Dana and Michele Clark have a saying: if you have failed at music, you just haven't had the right teacher.
The two teachers bring decades of experience teaching and playing to their new store, Sweet Music, in the Market Place Village at the corner of Puetz and Chicago roads.
The Clarks opened the store Aug. 1. The duo teaches, sells and repairs a host of musical instruments, including guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dulcimer and drums.
Repairs and lessons, in particular, are their forte. Dana started playing ukelele at the age of 3, drums followed at age 7 and guitar started at age 11. Both of her parents played multiple instruments, and Dana naturally gravitated toward music.
"My mom always had this attitude that there's no such thing as can't," Dana said.
Michele started playing music about 20 years ago and met Dana through a class that Dana taught.
Now partners, the two are no spring chickens when it comes to music, either performing or teaching.
"I'm going to brag a little bit: we know what we're doing," Dana said.
Quarters are a little cramped inside Sweet Music, but it was worth it for Dana and Michele, who moved to Wisconsin from Mississippi to be closer to Michele's son. In the south, they performed under the moniker "Sweet Music," and decided to bestow that name on the shop.
It took about a year to find the right place. But once they stumbled on the Market Place Village, it was a quick sell.
"We didn't even look at another place," Dana said. "We just fell in love with this place. It was perfect."
Michele added: "I'm in love with this location. I love all of the little shops, and everything is all connected."
The store has instruments for sale in the front and a practice space near the back. A formal grand opening .
The Clarks say their shop is perfect for the beginner. If someone has been thinking about learning a musical instrument, they invite them into Sweet Music and try it out.
And it doesn't matter the age — no one is too young or too old to begin music, the Clarks said.
"I tell people if you've got a bucket list, of music, we can fill it," Dana said.
"Give it a shot. And give us a try. That's all we're asking."