Episode #3 of our podcast is here! In this episode, host John Haggard speaks with Dave Martin from Miller Piano Specialists about the end of Year Yamaha Red Envelope Promotion – They Have a Gift, Help them Open it.
- Dave’s Specialty at Miller Piano Specialists
- Dave’s Background in Music
- His College Studies in Pianos
- What Makes the Miller Family and Miller Piano Specialists special
- How Does Learning The Piano Help a Person Grow?
- Yamaha’s Red Envelope Promotion
- How to Contact Dave
John Haggard 0:13
Welcome to the Miller Piano podcast. Looking forward to the upcoming holidays and a special announcement from Yamaha for this holiday season. I’m your host, John Haggard on the podcast with us from Miller piano in Cool Springs / Franklin is Dave Martin.
Hey, Dave, welcome to the podcast.
Dave Martin 0:29
Well, thank you so much, John, and thanks for having me. I’m really looking forward to this.
John Haggard 0:34
I look forward to it also, and I appreciate your taking the time. I know the holiday season is certainly busy and we understand that Yamaha does have an announcement to make that you will be delivering but before we go to that announcement, just to understand a little bit about you. Now tell us what you do specifically at Miller Piano.
Dave Martin 0:51
Well, I suppose I’m the jack of all trades. I have a lot of time in this industry. I started in my early 20s in this industry. And so I have about four decades of work with pianos. I started as a piano technician. And I’m a little bit of a rare bird. You don’t run into that many folks in the piano industry that actually went to a college or school or a Technical College, just to go study piano technology. I didn’t know it was an odd thing when I did it years ago. But it turns out it is a little bit of an unusual thing.
John Haggard 1:35
And when you say technology, so in other words, going to school, talk about that a little bit more like what you learned and how what that does for you now.
Dave Martin 1:43
Having started at that place with pianos, I knew absolutely nothing about pianos when I started to study them. As a piece of technology as a musical instrument and really think of it many people who play a flute or violin don’t really know how constructed, they just know what they’re supposed to do with it.
I didn’t know what was inside of Canada or why it worked. And so I got the notion as a young man, I had been working as a musician and traveling quite a bit, you know, I like this, but I don’t really want to be on the road for years and years. So I thought maybe there’s something else I should be doing with my life professionally. And I got interested in pianos. And I said, you know, there are a lot of pianos around that need to be serviced. They need to be tuned. And then of course, they have wear and tear from use. So I looked into it, applied to a college, to a technical college and was accepted. And what I learned is that there are thousands of parts that all have to be maintained and serviced and pianos are very complex instruments, even the simple ones, even the inexpensive pianos are complex. And that’s why they need to be serviced. So in the process of learning all this information about how to service pianos.
John Haggard 2:02
Dave Martin 3:02
Essentially I learned what are all the good components. Why is one piano a good instrument? And another one? Just okay. And another one pretty awful. You know?
John Haggard 3:12
Dave Martin 3:13
What makes a Piano a Piano? And the experience has helped me so much in my later years and helping people to choose a piano to invest in, because I really literally have disassembled and reassembled many, many pianos in my earlier life.
John Haggard 3:30
Dave Martin 3:30
And it just has been very helpful to me to be able to point out the components and how they work and why they work.
John Haggard 3:36
Well, then how did you get your initial interest in pianos?
Dave Martin 3:41
Well, you know, as a child, I was interested in everything musical and at the same time, I was interested in every kind of sport that I could find. And so I resisted music for a while, in my early grade school years. I had a lot of opportunities. My family was musical and they would say, Hey, why don’t you play this? Why don’t you play that? And I’d say, No, I’m gonna play basketball. Now I’m gonna play baseball. No, I want to go swimming. Yeah. And eventually, I got the bug… I was probably 10 years old or so. And then when I got the bug, then I wanted to play all of the instruments. So I started on basically about four instruments at once. Piano, guitar, bass and drums all simultaneously, you know, I was a problem child.
John Haggard 4:34
And today, do you play all four?
Dave Martin 4:37
Not so much. I dropped drums A long time ago… drums and percussion because I said, you know, it’s too noisy. But I do play the other instruments and some better than others, and it’s still just a great love of mine.
John Haggard 4:53
And so you came off the road, how long ago? How long has it been?
Dave Martin 4:57
That was in the 1970s and so I started studying piano technology and it was about 1976 I think.
John Haggard 5:06
Anything that was the most exciting thing that happened to you when you were on the road?
Dave Martin 5:12
Oh my goodness, the most exciting thing?
The very first time that I was playing a big stage with somebody that was well known and we were playing for an industry event, which has changed names now. Back at that time, I think they called it the Nashville radio disc jockey convention or something like that. And I realized that everyone that was in the audience was either a famous singer, or one of their band members, or a disc jockey or a record producer. We kind of had all of the Nashville leads in the room all at one time. And I thought, Boy, this can make a guy nervous.
