Pianos Organs Piano Tuner Piano Mover Lafayette, Indiana

1008 South St  |   Lafayette, IN 47901  |  
imgAction of a restored Artcase Steinway Upright from the 1880's
imgGrand pianos at Northside Music Co. in Kokomo Indiana 46902
imgArtwork from Northside Music Co. in Lafayette Indiana from music truck
imgSteinway artcase upright piano restored at Northside Music Co. Lafayette Indiana 47901

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History of Northside Music

Piano Restoration Acoustic Piano Organs Lafayette, Indiana Northside Music Company specializes in everything about keyboards -- the restoration, building, and selling of old instruments as well as the retailing of new high-tech electronic pianos. The family owned business makes a point of maintaining the state of the art in keyboards, even while they are restoring vintage models.

"If Mozart was alive today, he might be writing on one of those fancy electronic Yamaha computers," says Milo Mills."Everything new is better than ever, especially the new technology."

John Mills started working at Northside Music in the 1950s. By the early 1960s, he and his brother Dick went together and bought the company. Then in 1971, they purchased Gordon Laughead, a respected Michigan-based piano manufacturing business.

By the late 80's, Milo Mills joined the company, bringing the number of piano technicians up to 6, he was later joined by several sisters and family members.  There are currently 3 generations of Mills family working in the piano business.  
Northside Music Company currently has 6 piano technicians, 3 electronics technicians, and utilizes 3 moving trucks in daily operations, as well as our crew of piano restoration personell.

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Meet our staff

John Mills

Piano Tuner Piano Mover Digital Piano Lafayette, IN John is a native of Covington, Indiana, where he was often busy playing the tuba in the band, or fixing jukeboxes. While studying at Purdue, he began working at Northside Music Co., and went on to take over the business. He made pianos and organs his life-long passion, and has brought many family members into the business with him. His specialty is vertical piano rebuilding.



Richard Mills

Digital Piano Player Piano Lafayette, IndianaDick also hails from Covington, Indiana, and wound up at Purdue after deployment in the National Guard. He studied Engineering while at Purdue. With his musical background and mechanical training, John asked him to go into business with him in 1960 when they bought Northside Music Co. Dick has a talent for detailed work, and custom made parts. He is a great saxophone player! His specialty is grand piano rebuilding.

Karen Mills

Acoustic Piano Digital Piano Organs Lafayette, IndianaKaren grew up in Michigan but came to Purdue for school, and met John in the Purdue Orchestra (both playing string bass). Soon enough, she was lured into helping at Northside Music Co. with the payroll and billing. She has worked with us since 1966 in addition to being the proud mother of 5, and grandmother of (currently) 8. Karen plays string bass in the Purdue bands every summer. Karen spends time at the Kokomo office as well as the Lafayette office, and we know that where ever she is, she is always willing to provide help and answer questions for customers.

Milo Mills

Acoustic Piano Organs Player Piano Lafayette, IndianaMilo grew up helping out at Northside Music Co. and tinkering with pianos and organs. There are stories of Milo in the music shop as a baby, getting into trouble. He became a full time piano and organ technician in 1990, after starting at Purdue. Milo is the lead technician in the field for piano, electronic instrument, and pipe organ work. Milo lives in West Lafayette with his wife and 4 children. Milo still plays the trumpet on occasion with the family band, but he plays the piano and organ primarily. While his home base is at the Lafayette location, Milo divides his time between the Lafayette and Kokomo stores. He loves helping out at both stores and sharing his knowledge of all things piano.

Ivy Meyer

Piano Rental Organs Digital Piano in Lafayette, INIvy has also grown up around Northside Music Co., helping on a part-time basis, and eventually taking on more responsibilities. She does the accounts and bookkeeping, as well as being trained as a piano tuner. While a student at Purdue, she was a member of the All-American Marching Band, playing baritone. Until late, she was a member of a local singing group (Almost Accidental), and is often found on stage with Civic Theater and other venues. Ivy, and her husband Andy, have 2 young boys: Cecil and Hugo.  Ivy loves being active and staying busy which is why she loves working hard at both the Lafayette and Kokomo stores.

