Musical instrument sales in Indianapolis spike during pandemic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dan Oldham will tell you there are decades of history inside the Musicians’ Repair & Sales shop in downtown Indianapolis.

But they’ve never seen anything like the coronavirus pandemic.

“What we’ve been seeing is people are shut in, they’re bored, or they want to find something to pass the time,” Oldham, an owner at Musicians’ Repair & Sales, said.

Turns out, the pandemic has meant a 15%-20% boost in musical instrument sales compared to this time in 2019, especially for flutes, clarinets, saxophones and trumpets. Oldham told News 8 compared to this time last year, they’re seeing around a 30% increase in sales of guitars and ukuleles.

There’s a unique reason why.

“A lot of people that are surfing around on the web see fun videos of people playing guitars and ukuleles,” Oldham explained. “We’ve had more sales of those than ever before as well.”

That means an interesting opportunity for parents.

“What most of those parents that came in looking for those instruments told me is, ‘My son or daughter showed a little bit of interest and I’d like for them to do something other than a video game or stare at a screen,” Oldham said.

The way Oldham sees it, the sales increase is proof-positive for the arts.

“When people are idle, they look for something that’s fulfilling, and it always comes back around for arts, and we’re seeing the proof now,” Oldham said.

As some Hoosiers begin to create their own melody at home, Oldham encourages anyone who is thinking about learning to play an instrument to give it a try.