Our Beginnings


Musical Innovations opened its doors on Tanner Road in 2009 and has been pleased to serve bands, orchestras, and choirs across South Carolina ever since. From the outset, Tracy’s dream was to create a music retail and resource company that would offer top-quality musical instruments and products at surprisingly low prices, along with outstanding customer service. Our goal is to become ...

Your favorite place for music stuff.

MI-Location

Our staff is comprised of degreed, experienced music educators and music enthusiasts who are eager to share their love of music and their passion for music education. We have six Music Education Specialists who visit schools and work with parents, students, educators and families daily, and all are former band directors. Each has years of classroom experience, each performs regularly on his/her chosen instrument; two are adjunct faculty at area colleges, and several conduct local community bands and orchestras. All are more than willing to offer clinics, master classes, pre-festival adjudications and other similar services, at no charge, to our Preferred Accounts. 

Our services not only include rentals and professional instrument sales, but we also have a fine set of repair technicians to keep those instruments in top playing condition. Musical Innovations also has a thriving lessons studio that has multiple instructors available to teach young and old the joys of playing a musical instrument, whether that be brass, woodwind, or strings.

Since opening, Musical Innovations has been recognized both locally and nationally as a top retailer and music store; being recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) as a Top 100 dealer not once, but four times. We have also been honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a Dream Big Blue Ribbon Award recipient.

Because of our extensive experience and longstanding relationships with music industry manufacturers and suppliers, we have been able to assemble a wide selection of major instrument brands including:

  • Buffet Group brands including Besson, Courtois, Hoyer, Meinl-Weston, Keilwerth and B&S
  • Conn-Selmer (Bach, Conn, Emerson, King, Holton, Selmer, Armstrong, Yanigasawa)
  • Eastman (Haynes, Shires, Amadeus)
  • Gemeinhardt (Roy Seaman)
  • Getzen
  • Percussion by Ludwig, Musser, Adams, Pearl, Grover, TreeWorks, Zildjian, Sabian and others.
  • and more!

Musical Innovations is nationally known for its emphasis on exemplary customer service. We are happy to customize our instrument and accessory offerings to meet the specific needs of your rental program. We also offer online rentals with free delivery to schools, if parents find that more convenient. We also offer full credit from a student to a step up or pro instrument, at any time, whether the instrument is rented our purchased.

What makes us different?

Musical Innovations is a different kind of music education company. Family-focused, not sales-focused. Relationship-oriented, not price-oriented. Musical Innovations actively supports school music programs, educators and students with the best possible products at the best possible prices. We hope you will give us a call at (864) 28-MUSIC [286-8742] or check us out on Facebook or at www.musicalinnovations.biz soon, and let us know what we can do to help you.

Innovation.

We have worked hard to find products that will meet the needs of area educators, musicians and families . . . at prices they can afford (for example, our boxed VanDoren reeds are regularly 45% off list price). We have strong relationships with our manufacturers and suppliers that enable us to offer a wide variety of instruments and unique products, and allow us to order any products not already in stock with very rapid turnaround time. Our sales staff is committed to providing outstanding customer service and a high level of product knowledge. Our goal is to build long-term relationships with our customers through honesty and integrity, personalized service, and prices that make participating in music available, affordable and convenient for all.

Also available at no charge for our preferred accounts is M.I. Assistant for a Day program that offers educators the use of one of our staff members for a half-day for whatever clerical, administrative or other needs you might have (even including filing music and collecting fund raising forms!). On those days when the extra-musical part of the job seems overwhelming, M.I. Assistant for a Day can provide just the relief you need! 
 

Selling through Education.

We believe that parents and students who are given an adequate and appropriate selection of instruments, and empowered with the knowledge they need to make an educated buying decision are happier with their purchases.

