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Local shop brings music to the community

One of the oldest music stores in Chicago history, Flatts and Sharpe Music Co. has provided the Rogers Park community with music for nearly 50 years. Photo by Jessica A. Kelley.

One of the oldest music stores in Chicago history, Flatts and Sharpe Music Co. has provided the Rogers Park community with music for nearly 50 years. Photo by Jessica A. Kelley.

By Jessica A. Kelley

ROGERS PARK — Flatts and Sharpe on Sheridan road in Chicago’s North Side opened  nearly 30 years ago and today it remains a vibrant, successful small business.

Flatts and Sharpe Music Co. offers products, lessons, repairs and assistance for any aspiring or current musician. In recent years the shop has expanded its clientele and recently opened an additional shop in Norwood Park due to its success and need for more space.

“The lesson program has grown so much. The lesson program was nothing compared to what it is now, at the beginning it was nonexistent,” salesman Justin Chaves said.

The local music shop offers lessons for people of all ages. Some of their earliest students begin at age 4 and range anywhere to students in their 70s. The store hosts nearly 300 students per month and over 200 students per week.

“I really enjoyed taking guitar lessons there over the summer. I learned a lot and really enjoyed my experience there,” Dylan Wenker, 20, said.

At the time Flatts and Sharpe opened back in the 1970s, the Rogers Park neighborhood didn’t have any sort of music shop. The shop was first opened by a touring musician who wanted a local music store for the community. It still remains one of the oldest music stores in Chicago history.

“I think the store is great. It’s really cool to have a local music shop not too far from campus that I can go to to look at different instruments and the different sheet music,” Loyola University Chicago student and store visitor Joseph Markiewicz said. “I also didn’t realize how much history it had.”

The moment a customer walks through the door, they are greeted by different instruments and sheet music of all kinds. The first room, featuring a wall of guitars, is primarily where all of the instruments are located. Further back in a different room, the walls are covered in books of sheet music for varying instruments. Lessons take place in the back of the store in private rooms.

Upon walking into the store, a customer can really feel the sense of community the store brings. The kindness, hospitality and knowledge that each employee brings to the store is one-of-a-kind.

“This store was really outgrown, there was no more room for more clients and no more room for equipment,” Chaves said. “It also brings music to a neighborhood that was lacking it.

The store itself and the employees want to continue to keep bringing the music to Rogers Park and enjoy their experiences working at the store.

“I really like working with all of my friends. I’ve been a musician for over 16 years and being here is just like a local family kind of thing,” Chaves said.

Flatts Facts

  • The store first opened in the 1970s
  • It is one of the oldest music stores in Chicago
  • Flatts offers music lessons to students of all ages
  • It has two locations: Rogers Park at 6749 N. Sheridan Road, (733) 465-5233; and Norwood Park: 6139 N. Northwest Hwy. (733) 774-1740








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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.