John Haggard 5:59
Ha. I guess so, they’re all there. Absolutely. So how long have you been at Miller Piano?
Dave Martin 6:09
I’ve been with Miller for about five years. But, of course, before that, I worked with another well-known dealer here in Nashville for those 20 years. Okay. Actually, early on, I was self-employed as a technician for quite a long time.
John Haggard 6:27
So you would tune up pianos, you would repair pianos as well?
Dave Martin 6:32
Right. Everything that a piano needs is what I have done to pianos and for pianos, and my years in the business.
John Haggard 6:41
All right, so now you’ve been at Miller, you said for five years. Tell us a little bit about the Miller family and specifically the people behind the scenes if you will, and Miller Piano Specialists.
Dave Martin 6:53
Well, I’m glad you asked that question because this company has been so so good, they are such a good company, good people to work with. And I am so happy and blessed to be here. They treat our shoppers who come into shop with us, and eventually by pianos with us, we treat them as if they are our family when they first show up. And usually, they become our family. Because once they have come in and chosen a piano and taken it home… and oftentimes they have the children come and take lessons in our studios here and we see them regularly. And, of course, actually some of my clients that have purchased pianos from me just drop by from time to time just to say, Hey, I’m in the neighborhood. Let’s have a cup of coffee.
John Haggard 7:46
Yeah. Let’s talk about the Yamaha Red Envelope Promotion. Now in reading this, the promotion says “they were born with a gift, help them open it”. So how does learning piano, having one at home actually help a young person grow?
Dave Martin 8:04
Yeah, so I think that learning any instrument helps a person grow. There have been quite a few studies that have shown that involvement in music helps a developing person’s mind, be sharper, and you’re able to learn better. It’s so interesting to me. I’ve noticed this for a long time. People who have some of the most complex professions like; surgeons, medical doctors, doctors, nurses, also happened to be very regularly musicians, oftentimes pianists. I believe that the reason they are so accomplished in their professional endeavors is that they have learned as a young person to use their minds well and they think well and they can process information well, and it just gives you a sharper mind to work with. You have a better tool because of music, and also simply the fact that it’s very pleasurable, that sense of accomplishment, it makes you feel good. And you get a little hooked on that.
John Haggard 9:12
So the Yamaha Red Envelope Promotion. Details of the promotion, Dave, tell us what’s going on?
Dave Martin 9:21
Well, so the Red Envelope Promotion is basically a way of saying, give this red envelope this gift of this key to your new piano to your let’s say your child or your spouse or whoever. And it is a way that Yamaha is sort of giving back to our buying public by offering special financing which is very, very helpful. Zero percent APR financing for up to 18 months.
John Haggard 9:55
All right, and that’s good until the end of the year.
Dave Martin 9:57
That is correct. That’s good until the end of the year.
John Haggard 10:00
So what do you think is the coolest thing in the piano business as a whole today?
Dave Martin 10:07
Well, the fact that our instruments are Yamaha instruments, many of them are now so advanced from where they were when I started years ago. We now have internet connectivity on our pianos, hybrids that have electronics onboard there, a traditional acoustic piano, but with the internet hooked into it and learning capabilities and free apps that you can put on your phone or your iPad or your computer that give you great opportunities to learn piano quicker and make it more fun. So I suppose it’s the technology. The fact that technology exists and that it’s so good and so helpful. And, frankly, Yamaha is the leader in that field. I mean, just pretty much the leader in the field. They’re the company that for quite a long time, they were such a successful builder of musical instruments. They were already deeply established in Japan as the piano builder for Japan, for I think it was about 50 to 60 years or so. And then they said, you know, we’re pretty good at building things. Why don’t we go build some motorcycles? They are the number one builder of musical instruments in the world. They build. I think the last time I looked… about 125, I think was the number of different types of musical instruments. That’s just categories.
John Haggard 11:37
Dave Martin 11:38
Pianos happen to be one of the very most important categories for them. But if you need a fiddle or a guitar or a drum or whatever…
John Haggard 11:49
Dave Martin, everybody right there from Miller Piano. And Dave, what’s the best way for someone to get in contact with you?
Dave Martin 11:58
Well, you know, our store, we have a landline. How about that?
John Haggard 12:02
How about that!
John Haggard 12:24
All right Dave, thanks for spending time with us, learning about you and why pianos are good instruments, what they can do for people when they buy them. I appreciate your time on the podcast today.
Dave Martin 12:35
Thank you, John. I really appreciate you having me.
John Haggard 12:37
And don’t forget about that Yamaha Red Envelope Promotion. They were born with a gift, help them open it. Dave says zero percent APR for 18 months, until the end of the year. And so there you go for that with approved credit. There is a transcript of today’s podcast right here on the website for your quick reference. I’m your host, John Haggard, and we’ll see you next time.