Welcome to our official Blog "The Soundboard". Musical Instrument Haven is a leading provider of Musical Instruments & Music Gear online. We are dedicated to offering the finest selection of Instruments and accessories at the best prices. Our goal is to provide you with the most excellent shopping experience in the industry.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo Musical Instruments

With Cinco de Mayo approaching, Music again plays a big part in the celebrations and festivities!  We have prepared a special selection of instruments that will be just perfect for your Fiestas!  Because Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's 1862 victory over France (Not Indendence Day, which is a common misconception.  That actually occurred over 50 years earlier on September 16th.)  Mexican Mariachi music is usually the first style that comes to mind. No Mariachi Band would be complete without Violins, Guitars, Vihuelas (guitar with a rounded back, sometimes referred to as a Lute), Harps and Trumpets.  Most everyone has heard "La Cucaracha" and while listening you can probably picture the musicians in their silver studded charro outfits and wide brimmed hats!

As Cinco de Mayo Celebrations have gained in popularity both in the United States and abroad as a great reason to throw a party with themed decorations, food and drinks, various other types of Mexican music have also started topping the charts.  Nothing gets a party started like Chips and Salsa . . . and Salsa Music!!  Whether you're musically inclined, or not so much, anyone can shake their Maracas!! These percussion instruments come in a great variety of colors and sizes.  Did you know that the amount of pebbles in a maraca is traditionally an uneven number to create a distinct sound?  How 'bout giving a Guiro a try?!  This percussion instrument started as a dried gourd with ridges on the surface of the shell to provide a rough place to rake a wooden stick across.  How 'bout a Ceramic Ocarina; we have one that's a necklace!

So hang your pinatas, whip up a batch of guacamole, put on your sombrero, make sure the blender is full of refreshing Frozen Lemon-Berry Margaritas (Recipe Below), break out your Cinco de Mayo Instruments and lets....Get This Party Started! Ole!

Frozen Lemon-Berry Margaritas Recipe

  • Prep/Total Time: 15 min.
  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 4 lime wedges
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
  • 2/3 cup thawed lemonade concentrate
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup tequila, optional


  • Using lime wedges, moisten the rims of four margarita or cocktail glasses. Set aside limes for garnish. Sprinkle coarse sugar on a plate; hold each glass upside down and dip rim into sugar. Set aside. Discard remaining sugar on plate.
  • In a blender, combine the lemonade concentrate and raspberries; cover and process until blended. Press mixture through a fine sieve; discard seeds. Return raspberry mixture to blender; add the ice, strawberries, blueberries, sugar and tequila if desired. Cover and process until smooth.
  • Pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with reserved limes. Yield: 4 servings.
Nutritional Facts1 cup (calculated without tequila) equals 271 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 6 mg sodium, 71 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 1 g protein.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Easter Treats With A “Beat” Are Sooo Sweet! (Without a trip to the Dentist!)

This clever, Music-themed Healthy Easter Basket is so chock filled with unique instruments that the young recipient or fun-loving teen and adult will have a hard time deciding which to play first!

Not only is this a healthier, sugar-free alternative to a basket filled with chocolate, it’s the perfect way to give your child exposure to the wonderful world of music and musical instruments.  With chocolates, you’ll have only the wrappers left after a week; the goodies in this Musical Easter Basket will last for years to come!

The brightly colored Egg Shakers or Full-sized Maracas make a great rhythmic addition to any song or for any band. Watch for the smiles as they’re blowing the Lip Whistle or Slide Whistle!  The Kazoo is an instrument that everyone can play.  Be sure to hum into it, not blow, and instantly anyone is a musician!  Musical Spoons might require a little practice, but shortly players of any age will get the knack and never want to put them down!  The same goes for the colorful Harmonica!  Our basket, which you can order from Musical Instrument Haven also includes a Magic Flute and Wristlet of Bells that will fit most wrists and even some ankles!  Our Recorder and Recorder Method Book make a great gift all on their own; with us, it’s just yet another great instrument and songbook that we’ve added to the basket!  Our Music Note Canvas Print will look great tacked on a bulletin board or framed and hung in any room in your home!

