THINK LOCAL: Mid-America Piano spreads music — ‘the language everybody can understand’

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In the outskirts of Manhattan on Johnson Road lies a pianist’s favorite dream. With the biggest and most diverse selection of pianos in the Midwest, Mid-America Piano desires to inspire musicians of all ages by providing them with quality instruments.

Dan Murphey, owner, established his business in August 1986. His favorite thing about owning his company is the ability to spread music because it is a “language that everybody can understand.”

Murphey is passionate about pairing musicians with the right piano for them.

“Pianos are like people, they all have their own personalities,” Murphey said. “It all depends on the tone you want. Different pianos bring out different types of music from the musician.”

With every used piano, Mid-America Piano offers a three-year trade-up guarantee. If someone buys a used piano they can upgrade anytime within three years and not lose any money.

“It’s an easy stair-step thing if a client has younger children. They can start out on something that is not too expensive and then upgrade again every three years,” Murphey said.

Mid-America piano offers the biggest and most diverse piano selection in the midwest. (Katelin Woods | Collegian Media Group)

Murphey’s experience as a pianist helps him ensure every musician who walks through the door is well taken care of. He first began playing piano around the age of six.

“Both my grandmas and my mother played piano, and I just liked listening to the piano,” Murphey said. “I sat on their laps and watched them play and decided it looked like fun.”

Cally Bitterlin, Mid-America Piano marketing director, echoed Murphey’s talents as a business owner.

“If I could describe him in three words, it’d be ‘a great leader,'” Bitterlin said.

Murphey said playing the piano is much more than just music. It has been proven to assist in memorization and concentration.

“When you’re playing the piano, you’re playing a bunch of notes in two different hands,” Murphey said. “It really forces your brain to go in a different gear.”

Some research shows it assists those with learning disabilities.

Dan Murphey, the owner of Mid-America Piano, is passionate to pair the correct piano to every musician. (Katelin Woods | Collegian Media Group)

“We’ve sold pianos to autistic kids who were having a really difficult time in their life,” Murphey said. “My friend who has an autistic son put all his energy into it and it was really good for him. You can express yourself a lot on a piano.”

Murphey offered a simple but vital aspect of achieving success as a pianist, which is “Don’t quit.”

“If you want to really be good at something, whether it’s sports, whether it’s an instrument, it’s not something you just get instantly,” he said. “The things in life that are really worth acquiring take time and perseverance.”

Mid-America Piano is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except for Sundays and also offers repairs. For the best selection of pianos in the Midwest, Mid-America Piano is the best place to be.

Katelin Woods
My name is Katelin Woods and I graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in public relations in May 2020. I worked as the first audience engagement manager of the Collegian from 2019 to 2020 and took photos for the multimedia staff. I was also the founding editor of the culture desk in 2018. I am an enthusiast of a poetry, pizza roll and pajamas.