LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Music stores are struggling to get by during the pandemic. Many local shops rely on instrument rentals from students but with distance learning, most families aren’t renting.
David Kessler with Kessler & Sons Music said rentals are down by more than 50 percent. The storage unit that normally sits empty in September, is full.
“They’re ready for rent, ready for kids,” said Kessler.
kids are not taking them home.
“With not just distance learning, but with doing the split semester program in middle schools, there’s a lot of programs that just don’t have year long band this time around,” said Kessler.
CCSD gave instruments to some students. Kessler’s shop helped get them ready.
“Our repair shop was double this summer because we were cleaning instruments for Clark County School District, sterilizing and disinfecting them,” Kessler said.
He said the repair shop and website is why their family run store will make it a fourth decade.
However, he said other shops have already started closing.
“Bad rental season you risk going out of business. For most music stores that’s well over half their company.”
Students are missing out too.
“It’s been a big challenge. It makes me wonder what’s the point of teaching this concept if they don’t have an instrument to play it on,” said Meagan Jackson.
Not all CCSD schools could give real instruments to take home.
In Jackson’s class at Shirley Barber Elementary School, the kids usually share.
“I know that some teachers created a little take-home instrument kit with things like egg shakers and stuff.”
Jackson said on top of the lack of instruments and difficulties teaching music through a computer screen, her class sizes have doubled to more than 50 kids.
“It makes the teaching of music become too academic at their young age,” she said.
“There’s so many kids that music is their life. They’re passionate about it,” said Kessler.
Jackson said she’s worried students who don’t get the hands-on instrument experience will lose interest all together.
“I just try to keep singing and keep positive,” said Jackson.
CCSD’s Fine Arts Program is ranked one of the best in the nation. It’s one of the only districts of its size to require music for elementary students.
Jackson said because of that, she feels some sense of job security, but still worries about funding.
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