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During the Second Stacatto Movement of the Nutcracker Suite, I play a spectacular guitar solo which I pick with my teeth. Teeth produce a timbre quant and mellow you remember.

(Kids: buy my whole calendar! $7 at the Family Music Center, 4110 SW 9th, Des Moines Iowa!)

 Rental Plans

A credit card is NOT required to rent from us. We have two rental plans: some rent a month at a time, starting at $25 a month. Some rent for 3 months at a time, starting at $65 for 3 months. We offer 2 free lessons with your rental to help you get a solid start. In addition, if you aren't too busy when you rent and your child is with you, and we aren't too busy either, we can take a little time to show your child how to play a couple of songs before you leave.

Month-at-a-time rents

We rent these instruments through Veritas, a Florida company. You can specify a brand, used or new. If we don't have the instrument you want in stock it can be shipped, and delivered either to our store for you to pick up here, or to your home. In either case you can still bring it to us for any repairs needed, which we can normally finish in one day, OR you can ship it to Veritas for repair. ALL of your payment is applied towards the purchase if you rent it long enough - no interest is subtracted - except for $5 of each payment which is set aside to cover any repairs needed.

Trumpets, Trombones, Flutes, Clarinets, Violins, Violas: New: $30 per month. Experienced: $24.95 per month. Saxophones: New: $45 per month. Experienced: $40 per month.

3-months-at-a-time rents

valued $400 or less, $65 for 3 months. Instruments valued $450 and over: 15% of value, every 3 months.

Extras: No extra charge for "normal wear and tear" repairs. (Theft, loss, or total destruction not covered. Check with your homeowner's policy for theft coverage.) 20% off if purchased within 30 days. 2 free lessons included. Usually while-U-wait repair service.

To rent online:

Rent online, with the option of having the instrument delivered to your home or you can pick up at our store (the same hour, if we have it in stock): go to, use the online code, "familymusic".  
A Musical Family ---- Genetically and Commercially

Genetically, Family Music Center is a 3rd generation family-owned music store. My grandfather founded Alonzo Leach Musical Instruments in 1922 while he was the Drake band director and while he was helping found the Iowa Bandmasters Association and lobbying the Iowa Band Law (which authorizes cities to fund outdoor band concerts). When Alonzo closed in 1968, Thelma Leach, my mother, worked for Dan Miller until she bought that store in 1972. When she suffered a stroke in 1996 and my father, Joe Leach, died the following January, I assumed management, and officially became sole owner in 1999. (Thelma died at age 85 in January, 2006, just days short of the 10th anniversary of dad's death.)

 The Rest of the Story

Commercially, there are "family" ties between most of Des Moines' band and orchestra instrument stores. Estey Wilkinson founded Wilkenson Music in 1922, which Dan Miller bought in 1951 and called Miller Music, which my mother bought in 1972. Frank Rieman worked for my grandfather until he left to start his own store in 1953, and Keith Nash worked for my mother until he left to start his own store in 1974. (Keith closed his store in 1999 and repaired for Music Works.)

So if you ever pick up the scent of animosity between Des Moines' music stores that seems to exceed what might be accounted for by mere economic competition, now you know the rest of the story. We're "family".


January: Introduction

February: Repair Shop

March: Secrets of Scales & key signatures

April: "The Lesson No One Expected" (An Amazing Story featuring the Practice Fairy!)

May: Maintenance for musical instruments

June: "The Music Wars" (An Adventure Story about Superhero Angels and the Minstrels of Darkness!)

July: Basic accessories for musical instruments

August: How to practice, and how MUCH to practice! (Moms and dads: This is such universal advice about how to succeed, that it will even tell you how to LOSE WEIGHT!)

September:Rental Plan, Store History

October: Dr. Screech's Family Band Method (a very basic, easy to read very beginning CARTOON method, with easy-to-understand theory basics helpful for students who have played a few years -- great for parents helping their children)

November: Join - Uncle Ed. Show family Band! A wonderful opportunity for kids who are serious about music and who don't mind being on Youtube!

December: Music Store Ethics Statement

Next Year:





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