The number one benefit to our Musical Easter Basket is to bring out and develop the musician in all of us -- Just think of how much fun the entire family will have together as they learn and try each instrument.

Running a very close second on the benefit meter are the health benefits! A basket over-flowing with candy is filled with unnecessary and empty calories. For kids, there are enough instruments to share with their friends without causing you any worry of food allergies that sometimes occur with chocolate or peanut products.  Did you know that color coated candies – especially pinks, reds and greens are full of dyes and preservatives that can trigger allergic reactions in children as well as adults? Not to mention the health hazard to Fido or Fluffy if they get into the candy basket.  Allowing the Easter Bunny to deliver a musical, non-candy goodie basket is a good way to start someone down the path of music and a great way to lead those you care about to a more health-conscious, active, slimmer and nutritionally sound way of life!

All of these Easter Treats with a “Beat” come in a bright multi-colored Easter Basket, covered in cellophane and finished off with a bow.  Order Today from Musical Instrument Haven and you’ll be all ready for the fun and music to start on Easter morning!           

Here is a fun Healthy Easter Trivia Question: Eggs contain nearly every nutrient known to be essential to humans. True or False? Click Here For Answer

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Bodhrán: A Great Gift Idea For St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to explore traditional Irish culture by giving a gift that is rooted in Ireland’s history. With March 17th approaching why not get into the spirit of the holiday by giving a musical gift that celebrates the Irish culture. Weather you have Irish ancestry or are just one of the many who love to play “Irish for the day” incorporating music into your celebration is a great way for people of all ages to celebrate the season. With this excellent gift idea you can delve deeper into genuine Irish heritage than the stereotypical green beer and shamrocks.

The Bodhrán is the heartbeat of Irish music. This ancient frame drum is traditionally made with a wooden body and a goat-skin head, and is played with a double-headed stick called a cipín, tipper, or beater. The modern Irish word Bodhrán is properly pronounced bow-rawn, like Cow brawn, with a slight emphasis on the first syllable.

Musical Instrument Haven offers a detailed Bodhrán Drum Buyers Guide which explores the history, construction, playing techniques and practice exercises as well as additional video clips of famous Bodhran Performances. You can also shop an entire selection of Bodhráns on the site.

Here is a fun St. Patrick’s Day trivia question:  Leprechauns are often associated with Ireland and St. Patrick's Day. What do you call the stick leprechauns carry & what is its purpose? Click here for answer

Monday, February 27, 2012

Take Advantage Of Our New Triple Play Promotion & Save $$

It pays to play!

We are excited to announce that we have just launched our all new Triple Play Promotion. It pays to play!! All you have to do is complete the three quick steps and you will save yourself 10% off your next musical purchase!

1. Sign up for our monthly newsletter
2. Choose one of the three: Like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter; or sign up for our Blog
3. Submit a short customer testimonial

Visit the Triple Play Promotion page on our website to get started.

Besides the exceptional discount offer, you will benefit each month by receiving the latest updates and noteworthy happenings that the world of music has to offer. Features on all level of instruments, a helpful Buyer’s Guide, special holiday promotions and celebration ideas, just to name a few, will all be at your fingertips. This is our way of insuring you always feel confident in your buying decisions and excited to be part of the Musical Instrument Haven Family! Sign up today -It’s easy as 1-2-3!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flute Buyers Guide

In choosing a flute there are many different things to consider, including the musicians age and skill level as well as the features on the instrument. As a buyer the more you know about flutes and the different features that are available, the more of a chance that you will buy the instrument that is perfectly suited for you. Our expert team of band directors, teachers and musicians have collaborated to put together a basic knowledge of the flutes construction and design in the Flute Buyers Guide below. In this guide you will find information on the different types, features, and specifications of flutes as well as recommendations on trusted brands for players at each level of performance. We are committed to helping our customers find the greatest potential in their musical instrument. Please do not hesitate to call or email us if you have any additional questions.



