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Ted Brown Music Blog

Welcome to the Ted Brown Music blog. Here you will find a collection of informative and fun articles we’ve put together over the years. We are regularly adding new content, so check back often. We hope you enjoy!

The Legacy of Satchmo: Armstrong's Enduring Influence

Article #33 -

This final blog post celebrates the later years and enduring legacy of Louis Armstrong, a true icon whose contributions to music and culture continue to resonate. Through this series, we've explored the life of a man who was much more than a musician; he was a symbol of artistic excellence and a beacon of unity and joy.

Beyond Jazz: Louis Armstrong's Global Impact and Hollywood Endeavors

Article #32 -

This blog post covers the period of Louis Armstrong's career where he achieved international fame and ventured into acting, highlighting his impact beyond the world of jazz. The next and final post will delve into his later years, exploring how he continued to influence music and his lasting legacy in the world of entertainment.

Jazzing in Chicago: Louis Armstrong's Rise to Fame

Article #31 -

This post covers the crucial Chicago phase of Louis Armstrong's career, highlighting how his innovations during this period paved the way for his future success. The next blog posts will explore his international fame, acting career, and the enduring impact he had on music and culture.

Satchmo's Beginnings: The Melody of New Orleans

Article #30 -

This blog post covers the early life of Louis Armstrong, setting the stage for his rise to fame. The subsequent posts will explore his career growth, international fame, acting endeavors, and enduring legacy. Each phase of his life offers a unique perspective on this remarkable musician's journey.

Self Expression Through Music

Eleven-year-old Colton McCurdy plays the piano
Article #29 -

Eleven-year-old Colton McCurdy didn’t have an easy start in the world. Born four months early at about 1 pound 3 ounces, he had plenty of challenges ahead of him. In addition, both his retinas were detached and by age three, he was fully blind.

Simple At Home Instrument Repairs

Chris Arent walks through simple repairs
Article #28 -

Musical emergencies happen, but the solution doesn’t always require a professional. Watch Ted Brown Music's Service Manager Chris Arent go over some simple quick fixes you can do yourself.

In Defense of Music Education Programs

Whitney Brown Grisaffi
Article #27 -

We have deep concerns about the state of public school music programs across Washington. We live in unprecedented times, and the responsibility to keep our students and faculty safe while providing quality instruction has never been greater.

Welcome Back

Ted Brown Music Tacoma Storefront
Article #26 -

During this time of shelter-at-home and our retail locations being closed to the public, one might think I’d have reason to be more frustrated than grateful. In truth, I am a little frustrated, but oh so much more grateful than anything.

Upgrade Your Home Office With These 5 Things

Upgrade Your Home Office
Article #25 -

Our work lives, along with everything else, have been turned upside down in the past few months and many of us find ourselves working from home offices for the first time. Some people are loving the newfound freedom and productivity, while others just want things to go back to normal. Whichever side you’re on, you will benefit from some simple office upgrades. And Ted Brown Music can help!

Our COVID-19 Message

TBM COVID-19 Message
Article #24 -

I wanted to personally reach out to our customers and address the current situation with the Coronavirus. Every day brings new developments related to the virus, and the uncertainty can be unsettling. Our hearts go out to those who’ve been impacted. Please be assured that Ted Brown Music is closely monitoring the situation. Our top priority is always the safety of you and our employees.

Find your dream tone with tone woods

Tone wood collage
Article #23 -

The woods selected for their unique tonal qualities are called “tone woods”. Different species of wood interact with sound vibrations in unique ways, imparting tonal characteristics like brightness, cleanness, earthiness or power, and accentuating treble or bass.

An Interview with NAMM CEO President Joe Lamond

An interview with Whitney Grisaffi and Joe Lamond
Article #22 -

Ted Brown Music President Whitney Grisaffi was interviewed by NAMM President Joe Lamond at the 2020 NAMM Show. Ted Brown Music does audio, video, and lighting installation for schools, venues, churches, and more. In this interview, Whitney talks about some of our challenges and triumphs getting started in the installation industry.

