Gand Makes Village Music Store a Local Institution

When next year rolls around, Gand’s retail and teaching business will celebrate its 50th anniversary in Deerfield.

has been around Deerfield under the direction of for 49 years offering lessons to children as young as 6 and adults as old as 65. 

When Gand is not teaching or selling both instruments and music, you may see him running around the Village Streets. He has finished five marathons—the last one was in 2005—and continues to run races. 

People can also see Gand or p. Teaching and playing for others are passions.

Gand recently took the time from his busy schedule to answer five questions for Patch.

What led you to open the Village Music Store?  “When I graduated from the University of Illinois I went to work for a corporation and worked my way up to vice president of sales after 14 years. One year I bought my wife a guitar for her birthday and it was lying around the house. I asked her if I could play it and within two weeks I was giving lessons to my friends.”

After building up a clientele for two years, Gand gave up his corporate job and went into business for himself.

Why is Deerfield a good community for the Village Music Store? “There are a lot of kids in Deerfield. It’s also near Highland Park and Northbrook and so there’s a lot of activity.  The Village is very easy to work with. I’ve always done very well with the Village.” 

What do you like most about teaching? “It’s a very personal business. I have students from 6 to 65. I’m a story teller and like to listen to stories. As we talk during the lessons I learn about their lives.”

What instruments do you teach? “I teach 26 instruments from A to Z. A is the autoharp and Z is the zither. As I introduce these instruments when I perform I put in a plug by letting the audience know they can buy them all at the Village Music Store.”

Gand performs on a number of instruments himself while playing a variety of music.

What has been your favorite experience in the music business? “Lana (Rae), my partner, and I performed as strolling balladeers in Williamsburg, VA, at the Shields Tavern. I was there for a race and (a friend) arranged for us to play. They are very strict. The music has to be authentic.”

By authentic, Gand was referring to tunes from the American colonial era.

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