Edward Hershinger

Acoustic Piano Organs Organ Player Piano Lafayette, IndianaEd has been with Northside Music Co. since the late eighties. Ed came to us from Ray Magnet Wire division, and has extensive training in electronics and sound engineering. Ed is responsible for most of our in-house player piano restoration, as well as electronic instrument repairs. Ed can claim an extensive musical instrument knowledge, including his Didgeridoo.

Travis Givens

Piano Tuner Piano Rental Acoustic Pianos Lafayette, Indiana
Travis hails from Kokomo, Indiana. Since 2013 he has been leading the moving crews, as well as working on our cabinet/case repair department in the restoration of older pianos.




Other Staff


Northside Music Co. typically has another 5 to 15 employees in various positions, like piano stringing, piano technicians (tuners), piano movers, cabinet repair, action assembly, regulation and office help.



Gordon Laughead

In the early seventies, Northside Music Company purchased the Gordon Laughead Piano Company from Grand Haven Michigan. This traditional Maker of "old reliable", quality pianos had worked with Northside and, as the owner died, production was moved to Lafayette where another five hundred pianos were manufactured. Though this production is of relatively few instruments, some of these have 49" Klepac scales that are some of the finest designs in the industry. The actions are made by Swander (Langer) in England, and the castings by Kelly. Today, few of these pianos are being made, but the new "core" of a completely restored piano is, in some instances, a new Laughead piano.

Serving Indiana and the Midwest

Today, the support for new and used keyboard instrument sales comes from a complete restoration division in which the action, finish, touch-up, electronics, pneumatics, stringing, and sound-board departments are each directed by eighteen dedicated professionals. Northside Music offers wholesale pianos and organs to trade, buy, and rent and a nationwide restoration service. Local rental, retail, and home services are offered  in Danville, Illinois, and the following areas in northern and central Indiana: Indianapolis, Kokomo, Marion, Peru, Crawfordsville, Rensselaer, Fowler, Danville Illinois, and of course, Lafayette. There are retail stores in Lafayette and Kokomo, Indiana.

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The Northside Music Workshop

major part of Northside’s business is the complete restoration of pianos from the late eighteen hundreds up through the nineteen fifties. These pianos are taken down to the frame-work, leaving the fine furniture cases to be finished as they were when they were new. What used to be a barn for Mr. Horat is now part of our workshop. Our traditional piano restoration company features piano and organ styles from over 100 years!  In the workshop you can find a working pipe organ and craftsmen working on and repairing real pianos, player pianos, and other musical instruments from American and  European designers.  We are happy to provide tours of our workshop, all you need to do is call and schedule an appointment. 

Northside Music the Building

Piano Tuner Piano Rental Acoustic Pianos Lafayette, Indiana

Northside Music Company, is located in downtown Lafayette in the historic Horat home. A beautiful and well preserved building, we love explaining its history to customers with tours of the facility. 


 When Joseph Horat and his family moved into the 1840’s Greek Revival house at 1008 South Street in 1892, there was a large barn on the rear of the property.  In 1932,  he lost his industrial building just to the north of Schwab safe due to a stock crisis. Mr. Horat quickly converted his barn to a new home for his business, Horat Manufacturing Company. 


Today this building is part of Northside Music’s piano and organ restoration business.  A large collection of period instrument projects can be seen along with a 1884 Henners 10 rank pipe organ, which can be demonstrated for most tours. All tours require appointments, so feel free to call now and check our availability.


The History of the Piano

The term piano is actually short for pianoforte, a much lesser used name for the the instrument we know and love today. The first piano was invented in Florence, Italy in around the year 1700 by Bartolomeo Cristofori. By the 1730s, pianos were being bought and played by only the richest and most elite Europeans. This was also a time when great aficionados like Johannes Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Beethoven were playing pianos and composing historical masterpieces.  Pianos came to America around the 1770s and since then we have allowed them to become part of our lives and welcomed music into our homes.


Whether your interest is in classic pianos, player pianos, digital pianos, or something else entirely, Northside Music has a beautiful selection of pianos in-house and you are free to stop by to browse or call our store to make an appointment for a tour. 

1008 South St   |  Lafayette, IN 47901   |  (765)-423-2323