What to Expect From Your First Music Lesson

Teaching a violin lesson
Article #21 -

So you’re considering taking music lessons, huh? Congratulations! There’s no better way to become the best musician you can than by taking private music lessons.

But for a newbie, the idea of sitting in a small space with a stranger for 30 minutes at a time can sound a little weird. You might wonder what even happens in a music lesson. If you or your child are wondering what music lessons are all about, you’re in the right place.

Ted Brown Music on the Local News

Ted Brown Music on the morning news
Article #20 -

Back-to-school season is upon us and many students are picking up their first instrument. Recently, Ellen Tailor from Q13 Fox News decided to visit us in Tacoma and get the scoop on how to navigate this momentous milestone! We chatted about choosing the right instrument, whether to buy or rent, and the benefits of our Outreach program, which puts instruments in the hands of children who can't afford them.

The Benefits of Making Music

Benefits of making music
Article #19 -

With school starting up again next month, kids across the country are getting a chance to join (or continue) with school music. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to discover a new passion and improve their lives. But for those of you who aren’t in school anymore – this article is for you too! The benefits of music last a lifetime and it’s never too late to start. Let’s dive in.

We Won One!

We Won One!
Article #18 -

On July 19th, 2019 in Nashville Tennessee at the Summer NAMM Show we where nominated for both the Peoples Choice award and the Best Marketing and Promotion award. For Peoples Choice we were in the top three of all 100 dealers, but we came home with the hardware for Best Marketing and Promotion, and we couldn’t have done either one without you. The things we promote are often services for all of you, and if you don’t buy into what we believe to be important, none of us win.

Make Music This Summer!

Make music this summer!
Article #17 -

For many of us, summertime is the offseason. School is out, bands are in recess, and life is easy. But that doesn’t mean the music stops! Professional athletes don’t stop practicing in the off-season, so why should we? Check out these ideas to keep your music making strong this summer.

2019 Peoples Choice Award

2019 Peoples Choice Award
Article #16 -

Each year, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) hosts the Top 100 Dealer Awards. (Spoiler alert: we were just named one of the top 100 music retailers in the world!) This award show is basically the Oscars of music retail, so we’re pretty pumped.

Mothers Day Shoutout

Mothers Day Shoutout
Article #15 -

Our mothers deserve to be celebrated. They brought us into the world, cleaned our bottoms and supported our dreams. With Mother’s Day less than two weeks away (not that you would forget, right?) we wanted to give people the opportunity to give their moms a shout-out. So we took to social media with a question: How has your mom helped you on your musical journey? Here’s what you came up with.

Spring Means Music Recruitment

Spring Means Music Recruitment
Article #14 -

Image your favorite TV show or video game without its soundtrack. It loses its appeal pretty quickly, right? It’s been said that music is what emotions sound like, and no matter the activity of media, music enhances the experience. We in the music industry have a responsibility to make sure we never have to live in a world without music. And, with that in mind, our most important mission is to make more musicians.

Q&A with Carl Tosten, Yamaha Acoustic Artist

Carl Tosten Q and A
Article #13 -

Yamaha artist Carl Tosten is a premiere player in the acoustic realm, and a phenomenal music educator. We sat down with Carl ahead of his upcoming series of free acoustic guitar clinics at Ted Brown Music stores across the state. Enjoy the Q&A, and be sure to check out his clinics, coming to a store near you!

A Recap of Winter NAMM 2019

2019 Winter NAMM
Article #12 -

Last week, Ted Brown Music was in Anaheim California for the National Association of Music Merchants’ annual tradeshow! This enormous tradeshow really is the epicenter of the modern music industry, and it’s our chance to meet with music makers and learn the latest and greatest. This year, we wanted to share that experience with you! Here is a smattering of our favorite products, people and moments from the 2019 NAMM show. It promises to be a good year for making music!

Joe Smart is a Triple Threat

Joe Smart is a Triple Threat
Article #11 -

Music stores like ours have a tendency to attract people who love music. One of our employees even won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2016! We sat down with Ted Brown Music’s master electrician, Joe Smart, to talk about his work, his music, and his Grammy Awards experience.

