This Sunday, May 22, is National Buy a Musical Instrument Day, which is … inconvenient, only because many of Macomb County’s independently-owned music stores are closed on Sundays. However, don’t let that get in the way of celebrating the spirit of the day. Perhaps this is the perfect time to take a break from spring cleaning and yard work and to indulge in your creative side. Explore your local music store, splurge on an instrument upgrade or invest in yourself by developing new talents through music lessons. Below is a brief look into some of Macomb County’s music stores – who knows, maybe it will inspire you to learn how to play the gong.
Owned by Mark Kunnert, Ardis Music in Mount Clemens has been open since 1972. Located in the county seat, a notable portion of their customers include judges, attorneys and sheriff officers. Kunnert says when kids take music lessons at his shop, often parents do too as a way to become involved. When asked what instrument Kunnert recommends for a beginner, he said to go with the child’s choice or you’ll never win.
“Make them stick to it,” said Kunnert. “Practice is the key.”
A full-line music store, some of the most popular items at Ardis Music are guitars, books and reeds, but they also carry unique items such as bagpipes and gongs. They also pride themselves on providing personalized service.
According to Store Manager Mary Anne David, Evola Music has been in business since 1931 and is run by the third generation of the same family. There are four stores, and they have been in the Shelby Township location for 10 years. They sell 100 different pianos and carry other popular items such as band instruments, strings and sheet music. They carry everything from a $7 recorder to a $100,000 concert grand piano, and they also place special orders – once for a clear grand piano. Evola Music offers a variety of music lessons, including Kindermusik Playdates for babies.
“Parents recognize the value of introducing music to children,” said David, who mentioned they also have active retiree classes for those who never had a chance to play and want to give it a try now.
“Music is a great source of relaxation and enjoyment. Instead of turning on the news, which can be depressing, this is uplifting,” said David. “Playing music has health benefits, such as improved concentration and coordination.”
This weekend, May 20 – 21, Huber Breese Music on Groesbeck in Fraser is celebrating 44 years in business with a huge 40 percent off sale. Some of their most popular products include guitars, drums, keyboards and amplifiers. Their guitars start at $99 and top out at $50,000 – a limited edition Epiphone Texan signed by Paul McCartney. In addition to unique and collectible guitars, Huber Breese Music also carries all the major brands such as Fender, Gibson, Martin and Taylor. When asked what makes his store unique, owner Paul Huber says longevity.
“We offer sales, service and lessons,” he said. “Many employees have been here for 40 years and are extremely knowledgeable.”
And Huber’s favorite part of owning a music store? Teaching people to play. Originally started as a teaching studio, Huber Breese Music has helped thousands of students learn to play over the years.
Joe Pistorio owns Joe’s Music which has been on Gratiot in Eastpointe since 1980. While they sell everything from keyboards to drums and horns, their specialty lies in carrying guitar brands you can’t find everywhere else, such as Reverend, Heritage and CMG. Joe’s Music also offers a variety of music lessons and has a large repair shop.
“We can fix pretty much anything and can answer any question as well,” said Pistorio, crediting his experienced staff who have been with him for many years. “I’m fortunate to get to do this every day and make a living talking to people who play instruments and showing them how to be better players. It’s very rewarding.”
One Accord Music in Chesterfield Township opened in 2004. Owner Wyatt Hood says they offer a variety of lessons including guitar, flute, clarinet, saxophone and drums, but piano is the most popular. He says piano is a good instrument for a beginner because there is easy note recognition, and playing bass clef and treble clef simultaneously is good for both sides of the brain.
“Most people don’t realize the piano is a percussion instrument,” said Hood. “It’s good for learning syncopation and timing.”
He says One Accord Music is community-friendly, and they strive to create a positive music experience for their customers.
There are many music stores located throughout Macomb County, packed with shiny new instruments, durable gear for rent and passionate staff who want to guide you to achieve your musical ambitions. And each store owner I talked with said the same thing – they offer music lessons to a wide spectrum of students. It’s never too early or too late to learn!
49 North Walnut St., Mount Clemens, MI 48043
Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
12745 23 Mile Rd., Shelby Township, MI 48315
Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday by appointment only
Huber Breese Music
33540 Groesbeck Hwy., Fraser, MI 48026
Monday – Friday noon to 8 p.m.
Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
24525 Gratiot Ave., Eastpointe, MI 48021
Monday – Tuesday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
One Accord Music
49908 Gratiot Ave., Chesterfield Township, MI 48051
Monday – Thursday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Caitlin Gerds-Habermas works for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, often providing content for the Make Macomb Your Home website.