Student Flutes:
Student Flutes are an excellent choice for the beginning player. Most players will use a student flute for their first couple years of playing. Most beginners start with a closed hole silver or nickel plated flute with a C foot joint. Occasionally instructors will recommend students to start on a "open hole" or plateau style flute or a flute with a split E mechanism. Closed hole flutes are a little easier to play especially for young students with small fingers as they don't require you to completely cover the open holes to produce a clear sound. 

Intermediate Flutes:
After playing for a few years and a student has advanced and is committed to continuing their musical study, they can move to a step-up or intermediate flute. When purchasing an intermediate flute, you can expect your child to be using it for several years before they are required to move on again onto a professional flute. Intermediate flutes are typically open hole requiring the musician to properly position their hands over the keys to allow the fingertips to completely cover each hole. Many Intermediate flutes feature a B foot joint which provides an additional key that sounds one additional lower note. Intermediate Flutes will usually have a silver or silver plated headjoint and or body which produces a better sound. 

Professional & Advanced Flutes:
Professional Flutes are built to an extremely high standard with a higher level of expertise in the design of the flute. These are instruments that can last a lifetime or serve as stepping stones to the highest level of study. Flutes of this caliber will usually have a solid silver head joint and body which greatly enhances the tonal quality. 


Nickel Silver: Most student flutes are made of nickel silver with silver plating. This material is extremely durable, which makes it an excellent choice for beginners. 

Solid (Sterling) Silver: Many intermediate and professional flutes are made partly or entirely of solid silver which produces a warm rich tone. Solid silver increases the weight of a flute and darkens and centers the sound.  Silver flutes need to be polished to prevent tarnishing.


Flutes are made up of three parts. A headjoint, a body, and a footjoint.

Headjoint: The head joint is how the flute makes a sound. It comprises of a lip plate and a tone hole. Many intermediate flutes feature a head joint that is made of solid silver. The head joint material is a major influence on the overall sound of a flute.  

Body: The body is the longest part of a flute and contains majority of the keywork. Some flutes have added trill keys and a split E mechanism that helps produce the high E.

Footjoint: The footjoint is the shortest part of a flute. On a student flute a C foot is standard whereas intermediate and professional models will have a low B included on this part. 


Plateau VS French Style: Plateau style flutes are closed hole (common for student flutes) whereas the French style is an Open-Hole model. Most advanced players prefer open-hole flutes for advanced techniques, increased volume and the ability to cover half the holes and quicker response.

Offset VS Inline G Key: The G key is played with the third finger of the left hand. This key can either be "inline" with the other keys or slightly "offset" toward the outer edge of the flute. Offset G can be easier to reach and more comfortable for beginners or players with small hands. Inline G is commonly believed to produce better intonation.

C Foot or B Foot: On a student flute a C foot is standard whereas intermediate and professional models will have a low B included on this part. On a B foot the foot joint is longer and has an extra key.


Split E Key Machanism: Found mostly on professional flutes the split E improves intonation and response over the high E.

Gizmo: The Gizmo key is commonly found on the B foot of intermediate and professional flutes. This key closes the low B tonehole without closing the low C or C# hole.

French Pointed Arms VS Y Arms: On a flute the arm is the part that connects they key to the rod. French pointed keys are normally found on higher end or step up flutes. French pointed keys have an arm that extends to the center of a key and is soldered at the top. This makes the keys more sturdy and proves for better key placement. A Y Arm attaches to the edge of a key which is also quite sturdy.

Undercut Tone Holes: The tone holes are the holes the pads cover. On the inside of the flute at the bottom of the tone hole whee the holes meet the body is where the "undercutting is done" The edge is machined and beveled with special tools to allow the air to flow with less resistance which can produce a clearer tone.  

Riser Key: The Riser key is also called the chimney. This key connects the lip plate to the head joint. The metal used for the riser directly influences the flutes tone. 

Springs: Springs hold the keys in place when they are not being pressed down on. Stainless steel springs are very durable and are found on most student and step up flutes.

