The musical instrument industry is having its busiest season ever

For Avery McDaniel, back to school is the busiest time of year for his musical instrument repair and rental shop in Beloit, Wisconsin.

McDaniel Music Repair’s instrument rental and repair business for school bands “literally pays the payroll and major bills.”

The past few years have been difficult for McDaniel. In 2019, he reduced his shop. And when the pandemic started, schools didn’t need instruments or repairs. But while people stayed home, they dusted off their old instruments in the attic, and McDaniel and his team turned to repairing instruments like guitars and ukuleles for individuals.

Now that in-person lessons have resumed, McDaniel’s shop is back to repair instruments over the summer, getting them ready for the new school year. But this year the repairs are more complex and McDaniel had to extend the turnaround time from a few days to about a month. And the rental season is the busiest ever. McDaniel has run out of instruments to rent, especially clarinets. Year-over-year, clarinet rentals are up 40%, McDaniel said.

“It’s one of those things that we keep telling ourselves is, ‘That’s a good problem to have,'” McDaniel said. “That doesn’t make it any less of a problem.”

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