Nestled in the charming streets of downtown Waynesboro, Virginia, a musical haven has recently sprung to life. Waynesboro Music, co-owned by the enthusiastic and musically inclined Rob Seal, officially opened its doors in early August. This fresh addition to the local scene is more than just a music store; it’s a place where melodies and passions collide.
Waynesboro Music is a multi-faceted gem catering to beginners and seasoned musicians. From selling a wide range of musical instruments to offering private lessons, setting up and repairing instruments, and hosting engaging events, this store covers every musical need.
The heart of their offerings is centered around string instruments like guitars, mandolins, and banjos. They proudly boast a team of skilled teachers with expertise in banjo, mandolin, and guitar across all levels and styles. While they currently focus on string instruments and accessories, they have grand plans to expand their offerings to cater to even more musicians in the future. With around 20 students currently taking lessons, the music flows from seasoned professionals to eager newcomers, making it a true hub for music enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.
A Musical Journey Revisited
Rob Seal has a profound love for music that extends far beyond the walls of Waynesboro Music. His own journey in the world of music began in the 1990s when he worked in a music store during his high school days, sparking a passion that he continued to carry with him. Although he pursued a different career path as a newspaper reporter and editor for several years, the allure of music was never far from his heart.
In fact, it was a shared dream between Rob and his wife, who now co-owns Waynesboro Music with him, to open a music store. Their love for music is deeply rooted, and the dream of making it a part of their lives finally became a reality.
A Musical Tapestry of Influences
Rob’s own musical journey is colored by the influences of his grandfather and brother. His grandfather was a key figure in the local music scene, known for his passionate gatherings, playing bluegrass for friends, strangers, and churches. Rob and his brother made pilgrimages to Tennessee in their early twenties to learn and record songs with their grandfather. This shared experience shaped Rob’s musical education and left him with a deep appreciation for bluegrass, a genre that remains close to his heart.
Music Knows No Age
Rob believes that music is a language, an innate part of our human nature. It’s a skill that anyone can develop with dedication and a “little bit of want.” Age is no barrier to musical expression. Whether you’re a retiree, a teenager, a parent, or a 10-year-old with a desire to learn, Rob encourages you to dive into the world of music. According to him, “There are no wrong answers about when you can start playing music.” This philosophy means Waynesboro Music is more than just a place to buy instruments or take lessons. It’s a gateway to a thriving local music community. The area is brimming with remarkable musical talent, making it the perfect place to immerse yourself in the world of music.
A Little Bit of Nostalgia
According to Rob, who admits this statement will age him, “one of the best metaphors for the experience of starting a business is like when you’re playing Super Mario Brothers 3 on the original Nintendo, and you get to the ‘dark level’.” There’s a map that players would navigate in the game and that was always visible and colorful so you know when you’re taking the next step on the path, and you play each board and then “all of a sudden, it just goes black and you have no idea where you are. There’s a little spotlight on you, but you can’t see the whole map… And you’re like, should I go up? Should I go left? Should I go down?… starting a business is a bit like that.”
Luckily, Rob states that starting a business in the city of Waynesboro has been a very pleasant experience. “If you’re thinking about starting a business in downtown Waynesboro, you should go talk to Greg [at] Grow Waynesboro and learn about the resources that are available … because they really do help you with potential challenges and with … resources you can take advantage of.”
“The Walls Seem High, But They Shouldn’t Be”
Rob Seal, the maestro behind Waynesboro Music, wants you to know that music should never be intimidating. It’s a universal language, a natural part of who we are. The walls that might seem insurmountable at first should, in reality, be invitingly low. This is a place where your musical journey can begin, regardless of your starting point.
So, whether you’re a curious beginner or a seasoned pro, visit Waynesboro Music to explore the melodies that await you. It’s more than a store; it’s a symphony of possibilities in the heart of Waynesboro, Virginia. The map might disappear, but the musical journey has just begun.
As Rob puts it, “If you don’t start running, you’ll just stay right where you are.”
The website for Waynesboro Music is in the works at waynesboromusic.com, with a newsletter sign-up list available in the store. This newsletter will keep you updated on upcoming events, lessons, and more. Additionally, their Facebook page is a treasure trove of information about jam sessions and musical opportunities in the community.