Virginia Beach music store braces for uncertainty as schools decide when to reopen

Posted at 9:15 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 22:29:46-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Moe’s Music on Virginia Beach Boulevard has been a staple in Virginia Beach for 32 years.

Chuck Moebus has been selling, renting, trading and repairing instruments since opening his music store in 1988. He said fall is his busiest time in the shop.

“Normally, back to school, September is my biggest month of the year,” said Moebus. “It pays dividends all year long with repairs, reeds, oils, violin strings - all the supplies needed.”

However, as many school districts struggle with how and when to reopen safely because of COVID-19, that vital stream of income for Moebus could be threatened.

“As a business owner, I worry,” he said.

Moebus said he has a good relationship with more than a dozen local schools, and for at least nine months out of the year, a steady source of revenue from band and orchestra students.

With the reopening of many school districts still up in the air this fall, Moebus is concerned about how that’ll impact his bottom line.

Norfolk Public Schools, and possibly schools in Virginia Beach, will be starting the school year virtually. Moebus is unsure where that leaves him but said an online music experience is not the same.

“People like people, and people like interacting with people,” he said. “When you take that out of the situation using a digital device, there’s just so much that gets missed.”

Related: Chesapeake teacher, students create virtual orchestra during COVID-19 pandemic

In the meantime, Moebus said he’ll try to capitalize on the shop’s private music lessons and encourage students like John Olansen, 11, to keep up with their skills.

“I’m playing a song, and I’ve been working on it for a couple weeks and it’s hard,” said Olansen. “It’s all positive energy and stuff. It’s really fun.”

During uncertain times, Moebus is remaining cautiously optimistic while keeping the music alive.

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