Music Ed Mentor Podcast #002: Your Local Music Store Can Help!

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #002: Your Local Music Store Can Help!

Your local music store can help you fix more than a broken clarinet. Learning to work effectively with your local retailer can help drive recruitment, offer networking opportunities, and make managing your budget easier.

In this episode of the Music Ed Mentor Podcast, I interview Cris Behrens of Summerhays Music. Cris is a great resource for music educators, as he’s a store manager who started off in instrument repair, working daily with music teachers. Cris is also the vice president of the National Association of School Music Dealers, and it was a pleasure to chat with him about ways schools and stores can work together.

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In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Think ahead about instrument maintenance and repair
  • Communicate effectively with your local store to get the best service
  • Cross-promote their business and your program so that both succeed
  • Use your local music store for recruitment and networking opportunities

I’ve put Cris’s tips for working with local music stores – and some of my own – in this small ebook.

Three Key Takeaways

“[Budget plans] vary from district to district.”

Whether your district handles things at the school level or the district level, a local shop can work with you to offer personal, customized options for repair, instrument purchase, and more.

“Go to those guys who will be there for recruiting and special events.”

When you make purchases or get repairs done at a store, the store prospers, but your local store can also help your program prosper. Work with your local store on finding private teachers, hosting special recruiting events, and sponsoring trips.

“All you have to do is call me.”

Music teachers can be very isolated. Often we’re the only person on a campus teaching our subject, and our classrooms may not be connected to the rest of the school. Your local music store can also be a source of professional networking. Your store can put you in touch with other music educators in the district or local area.


Here are the websites and resources mentioned in this episode:

Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa was a top presenter at the NAfME National Conference in 2017 and will be presenting at state conferences in 2018. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

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