Maintaining Your Instrument: A Practical Guide

Maintaining Your Instrument: A Practical Guide
Article #10 -

If there’s one thing that can put a kink in an aspiring musician’s strut, it’s a malfunctioning instrument. Luckily, there are some basic things we can do (and should do!) to make sure our instruments stay in top playing condition.

Why Join School Music?

Why Join School Music
Article #9 -

School is starting all over America, and you know what that means - It's time for band and orchestra! Participating in school music is a wonderful thing, but you don't have to take our word for it. Hear from the mouths of students why band and orchestra are important to them.

Tips for Finding the Perfect Mouthpiece: Brass Edition

Finding the right brass mouthpiece
Article #8 -

Sooner or later, it happens to all of us. Maybe you’re new to the horn and you’ve been using the mouthpiece your band director recommended. No problem there – band directors are pretty sharp. Maybe you inherited your mouthpiece from an older sibling who gave it up. It was good enough for them and, darn it, it’s good enough for you!

But eventually, the time comes when you’re ready to choose your own mouthpiece. Exciting, isn’t it? Finding the right mouthpiece will help you improve your tone, range, endurance, and more.

Improve Your Practice Time With These Tips

Practive like a pro
Article #7 -

Are you in a musical practice rut? Putting in the time but getting no results? It’s okay! We’re here to help.

Not all practice is created equal, but with a little forethought and some new habits you can improve your practice and start getting more out of your efforts.

Basic Home Recording

Home recording basics
Article #6 -

Admit it – you’ve had the dream.

You know, the one where you’re in a professional recording studio, headphones on, hunched over an analogue mixer like a mad scientist in the laboratory. (Like this guy above)

It’s a great dream, but also a long way off for most of us. In the meantime, if you’re serious about your music, you’ve got to learn the art of home recording.

Family Owned

Family Owned
Article #5 -

As we look back over all the years since 1931, we're taking some time to reflect on our history and what it means to us. Since we opened, Ted Brown Music has stayed family-owned. We believe it's a big part of our longevity, and like to think it's part of why our amazing customers keep coming back.

Here are a few reasons why family-owned businesses tend to be great.

Jazz Isn't Dead

Jazz is not dead
Article #4 -

Jazz has continuously reinvented itself, from ragtime over a century ago, through swing and bebop, to fusion and beyond. Its history is rife with controversy and backlash, rebels and outlaws. It’s been on the cutting edge of social change, and it’s America’s singular gift to the musical world.

The Surprising Benefits of Music for Seniors

The Surprising Benefits of Music for Seniors
Article #3 -

This is the Tacoma New Horizons Band. They’re a small group of senior musicians who meet every Thursday at Ted Brown Music in Tacoma. Many used to play music in high school, but couldn’t find a proper venue to play after they graduated.

“I haven’t played for over 50 years,” says Bill, saxophonist. “I always liked playing but never had a place to play. Now I do.”

The Great Guitarists

The Great Guitarists
Article #2 -

Lots of folks, especially guitarists, toss around the idea of greatness. But what does it mean? Is it blazing speed? Originality? Catchy tunes? What we need is a common vocabulary — a standard for greatness. Of course, we may never see eye-to-eye on who the greatest guitarist is, just as most of us will probably never agree what the greatest sandwich is, but we certainly can identify some essential criteria. So, that’s what we’ve done here.

Five Reasons Your Child Should Play Music

Five Reasons Your Child Should Play Music
Article #1 -

In December 2015, the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law by President Obama - effectively replacing the previous No Child Left Behind legislation. The new law ensures a more "well-rounded" education for every child, and puts music and arts programs on the same footing as math, reading and science.

Why the shift in policy? More and more research is coming out - music and the arts are an essential part of a healthy childhood and education.

Whether your child enrolls in school band or orchestra, private music lessons, playing an instrument just for fun, or even just listening to his/her favorite music, music is an essential part of a healthy childhood. Here's why.