Pull Quote: My Grandfather's motto was: "where customers become friends" and still guides us today.
If you’re a musician, a band member, need a clarinet repaired, or have lived in Austin for any length of time, you’ve probably had the pleasure of shopping at Strait Music.
Opened in 1963 by Dan Strait, it’s been the home store to many Texas musicians and music lovers alike. The devasting Memorial Day flood of 1981 brought 8 ½ feet of rushing water through their store. One of the most iconic scenes of that flood was one of Strait’s pianos floating down Lamar.
ATX Lifestyle recently sat down with Dan’s grandson and current Executive Vice President Clint Strait, to ask him about the importance of music’s place in education, as well as what makes Strait music an integral part of the Austin music scene.
1. Q: Finish this sentence-Strait Music is important to Austin because……….
A: We are an integral part of the music scene. From getting that first instrument into a child’s hands to finding the right equipment to help a musician get that perfect sound. Our repair department keeps the music going.
2. Q: After 57 years in business what are you most proud of? And, on the flip side, what keeps you up at night aside from that rogue fly.
A: The fact we are a third generation family-owned business is a serious source of pride for our business (and our family). What keeps me up at night are things like local and national political issues that can affect small businesses negatively.
3. Q: What aspects of the business do you continue to practice that you learned from your dad and grandad?
A: First and foremost, I try and mirror how to treat people the way they did. Second, a deep-rooted passion for exemplary customer service.
4 Q: Describe music’s place in the overall education of a student.
A: A well-rounded education should always include a component of the arts like music. All studies show kids who play music achieve higher in other areas. Music education advocacy is one of our core values, which is why my father and I have even been to DC to lobby congress to fully fund the arts.
5. Q: What is the ideal age for a child to learn an instrument?
A:My son learned piano at the age of 4 so let’s go with 4 years old. But kids can be introduced to music and noise making long before that.
6. Q: What is it about music that makes you passionate and how do you pass
that down to your children? Staff?
A: When I think of the different stages of my life, I think of the music that accompanied it. My life’s soundtrack if you will. I am a music nerd. Today, I can pass it along to my children by listening with them, by having epic dance parties and rock-out sessions as a family. With staff, we work in a music store so we are always talking about every genre and band you could think of and subjecting each other to great music.
7. Q: Do you play an instrument? Sing in the shower? .
A: No. Yes. As I have said before, I am a great DJ and great fan. I do not possess the musician gene, I have attempted to uncover it unsuccessfully on numerous occasions. Hoping there’s hope for my kids.
8. Q: I know that Strait Music is a family owned and operated business, but
Besides yourself who makes up your team?
A: My right-hand and COO is Rachel Dawsey and she’s the engine that propels us forward. I get to steer and keep the car on the road. We have an amazing group of managers and employees that are the heart and soul of the organization.
Strait Music currently operates a store in Cedar Park and their flagship location at Ben White and S. Lamar. They also are available online at https://www.straitmuisic.com