Every community needs a music store – that’s what Barb Shane thought to herself 25 years ago as Enumclaw’s Scandia Music was closing its doors.
With a teaching degree in physical education and a background working with the Girls Scouts organization, the piano teacher and single mother took the plunge and decided to become a music store owner.
“It was a time in the mid-’80s when women were going into business,” she said, citing a number of friends in the community who were filling storefronts up and down Cole Street with clothing boutiques, book outlets and travel agencies.
“I always played piano,” Shane said. “My mother was a very fine pianist.”
Shane taught piano lessons informally and played at church, but it wasn’t until her daughter’s piano teacher, who was commuting to Enumclaw, became tired of the drive and offered Shane her pupil base that she started seriously looking at music as a career.
In 1985, purchasing rental instruments and sheet music from music stores in the area that were going out of business, Shane opened the doors of Enumclaw Music at 1036 Cole St., now the site of Holmvig Dewitt and Associates.
She started with one guitar teacher, Enumclaw’s Phil Hansen, and shortly after added Kathye Long, who still offers guitar lessons at the shop.
Four years later, Shane moved the business to 1327 Cole St., and in 1997 into its current location at 1515 Cole St.
Today, there are eight instrumental and vocal teachers. Enumclaw Music also offers instrument rentals, sales and repairs, plus accessories, music and text books. Enumclaw Music recently made room for Kathy Foy’s Records More Records. Foy is releasing the thousands of classic records from her father Ken MacRae’s collection, and Shane is excited to have them in her store.
“I just want to say thanks to the community for supporting the teachers and music and everything we do,” Shane said.
“This is an artsy community,” said Shane, who helped start the Enumclaw Music Teachers Association, which will celebrate 20 years, and also was a member of the Enumclaw Arts Commission.
Through the years, the Enumclaw School District’s music programs have helped her business, and in the past decade changed it, with the addition of its Magic Strings and orchestra programs.
“Myself, and my employees, had to learn about stringed instruments,” said Shane, who went so far as to learn to play violin and now performs with the Plateau Community Orchestra. Enumclaw Music offers cello and violin lessons, as well as guitar, flute, trombone, percussion and piano.
The other change, she said, came when the school district moved its elementary band program to the middle school and her instrumental rentals fell.
“A lot of kids can’t fit it into their schedule,” she said.
Shane hosted an open house celebration July 31.