Richard Herbsleb is a sales associate at New Braunfels Music, but according to him, the shop is more than a place to purchase instruments. He calls it a “music emporium.”
New Braunfels Music offers instruments for sale and rental, instrument repair and private music lessons.
To receive private lessons, customers can reach out online or in-store to schedule lessons with one of six instructors, each of whom focus on one particular instrument or a set of instruments.
This time of year, band and orchestra instruments make up most of the store’s sales. Herbsleb said the saxophone, flute, clarinet, trumpet and trombone are the most common instruments sold during the back-to-school season. Prices for these range from $600-$1,400, but the store also offers a layaway program.
In fact, layaway was how Herbsleb purchased his first bass guitar.
“Once it was paid off, it was my favorite toy…and it taught me a lot of value because, paying $600 for something that you’re going to be playing on, you realize, ‘Oh, wow … This took a lot of work to get. This is something I want to keep and take care of,’” Herbsleb said.
Back then, the shop was much smaller and in a different location.
Now that Herbsleb works at New Braunfels Music, he said he enjoys having a bigger location that can house more inventory and allow customers to try out instruments in the store.
The business gets a lot of repeat customers, which Herbsleb attributes to the shop’s superior customer service.
“New Braunfels is a pretty big scene for acoustic artists, so we get a lot of musicians who come in here for strings, picks and other accessories for their guitar[s],” Herbsleb said.
All of the employees at New Braunfels Music, including sales staff, the manager and the owner, play an instrument, and some play multiple instruments. A number of employees are also members of local bands that play at venues around town.
The store is owned by San Antonio’s Hillje Music. In addition to New Braunfels Music, there are two Hillje Music locations—one in San Antonio and one in Boerne.