Embouchure Lip Plate: This is where the flute players lip contacts the head joint. A curved lip plate is easier to blow than a straight lip plate.


Teacher Recommended Student Flute: A great option for a teacher recommended student flute is the Gemeinhardt 2SP Flute. This flute is ideal for the beginning player. Constructed for durability and low maintenance, this flute will provide years of enjoyment as your beginning musician excels. 

Recommended Intermediate Flute: The RS Berkeley F109 Artist Series Flute is a great intermediate flute. This step up flute features many advanced features and provides a warm and projecting sound. 

Recommended Advanced Flute: Advanced players will love the Volare 901 Flute which is an excellent choice for advanced flutist and professional musicians alike. The Volare flute has a clear strong tone and responds beautifully. 

Please visit Musical Instrument Haven for a full selection of flutes and flute accessories. 

Monday, February 20, 2012


Whether you’re celebrating your own Irish Heritage, a lover of the traditional corned beef and cabbage,  looking for a chance to wear your favorite green outfit, or you simply relish any excuse for a party and  parade  –   March 17th  -- is your kind of day!  “Everyone is Irish” on St. Patrick’s Day!  The phrase “the wearing of the green” meaning to wear a shamrock on one’s clothing, derives from a song of the same name.  Maybe that’s why no matter how you choose to honor St. Patrick, music will be the one constant throughout the festivities!

Filled with legends and brimming over with trivia, St. Patrick’s Day will keep you dancing and singing from morning to night.   The fun has no age limits!  Heck, in fact it was school children who are credited with starting the tradition of pinching each other for not wearing green!  Across the country school kids will be singing about a man they never met, but will never forget:  Michael Finnegan with whiskers on his chin-ne-gan!  Musical Instrument Haven is a great spot to get the younger generation some instruments to accompany the singing and we’ll provide Free Sheet Music to you for this classic song. Enjoy!

An Irish Penny Whistle is easy to play and traditional in every way; actually manufactured in Dublin!  And regardless of what they’re wearing, playing a Green-colored Recorder should satisfy the color code and keep the kids from being pinched!  A pair of Green light-up Firestix for drummers sound great even after March 17th and will add flare to any band’s show!

Who doesn’t love a parade?  Hundreds and hundreds of cities hold parades on and around St. Patrick’s Day.  The parade in New York City is not only the longest parade in length, but has also been running for the longest amount of time —since 1762.  If you’re a parade watcher in New Orleans, be prepared to have onions, carrots, cabbages potatoes and other ingredients for making an Irish Stew thrown into the crowds!  If you’re in Chicago, besides the parades, the Chicago River which has been dyed green every St. Patrick’s Day since 1962 is a sight to see!  No matter where you’re celebrating, music will be at the forefront of the fun!  In order to play in the parade, or along with the bands, a Bodrahn Drum or Bagpipes from Musical Instrument Haven will make you Irish for a day and entertain you for years to come! 

Hey, what do you think the official symbol of Ireland is!  Nope, not the shamrock or even a leprechaun.  Since medieval times the Harp has been considered the Country’s official symbol.  See . . . it’s all about the music!

Please visit Musical Instrument Haven.com for a large selection of St Patrick's Day Musical Instruments.   

