A silver lining: Pandemic leaves more spare time for people to explore music

"I think people are taking full advantage of their time."
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 4:23 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2020 at 4:28 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Dayton Hill visited Red River Music to get new strings on his ukulele, something he’s put to good use during the last six months. “Any time I get a spare second. If I’m not running the roads like right now, I’m usually playing,” says Hill.

While the pandemic has brought many negatives, one seemingly positive aspect is that it’s brought a lot of us more time. “Definitely trying new things, learning new scales,” adds Hill. “Actually during the pandemic, I started playing electric.”

Red River Music guitar teacher Denver Shoup says he’s seeing people take advantage of it. “I think people have taken more of an interest now that they have time to stop for a little bit and look at things they want to do, things they have time to do,” says Shoup.

He says more people are taking an interest in music, from getting started with music lessons both on Zoom and in-person, to simply using the spare time to listen. “They’re getting to listen to music more, watch some online concerts, be inspired by music just in general. So, that kind of lights a fire a little bit and experiment and sit there and go ‘hey, you know I think I want to try this, and try guitar, try piano, try drums.‘”

As for the business side, Jamey Bell says they’re seeing sales decline in some areas like school band instruments and repairs. “Obviously people are playing a whole lot less. There are no gigs to be had.” While also seeing spikes in certain items like digital recording gear and instruments. “Then again they’re doing more recording and they’re trying to seek other sources of revenue and just ways to keep things going,” adds Bell.

While 2020 has turned out to be far from a high note, it’s not exactly a low one either. “Nothing’s going to replace playing live, you know,” adds Shoup. “I think people are taking full advantage of their time, so it’s been a good thing.”

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