Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center
11151 Viers Mill Rd
Wheaton, Maryland 20902
Nowadays, you can purchase a musical instrument online at the click of a mouse, and without having to talk with someone face-to-face. But, there was a time when getting a new acoustic guitar required a jaunt to your local music store, where your conversation with the employee about acoustic guitars would inevitably evolve into a critique of the newest Grateful Dead album, an explanation of your favorite amplifier, a celebration of your son’s recent baseball win. There was a time when music stores were more than just places to shop—they were pillars of community.
As far as Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center is concerned, it’s still that time. Despite a robust website that allows you to buy online and the pandemic, Chuck Levin’s has remained a favorite brick-and-mortar for musicians in the Washington, D.C. area since 1958. It’s not a coincidence—founder Chuck Levin has embodied an ethos of empathy, community and trust from day one.
“One thing that I learned from Mr. Levin is this is not about the instruments. It’s not about the brand. It’s always about the people,” said Carlos Romero, Head of the Guitar Department at Chuck Levin’s. “I could tell you so many stories about how Mr. Levin would just let [musicians in the area] have the instruments so they can do the gig, and say, ‘Just take the instruments you pay me later.’ I don’t think you can find that in just any music store.” Read the full interview with Carlos Romero here.