Friday, February 17, 2012

How A Community Can Be Helped Through Music

You don’t have to be the “talent” when it comes to fundraising through music.  Having great organizational skills, a willing “band” of supporters and believing in your cause is a great start toward a successful event!
Word of mouth and brain-storming works wonders!  You may never have picked up an instrument in your life, but your neighbor’s brother has been playing the guitar and singing since his teens.  Or maybe, the last time you were at the supermarket, you noticed a local musician’s CD for sale at the courtesy counter.  Start by contacting those “peeps” and let them know you have a great avenue for them to showcase their talents, while helping out someone less fortunate.  That’s a hard offer to refuse!  Great!  They both agreed and one even has a buddy who often plays Show-Tunes on the piano at a nearby restaurant.  Wow!  Look at the progress you’ve made already!
Have a couple of different, mutually agreeable dates in mind; be sure not to conflict with other fundraisers or big events in your town.  The local newspaper is a good place to check on “What’s Happening!”   
Now where would a good place be?  Your budget may dictate your selection to a certain degree – unless that neighbor on the other side of you still does the catering for the local Civic Center? Remember, net-working and even, at times, calling in some favors are the backbones to any profitable charity event.  Remind your potential venues that not only are they helping out a great family or cause, but that their assistance will bring nothing but positive ”press” to their facility, as well!  It’s a win-win situation!
You have the date, the performers, the venue and an eager group of friends to help!  The hard part is done!  Give your event a name, be sure to state who your charitable efforts will be benefiting, print up your tickets – with so many teens being computer savvy today, one of the local kids can whip up custom-made tickets in no time! 
The personal gratification that you and your group will get by providing help to your “cause” is immeasurable!  The fun that you will have organizing the festivities makes it even that much more worthwhile.  Be creative!  Decorate, serve refreshments, that same teenage kid can make you a great Program, hang flyers at the dry-cleaners, salons and gas stations, have some special door prizes, maybe a Bake Sale?  The Sky’s The Limit – And The Rewards Are Out  Of This World!! 

We Came Across This Article and Were So Impressed!!  It’s an incredibly admirable example of how two young girls are helping their community members through music!

Sisters create music to benefit charities

Charlotte teens hope talents can help Dickson Countty

5:25 PM, Feb. 16, 2012  |  
Charlotte teens, Sammie, 13, and older sister, Stephanie, 17, are writing songs and giving the proceeds to individuals and causes.
Charlotte teens, Sammie, 13, and older sister, Stephanie, 17, are writing songs and giving the proceeds to individuals and causes. / Elizabeth Thompson photography
You can say, “What’s the matter with kids today?” But you can’t say it about the Jarvis sisters.
Charlotte teens, Sammie, 13, and older sister, Stephanie, 17, are taking issue with music. Stephanie, a junior at Creek Wood High School, and Sammie, in sixth grade at Dickson Middle School, are writing songs and giving the proceeds to worthy individuals and causes, some very close to home.
“We had an essay to do in my English class for the state,” said Stephanie. “It was about if we had a million dollars, what we would do for the community. That triggered our first song “Land of the Free.”
The proceeds from “Land of the Free” are going to House of Hope and New Beginnings, a refuge for homeless families in Dickson.
Stephanie, quite the acoustic finger picker, continues to learn guitar, and Sammie sings in a young, breathy voice that is pitch perfect. They also have a little help on guitar solos from another local musician, Zack Brooks, 23, who also contributes on harmonies.
The story behind their second song started close to home with a terrible tragedy. When the sisters’ nephew suffered severe child abuse and then, ultimately, Shaken Baby Syndrome, they knew they had their second song — and their second cause. “Eyes of Tragedy’ will go to The Child Advocacy Center in Charlotte.
“When you watch TV, and you see that other kids are being abused, we wanted to write about that and inform people that this does go on,” Stephanie said.
The third song on the CD is entitled “Believe in Me” with Sammie on vocals and Zack and Stephanie on guitar. When the girls found out that a family friend, Drew Stacy, had melanoma, and that the family needed money for medical expenses, they simply added the family to their list and are donating the proceeds to them.
The CD entitled “The Voice of Change” sells for $6. So far, “The Voice of Change Project” has raised $300 for Drew Stacy, $135 for the homeless and $100 for child advocacy.
So, when will all this end? Not likely any time soon. The list appears to be growing. Apparently, these two believe there just might be better things to think about other than boys and cell phones.
To listen to their music and read about their causes, visit their YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/user/jarvisgirls.

This article appeared in print on February 16, 2012, in The Tennessean with the headline: Sisters Create Music To Benefit Charities.

You can also follow the Jarvis Sisters at:   http://www.songcastmusic.com/profiles/TheJarvisSisters