A national chain is opening a Fairview Heights store that will rent, sell and repair musical instruments and offer music lessons.
Music & Arts will be located at 10 Lincoln Highway, just south of St. Clair Square, in a strip mall that also houses Clarkson Eye Care and Wee-Peats Kids Resale.
"We're the nation's largest lesson provider," said District Manager Rachel Reese, based in Chicago. "We provide a safe environment. All of our teachers are background-checked, and they're recommended by the community. All of them have music degrees and some teaching experience."
The company also bills itself as the largest retail chain of band and orchestra instruments, including guitars and digital keyboards.
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Becky Reeb, owner of Wee-Peats, was thrilled with news of the store's opening.
"I'm very excited," she said. "It's going to help our plaza. (It's) going to bring in a lot of families, and the parents will have some time to kill while their kids are taking lessons."
Music & Arts was founded more than 60 years ago in Bethesda, Maryland. It has expanded to include more than 160 stores across the United States and opened four stores in the St. Louis area in the past 10 years (St. Peters, Bridgeton, Town and Country and Crestwood).
The company hopes to be operating in Fairview Heights by June 1. The 3,400-square-foot store will have retail space, seven lesson rooms and a waiting room for parents.
"Teachers choose their own rates because they are independent contractors," Reese said. "But usually it ranges from $20 to $25 per 30-minute session."