Photo of the storefront of Middle C music store.
Ken Martin

Washington’s premier music retail and learning enterprise, Middle C Music, celebrated its sixteenth year of service to the nation’s capital with a weekend-long “Sweet 16 Anniversary” at the end of March. Myrna Sislen, the owner, not only offers customers a wide variety of the best musical instruments, sheet music, related accessories and gifts — she really knows how to throw a party! 

There was food, drink and, of course, non-stop music. Staff, students and “whoever wishes to drop by and play along” performed from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, playing everything from alto sax to zithers!  Okay, maybe no zithers, but definitely xylophones.  

Floor Manager Mike Sweeney on the drums. Mike is a multi-instrumentalist, and a singer/songwriter. He studied psychology and also works as a counselor for inner city youth. Photo by Ken Martin

I was fortunate to be on the scene for a live kazoo serenade, the first I’ve heard in 30 years. Every visitor was in a festive mood. Even I was tempted to perform, but I stuck to letting my camera click with a jazzy rhythm. 

It has been my pleasure to have these wonderful folks in my life, as customers of the paper and as salespeople for my daughter’s musical needs (glad that’s over, hoo boy!). Aside from all being music masters in their own right, Matthew, Michael, Max, Amos, Dave, and Jane “the” Angel are class acts as human beings!  

A group inside of the store with everyone smiling.

My Middle C Music family. Photo by Ken Martin

As friends, Middle C came to my rescue when I had too few easels for my photo exhibit at “Art All Night” two years ago. They even gave me my first housewarming gift for my new apartment: a gift I shall always cherish that will remain on display in my living room. 

Everyone that knows me knows that I love music. It was in a music store that I first met the object of my eternal affection. And it is music that you hear wherever I labor. In D.C., the melodies begin with Middle C. I’m looking forward to our future collaboration and encourage you to visit