Generations Music, Where Dreams Come True
By Moose, Jr.
After graduating from Niagara-Wheatfield High school in 1977, Dave Augustyniak began a 30-year career in law enforcement but despite his credentials and skill in that field, he had an avocation that was pretty far afield from his vocation.
Dave’s passion was music - playing it that is - and it took his then 14-year-old daughter, Kaitylynn, to turn it to more than just pleasure but into a business, too.
Dave was taught to play guitar by his father and when Kaitylynn asked to learn to play guitar, he offered, like any good father would, to pay for her lessons.
But Kaitylynn didn’t want lessons from a stranger. She wanted to be taught by her dad as he was by his father. Dave agreed and he found that while teaching his daughter he realized that he had his own unique way of teaching the guitar. He also saw how much innocent joy such knowledge gives.
Of all things a man or woman might learn in their youth that will bring them a lifetime of joy, learning to play a musical instrument is one of the most rewarding.
It makes a person more subtle, it takes them into a world of dreams, and softness, it leads to an appreciation of music that is markedly different and more insightful than those who only listen but cannot produce music themselves.
The ability to play music changes people's lives.
“Parents should realize that music lessons give their children the discipline needed to mature into adults and enhance their math and science skills in school,” Dave said.
Perhaps it was love for his daughter and how it made her a better person to know how to play something that could produce beautiful music such as the guitar, but it got him to thinking, and after a discussion with Christine, his lovely wife of 24 years, he realized that the business of teaching music, and supplying the instruments for people to learn it, was his “calling.”
He began by buying and selling musical instruments on E-Bay. Through various contacts he made, he met Tom Hunter, who worked for the Gibson Guitar Company.
Tom and Dave became friends and, through Dave, he got a contract from Gibson.
Success followed and, in 2006, Dave made enough money to open his own music store. He called it "Generations Music," and it was located in the Summit Park Mall; the name was based on three generations of a family’s love for music and their willingness to teach it to the next generation.
The store was an immediate success and he hired a friend, Jim Paine, to manage it.
Dave never felt that merely selling quality musical instruments at great prices was enough. He wanted to offer musical instruction.
He hired Jason Neubauer (winner Best Band Leader and Best Guitar Player, Buffalo Music Awards) and his manager’s son, Jeremy Paine, to give lessons.
They taught guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and ukulele.
The addition of providing music lessons dramatically enhanced the business.
Generations Music became a full service music store.
After the Summit Park Mall closed, Generations Music moved to the Eastern Hills Mall where the store’s success continued; but Dave wanted to be back in Niagara Falls.
John Firth, of Firth Jewelers, had been a friend from the old days when Dave shoveled snow as a boy for Firth’s Pine Avenue store.
Firth gave him a lease at a store he owned, at 2437 Military Road, right next door to the jewelry store, and Dave opened a second Generations Music store in January of 2010.
The Military Road location was such a success that Dave closed his Eastern Hills Mall business and located all his services at the Niagara Falls store.
As his business grew, Dave hired more music teachers to give lessons to accommodate the growing number of students. He added Gerry Mancuso, a personal friend of Gene Krupa, to teach drums; Alec Dube, to teach drums, saxophone and woodwind instruments, and Randy Andopolis, former director of the Music School of Niagara and current Professor of Music History at Niagara University.
Randy does music arrangements for local high school musicals and has that rare kind of knowledge on every instrument known in the west from the accordion to the xylophone.
“A big fish in a little pond,” as Dave says of Randy.
Indeed, Generations Music could be called a college of musical knowledge for those who want to learn to really play an instrument from a practical standpoint as well as a theoretical one. All of Dave’s instructors are not only college educated, they are working musicians.
By the way, each and every one of them is available for a free lesson offered by Generations Music to anybody who purchases a musical instrument from his store.
Today, Generations Music is the largest music store and musical instruction service offered in Niagara Falls
The other half of the success story comes from Dave's ability to get the best prices anywhere.
Generations Music belongs to the “Independent Music Store Owners” Group (IMSO). IMSO has over 750 members across the country and as a group purchases musical instruments and accessories, which greatly reduces the price of his products to his clients.
In addition to selling instruments and giving lessons, Generations Music repairs instruments and designs sound and public address systems for churches, halls and other venues.
“If you can dream, we can fulfill your dreams in music,” Dave says. If your child, or grandchild, has a dream of learning to play music, maybe you ought to give Dave a call.
How much greater and more loving is the gift of a parent who gives his child the lifetime gift of learning to play music, rather than a video game or a music CD?
|Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr.||www.niagarafallsreporter.com||