Munro Music: Making Harmony Since 1966
Does your child need violin lessons? Looking to get your saxophone fixed? Want to buy a new guitar? Munro Music in East Northport is the place to go.
Munro Music has been providing clients with music lessons since 1966. After its re-opening under John Fogarty in 1967, the shop gradually expanded to selling instruments, accessories and sheet music, as well as repairing and renting out instruments.
Shoppers can walk into Munro Music on Larkfield Road and find shelves of sheet music in front of them, keyboards to their left, rows of guitars hanging from the ceiling, bongo drums and clarinets in display windows around the store, trumpets and saxophones perched on the back wall, and any musical accessory they might need.
Lessons can be arranged for just about any band or orchestra instrument, as well guitar and piano lessons.
“It’s an interesting business when you actually can see customers come down here with their kids and they used to take lessons here when they were kids,” Fogarty said.
The music store staffs three repairmen. One focuses on band instruments, another specializes in orchestra instruments and a third repairman fixes up guitars and electronics.
According to Fogarty, Munro Music is known for its stock in sheet music, especially NYSSMA sheet music that can be found in file cabinets organized by level and instrument in the back of the store. Many students in local districts come to the East Northport shop to buy their sheet music each spring for the state musical assessment.
Fogarty said the shop gets very busy during NYSSMA season, the beginning of the school year when parents and students come to rent and buy instruments for the year, and the holiday season.
Fogarty, 70, began playing the guitar when he was 5 years old. In his early 20s, he taught guitar lessons at music stores in Queens where he lived. By the time he was 24, he was looking to buy his own store, and a friend who lived in Northport told him about a music store that was for sale.
Munro Music provided lessons services and was only open for about a year when owner Nancy Munro decided to move to California. Fogarty then bought the shop in August 1967 and kept its name. A year after buying the shop, he moved from Queens to Northport Village, and about 10 years later, he moved to Eaton’s Neck where he still resides.
Since taking over Munro Music, Fogarty has expanded the business to provide retail as well as services, and physically expanded the store space. Now, Munro Music has an informative website and even an eBay store so out-of-towners can buy guitars, amps, microphones and violins online.
Fogarty also began playing the trombone around 7 years old. He played both trombone and guitar for the Air National Guard Band in New York from 1965-1970.
In his first 20-plus years of owning and operating Munro Music, the musician taught guitar and trombone lessons. He can also play a little piano and a bit of a few other instruments, he said.
Photography is another hobby of the musician and store owner, and his office is full of pictures he has taken of his staff, who he says is like a family. Many employees have gone off to college but come back to work at the shop with their college degrees.
To add to the family-feel of the “mom and pop” music store, Fogarty’s dog, a Labrador-mix named Chloe, comes to work daily and hangs out in the office.
“I still come to work every day and like what I’m doing. It’s never been a job. It’s nice having something that you really enjoy,” he said.