  •  Private instructors and school band/orchestra directors are always welcome to accompany their students during the step-up instrument selection process.
  • If a student does not take private lessons, buying a step-up instrument can be intimidating. Often, the instruments that “feel” and sound the best at first play are not the ones that would provide for the most musical growth, or would be the best choices in the long run. Our specialists can help guide them through this process with a mini-lesson, and spend adequate time with each student one-on-one so that an educated choice can be made. A step-up purchase is a significant investment for most families, and not one to be made quickly or under perceived duress. We want our young musicians to feel comfortable with their new instruments, and to understand how to develop tone, facility and musicianship commensurate with these new instruments.
  • Our owner, Tracy Leenman, is nationally (even internationally) recognized as an expert in band and string instrument specs and manufacturing. She has visited manufacturing facilities around the United States and Europe, and has presented sessions on these topics in music stores, at conventions, and at colleges and universities around the country. Our staff has a high level of instrument specs and product knowledge; and can help parents, educators and students discern and distinguish in the ever-changing music industry.
  • Families leave our store with information about their purchase, about instrument care and maintenance, a list of suggested supplies, and information about the benefits of studying music. We are always available by phone or e-mail after a sale to answer any lingering questions, clarify information, and help alleviate any issues that may arise after the purchase.
     

Music Advocacy. 

We are nationally known for our music advocacy efforts; we have participated in the NAMM Fly-In for Music Education (Washington, DC) three times and worked towards the recent passage of the ESSA, listing music as a stand-alone subject “essential to a well-rounded education.” We are members of the SupportMusic.com Coalition, and participate in their monthly teleconference. We work with NAMM, the American Music Conference, SCMEA, NCMEA, ASTA, NASMD and other organizations to provide free advocacy materials to our customers. We work with state and national organizations to promote music education and disseminate information about the importance of music in each child’s education. And we offer teacher in-services equipping music educators to support and protect their programs.

 

Community Involvement.

We are active members of our community, and are actively involved in supporting local school music programs and creating more music-making opportunities for South Carolinians. We have worked with The Cascades retirement community to bring drum circle music/wellness classes to their residents. We provide classes for preschoolers, and music lessons and ensembles for home schooled children. We have offered free clinics and events including a Besson Day with Jamie Hood of the Salvation Army, Buffet Days with D. Ray McClellan of the University of Georgia and Joe Eller of the University of SC, a free concert and master classes by the Dallas Brass, and choral reading sessions with Larry Shackley (Lorenz/Heritage Publishing), Mark Cabaniss (Alfred/Word) and Myra Murray and Sharon Burch (Hal Leonard Corporation). We can provide clinics and master classes for area schools at no charge with national-level artists and educators. We are active members of SC ITG, SC Flute Society, SC ASTA and other organizations that keep us involved with the music community in the Carolinas, and beyond.

 

 Local, state and national relationships. 

Because we have strong state-wide and national ties to others in the music industry, music education, and music advocacy, we are able to offer you cutting-edge product knowledge. We are able to help you stay a few steps ahead of ever-changing educational policies, the ever-evolving music industry, and the ever-present threats of staffing and budget cuts, as no other music retailer in the area can.
 

 Added services.  

We deliver at no charge to many schools in North and South Carolina and Georgia. We are always available by appointment outside our normal business hours. We are 100% committed to customer satisfaction. This means we will always go out of our way to ensure your every experience with M.I. one that exceeds your expectations. And if this is ever not the case, we want to know! We will do everything we can to make things right. 

I do not hesitate in my recommendation of Tracy Leenman ... she and I are on the same page as to the importance of music in the classroom, and the important facts that new teachers need to know during their first years on the job. She is an articulate and interesting speaker. The information shared with my students was valuable and pertinent.

— Lorrie Crochet, Ph.D. Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music, Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC)

We participate in and support a number of local, state and national music and music education organizations, including:

 NAfME, The National Association for Music Education
SCMEA, The South Carolina Music Educators Association
SCBDA, The South Carolina Band Directors Association
NCMEA, The North Carolina Music Educators Association
NASMD, The National Association of School Music Dealers
NAMM, The International Music Products Association
RPMDA, The Retail Print Music Dealers Association
ABA Associates, The Associate Membership of the American Bandmasters Association
ASTA, The American String Teachers Association
The SupportMusic.com Coalition
The South Carolina Flute Society
The Gemeinhardt Teachers Advisory Council
SC-ITG, the SC Chapter of the International Trumpet Guild
The Palmetto Concert Band
The Foothills Philharmonic
Poinsett Wind Symphony
Upstate Winds
The University of South Carolina School of Music
Miracle Hill Ministries
The Salvation Army
The Wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center
Mauldin Chamber of Commerce
The Better Business Bureau