All over the country, and probably the world, there are sad stories of independent bookshops closing down. I suppose the same must be happening with music shops: the same pressure from online retailers, who offer the convenience of shopping at 2am on a Sunday, and who drive down prices.
Don’t get me wrong, I use Amazon, and my wife thinks I buy rather too much sheet music on E-bay! But I try wherever possible to order sheet music for choirs, and pupils alike, through my local music shop.
I think it is worth having them around: perhaps it is just nostalgia, but I like browsing; I like their second-hand department; I like their occasional sales; I like staff who don’t have to be told how to spell ‘Mozart’. I like sending students along to look at the range of music: usually they come back with Latest Chart Hits in rather-too-easy arrangements, but it is their choice and if it inspires them to practice, I don’t mind. Sometimes they buy a piano there.