so that I could show them the progress and to try to get out of town without tripling my debt. Yeah, right, sure.

While going from the office area to the main factory, there was a piano sitting in the factory concert area that stopped me dead in my tracks. True, it was the look of the piano that set my heart pacing, but when I sat down to it, I was left breathless by the depth and quality of sound. While I am lucky to represent many fine piano makers, and several are of comparable quality standard, I can’t think of any that equals Sauter in its ability to make uprights that equal the musicality of most grands. Add to that the stunning quality of the furniture and you have an unbeatable combination.

This piano is called a “PURE”, and it’s cabinet was designed by Peter Maly, the “guru” of contemporary furniture design. It has a polished ebony background and the keyframe/keybed/fallboard is in polished Zambrano. Now, I had never seen or heard of Zembrano before, but Uli indicated it is in the Rosewood family. But really, saying it is like Rosewood is like saying wine is like grape juice. I am posting pictures on our FACEBOOK PAGE : LINK HERE – Scroll down to the end of the FB post for the pics.

Well, I already have a great selection of Sauter uprights in my shop, with a few on order, so I began to plot what I could possibly do to get this one. I continued on my factory tour, taking pictures of my customer’s pianos, and plotting my next move on the Zambrano upright. Luckily, later that day, I was able to catch Uli in a well planned trap.

You see, over the years I have visited the area quite a bit. And Uli knows that I won’t leave Tuttlingen without a visit to this one farmer who makes a combination apple/pear schnapps that you can buy. Oh Wait, YOU can’t buy it but I did :P. So, after lunch that is exactly where we headed. To my surprise, the farmer now has a sort of tasting room, and has added several other versions of his ware, including an “herb schnapps” which has a sort of rosemary/thyme flavor, a sort of anise schnapps, and several others – whose names I can’t remember for reasons better left untold (aka too much tasting).

So, it was in this tasting room that I decided to make my move with Ulrich, and I convinced him to let me buy this piano now, with the agreement that if I haven’t sold it by NAMM, I will let him use it for the display in January. Heheh, I guess you could say yet another German piano maker has fallen into my schnapps trap.

Together with the pianos I bought at Steingraeber, we are going to have a fantastic collection going into summer and fall. But, all that tough negotiating (read schnapps drinking) made me feel I deserved a bit of a vacation, so I headed to Zurich (one hour from Tuttlingen) and got on a plane for Barcelona – and on the beach I sit, writing this and drinking – I’ll bet you’re thinking Schnapps – no way, Sangria!

Unfortunately, all of this ends on Monday when I have to fly back home to San Francisco to open the store on Tuesday, and rejoin Weight Watchers Tuesday night. I hope all the PW members going on the European factory tour have as much fun as I have had. And take it from me, if you fall in love with a piano on your journey and want to find a way to bring it home with you, grab the factory owner and a bottle of Schnapps and see where things go!

So naturally I was very jealous!!!! I asked him if I could relate his story and he happily agreed.  I hope you enjoyed his post as much as I did.

I have returned

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

As many of you know, PianoSD closed last year and I have been working at finding the right fit for me and my family in the piano industry.

Bob Auletta of The Piano Outlet (www.thepianooutletco.com)  requested that I come to a small town called Nipomo, Ca. and take a look at the area.  When I visited the area I was so impressed by the people and culture of the town that I knew immediately that this was IT.  We have worked very hard to get the store ready and open and are getting ready to celebrate the Grand Opening of The Piano Outlet in Nipomo, Ca.  Bob is quite excited to be here and so am I.

Bob has been an icon in the music industry for many years and I am quite excited to be an employee of his.  He has left me the opportunity to build this business in any way that fits the community and would promote music and music education in the Central Valley Coast of California.  I am sure it is going to be a success.

As PianoSD begins a change from a retail site to a referral site I am hoping that you will be patient and go to www.PianoSD.com from time to time and see the changes that are being made.

Thanks as always for visiting us and please feel free to visit The Piano Outlet at 485 N. Frontage Rd.  Nipomo, Ca.  93444 or call us at 805-929-8901 for any special requests that you may have.

Ric Overton

Ric@PianoSD.com

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