Best Buy to sell musical instruments — honest!

Did anyone else see this story? Best Buy stores will be carrying musical instruments in the near future — up to 85 stores will devote serious square footage for instrument display, sheet music, accessories, and more. Even rooms for private lessons are being contemplated.

Billboard article on Best Buy’s plan to carry musical instruments

As a musician, I can’t imagine having developed my love for music without having been exposed to (and let’s do this in order): piano lessons, the recorder, the clarinet, marching band, guitar jams in the stairwell at college, and, now, the slightly less-than-regular sessions on my Yamaha P90. Hands-on experience with instruments — and I include voice in the instrument class — creates a visceral connection with music and an enlarged capacity for appreciating music throughout your life.

Can non-musicians appreciate music. Of course. But I hope you get my larger point — it’s not unlike any human experience — the more senses that are involved in the experience, the more enduring the memory, the behavior, and the connection.

Do I think this will be a good thing for Best Buy? I don’t know — it’s a risk tampering with a winning formula but I’m sure they’re nervous about declining sales of “physical” media (like DVDs, CDs, and such) and need to up the “experience” factor in the stores. And, after all, musical instruments comprise a $8 billion market in this country.

Do I think this will be good for families? Yes, and I hope they visit the stores as families and take some time with the sales people to understand the basic connection between “music that’s created” and “music that’s consumed.” Maybe Mom will sit at the keyboard and play some (brace yourself for a Boomer reference) Carole King. And Dad will pluck away on the ukulele and grin broadly at his wife, as she blushes and looks at the pedals. All this will send the kids running for the car of course. Or maybe not.

I actually think this may be a brilliant recognition — on Best Buy’s part — that, as media is returned to the consumer, the greatest power goes to those who create. We’re not talking about Guitar Hero here . . . there’s a more authentic way to make music than air guitar and karaoke.

Hey, why not pull that axe out of the hall closet, dust it off, and strum a little “Smoke on the Water” tonight? I dare you.

One Response to “Best Buy to sell musical instruments — honest!”

  1. I see a blue polo shirt in your future!

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