People are turning to music to cope with the social isolation brought on by government restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-owner of Taree's Bass'n'Blues Music Megastore, Tanya Brown said they have experienced a definite increase in sales from people purposefully purchasing as they go into lockdown or isolation.
Sales are up in digital pianos, guitars and drum kits, with amplifiers, ukeleles and recording equipment also being snapped up.
"Some people who were already musicians have felt it's a good time to set up their own recording gear."
Customers have included people who used to play an instrument as a child, who always wanted to get back into it and thought this was a good time, as well as men and women who have never played before but always wanted to learn.
"They are saying, show me what I do. Some are hooking up with our teachers online through Skype for their lessons."
Tanya said when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia, she and her husband Trevor had expected one of two things to happen at their shop - "That the bottom would completely drop out or we might get a bit of a spurt."
Music has historically been something people turn to in times of uncertainty.
"During the Great Depression (in the 1930s) there were three things that sold well - pianos, grog and gambling," she said.
"You couldn't buy pianos in Australia because they were all sold out."
Bass'n'Blues, which has been operating for 26-and-a-half years, also survived the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.
"At the time we thought, what are we going to do?
"Someone in the industry said we would be fine and we would sell to people who say, to hell with it, I can't control any of this so I'm going to do what makes me happy.
"We got through the GFC pretty well unscathed."
This time though, the future is a little uncertain.
"What we're expecting is this to happen and when people have everything, to have a downturn. We will take all the sales while we can get it."
With the Albert Street shop still open and trading, she said their cleaning routine has ramped up and is keeping them busy.
"We're wiping all the surfaces, we have hand sanitiser on the counter and are complying with social distancing.
"A lot of our wholesalers are dropping shipping as well, so people will order something and the goods are delivered straight to the customer."
She said people are coming in regularly and are all taking their turn to come up to the counter.
"There are still plenty of people coming in to buy."
She said lots of people are also mindfully buying locally.
"We thank them for keeping it local. They are actually saying they are doing it to keep us going - not just us but anywhere they are shopping.
"I even had a good customer knock back his usual discount this week. It was only $15 but he insisted we keep it.
"We would like to thank everyone for their support. We are very blessed to have it."
As for stock replenishment, Tanya said they are operating like normal.
"We've found no reason so far to stop bringing new stock in and we are operating as we normally would."
As for her staff she said one of their team members is home as he falls into a high risk category and it is the safest place for him right now.
Teachers who work through the music store are changing their approach and setting up online teaching.
"The studios aren't being used next door as the teachers are teaching from home."
With that being the case, musician Matt Zarb has set up in a studio to broadcast concerts and gigs on social media.
"Facebook is really big for us at the moment," said Tanya.
"We're making sure there's plenty of promotion across that as a communication tool."
A musician herself, Tanya said the impacts of the coronavirus on the music industry are huge.
"Some musicians have a day job but some don't. Some lost their gigs but they worked in theatres and clubs and pubs and then they were shut down a week later and they were left with nothing.
"Musicians aren't getting paid as yet. If they're putting themselves out there and you're watching You Tube shows, they're not getting paid.
"But no one's art should be for free.
"It's interesting that in this pandemic, everyone is turning to movies, music and culture to get them through."
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