Back to School: Music students turn to private lessons as many school programs remain in limbo

Back to School: Music students turn to private lessons as many school programs remain in limbo
Gabrielle Enright/Staff

CENTERVILLE — Hauer Music Company in Centerville is like an amusement park for anyone who plays an instrument.

In business for over 85 years, the company offers a number of services including music lessons, instrument rentals, sales and repairs. The business has also become a hot spot for music students who are in limbo because their school district’s programs are delayed, canceled or undecided.

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"There is a way to basically do private lessons now with plexiglass screens. If you feel your lessons won't start right away at school, you can come in and take private lessons, " said Bill Hauer, one of the 3rd generation owners of Hauer Music Company.

Hauer said business is picking up. The company services instruments for 50 schools in southwest Ohio. He said music teachers are slowly returning to the Centerville office. At the start of the pandemic there were about 20 teachers on staff.  That number quickly dropped to three. Now Hauer said 15 teachers are back in the building offering private lessons.

“There was the 6-feet rule and our studios were 10-feet wide. We had to come up with a way to make barriers for the teachers. We took a pretty big loss at first because some people didn’t feel safe coming in for lessons for their sons and daughters. But we’re starting to see some teachers finally starting to come back”, said Hauer.

Hauer said he's also seen an increase in business from people of all ages who are either picking up their old instruments and learning to play or buying a new one.

"I'm surprised by the guitars. A lot of people are buying them. Ukelele's too. Small instruments are selling like never before. A guitar is easy to learn. You can get lessons online or here at the store as well - but that's been a big surprise", said Hauer.

If you buy a used instrument and you’d like to have it professionally cleaned before you play it, Hauer Music Company offers that service for a fee.