The Bogusko Music Company is celebrating 40 years in music retail and instruction this year.
Andrea Bogusko and her husband started their careers in instrumental music as teachers. After about a year in the public school system, however, the couple looked into the possibility of a retail store and music studio. They established the Bogusko Music Company on Academy Street in Wilkes-Barre in the mid 1970s, then building the structure most people are familiar with at their current location along 309 near Blackman Street in 1984.
Bogusko’s is a kind of “one stop shop” for everything in instrumental music. They carry new and used instruments of all types: string, percussion, brass, woodwind and pianos; as well as the supplies to play them such as reeds, strings, music books and mallets. If you are new to an instrument, you can rent one before diving into that commitment, or you can bring your instrument in for a repair or regular maintenance. You can also find an instructor for your instrument. Bogusko has twelve teachers on staff who offer private lessons by the half hour for every instrument one can imagine.
The Bogusko family has lived in Mountaintop for the past 25 years and, at one time or another, the entire family has been part of running the store. It is this family environment that the Boguskos have sought to establish and maintain throughout the past forty years.
“We have always tried to model the music store that families put their trust in,” says Andrea. “Whether it is selling an instrument, teaching an instrument or maintaining an instrument, we always utilize that personal touch when it comes to our customers.”
That personal touch may be what creates the value in personally visiting a music store and speaking to an expert, but Internet sales have made things difficult for these types of small businesses in the last few decades. Cuts to school music programs have also been challenging to the industry, despite the fact that all research shows that learning how to play an instrument improves confidence, concentration, attendance, grades and test scores.
“It has been a challenge,” remarks Andrea. “But we do have a little niche you don’t find on the Internet.
Andrea relates she has followed the challenges that parents and students have faced in keeping their music programs alive, especially when some students cannot afford the instrument. She says that some schools will supply an instrument if a family cannot afford to rent or buy one and many districts begin instrumental lessons in fifth grade. When a school cuts their music staff, or delays the choice of an instruction, or limits the choices of student participation, many students in families who cannot afford a weekly private lesson are forced to stop their pursuit of music. Andrea remarks that it is a shame since playing music is something that a person can pursue long into adulthood.
“There, unfortunately, are very few avenues that address the issue of cost,” explains Andrea. “That is so sad because music is very rewarding and long term. Sports are limiting as to how long the body can continue to function at that level, and music is a forever thing.”
Andrea has been able to take heart in the fact that lessons at the Bogusko Music Company have been steady throughout the decade, demonstrating that parents still recognize the importance of music. She is currently serving as President of the Northeast Pennsylvania Music Teacher’s Association that hosts workshops, recitals and festivals form musicians of all levels of talent and experience. She says that there are programs and recitals in other music stores around the area as well, and takes that as a good sign.
“We are hoping pendulum swings in the other direction and people rediscover the value of face to face sales and the beauty of live music,” says Andrea.
While the couple’s children are in the engineering field near Philadelphia and not interested in taking over the business, the Boguskos have no pans to retire anytime soon.
“We love it and its our life and its very rewarding,” says Andrea. “As long as people support us and want us here, we are going to be here as long as we are able.”
The Bogusko Music Company can be reached at 570-829-3679 or 570-881-2118. Their website at Boguskomusic.comor via email at